So I tried to talk my friend into going to China, and he seemed really excited about the idea but then he asked me ‘but what am I going to do there?’. Well, great question bro, now I’ve made a few suggestions 🙂 check it out;
English teacher – English teachers are the only thing all Chinese families need (well, maybe apart from another IPhone 6 to show face). China is a massive country and there will just never be enough teachers for China. The Chinese teachers are trying hard to learn English but even after four years of practicing at university, it can be difficult to understand what they are saying. Mostly because the Chinese film and media industry are so big that the Chinese don’t need to watch foreign movies if they don’t want to (Like Danish people, we always watch American sitcoms or British comedies). Everything is translated into Chinese so it’s easy to jump the low fence. Furthermore, for every foreign person, there are just so many Chinese who wants to practice their English which is why the price of a foreign teacher’s language skills is quite valuable these days. Finding an English teaching job in China isn’t hard either. The internet is booming with offers all over the place (Even Russians are hired for English-teaching in the north because of lack of native speakers). Check websites like echinacities or thebeijinger.
Travel – Traveling is almost a must in this beautiful country. One place is just so difference from another and the Chinese will surprise you 24 hours a day. The culture is so different from the Western world and even I, who’ve been there so many times, still have funny stories to write down and tell people at home. The north is cold with grassland, the Great Wall, desert and many historical places from the long Chinese history. The south is hot and humid filled with colorful Chinese minorities selling souvenirs and fruit on the sidewalk. China has its own Hawaii (Sanya) and a Muslim province where Halal meat and prayers are everyday-practice (I’m still waiting for the right time to go there).
Furthermore, when you think you’ve seen China, then you can move on to Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Mongolia, Taiwan and Hongkong. If you want to get out of the country, you can take bus, train and boat across the border of Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar etc.
Even though it’s all amazing, I have to remind you it’s a good idea to be able to speak a bit Chinese or be positive about learning some. It can create quite a lot of unnecessary trouble if you can’t say anything (I learned it bit by bit as well). But don’t worry, Chinese people are worry open towards foreigner and love to help you out if you are lost.
Study Chinese – The new world economy, soon the strongest military power and so on. China is many things but bottom line is that it’s a new and fast-moving country so why not go there and learn the language? The language is tough but it’s learnable and affordable. The prices are still nothing near the Western education system. It’s easy to apply through websites like Cucas. By staying in China while learning the language makes you able to practice every day in a relaxed environment, like when you want to buy strawberries (because you just learned the word in school). Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are the most expensive places to stay but also the best. The negative thing about staying in the main cities are the fact that you’ll probably mostly be around your foreign friends. Another choice could be a smaller city where you can still go to school with your foreign friends but where it’s also easy to make new Chinese friends to practice with (I’ve learned it comes easier when you stay in a smaller place because people are just more open towards each other than in the big metropolitan – it’s the same for my little hometown and Copenhagen. The difference of the people’s attitude is big).
Of course, there are many other options but these are the most common ones. I’ve done all the three of them and they’re all great opportunities to experience the country, learn about the culture and explore with both Chinese and foreign friends. Furthermore, if you want to go all in on learning the Chinese language, then ask a Chinese family about a homestay. They would love to have a foreigner around to practice English with but because they are more Chinese than foreigners in the home, it’ll be more natural for them to speak Chinese and you have the opportunity to practice even more (I did it and it works great!).
Good luck! 😀
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