Teach Enrich Empower
Being a TEFL Teacher in China
My name is Leonard and I'm 23 years old. Prior to booking my one way ticket to China, I was as dental hygiene and therapist in the UK. My decision to drastically change my career stemmed from being stuck in an office and fed up of seeing the world go by.
I was becoming the person I didn’t want to be and knew that my habits and environment had to change. The TEFL course offered hope in that I could escape my bubble by plunging into a culture that was completely foreign to me. Within six months of taking up the course, I arrived in sun-soaked Fujian, China. Currently, I am teaching Kindergarten students at an international language school near the city of Quanzhou. The work itself is not exactly a cakewalk considering how much physical activity is involved, but It’s far more rewarding than anything I’d be doing back home. The children are always excited to see me, the school offers a lot of support and the surrounding scenery is truly beautiful. I thank myself every morning whilst walking to work for making the decision to come here.
“My decision to drastically change my career stemmed from being stuck in an office and fed up of seeing the world go by.”
Nevertheless, it’s worth considering that my experience may be very different to somebody else’s. China is a very large and diverse country indeed that will teach you tolerance, independence and pro-activity in more than one way. I didn’t experience as much culture shock as I expected considering how beautiful and upscale my area happens to be. The entire place is a work of art with homes built with marble and Koi carp swimming in the lake. It was a pleasant surprise indeed and I wouldn’t mind staying here for a couple of years! My plan for the near future is to tick off a couple of things on my bucket list including scuba diving in Xiamen, climbing the Wuyi mountains and visiting Japan. My next destination might be the middle east where I can finally have my hummus back, but I’m certainly not returning home anytime soon!If there’s any piece of advice I can offer to new teachers, is that I wouldn’t suggest you take up the course expecting an extended vacation. Your experience depends on what you negotiate with your employer and whether or not your priorities are filled. You’ll have to put in hours for the money you earn but please be vocal about what working conditions are important to you. Consider what climate, hours and food you’re willing to deal with before embarking on your adventure and prepare to be flexible living in a foreign land. The language, food and culture will make you homesick for a while but it’s part of the kicker!
To sum up, the TEFL course is something I couldn’t recommend more. It allows you to hit two birds with one stone by travelling and making a living at the same time. Completing the TEFL course has been the greatest achievement of my life so far as it’s given my career life a second chance. If you’re thinking about enrolling, I wish you all success in your endeavours!
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