After living in a western culture for 40 years a desire to experience something new coupled with a huge sense for adventure originally brought me to China and several teaching jobs have kept me here since. My ‘culture-shock’ journey started off in Chengdu (Sichuan) and after visiting every corner of China from Liaoning to Guangdong, from Hainan to Xinjiang, I have now started to teach in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. My first teaching job was in Xinjiang which gave me the taste for it, afterwards I completed a 4 week CELTA (Certificate in English Language teaching to Adults from University of Cambridge) at the Shanghai International Studies University in 2012 and subsequently taught at a college in Sichuan. Living in China has been a real experience and I have learned to love the food and culture, I would feel that China (looking from the outside as Laowai like myself) is somehow less complicated and definitely more sociable than its western counterparts, although the language is certainly an art in itself to learn! The Zheijiang Technical Institute of Economics is a comparatively small campus but still vibrant and full of student life. The classrooms are well maintained and fully modern with computers and projector screens. There are larger and smaller classrooms to cater for various class sizes and the English department (especially Jack our Senior Supervisor) are friendly and very co-operative, our Teaching Supervisor Kiman is always available and willing to help solve teaching problems or give us extra information if needed. The students are in general eager to learn and willing to participate in the Foreign Teacher lessons (we teach from a book and give extra lessons based on each unit’s topic) in a friendly open atmosphere.
With the completion of 2 new subway stations (one right next to the campus) travelling into Hangzhou has become less tedious and there are several new shopping malls with western type activities and restaurants just 15 minutes away. The College is enclosed in a University area with about 16 Universities and over 200,000 students locally, it is close to the Qiantang River which has regular tidal waves, something worth seeing! The local area is green and pleasant, with enough places to have a quiet afternoon stroll or buy some local produce and the West Lake tourist area is only 45 minutes by subway. The Foreign Teacher apartments (there are currently 3 teachers) are on-campus (only 8 minutes walk to the classrooms) and have been recently completely renovated, with a small but useful kitchen (I like to cook!) Internet/wifi (campus connected but still fast and mainly trouble free) a 32” LCD TV for watching downloaded movies, and a general living room with A/C. The western bathroom /shower is connected to the spacious bedroom (also with A/C). Life is comfortable and maybe even homely, I have so-far enjoyed the time I have been here, and I am looking forward to another year!
Thank you ZJTIE for your kind hospitality and teaching experience.