Ask expats if they would recommend moving to China and you’ll get the same answer; yes.
Moving to China to teach English is a scary and eye opening experience, but it’s one of the best things you can ever do. You learn more about yourself, about other people and about the world. You push yourself to achieve things you would not have considered otherwise. Yes, it’s scary, but that’s how you know it’s worth it.
- You’ll Become More Independent
Moving to China on my own was one of the best things I could have done. Although you are always surrounded by people when you come here for work, you’re essentially here for yourself; because of yourself. You feel more comfortable doing things by yourself. You can push your own boundaries, without needing someone to push them for you. If you want to do something you’ll do it, and love it.
- Your Perspective Will Change
Things that felt important to you back home simply won’t have the same value here. Your pre-conceptions of China were probably wrong. Your new friends are from countries you might never have considered visiting. You want to spend your time exploring a new environment around you, which you wouldn’t have considered doing in your home country. Your lifestyle changes; from transport, to eating, to communicating. The way other people live will contrast your own ideas and you’ll find it fascinating, and probably adapt them to suit you.
- You’ll Create a Network of Friends
You’ll have friends from different countries around the world, whose paths you would have never crossed otherwise. They’ll become your family – your home away from home. You can hear about their experiences and share yours, travel together and explore some of what China (and the rest of the world) has to offer. Pretty handy when you want to travel to different countries, especially with increasing prices of accommodation!
- You’ll Learn New Things
Something I never expected to happen was to be able to understand, recognise and even speak Chinese. It’s language totally different from English and even after being here a month, I found I could express what I wanted (albeit, with some dramatic gestures and actions). This will become part of your daily life; the local fruit and vegetable vendor will become your friend and want to help you learn and taxi drivers will be asking you about your life.
- You’ll Learn More About Yourself
You’ll learn what you like, what you’re capable of, and realise your goals and full potential. Never again will you underestimate your own ability. No challenge will intimidate you – you’ll welcome it. You moved to China on your own – you’ve got this.
Thinking of moving to China?
If you’re thinking of moving to China to start a new adventure, why not read 10 reasons why you should drop everything and move to China.
Post by Jaye Plant, EF English First Shanghai
Jaye is a keen writer with an obsession for travel. When Jaye is not teaching, she can be found around Shanghai, exploring new places and feeding her coffee addiction. Read more from Jaye on her blog itchyfeet-blog.com.