Bradley Phillips – Shenzhen University


——Bradley Phillips

Hi! I’m Bradley Phillips. I teach a variety of courses for the English Department, including writing, and I also sever as the foreign teacher coordinator for the School of Foreign Languages. I come from Michigan in the United States of America, which is located in the north near Canada. I’ve been teaching here since 2005, making this my 17th year at the university.

大家好!我是Bradley Phillips。我在英语系开了很多门课程,包括写作,我还担任(深圳大学)外国语学院的外教协调员。我来自美国的密歇根州,位于美国的北部,与加拿大毗邻。从2005年开始,我一直在这里任教,这是我在深圳大学度过的第17个 年头。

When I was a child, I never imagined that I would live in China one day. My hometown, Fairgrove, Michigan, only has a population of about 600 people, so it’s very very small. At that time, I was teaching writing for Central Michigan University, which is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, which was also my alma mater for both my undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. So, I had been living in Michigan for 28 years, but I decided to make the move to teach abroad. At first, I actually went to Japan where I taught for three years at a public junior and senior high school. Then I first came to China as I came to Taiwan to teach for one year. And then I went to Thailand to teach for a year and finally came to Shenzhen University in 2005.

小时候从未想过自己有一天会住在中国。我的家乡,密歇根州的费尔格罗夫,人口只有600人,非常非常小。大学毕业后我在中央密歇根大学教写作。这所大学位于密歇根的芒特普萊森特,是我本科和研究生就读的母校。我在密歇根州生活了28年之后决定到外面走走,去国外教书。最开始 ,我去了日本,在一所公立中学教了三年书。之后到了中国,在台湾教了一年书。然后我去了泰国,也教了一年。几经辗转,2005年,我终于来到了深圳大学。

I love Shenzhen University. The long answer is, yeah, my original plan was to only teach here for one year and then I thought I’d go back to Thailand. But after teaching here for only one year, I knew that it wasn’t enough. One reason is, well, the campus is so beautiful. I mean, there’s fruit trees everywhere. There’s a forest on campus. There are two lakes. Another reason had to be my colleagues. They were so warm and welcoming like a family away from home. Even in my first month at the University, we had a group outing, hiking to Wutong Mountain. It was really a great experience, a great introduction to Shenzhen and Shenzhen University as well as a great memory still today. But the main reason had to be the students. I just love teaching them. They really impressed me both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities, especially in the annual foreign language drama competition. So, after that one year, I knew it wasn’t enough. And I also remembered my father’s advice about how important job satisfaction was to having a happy life. And knowing that I love my job at Shenzhen University, I decided to stay for a second year. And then suddenly two years had turned into five, and I knew that Shenzhen University was my home.


Shenzhen University has greatly expanded. It’s added two new campuses, there’s new majors, new colleagues, and it’s even become more international. And I’ve also grown and matured myself. I even started a family. And Shenzhen University, of course, played a role in this as well. It was actually two Shenzhen University international students who introduced me to my wife Nova, who comes from the Philippines. That was back in 2008. Then two years later in 2010 we got married. A year later in 2011, our son Braeden was born. Four years after that our second son Robbie was born. And it’s not just me who is part of the Shenzhen University community. Both of my children attended the Shenzhen University kindergarten. Now they are both attending local primary schools, making our family tricultural and trilingual.


Well, we love it. We are so proud to say that we have three hometowns. One is my hometown in America. The second one is my wife’s hometown. But we think of Shenzhen as our chosen hometown, our real hometown. And I really want to thank Shenzhen University for making us feel like Shenzhen is our home.


Well, I’m proud of so many things about my 17 years here at Shenzhen University. But one of them has to be to that I’ve been teaching here so long that some of my former students are now my colleagues. And our children even studied together at the Shenzhen University kindergarten!


Well, my most memorable experience is probably also one of my most difficult ones. But it’s the reason why I have so much gratitude for this university. It has to do with Covid-19. My family and I got stranded in the Philippines for nine months. And during that time, I joined many online communities such as “foreigners stuck out of China” and “foreigners stranded in the Philippines”. And many schools when the teachers couldn’t return to China to teach, they were fired. But Shenzhen University worked tirelessly to bring me back to teach so I can continue my China dream, my Shenzhen dream, my Shenzhen University dream! So, thank you Shenzhen University. I love you.


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