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My first semester as a newbie (in China)

 
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wildgrace



Joined: 17 Nov 2010
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: My first semester as a newbie (in China) Reply with quote

I just finished my first semester in China. Will share some thoughts on my experience, in case it helps others.

I am in a tier 3 city. People often say hello, and you will have moments where a young adult is excited to meet a westerner. Your picture will be taken by others sometimes discreetly, sometimes not.

I can be a picky eater and I found food to eat. Peanut butter and chocolate provide a taste of home when I need it.

While the school will help you, expect to figure a lot of it on your own, or with the help of other foreign teachers. Students were nice.

I preferred starting in a tier 3 city, as it is a place where I can work the bumps out in my teaching. It can feel isolating at times since there is a very small number of expats, and getting to any major Chinese city is a pain.

Beds are hard in China, I have a princess and a pea bed going on because I have several duvets on my bed to make it softer.

My apartment can be at best be described as basic and functional.

Since you don't speak the language doing almost anything requires more effort and can be more frustrating.

All in all I am glad I took the plunge. I am having an adventure. Like all adventures it has its up and down moments.
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tellersquill



Joined: 08 Apr 2016
Posts: 83

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How did you find the actual teaching?
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wildgrace



Joined: 17 Nov 2010
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:27 am    Post subject: Teaching Reply with quote

Teaching was fine. You need to be a self-starter as you are not going to get a lot of guidance from the school. Other foreign teachers can provide suggestions.

I was teaching English majors. The classes had mostly women. They are generally well-behaved. Worst is they tend to look at their smartphones (that's an issue I think just about everywhere), and you need to remind them regularly to speak English.
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Mikalina



Joined: 03 May 2011
Posts: 140
Location: Home (said in a Joe90 voice)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Grace
I hope you are able to get away from the uni for the semester. Coping, managing, surviving in a tier 3 takes its toll, often without you realising.

We didn't use tier 3 when I was in China - more like one donkey.....

I know things like trips to big cities, finding familiar food and associating with ex-pats takes effort but these are really important to your sanity. A long, hot bath in a 5 star hotel works best! Or a swim in their pool.

Seriously, it's a spiritually tough place. I used to cycle around the back of the town I lived in and I felt the earth saying, "you'll be back."
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reblair79



Joined: 15 Jan 2016
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What city is it?
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wildgrace



Joined: 17 Nov 2010
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nanyang, in Henan province.
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