Shenzhen has rapidly gone through one of the most dramatic transformations in urban history. In just 30 years this once-rural fishing village has evolved into a buzzing metropolis with a cityscape to rival Hong Kong and famed being the Silicon Valley of China. It now has a population of over 12 million, and is in the top 5 wealthiest and largest cities in all of China!
The city might not be on your radar, but it really should be! So, why should a teacher or intern choose this amazing Chinese city?
An international, multi-cultural city
Since becoming a Special Economic Zone in the late 1900s, Shenzhen has been attracting dynamic, young, and international crowds from all over. Because it is an immigrant city, the area offers much more diversity than most other cities in China, drawing in business people, investors, students, teachers and migrant workers – from China and from abroad. Its population therefore tends to be more open-minded, and the city offers a melting-pot of different cuisines and cultures. You’ll not struggle to meet other teachers, or ex-pats.
Climate and Geographical Location
Shenzhen is located right in the South of China, and therefore enjoys a warm and humid climate year-round. It’s a short hop across the border to Hong Kong, and less than an hour from Guangzhou, making for an excellent situation. Given it’s a costal city, you’ll even have beautiful public beaches on your doorstep, such as Dameisha and Xichong. Both Shenzhen and Hong Kong are major flight hubs for international and low-cost airlines, making it easy to travel further abroad to exotic destinations like Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Japan during your school’s vacation.
It’s a comparatively Green City
Shenzhen is renowned for being a green city, and is China’s greenest tier 1 city – it has over 15 parks, and there’s a focus on greenery in the streets and apartment buildings. Shenzhen is amongst the top 10 Chinese cities for air quality- and in 2014 it even won a green city award. Lianhuashan is the most well-known park, and although can be packed you can easily spend a full day there- a highlight being it’s iconic view over central Futian.
Theme Park Heaven
Shenzhen has an array of theme parks for adults and children alike. Window of the World is one of the most famous, with miniture landmarks of famour sights. Nanshan District also features the Splendid China, Chinese Folk Culture Village and Happy Kingdom theme parks clustered together in an area known as Overseas Chinese Town (OCT). For nature-lovers, Safari Park is home to more than 300 species of animals, and Shenzhen Sea World (30km from central Shenzhen) has a huge marine life aquarium with displays and shows.
An amazing Cultural and Art Scene
The art scene in Shenzhen is just as diverse as the culture. The city has a thriving scene with both modern and traditional art works. At the heart of the city’s cultural scene is OTC Loft Creative Culture Park, an array of buildings which were once an industrial site.
The Shenzhen Museum of History is in the spectacular Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government building in Futian District in central Shenzhen, and traces Shenzhen’s history from ancient times through its period of reform and opening up to the Shenzhen of today. Learn more about its attractions.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s a Mandarin-speaking City
Much of Southern China speak Cantonese, or a dialect of such, however Shenzhen’s predominant language is Mandarin – and many schools here offer Mandarin lessons to their teachers.
And finally….It has the largest bookstore in the World!
Shenzhen has what claims to be the largest book store in the World – Shenzhen Book city! It’s located in Futian, open 24 hours a day, and is home to over 3 million books.
There are few Chinese cities which tick every box, but Shenzhen might just be one of them.
Check out our Jobs Board for current teaching jobs in Shenzhen.