Blake Evans

Hello! My name is Blake. The year 2021 is my first year teaching in China with EF. Moving from my home country of Canada, to the warm South Eastern city of Shenzhen, China, has been the ultimate shedding of material things. The weather in the South is warm. This means my closet holds only a few shirts, shorts, work uniforms and a light jacket. Furniture wise, because I rent a small apartment, I opted for two tall desks, an outdoor sofa for the balcony, bed and a standing shelf. My lifestyle became simpler when I moved here. All the entertainment happens outside around the cityscape. When you return to your home you have a space to unwind. My apartment is decorated with green plants, artwork and trinkets from my travels around. The following is a look into what day to day life is like for an EF teacher.

Workday - weekday

A big plus to being a teacher is that our weekday start time is in the afternoon. If you’re an early riser or one who enjoys sleeping in – this may call to you. In the morning I prefer to wake up early and begin the day with stretching. After drinking a glass of water, I’ll make my way to a green park and set up my yoga mat. Exercise in the morning helps me think clearly. Returning to my apartment I’ll shower off then dress for the morning. My fast breaking meal (breakfast) is commonly fresh fruit. Next, I’ll read and prepare my lesson plans. One hour prior to the work start time I’ll leave my apartment and either walk or cycle. Passing by green spaces makes me happy. I often say hello to all the flowers and bugs flying around. Once arrived at the office, I’ll set up my desk.

At the office, I prefer to have a water bottle, pens and paper at the ready, then set up my computer. Tabs such as my schedule, lesson plan, and music are often open. The work day follows through. When it’s time to go I change out of my uniform and walk home. Since the weather in Shenzhen is often warm the walk is calming. Since we finish late ordering food to my apartment is preferred. I enjoy vegetarian meals with veggies, tofu, rice and kimchi. In light of my health I put away my phone around 10pm. Burning a candle and relaxing on the outdoor sofa helps me relax into the night.

Workday - weekend

These days are to test your ability to lesson plan in advance. Many staff members will suggest to you to plan through the week when you have more spare time. When the weekend approaches, you’ll be up early with all-time set to getting ready for a 9am start. Personally, I like to order a black coffee to the office. My eclectic lifestyle includes fasting in the morning, so I won’t eat my fast breaking meal (breakfast) until after 12pm. The coffee, and a cup of water keeps me amped up for the morning. Weekend days are fun since all staff are in the office. Many laughs are had. We finish earlier in the evening as the sun sets. This is a good chance for you to go out to dinner with your friends! A plus is with your weekend lesson plans already organized you can enjoy the night. Go to bed a little earlier and give yourself a nice rest.

Day off / Holidays

The time to come alive!! This day is fully yours. Explore, my friend. Or stay put and chill with your favorite music filling your apartment. A day off is the chance to see the new place you live in. During the first 3 months of living in China, I spent my days off walking around my community observing different stores. Soon I found appropriate places to buy fresh fruits, appliances, cosmetics etc. When I was invited out to places, I made sure to make appointments on my days off to have a full day of activity. Now I’m half a year into this lifestyle. There is a deeper sense of comfort now knowing my way around the part of the city I live in. Cycling to and from my favourite coffee shops is a breeze. Seeing friends in other districts is more organized now that I understand the metro lines. Overall, since I prepare my work ahead of time I give myself the two days to change my mental state. These days are for restoration – for dreaming again.

Looking back, I’d say it took me nearly four months to stabilize myself after moving to a new country. With obstacles such as language, currency, urban design and work ethic changing my way of life – transitioning into the newer version of me took time. It’s understandable. Really it’s more preferable where I am now. Here in China you can live simply and comfortably. The city of Shenzhen offers many diverse attractions. If you’re going to start with EF and move to China, advice I can offer is really be diligent in not over packing. Learn about the climatic region of your destination city and prepare accordingly. The city provides you with the opportunity to change in a way that is evolutionary. You can improve yourself with this fresh new start!

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