Paul Chan

When tasked with writing about practical suggestions for new EF employees who are ready to explore China, it seems like a task of unnecessaryredundancy. All the resources you need, be it a bike rental, shopping, dining, translation, etc. - all can be found now with a quick search on the internet. That's not to mention the best resource around, your colleagues! That's right. Every office has a Zach, a well-travelled, well-seasoned International teacher that knows the ins and outs of local China; he's been here for years, so we gain from his experience. And most offices will have a Jessica, a local staffer that specialises in finding bargains on travel, Groupon's, and everyday items - and she's ever willing to spread the wealth!

It's very simple, right? Exploring China should be easy. Well, here are some key tips to make your journey easier and the process more seamless:

Curiously, Curiosity Slips Away

It happens like this.We get these great ideas that come into our minds, ideas about what we want to do, things we want to see, and places we want to go. And then, they swiftly go, with nothing to remind us of what those plans were. Learn from this. When you feel inspired,WRITE IT DOWN! PIN THOSE AWESOME PLANS DOWN!It doesn't matter where you are. When a key thought pops into your head, write it down so you can reference it immediately once you're in search mode! No pen? Jot notes on your phone. No pen or phone? Tell someone your idea so you can have the beginnings of inquiry (at some point, hopefully immediately).

Broadcast Your Inquiry!

If you're thinking about taking a trip or doing something new, don't let the thought linger! Ask your colleagues for advice, take a survey to get a consensus! Why not put your inquiry out there on your office chat group or better yet, your region's chat group?Before you know it, you will have tonnes of great advice and maybe even a few new more great ideas.


I see this quite often and it's frustrating! People take the time to investigate, they ask for insight from friends and colleagues, but in the end, they don't do anything! When you're abroad, time is precious, so don't waste it. Once informed, get up, go out, and do it! Explore China, explore this magnificent country and don't look back.

You're living and working in a foreign country after all - there should be a wealth of stimuli that hits you on a daily basis, nearly beckoning you for a start. (What's that interesting poster I see on my way to work?) Don't let your curiosity go untapped! Don't forget it either. Mark it down somehow, or in some way (take a picture on your phone). Then explore that idea to the fullest; ask questions, and find a way to make it happen, find a partner (On the WeChat group send the picture and ask what anyone knows about this). Last, but not least, compel yourself to set the plan in motion ("Who wants to go? I've never been to a Jay Chou concert!") Good luck!

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