Teachers wanted for really cool class

January 6, 2006

If you scowled into your scarf on your way to work in the cold this morning, remember, things could be far worse.

Students at Sheffield Hallam University are being invited to the Mongolian countryside for the ultimate life experience: living in a hut with no electricity at temperatures that can plummet to - 35C.

The project is the brainchild of the university's first Mongolian student, Amartuvshin Dorjsuren.

Mr Dorjsuren was a nomad who used to herd horses and struggled for years to teach himself English. He hopes that 36 British students will volunteer to teach English to children in remote villages in Western Mongolia.

He said: "In the winter, I used to study with my gloves, felt boots and a coat with lambskin lining in a classroom. Such harsh conditions discourage many girls and boys. However, I did not give up."

He added: "Mongolia is quite dry, so it is a manageable sort of cold. In my village the temperature is about - 25C, but it can drop to - 35C."

Mr Dorjsuren received a scholarship from the Mongolian Government to take a masters degree in sustainable tourism at Sheffield Hallam. He said:

"Sometimes I feel lonely. In such cases, I go to a local pub to meet new people. Luckily the people from South Yorkshire are very friendly."

The Mongolian Nomads Tour Company will help the student volunteers to settle into their Mongolian village.

Mr Dorjsuren has recruited one volunteer so far and is hopeful that he will be able to send the first team to Mongolia in June.

To contact Amartuvshin Dorjsuren e-mail mediateam@shu.ac.uk

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