The Amity Foundation, established by Chinese Christians, launched a new initiative called the "Young Adult Program" for those who want to serve China in a shorter period of time.
In August 2005, young adults from different parts of the world went to China to take part in this new initiative to teach in a period of six months rather than two years or more, which is the regular teachers program.
Amity said in a statement on January 7 that the young people come to China to teach "spoken English" to the Chinese students, and, in return, they are able to learn Chinese and take part in various activities that expose them to the Chinese culture and the local community.
Amity said, in this way, they hope "to build friendships and cross-cultural understanding between the young people in China and overseas."
Two young adults from Denmark, sponsored by Danmission, a missionary and relief organization within the Lutheran Church in Denmark, gave their reflections on the Amity Foundation's website on what they learned and what they were able to gain from this experience.
"My stay here has probably been the most challenging thing that I have ever done, and my time here has taught me a lot, both about teaching and about myself," Christopher Hougaard said.
At the Chuzhou University, located in China's Anhui province, Chinese students took part in a series of four "English clubs" designed to help them improve their English.
One of the clubs showed English movies every Tuesday, another allowed students to practice speaking their English once a week, which brought some of the foreign teachers, Hougaard said.
The third club was an "English library." Agnethe Hoffmeyer said in her reflection, "When I saw the English library of the school the first time, I thought 'Excuse me, but where is the English library?' It looked more like a storage room, we just had to do something about it."
The young teachers and the students joined together to transform the library. After the transformation was completed, they held an opening ceremony with speeches, dancing, a book sale and refreshments. The library opened one hour every day, allowing students to borrow English books, tapes, magazines, VCDs (Video Compact Discs), and other English materials.
Hoffmeyer said, "It was such a nice experience to undertake and finish a project together with my students. They are very energetic and always want to help you."
The final club was an English radio program that was broadcasted every Monday evening. Every week different topics were introduced to the program, and students made guest appearances on the show.
"When you think about a foreign country, you always think of all the obvious differences, like language and culture," Hougaard said. "A visit like this helps broaden one's perspective on a different country and culture. And it reminded me, too, that we, people of different nationalities, are not really that different after all."
The Amity Teacher Program is a project that "emphasizes Christian service, and encourages Christian participants to bear witness to their faith through their teaching work and through participation with Chinese churches." The teachers that are sponsored come from around the world and are sponsored by church agencies that have a partnership with the Amity Foundation.