Keen to improve his English language skills by learning direct from native English speakers, the first thing Cai did when he arrived in the United States was to enrol in an intensive language course. His cousins, who had previously lived in Pittsburgh, had recommended a language school to him so he had wasted no time in contacting their Washington DC branch, which is where he’d chosen to move to.

Washington DC was an amazing place. It was so different from his home in Beijing yet it was exactly as he’d imagined it to be. It was springtime and the scenery surrounding him was full of cherry blossoms which reminded him of the peonies that bloomed each year back home. The many monuments and memorials were breathtaking and Cai spent an afternoon wandering down National Mall taking in as many of the sights as he could.

Although being in the US was predominantly to enhance his English speaking skills in order to become a better teacher back in China, he also wanted to learn as much as he could about American culture while he was there. This was so that he could enthuse his pupils with some excitement by helping them to associate words and phrases in the English language with interesting stories of what he had seen and done on his travels.

The variety of food was certainly different to what he was used to but he grew to love it and often enjoyed trying tasty new snacks whilst sightseeing in his free time. He visited the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and spent hours wandering around it gazing at all of the animals. He even took in an ice hockey game while he was there; it was different to the kind of sports he was used to watching but nonetheless he enjoyed it and felt he´d truly tried something typically American.

With so much to see and do, Cai also had to remember his studies and the serious business of his impending teaching career. So, with his stories stored in his head, he knuckled down to his lessons so that, in the not too distant future, he could impart his knowledge to his own eager students.