China is the number one TEFL destination for many, but it isn’t just popular due to the huge demand for English teachers… oh no! China has so much more to offer the discerning TEFLer – just check out these highlights from our past and present Teach in China interns.
1- Food, glorious food! (It had to be number one really didn't it?)
No matter which city, town or village you go to in China, you’ll easily be able to get your hands on delicious, cheap and freshly cooked food. Food is a massive part of culture in China and you can certainly tell!
“I don’t know what an authentic Chinese breakfast consists of, but from the look of the stalls I pass walking to work, big pancake/omelette with tomato and spring onion crossovers and dumplings seem to be the way forward!” – Clare
2- Friendly locals
It might as well be a law in China to make sure the Westerners are made to feel welcome. As an English teacher you will find that the Chinese go out of their way to make sure you are settled in and having a good time!
“I don't think I can overstate how much of a massively positive impact the kindness of the Chinese English teachers at our language school has made to my time here in China” – Zoe
“Chinese people go out of there way for foreigners! They bloody love us! Its great!” – Sophie
3- Weekends away
The joy of being an intern in China is that you usually get the weekends off so you always have the chance to see more of China and there are some great places you can spend your weekends away. From climbing mountains to theme parks there is plenty to choose from!
"Qinglongxia Gorge is a valley with a dam half way up and bits of the Great Wall peppering the mountain tops. The bungee jump is off a tower over the lake, a couple of hundred metres behind the damn. Beautiful views – I’m glad I saw them all the right way up!" - Clare
Dont miss out on seeing the Tiger Leaping Gorge!
4- Enthusiastic students
The Chinese are really keen to learn English as it gives them loads more opportunities in life. So they will hopefully be enthusiastic and well behaved in your lessons – so much more than in Western students at least!
“The rest of the week has been great, really settling into life here and I love teaching the children! They are so enthusiastic and really throw themselves into the games and activities in class. I love how excited they get!” Rozel
Chinese culture is full of traditional festivals. The Moon Festival is one of the most important festivals and the ‘moon cake’ is the food eaten at the mid-autumn festival at night with the full moon in the sky.
“We had Moon Cakes, they are incredibly strange things! The festival is all about missing people you can't be with and has something to do with a goddess and a human lover, I think!” - Hannah
“Moon Cake is the Chinese version of a Fruitcake, and are just as "yummy". Well as a part of the tradition, at some of the expat bars in Hangzhou, for every Moon Cake eaten, you get a FREE beer”- Citore
Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo
6- The Great Wall of China
Any man-made structure that you can see from space is a must-see in our book!
“The great wall was one of the most surreal experiences of my life, just to be walking on one of the biggest and oldest parts of history in the world was awesome!” - Gaszsha
7- Drinking traditions
As with all things in China, there is a tradition which goes with it! Proposing a toast to someone is no different, just go along with what the locals do!
“In Chinese culture, before you start gambei-ing (toasting each other and downing your glass of beer) anyone individually, everyone drinks together three times. After that, it’s a sign of respect if the rim of your glass is lower than the person you’re toasting when you clink and your glass is always kept full.” - Clare
So what is your favourite thing about China?