Hello everyone!! I'm planning to start working in China by August and I have to decide whether to teach at Linhai city or Shenzhen. It's my first time being in China and I'm just starting learning the language. Where would you recommend me to go? I'm pretty open-minded but I fear I might experience some culture shock in the first city
Paul Martin B.
In general, go to the larger city. There will be more English speakers; modernity (read: food safety; real toilets, not squats); and expats to help you out. I have taught in Beijing and Tianjin for 5 years. Good luck!
I taught in Shanghai for six years, at Shanghai American School, and although my Mandarin is extremely limited, I had absolutely no problem. In fact, a surprising number of people could speak at least some English. I hired a private tutor to learn the language and that helped a lot. I have a friend who taught in Shenzhen, and it was the same story there. I took Mandarin lessons for a year, but didn't really need to, especially since there are apps to translate English to Mandarin. Enjoy your time in China! It's always an adventure.
Shenzhen is right next to Hong Kong. You literally walk across the border. That said, it isn't very typical of the rest of China, is very new looking with almost nothing traditional to see and most of the population is concerned about making money and not much else. It's probably one of the easiest places to get used to for Westerners who are not really looking for something very different.