Lexi Ward

Before even considering English teaching jobs in China, it is important to learn more about the country that you will call home. Zach and Heather are two of EF's senior recruiters, and they have lived in China for a total of 8 years. In this video, they share their experiences whilst living in China. They'll discuss whether or not China was how they imagined it would be. They'll talk about travel and technology in China, as well as food and language barriers. Starting a new job in China is a great way experience life in one of the worlds most fascinating countries. Watch the video below to learn more.

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Video Introduction:

Hi everyone, in this video we're going to talk about: What China's like, the language barrier and money. And everything in between.

Expectations Vs. Reality

Oh, hey, oh right hi. How's it going? So, yea, we're going to talk a little bit about the experience of actually arriving in China and what that can be like. Errrm, and you know, what's your take on that? Well, I guess the experience is different for everyone but there are a few things that we all have in common, usually starting with expectations versus reality. Totally, I mean when, before I came to China I was expecting everything to be super, super old. Like, old buildings, old cars, old people, and like when I got here, I was like, I couldn't be more wrong about that. I mean, there are a lot of old things and it's neat because they are really old, but there's brand new apartment buildings that are high-tech, new cars driving around. But then it's funny, because like a BMW will drive by, and then coming back the other way there will be a steam powered rickety like tractor, kind of like gillopying down the road. Stacked with plastic bottles and Styrofoam? Yea, exactly.

Travelling Around China:

So yea, there's that mix of modern and ancient, but it is still really safe though. It's amazingly safe, erm, for example, with travelling, around China, travel opportunities, here, it's very very modernised. Yea, yea I mean, you can fly anywhere for, really quite cheap, like the domestic flights are very affordable. Erm, for the same price you can probably take a train. I mean, but why would you? Except you could take a high-speed train and go 300 Kilometres per hour, to the capital. Erm, but actually, I really like taking the older trains too, because you can get a sleeper bed, and kind of go overnight and wake up in the morning and you're in somewhere completely different and new and that's really fun.


On that note, with being modern, and of course, technology ties into that. Technology is booming in China. You can find everything that you want here you can find; computers, you can get different kind of smartphones, topping up your phone is really easy. Yea, these Chinese brands are selling them for super super cheap too, and they're top of the line. They have all the same like err, applications, applications to use on your phone. There are lots of different apps that can help you with life in China. Yea, yea, well, first of all, maps are pretty effective, like Apple Maps gives you all the information you need for Chinese cities. But then also, for translations, that's a huge one. You want to translate the Chinese that you hear and the characters; they've got that one where it just converts the characters into English right before your eyes. Yea, that's really helpful for reading things like menus, and er, also apps for money. There are a lot of money apps. I never pay for things with cash these days, it's like, phone pay, phone pay everywhere I go.


And sending money home, too, with the salary that you can make as an ESL teacher. You can send money home, have a nice budget while you're here, have a decent apartment, also, still go out on occasion on the evenings. You can take a taxi for really cheaply around the city, so that's great. Erm, and lots of different options for that.

Chinese Food

You mentioned going out to eat. Food. It's one of those things, being a very old society they have gotten food down! There are so many different ways to eat food in China. Erm, I mean, you've probably already heard that yea, Chinese food isn't like what you expect in restaurants in your country. But, erm, you can still find a lot of things like fried rice, I mean I love fried rice. You can find fried rice everywhere in a million different types of fried rice in all these different styles. But then there's a lot of things that you've never even heard of, I mean I found out that I love eggplant, I did not know that I love eggplant. Yep, aubergine. I eat so much of it here.

Language Barriers and learning Chinese

Food, of course, helps transcend that language barrier, erm, so food helps because you'll want to learn some Chinese for food. I know you've been studying Mandarin. Yea, yea, and that all started one day when I was hungry and I needed to order something, so I thought, yea, I'll try asking for this in Chinese. I mean, I love studying where I've got to the point where I can go down to the corner store and have a conversation with the lady running it. You know, we don't get very deep, we talk about the weather, but still, that added aspect makes living in another country just really awesome. But, for me though I haven't actually studied much, so I can't hold a conversation in Chinese, but I have learned enough vocabulary to get around, and you don't need it, you really don't have to learn Mandarin to be able to get around in China. Yea, you can be comfortable and feel like you can get your needs met.


So, in summary, you can come to a modern city with modern transportation, take a cheap taxi to an ancient style restaurant, order food using your phone translation application and pay for it with your phone too. And maybe even try and learn a little Chinese from the waitress while you're at it. Yea, and then you could subscribe for more videos. Absolutely, or you know, if you have any questions, you could leave some comments below if you want. Errmm, or, if you're just super excited, you can just apply online. Yep, so you can, subscribe, ask questions or apply, or all of that.

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Lexi Ward

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