How I met my online language pal?
I recently had an amazing experience with my tutee, Tiger, when I visited China. It was as if the tables had turned and Tiger was now the “tutor”, guiding and bringing me around his city.
Tiger is 15 years old and he lives in Chengdu, China. Through our lessons, I found out that there are many interesting places to explore in China.
How did my online tutee, a common 15-year old Chinese teenager, become my friend and tour guide who gave me a real-life lesson about Chinese Culture?
I have been a tutor on an online peer learning platform for two years and my initial primary reason was to earn some extra pocket money during my free time. Looking back, never could I have imagined being friends with my tutee and even having the chance to meet him in person! Three months ago, some of my classmates suggested a graduation trip to Chengdu, China, when I told Tiger about it, he kindly offered to be my tour guide!
Fast-forward to the trip, I still remember how excited Tiger was when he saw us at the airport. They then brought us around the city for the next few days to visit some attractions and try some local delights. Tiger even taught me how to use chopsticks and why it is rude to stick your chopsticks in your bowl in Chinese culture! We watched the Sichuan Opera, visited the panda breeding center, Tianfu Square and Red Walls, shopped along Jinli street, devoured some delicious street snacks and traditional cuisines.
Tiger taught me simple Chinese phrases when we were ordering food and introduced different Chinese snacks! Tiger and his family gave us such a wonderful experience with their hospitality and if they were to visit the states in the future, I will definitely return the favor.
There is so much more about this gig job!
Just like how people comment on each other’s pronunciation or writing here on HelloTalk, I help to correct my tutees’ pronunciation and choice of words through having a conversation. The best part of the whole experience is I can earn an average of 300USD monthly as long as I maintain a regular tutoring schedule.
You me alike, we high-schoolers are often busy with school and activities. By talking to fellow teens of the same age or younger, I could relieve some stress. This is more than a gig job! BuzzKID has also written me recommendation letters for my college application which also helped me greatly in sourcing for internships and other jobs.
Now, I view every half-an-hour online session as a way for me to meet another kid from a different background, hoping that one day I can recreate the experience that Tiger created for me. I hope this story resonates with you and you also can have the same experience as a BuzzKID tutor!
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