My first time arriving to a new land, country, society was everything I expected until I actually arrived. I never worked or lived in a different nation as a man from United States. I was shocked from the experience due to the fact that I have had an amazing experience overall which proves how amazing China and SDE truly are. From the support of the company, from the help of local Chinese people, from the access of travel, from the chance to help a global company succeed in different ways – they all helped my ESL teaching in China dream come true.
Hello my name is Michael and I want to tell you my experience working, livings, and ESL teaching in China. When I arrived, I was nervous which is a normal feeling considering I left my home twenty-four hours away from air flight; however, once I arrived, I was greeted warmly thus I knew things will be okay even though I don’t know the language or culture standards or anything on a general basis.
SDE provided much support before I even arrived with the process of documents needed, documents that guided me to what to expect, and general communication ensuring my journey will be successful, safe, fun, and more.
Once I arrived to the hotel I rested and prepared for the next day due to the fact I was exhausted from the airflight. I woke up at eight in the morning and the teachers and us went on a bus to the main office located in Futian which is basically the center district of Shenzhen.
We then were greeted by the leaders following a short presentation of the protocols and expectations. After we were treated with a lunch which wad delicious! We all then were taken to different districts throughout Shenzhen considering where your school is located with our “specialist” (which are people that SDE provide you to help you for many factors like housing, helping with communication, and just overall support).
After they helped us pick proper housing and register with the district authorities, we all were set to start to teach and live in China! The process was pretty simple, fast, and clear which made things less stressful for me considering this was my first time working overseas. I must say you might feel exhausted from the time change and flight just like I was which took several days to balance my sleep and general energy in a general manner.
Now let’s talk about the juicy details of ESL teaching in China and living here! The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Shenzhen is there a lot of people! Actually, around thirteen million to be honest. There is so much energy which I love! When you walk down the street there is so much things going on. From food venues, shops that sell pretty much anything you want or need, shows, and more than you can imagine. One thing I really noticed when I arrived is that the access to travel is way better! You can take the metro which all you need is a metro card or cell phone to scan, or you can take a taxi, Didi (which basically like Uber), or if you want to travel short distance you can have a ride on a motorbike from drivers who provide the service which can be pretty fun and relaxing with breeze hitting your body.
Shenzhen’s weather is like Florida which means it gets very hot, hot, hot! It rains a lot during the summer times; however, during the winter it is the perfect weather in my perspective with a cool breeze.
I remember going to a store to find some supplies for my home for the first time and I was amazed how they had everything! I was shocked! It is amazing much access of items you have here in China but also online! You can order your food easily, you can buy Chinese or foreign products easily using different types of APPs, and you can access so much more from finding movies, travel information, and more.
When you arrive to China, we use an APP called “WeChat” which is amazing! It allows me to do everything basically. From paying, travel, translation, and much more! WeChat is very convenient and that has allowed my journey as an educator, an SDE employee and as a person a lot better. I really enjoy working here due to the fact that the employees are treated well at our company and schools. We are provided access with our western holidays and eastern holidays. We get weekly professional education training, and even language lessons (if those are interested attending). Be prepared though because usually your classes will have around about twenty-five to fifty students, which is a lot but the kids are amazing overall and are eager to learn from you.
What made my teaching in China experience so amazing is that the leaders, specialists, and community is so supportive, caring, and considerate. When I first started to work, I was in a taxi and I got lost which made me late for my first day of work but when I called my boss, they helped me find the proper location and was very considerate of the fact that I do not have the ability to read or speak Chinese. I remember having my first lunch at a restaurant and the people are so kind to me, plus the food was awesome! What I love about Shenzhen the most is that even though you are in a city you still have access to mountains, and the ocean due the location of it being in south China.
I believe if anyone wants to be an educator overseas, they should highly consider ESL teaching in China, highly consider work in Shenzhen and highly consider working for SDE.
From the overall experience of working, living, and growing as a professional in the field of education I believe this decision I made and committed for the past three years has been a great choice and I can not imagine where I would be if it was without this opportunity.
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