Traveling to China with a Partner - Q&A with Ian

Ian Jones
Career China Digital Marketing Manager
May 21, 2019

Bridget and I are a couple from Cape Town, South Africa and had been together for a year, before making the best decision to move and create a home away from home in China. We both studied and worked in the travel industry in Cape Town and one day, we just decided that we wanted something more - we needed an adventure! 

Once we made the decision to move to China, there was no doubt in our minds that it would be a great decision! We both did TEFL and got our papers sorted and then started the application process for First Leap.

We have now been living in Beijing, China for 9 months and we hope to be here for many more! 

Why did you want to teach English in China?

We specifically chose China for the cultural experience it would offer us. We chose Beijing in particular, because of the city's infrastructure and the fact that it is a great central point to travel from.

How did you two find your way to First Leap?

It was by accident that we came across the company online. When we did a bit more research, we found out that we actually knew a few people working for First Leap. We chatted to them and were so impressed. We couldn't wait to start the application process.

Out of all the cities in China, why Beijing?

Living in the capital city really appealed to us, because of all the advantages it offered. It's a well connected city and there is always plenty to do and explore.

What is the best part about your jobs?

We absolutely love our job in China. In each class you have 14 kids, with 14 different personalities - at least one of them is bound to make you smile every day. We love the fact that every child is different, which means that every day is different.

What are the perks of traveling to China with a partner?

Leaving home is always tough, but also very exciting. It is great to have someone by your side, sharing the same experiences as you. Travelling with your partner means you have someone to enjoy the best moments with you and someone to comfort you when moments aren't so great.

Visiting different cities and experiencing new things is always special when you have the person you love by your side!

What are some of the highlights thus far to living in China?

For us, a highlight was looking for an apartment and finally getting the keys to our own place. That was exciting, as it was the start of us creating our home in China.

Something we also both thoroughly enjoyed was the Harbin Ice Festival over New Year. Eating ice cream in -27°c warms you up more than you would think!

We really enjoy the historical sights around China, as well as the nature - which is spectacular! So visiting places such as the Great Wall, temples and parks have all been highlights for us.

Where have you been and what have you explored thus far?

Since moving to China, we have been on 3 international trips and visited 9 of China's many cities. On our off days, we like to explore new bits of Beijing. When we have a slightly longer break, we like to venture off to different cities.

Would you recommend coming to China with a partner?

Moving to China together has been the best decision we have ever made. It has been the scariest, funniest and most enjoyable time. We have grown so much and learnt loads about each other! We would definitely recommend building up the courage and committing to the move!

Coming to China with a partner

China is just so big and diverse - there is so much we still have to do, see and taste. But there is no rush - we are not planning on leaving any time soon. We are really looking forward to the many trips and adventures to come. We hope to see a lot more of what China has to offer over the next few years.

Check out these other Expat stories in The Ultimate Guide for Moving to China

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