UBC – Day 23
Go to China? Was I mad? I remember that in 2008 when I was offered a position at a college (which became a university while I was there), I had a lot of negative feedback.
Where was I going? I had no idea, for what happened, occurred so quickly that I had little time to research. There had been communications with a school in Vietnam, about teaching Medical English. As an ex-nurse, with an Adult Teaching degree, I thought that I could do that. A phone call from a friend changed all that. The college in Shaoxing, south of Shanghai was urgently seeking a teacher for someone had just cancelled. Would I go?
So, with a couple of weeks to get organised, I changed my plans and set off for the unknown. As it happened, I met two guys who were also going to the same college, and we travelled together via Singapore. I felt safer with the company.
When we reached China, landing at the old airport in Shanghai, we were shattered. Everything looked old, trashed or dead! It was towards the end of a brutal winter, so any garden was dead-looking. It was cold and miserable. My first impression was depressing.
As it turned out, I enjoyed the challenge of living there. For each day was a new adventure. I stayed for just over four months – it was 2008, the year of the Olympic Games in Beijing, an event that was celebrated everywhere in the country. I returned to Australia just before the Olympics and went back to China in September. Same college (now university), same city, and the adventure continued.
China is such a fascinating place. A place of great contrasts. There are ancient buildings and towns, side-by-side with modern cities. The history goes back several thousand years. The history of Shaoxing is fascinating.
On weekends we would travel – getting to know as much as one can in a few days. We had adventures in Shanghai, Ningbo, Hangzhou and many places in the region. We were taken on tours by the College and were able to do our own research in Shaoxing. There is always so much to see!!
I also visited Beijing and The Great Wall, and later X’ian. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in the country. Perhaps I should have started my travel adventures when I was a bit younger!
p.s. It may not be so easy to access good teaching jobs in China, but if you can, I recommend it. Amazing.
If you are seeking work in China, let me know. Maybe I can help.