What were your expectations prior to starting your role? How has the experience matched your expectations?
I didn’t quite know what to expect. If I’m honest, I did not ask enough questions before going. I was looking for a close-knit group of people to work with. That is what I found when I arrived. All of the staff have been wonderful.
What do you like most about China?
People here have been extremely friendly and welcoming. The low cost of living is refreshing compared to the U.K..
What has taken a bit of getting used to?
The differences in hygiene, manners, environmental quality, and sometimes obnoxious curiosity towards foreigners. The driving system, to be polite, is chaotic.
What’s your accommodation like?
My accommodation is fine. It is very close to a gym, supermarkets, and the school I mostly work at. I requested a western toilet and had it within the first day.
How have you got to know people socially (both Chinese and other ex-pats)?
I play on a 5-a-side football team with other foreign colleagues and Chinese locals. The bar and club scene is still developing but newly opened bars have sprung up, which have been a good way to meet people.
What have you found to be the major cultural differences? Have you made any cultural faux-pas?
“Please” and “thank you” are not used in common everyday interactions.
What places have you visited whilst working? How did you travel?
I have visited Chongqing city a few times. I traveled to Canada during the Spring festival.
What is your favourite Chinese food?
Sweet and sour pork.
Do you manage to save any money each month? If so, how much on average?
I haven’t saved much. I spent a lot on my travels and I needed to invest in a new laptop. However, if I tried I could easily save about 5000-6000 yuan a month.
What piece of advice would you offer to future applicants?
Ask more questions before! About class sizes, content, and outside classes.
Do you have any feedback on how Opportunity China can improve its service for teachers?
Perhaps more information on the local area.