With more English learners than the entire population of the United States, China is the number one TEFL destination for new teachers. But it’s not just popular because it’s easy to find a TEFL job there, oh no, check out these 6 top things to do in China, recommended current i-to-i’s Teach in China interns.
1) Friendly People
As a teacher you’ll find yourself inundated with offers of meals and tours of the local area. In fact, people will probably see it as a matter of national pride to make sure you get settled in and have a good time.
“With my pale skin and blonde hair I get stared at a lot and get asked for photos too. But it’s understandable that they would be fascinated by me who to them is a strange foreign girl, as I am equally fascinated by them and their crazy country. This results in lots of random conversations with super-friendly people and it’s this randomness that I love in China.” – Martha, Teach In China Intern
2) Food, Glorious Food!
The normal morning greeting in China isn’t ‘hello’, or ‘good morning’, it’s ‘have you eaten yet’. This is a nation that takes its food seriously and it shows, visit any city, town or village in China and you’ll easily be able to find gorgeous, cheap, freshly made grub.
“Favourite thing so far? The little bread pancake things the lady sells outside my school for 1.5Y. What?!? They’re delicious.” – Kylie, Teach In China Intern.
3) The Great Wall of China
Any man-made structure you can see from space is worth a visit in our book: see the crumbling ruins of Simatai or the restored sections at Badaling for a taste of what it was like in the middle ages.
“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!” – Gary, Teach In China Intern.
Can’t sing? Not a problem. Get some friends together and you can get your own private booth where you can all warble away to your hearts’ content.
“Once we got started, there was no stopping us. We were belting out tunes all over the shop and it was the most fun ever! Mid- afternoon Karaoke is definitely the way forward.” – Sophie, Teach In China Intern.
Chinese beer is pretty tasty, and the bottle (which you return after you’ve drunk it) usually costs more than the actual beer. A winner if there ever was one.
“I have a few good memories already about China, on the first night me and a couple of mates went to a bar with a local band on, the staff were friendly and there was an amateur chiropractor in the toilets, when you were washing your hands he would practically snap your neck and back in two, but god was it relaxing. After that we went to another bar and haggled large bottles of beers down to 10 quai. At 3 am he closed the doors, sitting down to have a drink with us till the early hours, we did this most nights and even helped tempt in passer by, that was fun, I’ll never forget those days.” – Rich, Teach In China Intern.
6) Beautiful Scenery
China, what with its smog and ugly buildings, sometimes gets a bad rep when it comes to scenery. But large swathes of China have an ethereal beauty all of their own, with spectacular rock formations emerging from misty rivers, serene temples, spectacular skyscrapers, which all have to be seen to be believed.
“Everywhere in China has its own strange beauty, whether its in the welcome from the locals, or the scenery around. I love how different life is here.” – Rozel, Teach In China Intern.
Are you in China at the minute? What’s your favourite thing about living and teaching there?