Let me ask you something; are you happy with your everyday life? Do you wake up feeling satisfied with your life decisions?
These were the questions that I asked myself every day and that is when I decided it’s time to start my own stories, create new memories. Take a big leap of faith and move my life to China. So I'd like to share with you my experience about why I chose China to teach English, and my real account of how my journey has been so far after coming to China.
My name is Connie and I am from England, a usually wet and cold country but well known for its Royal Family. I have been living and working as a teacher in China for over a year now.
Before coming to China I worked in travel, always seeing dreams happen but never living them myself, I knew this had to change, I wanted my own adventures.
All I ever knew about China was that everything was made from there according to clothing labels and electrical. The Asian culture had always interested me from the colorful clothing to the Chinese dance. Once looking into the culture further I felt excited to see the famous Temples, the Great Wall of China (A wonder of the world) Why not China? It was definitely a place that was out of my comfort zone but also a fascinating country to explore and find myself.
My dream as a child was always to be a teacher but paths take their own route and I took mine, that didn’t lead to my original desire.
I wanted to make a difference, learn new things; not only about a different country but about myself. What a better way to do this then work and travel in China?
Teaching in China gives you the opportunity to learn new educational styles plus travel to surrounding countries on your days off. In the past year I have been to Hong Kong three times, Thailand twice and many cities in China.
My first thoughts were a shock to the system, the pollution surrounding you like a fog when departing Beijing Airport, the crowds of people with no familiar faces, the lack of personal space and people spitting with no recognizable manners.
However, once settled into the daily life of China I found it to be a marvelous country. The people of China are at first reserved by your presence as they do not often see foreigners. Once they feel your sincerity they are eager to greet you and are interested in whom you are and why you are here.
I love that every day I learn something new about this magical place and its people. It’s surprising at times; such as, a nearby park with a lake that I take walks in often have rows of billboards with advertisements for marriage. The information displayed on these boards have single local men with their age, their height, hair color, eye color, their salary, do they own a car and a house.
These are displayed by the men’s parents in order to attract suitable wives for them. The women’s parents call the number on these advertisements and arrange a meeting. This is known to be the parent’s choice of partner for their child and the young women are not to disobey their decisions. I found this odd as in my country we are given free will to who we date and marry and our parents usually respect our decisions.
Another shocking thing is when you go to a nice traditional Chinese restaurant, the décor is original, the people are welcoming and the food looks delicious. Exciting stuff but shockingly most of the meat on the menu is Dog. I look at Dogs as pets as most people do. Again this is Chinese culture and you must embrace their way of living.
I do feel that I am growing in confidence and knowledge every day, the culture of China can hit you like a bus on a busy road but with an open mind and a spirited soul you will develop a love for this Asian country.
I am now coming to the end of my first year in Anshan and to say the least it has been the most thrilling exciting year of my life. My adventures haven’t ended here though. I will visit home to see my family for one month then move onto a different city called Zhuhai, south of China. I will teach with the same company but get to explore a whole different city and meet new people.
Watch out for my next chapter. Hope you can join me on my next journey.
Emily is an ESL teaching living in Jurong, Jiangsu. She shares why she loves living in a smaller Chinese city and some favorite moments from teaching her students!Read More