Ms Coong is of course the CAS Coordinator at BISS Puxi and also teaches Biology.
1) What do you love most about Activities Week in Cambodia?
There are many things that I enjoy about the Activities Week in Cambodia. However, I particularly love seeing the students interacting with the local community. The students are always fully engaged in the many projects that we do, and it enables them to learn new skills and grow as individuals. Seeing this development with all of the students throughout the week is what I really love the most.
2) What is your educational background, both academically and career wise?
After school I went to Sheffield University and studied Neuroscience. When I graduated I wanted to explore the world, so I spent time volunteering in hospitals and schools in Nepal and then teaching English in Tokyo, Japan. I then returned to England to complete a PGCE at the University of Leeds. I worked in Oxford for several years before moving to Shanghai.
3) What has been the most memorable experience to date in your career?
I have many memorable experiences from teaching, but particularly enjoyed being part of a community project where students and elderly volunteers built a garden within my previous school. I have great memories of watching the volunteers teach the younger students how to garden and it was great to work with a diverse team to build something that improved the environment of the school and still brings people together today.
And now for some light-hearted questions
4) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Hawaii. Its islands are really beautiful, the weather is great and the sushi is fresh! It also has an incredibly diverse range of environments to explore with nature all around.
5) If you could get a selfie with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
I’d have to say Sir David Attenborough, ideally while filming wildlife in a jungle with a very rare bird.
6) Describe your perfect Sunday in Shanghai?
I was born in Hong Kong, so I like a lie in and then Dim Sum for brunch on Sundays. For the perfect day, I’d then take a walk around Shanghai in the sun, visiting the parks and admiring all the different architecture throughout the city.
7) If you could choose one actor/actress to star as you in a film, who would you choose and why?
I’m not sure who would be good, but I hear that Sir Ian McKellen is in Shanghai this week. He is versatile so might be up for the challenge.
8) What’s your favourite restaurant in Shanghai?
There are many to choose from. On a sunny day I really like Hai by Goga. Great food with a view.
9) What 3 things could you not live without in Shanghai?
My friends, my husband and good food.
10) Have you got anything exciting planned for the summer break?
I’m very excited to be going home to the UK and seeing my family during the summer. I have many nieces and nephews, who have all grown a lot since I last saw them. I’m really looking forward to spending time with everyone and taking day trips out into the English countryside.
Thank you for your time Ms Coong.
Don’t forget, you can follow the latest updates from the Year 12 Activities Week trip on our blog or by subscribing to our WeChat account. If you have yet to follow us on WeChat, you can do so by scanning or extracting the QR code in the images above.
Ryan Kealey, Marketing and Events Manager