5 Things You Can Only Do In ChinaBy Kimberly Bird
January 14, 2015
If you’re ready to head off to Asia to teach English, be prepared to have the time of your life! You’ll be in a new culture where everything is exciting and different. Make the most of your experience by trying out these 5 things you can only do in China!
Walk the Great Wall of China
For some reason, I didn’t think that the Great Wall of China would be that incredible. I guess I just assumed that it would be covered with tourists and that it’d be a lot of walking. Well, it was true that there were many tourists and I did do a lot of walking, but I had no idea how expansive and unbelievably amazing the Great Wall would be! I went in October and it was breathtaking; I can only imagine how incredible it would have been during the summer, with green trees and rolling hills in the distance.
Make New Chinese Friends Wherever You Go
Everywhere I went in China, I met new friends! The Chinese people are kind, friendly, and helpful. Whether I was lost in Beijing or deciding what to eat at a restaurant, people would help me along, and they were genuinely interested in why I was there. Both strangers and my own students greeted me with smiles and waves every day!
Immerse Yourself in Mandarin Chinese and Practice Your Skills Every Day
I never got close to conquering Mandarin Chinese, but I sure tried! Whenever I tried to speak in Chinese, people would smile (and sometimes laugh) at my terrible accent, but they always appreciated me putting in the effort to attempt speaking in their native tongue. I also did weekly Tai Chi classes; it was quite the challenge but I loved it! I enjoyed learning a new skill that brought me deeper into their culture.
Taste Authentic Chinese Food—At The Source!
I love Chinese food, but I had never really made authentic Chinese food successfully. One night, my friends and I had a local friend teach us how to make traditional dumplings. It was far more difficult than I anticipated, but the end result was so delicious! I also enjoyed trying new restaurants and ordering food that I never would have been able to taste any of it in the USA because it simply doesn’t exist on this side of the world.
And last, but certainly not least: Teaching English
My students were my favorite part of living in China. I was able to watch them grow and learn English. They often didn’t realize that they were learning English as they tried to understand me and get to know me, so it was amazing to watch them become better communicators along the way.
Apply today to teach in China—you’ll fall in love with it!