Whip lash, motion sickness, jet lag, temporal displacement sickness (okay, made that last one up), these are nothing compared to the Culture Shock of the first few weeks in a new country.
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Teaching Abroad: Our Stories - China
Greetings from what some consider to be the "Chinese Riviera", known as beautiful Zhuhai, in Guangdong Province China. I arrived several weeks in advance to starting my new teaching assignment to become acclimated to the surroundings, as well as explore the local area before starting to teach.
Zhuhai is a medium sized city, located at the Southern tip of the Pearl River Delta of Guangdong Province. It is a special economic zones in China, faces Hong Kong to the East and Macau in the South. It is a Garden like city with tropical weather all year round.
For the life of me, I can’t recall a time growing up when I saw someone flying a kite. Growing up in NE Ohio, we didn’t really do kites. For whatever reason, I had to come to Dalian, China—the birth place of kite flying—to catch a glimpse of this past-time.
See the Great Wall, stand before the ancient Terra Cotta warriors—these are fairly common ambitions for people visiting old Cathay, China if you’re into using modern terms everyone on the planet recognizes, but rarely uttered is the old bucket list gem: I want to visit the hospital at two am in severe pain during Spring Festival.
Haggling is not just a financial process; it’s a philosophy to live by in China.
That’s the secret, then, isn’t it? Find a way to get some slack in the leash—travel the world beyond your backyard and test those so-called boundaries. Take a look at a sunset from a different continent.
I love little kids, and I’ve taught munchkins from five and up, but I have a soft spot for the adult business classes that I’ve been able to teach. More on them later because this entry isn’t about the BE classes, per se, but it does start with one. Well, the cancelation of one. This entry is about how, even being in a different country, there’s always a chance you can be useful and downright helpful if you take some time and learn the ropes.
A jaunt around Dalian in search of a bag
The class, right, back to that.
No one likes to move at the tail-end of winter, no matter where you live, but doing it while living in China presents a few challenges that just don’t come up during State-side moves. Needing to take several loads of your stuff across town on a public bus is stressful, tiring, and you have the distinct impression that all conversations are revolving around the homeless American clutching his backpack like a life raft.
Finding overseas teaching opportunities as an older teacher can be difficult. Read this blog to learn how this educator overcame ageism and landed herself a fantastic teaching position in a country she least expected - China.
Apart from the ten truly excellent, greatly experienced and highly respected foreign teachers at the University where I am working, there are only a handful of foreigners in Jiaozuo.
Jiaozuo is a mid-sized city (by China’s standards) of more than one million people. Located in central China, this is an inland city, approximately two hundred kilometres from the capital of Henan Province. Despite seemingly not on the "map" or connected, the English language appears just about everywhere one looks in this city.