Teacher Guest Post: 3 Things You’ll Learn by Living & Teaching in China
Living in China is roller-coaster experience. You’ll see new sights, eat new food, make new friends and importantly, learn lots of lessons! But what (in a nutshell), are the most important things to learn from your China experience? Our resident blogger in Shenyang, Melissa, shares the 3 most important things she has learned through teaching in China…
You can study for years, and “know a lot” about a certain culture or country but I don’t think you can truly understand it before you’ve lived it. Here’s the top 3 things I’ve learned while living and teaching in China!
1. Chinese Culture
People will tell you so much about China before you leave, but I don’t think you’ll ever know what they mean before you’re actually here. I’m still surprised when I walk to work about crazy little things that you would never see in the UK! But not only that, the way of life and thinking is so different to our own it’s hard to understand from text books and word of mouth. If you’re worried about the move I guarantee you’ll never forget your experience of living abroad, so why not give it a go!!
But not only that, the way of life and thinking is so different to our own it’s hard to understand from text books and word of mouth; there are so many foods to try, places to see, and people to meet – China’s a country that can only truly be experienced through fully immersing yourself, and it will be oh so different to what you imagine!
2. Chinese Language (I’d really recommend trying to learn at least some)
Trust me, this will make your life so much easier! Even if you just learn the basics.
Here are a few things to get you started:
I don’t understand:
听不懂- tīng bu dǒng. literally means I ‘hear no understand’ and is really useful when you’re first starting out!
对不起- duì bu qǐ. This means sorry and I still use frequently when I don’t know what someone is saying to me!
多少钱- duō shao qián. Once you’ve learnt the basic numbers this one is really useful.
3. Spend your money on experiences, not material things
I think when we are young we all want the latest phone, laptop or game… I know I did! But actually when it comes down to it, I think seeing the world and making a difference, even if it’s only to a few people, is so much more rewarding.
Yes, having a phone that works is important but I’d so much rather do something that I’m going to remember than have something that’s going to eventually break or go out of style. A memory is priceless and will stay with you forever – I’ll never forget the places I’ve visited and the people I’ve met during my time in China.
Melissa is part of the 2017 Teach China Graduate Program. Learn more about the program and how to apply here.