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Jessica Man - China Panda Breeding Centre

jessica man

Why did you decide to volunteer abroad?

I have always loved travelling, being in a different place and meeting different people. By volunteering abroad it allowed an opportunity for me to help others as well as learning/gaining more skills and being more independent in a different environment to home.

What made you choose China?

Choosing China was for a more personal reason. Being a BBC (British Born Chinese), I could only embrace as much of my ‘home’ culture from my family and from typical places such as China Town, however I could never really embrace and practice the traditions of my family properly, so choosing China allowed me to really get in touch with my roots and see what my parents experienced when they were ‘home’.

What did you do in your volunteer placement?

I took part in the Panda Breeding Project which basically involved being a Panda Keeper- helping out the main keepers with cleaning the enclosures; feeding the pandas and any other little jobs they required doing.

What surprised you most about your volunteer experience?

I think probably seeing so many people from different countries volunteering there- I was amongst a very multicultural group.

How has your Frontier volunteer experience impacted your life?

I have definitely gained many skills from the experience. It has changed my outlook on the way I do things and how I see things in life. The people I met were incredible and many of us still keep in contact and are still good friends, so I have gained many more things than I expected. How it has really impacted my life is indescribable- I think each experience is unique to each individual.

What do you miss most about China?

Everything! The people, the environment…the work!

What was your favourite part about the experience?

Everything! I could not fault the experience at any moment. The entire experience was special and I would urge anyone to have it too!

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