My name is Hali Tavalsky; I am the daughter of Cathelia and Jeff Cowles. I am an alumnus of Vicksburg High School and Northern Michigan University (NMU). I have a Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology with a minor in Business and a Master of Arts in English with a dual concentration in Writing and Pedagogy (Teaching).
At 24, I moved to China, in August, for a year-long teaching internship. I’ve always been fascinated with the Chinese culture, and the thought of their history being thousands of years old. It has been a dream of mine to visit China. As I progressed through school, I began playing with the idea of teaching abroad. I had actually been doing research on how to do this when an opportunity through NMU came up.
Northern Michigan has partnerships with schools in various parts of China, but they are wanting to expand. One partnership is older, but both parties wanted to rebuild the connection. The opportunity was posted through campus, and so I started researching and asking questions about it.
Now, I am teaching English at Guangya School at Luxehills Community. I teach seventh through twelfth graders and am here on a year-long contract. Although I have only been here for a month, I am really enjoying it. The school is very accommodating, and the people here are extremely friendly. There are other foreign teachers here as well teaching various subjects, math, history, geography, art, etc.
I live in a small, gated community in Chengdu city, which is located in the Sichuan Provence. Chengdu is also the home of all the panda research in the world, but that’s a topic for another time. The community and the city are extremely safe, and I am very happy this is where I have ended up. I am looking forward to the adventures this year will take me on and will hope to keep writing letters back to my home in Vicksburg.