Making Friends In China As A Foreign Teacher

Updated: Mar 15, 2020

You’ve just finished a three/four year University course and now you’re back at home with your family, you’re trying to get your foot onto the job ladder but everywhere wants a hundred years of experience, and you’re just reacquainting yourself with your hometown friends again.

But you’re feeling caged. You’ve been independent and free for so long and now you’re under someone else’s roof again. And you’re struggling to find a job that doesn’t feel tedious and repetitive, if you can find one at all. Your friends are out seeing the world, but you’re back at home and asking yourself, “was I ever even gone?”

Sound about right?

The best time to try your hand at working abroad is right after you’ve finished studying; the job market is ruthless and soul crushing and many graduates just aren’t ready to start the 9-5 march towards old-age quite yet.

Packing your life up and moving to the opposite side of the world can be a daunting prospect, especially for the younger teachers out there, but moving to China to teach is a far easier transition for a graduate than it seems. The big cities like Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou all have sizeable expat communities filled with people going through the same experiences, and the locals are very welcoming to Westerners – they love practicing their English on you.

Shenzhen, for example, has fantastic nightlife with many bar and restaurant areas which attracts expats of many nationalities including Americans and Brits, as well as young-adults Chinese locals. Foreigners visiting these venues will notice regular events such as Brazilian-themed samba nights, video game tournaments, live music and language mix get-togethers – made all the more enjoyable by the fun, friendly staff and playlists with the latest popular music keeping the energy of the place at a consistent high.

Expats who are looking to learn Chinese can pay particular attention to the aforementioned language mix nights, where you are given stickers to wear with your name, your nationality and which language(s) you’ like to learn, and then it is simply a case of getting yourself a drink and talking to as many people as you can!

So, moving to China to get yourself a year of work experience is not only a great way to avoid struggling in the job market back home, but you will also experience so many new cultures alongside expats in the same boat as you, as well as begin a thoroughly enjoyable new social life.

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