Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

10 Reasons I Loved Teaching in China

Posted on Fri, Oct 09, 2015 @ 05:39 PM


Best experience of my life! That is my response when people ask me about my time teaching and living in China. The reasons are limitless but just to give you a flavor of why I think you should live and teach in China....here are my top 10 reasons:

1. Karoke and home-cooked meals with my students and their families. 

My students delighted me with their questions about living outside of China and their determination to learn English. Many planned to pursue higher education in the U.S. and UK – and I was helping them reach their goals.

But by far, some of my best moments in China included Karoke-nights with my students and traditional home-cooked meals at their homes with their families! 

2. The intersection of natural beauty and an eastern way of life.  

Jiuzhai Valley National Park. This park is home to 9 Tibetan villages and the most most spectacular waterfalls and lakes. I loved visiting 7 of the Tibetan villages that are still populated and experiencing the unique Tibetan lifestyle, traditional Tibetan food, and the colorful decorations.  A long way from the way I grew up in Quincy, MA.

Jiuzhai Valley National Park

3. Eating 3 tasty meals and snacks per day for under $10 USD!

Including my favoriate Xihongshi Chao Jidan -  the tomato and egg dish we call fanqie chao dan. I get hungry just thinking about this authentic Chinese dish. It is so simple and delicious and available every where in China. I don’t know what exactly makes it as special as it is – the ginger, the just ripe tomatoes, the special way the eggs are handled…

4. The Harbin Interntational Ice and Snow Festival

I have never been so cold but I also have never seen anything like this. Real-size replicas of palaces, sky scrapers and bridges sculpted out of ice and dyed fabulous colors. Bigger than life snow buildings, people surrounding a forty foot snow slide. Fun and amazing.

Harbin International Ice Festival

5. Traveling cheaply in China and to other amazing countries in Asia.

If you manage your money well, you can take advantage of cheap air fares and short flights to visit places like Thailand, Indonesia and Phillipines. Or you can try the cheap ferry rides to Japan. Transportation inside of China is also very cheap whether it is a train fare, a subway fare or a taxi ride.

6. Friends Around the World!

The friends I made in China come from countries all over the world! I was fortunate enough to stay at many their homes when backpacking through Europe after leaving China. A strong expat community and friendly Chinese staff and students make building a social life and lasting relationships easy. 

7. The Night life

The friends I made in China come from countries all over the world! I was fortunate enough to stay at many their homes when backpacking through Europe after leaving China. A strong expat community and friendly Chinese staff and students make building a social life and lasting relationships easy. 

8. I learned to speak Mandarin for free. 

Many Chinese are hungry and eager to learn English. You will make Chinese friends in restaurants or cafés that want to practice English. I set up language exchange meetings. I taught my Chinese friend English for an hour and they taught me Chinese for an hour.  The older generations do not speak English in local markets and you will be forced to converse in Chinese. Although mastering Chinese is not an easy feat, being able to communicate with friends and vendors on basic level will give you great satisfaction and will impress your loved ones back home!

9. Every day, I saw something new. 

Everyday I witnessed something I never saw before: an older man balancing a large refrigerator on his bicycle; a new, hilarious Chinglish sign; squatting on the street to relax; Chinese MacDonalds menu items; and more!

Chinese sign

10. Chinese pensioners doing Tai Ji in every park

On the street corner, every where you turn. Walk by, watch or join in. Anything goes. 

11. Kayaking the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River

There is no better way to see the Yangtze River than by kayak. Crystal clear waters punctuated by green mountains make the site spectacular. The three gorges which used to be dangerous to traverse have been calmed by the controversial three gorges dam - but it is still worth the trip!

Kayaking the Yangtze River

 

12. Drinking the best tea in the world In Hangzhou, looking out on the West Lake.

Hangzhou West Lake

Ok, so I know I said 10 reasons and I wrote 12….and of course, I can still think of many more…I will have to save them for my next blog.

In the mean time, if you want to speak with me about China and teaching jobs in China, leave your information here and I will be in touch soon!

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Tags: teaching jobs, Teach in China, living in China, reasons to teach in China

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