What is it like to teach in China? Is this a question you have asked yourself? Whether you are looking to teach English in China or to teach at an International School in China there are options for everyone!
As we reach the end of yet another school year and the start of a new academic year fast approaches, we checked in with our teachers to hear how everything is going and how they are enjoying their new life teaching in China. Here, Adam candidly shares his thoughts and experiences about teaching at an international school in Beijing. It’s great to learn how much he is enjoying his role in his host city- thanks Adam!
What made you want to move abroad?
With the greatest respect, after teaching for nine years in England, I felt that education in the U.K. had become a lot more restrictive for many reasons. This triggered my desire to experience international teaching and education from different perspectives.
What were your first impressions of Beijing?
I arrived at the peak of the pandemic, but once I had served my quarantine time, I absolutely loved it. So many things to do and to see, as well as a fantastic expat community to immerse yourself into. It is quite unique in giving you the option of living a fast-paced lifestyle in the city or a quiet and more of a community vibe in the suburbs – the latter for me.. honestly!
What were the initial challenges of living in China?
As mentioned above, arriving during the pandemic was quite challenging, but since the beginning of 2023 life has become completely normal (day-to-day life, holidays, travel etc.).
What have you really enjoyed about living and working in China?
Having worked in Kuwait and Dubai prior to China, I can honestly say this has been the best fit for me. It has a real authentic feel here in Beijing, the food is fantastic with endless options, local people are reserved but very friendly if you need assistance with anything. From an employment perspective, I have far more professional development opportunities than I have ever had previously, the school fully support their staff and the working environment I am in is excellent.
Has anything surprised you about living in China?
Yes – the weather extremes! Winter reaching minus twenty degrees, whilst summer can often reach forty degrees. I must admit, after living in the Middle East, I do enjoy having the four seasons again.
If you could only eat in one place in Beijing where would it be?
The ten-course special at Black Sesame in the Hutong’s. The finest and most authentic Chinese food I’ve had so far in Beijing.
What one place in China would you take friends or family to visit?
As cliche as it sounds, it has to be the Great Wall of China. Not just to finally stop them asking me about it, but there are some sections of the wall in Beijing with some special views. Hiking up the wild wall to the highest watch tower in Beijing was a great experience.
What do you typically do in Beijing on the weekend?
I like to relax. Usually, I would find a coffee shop, listen to a podcast, visit a hot spring close by in Beijing. My afternoons would consist of watching some U.K. football on TV and being in touch with friends and family back home.
Where did you last go on holiday?
I went to Hong Kong for a long weekend. Not too long of a flight from Beijing, but you also have the option of the speed train now it is back up and running. It was my first visit and one which satisfied my cravings for some English shops (M & S being the main one).
Would you recommend living and working in Beijing?
Certainly. Whether you have never taught outside of your home country before or you are an experienced international teacher looking for a new challenge, Beijing is a top-tier city in China with some really top international schools. You will have endless opportunities to travel around Asia and a work-life balance many people crave for.
Finally, how did the INTA Team help you with the job search and visa process and would you recommend them to other teachers looking to teach abroad?
The INTA team were fundamental in my move to Beijing. From reviewing my credentials and speaking with me personally to ensuring suitability and liaising with employers to secure interviews, on my behalf. They provided an excellent level of service throughout the whole process of my employment and I would definitely recommend reaching out to them if you are considering teaching opportunities abroad.
Are you ready to teach English in China?
Then contact INTA Education to start your journey.
INTA Education was founded by Lydia and Will, teachers with a passion for language and education. With ten years’ experience teaching in Asia, we’re ready to help you find the best school in China to teach English.
Get in touch today for more information on teaching English in China.