My 10 Favorite Things From My First Year in China

Kassie Christopherson
Kassie Christopherson

Kassie is a First Leap teacher who has been living in Nanjing, China for more than a year.

 / Mar 16, 2020

Kassie is a First Leap teacher who has lived in Nanjing, China for over a year! She shares 10 of her favorite things from her first year in China, from her students and friendships, to the travel opportunities and new experiences she's tried. To see more about her life in China, follow Kassie's adventures on Instagram.


1. My Teaching Job


I love my job at First Leap! I have the best students and coworkers. I can walk into the classroom feeling homesick, and then the students immediately put a smile on my face. It makes the hard days living in China completely worth it.





2. Friendships in China


I have made so many incredible friendships here with people I would have never met in the USA. I love spending a day off with my new friends. We go to Purple Mountain, movies, shopping and more. I could not have asked for better friends here.




3. Traveling to Cambodia


I have been lucky enough to travel to Thailand and Cambodia in my first year. Cambodia was an eye-opening experience. I highly recommend visiting Koh Rong Saloem Island- M’Pai Bay. That little village stole my heart.





4. Shanghai Disney


I am a huge fan of Disney, and Shanghai Disney did not disappoint. There aren’t as many big roller coasters like the USA but it’s definitely still worth visiting. I hope to visit Hong Kong Disney this year.




5. Trying New Foods


I am not an adventurous eater by any means! I have made a great effort to try new things while living here. I’ve even liked quite a few of them, including jianbing, soup dumplings, and hot pot.


6. Adopting 2 Kittens Off The Streets


I have found 2 tiny kittens on streets. They are now happy and healthy in my home. I’m so happy to be able to have an animal in China. I will be taking them back to the US whenever that day may come.





7. Tangshan Hot Springs


Visiting the Tangshan Hot Springs just outside of Nanjing is one of my favorite things to do. It is incredibly relaxing. The scenery is beautiful. It’s a great time!




8. Gilly’s & KTV


I live in an area of Nanjing called Xianlin. We have a western bar called Gilly’s. I’ve spent one too many late nights at Gilly’s where we end up heading to KTV until the sun rises. It is always a great time with friends. 


9. Jumping On A Bike Share To Explore The City


When the weather is nice, I love jumping on a bicycle to explore Nanjing I see things I wouldn’t typically see. I can stop if I see a cute shop or a nice coffee shop.





10. Cheap Shopping


I am 100% addicted to the shopping in China. Taobao is the Chinese Amazon. I can basically have anything delivered with the swipe of a finger. We also have Eleme and Meituan. I can have food, coffee, milk tea, cleaning supplies, and so much more delivered to my door within an hour.



Interested in teaching in China? Learn more and apply today!

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Kassie Christopherson

Kassie is a First Leap teacher who has been living in Nanjing, China for more than a year.