Choices can make life an adventure. At the beginning of August, Haley Stocks and Addison Ball will begin an excursion into China that will last a year.
The musical pair will be teaching English to Chinese students in city of Weifang, the kite capital of China, in the eastern Province of Shandong.
A recent graduate of Northeastern State University, Stocks is excited about her year abroad.
“During my trips to China before, I grew fond of the culture and the people, and knew I wanted to live there for an extended period of time. The year after I graduated college seemed like a perfect time to go,” she said.
Her degree is in mass communication, with an emphasis in public relations, and was completed in May.
Ball learned about the job through Stocks, and said they applied like they would for any job in America.
“We were hired by Weifang University to teach and practice conversational English with students,” Ball said. “In our free time, I will be exploring, eating, meeting lots of people and learning Chinese. However, I expect that my experiences will completely defy my expectations.”
Ball is looking forward to the culture shock. He’s had great experiences with people from all around the world and wants to continue interacting with all sorts of people.
“Having to adapt to another culture and learning new languages not only unlocks a new world of people to talk to, literature, movies, etc., it can also give us insight into the nature of our own cultures and selves,” said Ball. “This is why I am interested in helping people improve their English abilities.”
In addition to teaching, Stocks will represent NSU at two global college fairs.
“I have worked with the company that hired Addison and me twice before. They let me know about a teaching opportunity once I graduated, and I was excited to return to the great country of China,” Stocks said. “This company, CIBT, is a partner with NSU.”
Speaking English will get them there, and they’ll learn more during the year.
“I have learned a little Chinese during my previous trips to China. I am anxious to begin Chinese classes when I get there again,” Stocks said.
The vocabulary Ball has acquired includes the words and phrases, “hello,” “you are crazy,” and “dog poop.”
Packing necessities has also been an education.
“We are having a bit of a delay obtaining our work permits and visas, but we will be leaving sometime soon,” Ball said. “In preparation, I’m giving away and selling my stuff, soaking up as much outdoors as possible before heading off. I’m taking the essentials: my instruments, my skateboard, and my lovely girlfriend.”
The instruments he’ll be taking are oboe, guitar, and computer to make beats.
Preparing all of the documents needed to make the trip has been quite the experience, Stocks said.
“I have been enjoying as much of Tahlequah and my family as possible. I’ve spent lots of time spent making music with friends, enjoying downtown Tahlequah and the river,” she said. “I am trying to spend quality time with my family and friends. I can hardly imagine life without the Tahlequah breeze in my hair, but I am excited for the change and adventure.”
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