What were your expectations prior to starting your role? How has the experience matched your expectations?
I expected more pollution and people to wear those face masks all the time (a little stereotypical I know) but not in Hangzhou.
What do you like most about China?
I like how easy it is to travel. I mean it’s a little tricky to get the train tickets but all the stops have a “you are now arriving at ….” In English, and transport goes everywhere. Also, I was trying to avoid it, but I love the food! Especially jian bao! Oh lord how will I live without this!
What has taken a bit of getting used to?
The language barrier. The spitting. The cars coming across a crossing on a green “it’s ok to cross” light.
What’s your accommodation like?
My accommodation is very good. I mean there are a few things I would change but my school pays for it, and I have seen other apartments and I’m thankful to have this one.
What have you found to be the major cultural differences? Have you made any cultural faux-pas?
Not really any faux pas, except in England, most times if you spend say £4.90 and you have £5.00, you rarely collect the change, and it goes into a charity box. I went to walk away without collecting my small amount of change (I don’t know the coin, but 10 to 1元）and the lady in the shop was having none of it!
What is your favourite Chinese food?
Jian bao. Easy.
Do you manage to save any money each month? If so, how much on average?
I send most of my money back to my English bank, and save as I am going back to the UK to visit for Christmas. So usually I only have a little spare money!
Do you have any feedback on how Opportunity China can improve its service for teachers?
I think that Opportunity China provided outstanding support both before, and after I arrived here. They really went above and beyond and I will do anything I can to repay their generosity and show my gratitude.