Calum and Kat – A Year in Shanghai!

Already one year in!

As August and the start of a new academic year fast approaches, we checked in with teachers from last year to hear how everything is going and how they are enjoying their new life in China. Here, Calum and Kat candidly share their thoughts and experiences from their first year in Shanghai. It’s great to learn how much they are enjoying their new roles in their host city- thanks guys!

What made you want to move abroad?
We had lived in China before and enjoyed our experience. Following our teacher qualifications and gaining experience in the UK, we were ready to return to China and explore a new city and face a new challenge.

What were your impressions of Shanghai after your first week?
It was August so it was incredibly hot! The vastness of the city was and still is mind-boggling. We soon discovered some great bars and coffee shops that helped us acclimatise quickly.

What were the initial challenges of living in China?
Getting everything set up, from bank accounts to mobile phones can be quite a lengthy process and there are some cultural differences too but you’re 10,000 miles away from home so that’s to be expected.

What have you really enjoyed about living and working in China?
Shanghai is a very cool city. It’s a busy and ever-changing place so there’s always something new to do or explore. We especially love the former french concession area which has the most beautiful tree lined streets as well as the best coffee shops and bars/restaurants.

Has anything surprised you about living in China?
This is our second stint so we were well aware of the highs and lows before we arrived in Shanghai. You’ll be surprised by a lot of things but my advice is just to roll with it! You’ll be surprised by how quickly you’ll adjust.

If you could only eat in one place in Shanghai where would it be?
That’s impossible to answer so I’m going to break the rules and give you 3 – The Sunday roast/brunch at Bull and Claw, brunch at EGG or dinner at Bitter.

What one place in China would you take friends or family to visit?
Yangshuo. It’s like the Chinese version of the Lake District. Absolutely beautiful!

What do you typically do in Shanghai on the weekend?
It literally varies every weekend – could be a brunch with friends, walks around the french concession and the beautiful parks, a cinema visit, trying a new restaurant. So many options!

Where did you last go on holiday?
Bali. A big plus of working internationally – the money and the travel possibilities are incredible!

Would you recommend living and working in Shanghai?
Yes for sure. It does come with its challenges but they’re far outweighed by the opportunities. You won’t regret it!

Looking for a fresh start or a new adventure? We are always happy to chat through our experiences and opportunities! Just get in touch.

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