Things I wish I’d know before moving to teach in China

Moving to an entirely new country to live and work is a big challenge for anyone. However, with the right help and advice, you can go into your position prepared. Approach this journey with an open mind and the ability to stand resolute against obstacles and adversity. You will emerge all the more wise and will create memories to last a lifetime.

  1. Making local friends

Outside of the formal classroom setting, there are likely many locals around your age who are looking to practice their English through casual conversation. Offer to sit down with a local a few times a week for conversation practice – you may find that a friendship blooms during your chat! 

  1. Learn some basic Chinese

With some oral Mandarin skills, it gives you the confidence to get around in daily life and to have meaningful conversations.

  1. Reach out to former teachers abroad for advice


One of your best sources of information as you’re preparing for your teaching English abroad experiences will be former teachers abroad. They will give you the lowdown on everything from teachers to pal up with to common classroom issues. Before you go, spend some time seeking out country-specific expat Facebook groups and get connected with other expat teachers so you can hit the ground running when you make the move.

  1. Get a good package

The good package in China should include a basic salary, housing allowance or free housing and flight reimbursement. Check out the post about Teaching English in China Salary: How much can I make in 2019 to know more. Panda Recruiting is here to work out the best salary package for you. 

  1. Unlock your phone


China is a mobile country and economy. Your mobile phone will be everything, so make sure you have one when you arrive. Some phones are locked into one service provider, which can be a problem when you want to use a Chinese sim card. Unlock your phone, and you’ll be ready for life in China as soon as you arrive.

  1. Download WeChat and other APPs
 
WeChat is probably the single most important app in your life, or at least it will be in China. If you are an Android user, make sure you download it before you come to China. The Google play store is blocked in China, so it’s just easier to download everything in advance. The apple store is available though, so you don’t need to worry if you have an iPhone.