Nihao! Hello from China!
I’m coming to the end of my second week here in South China and it has absolutely flown by. My first few days were spent in Guangzhou getting over the jet lag and meeting my fellow new recruits, and getting to know a bit about the company as well as the region I’m living in, Guangdong. (This region is especially known for being the ‘foodie’ capital of China, so expect lots of blog posts about Chinese food!)
After these first few days of orientation I spent the weekend in Shunde, a ‘small’ city (of about 3 million people!) about an hour away from GZ, where I’m now living and teaching. I visited the centre I’ll be working in and met my new colleagues, and spent a day apartment hunting. I’ll write more about where I’m living and how I moved in in a separate blog post soon!
After I’d secured a place to live I travelled back to Guangzhou to complete my first week of proper training with EF. We were given in depth training of the different age groups we’ll be teaching and even prepared our own demo lessons and activities to get us used to a classroom atmosphere and what we might expect when we start teaching properly! It was so much fun but really intense and an overwhelming amount of information.
The best part of this training week was having the evenings to explore the enormous capital of the Guangdong region. Guangzhou is home to around 23 million people and is therefore a buzzing metropolis with vibrant night life and plenty to see and do.
Once we’d mastered the metro, a group of us took our off time to explore down by the Pearl River, check out the incredible Guangzhou library, and ascend Canton Tower. The latter was definitely the highlight of this week, as we were awarded insane views of the city lit up at night, from 433m up! I look forward to returning to GZ to visit my new friends and see more of the city.
I am now settled into my apartment in Shunde and have 2 days of centre specific training before we all have a week off for Chinese New Year. After that I’ll have another few weeks of co-teaching, observing and planning before I’m in the classroom by myself; I’m really glad I’ll be eased into it gently as I’m super nervous about how I’ll be as a teacher!
I’ll keep updating the blog with progress reports whenever I have the time, so stay tuned!