Back in 2013 I left my job in the Pharmaceutical industry, waking up one day and saying to myself ‘fuck this boring ass routine, I’m going catapult myself half way around the globe and see how it turns out’, and so I did. I committed myself to hammering all of the qualifications I needed, I already had a BSc under my belt and I spent hours upon hours each day studying for my TEFL qualification which I completed in little over a month, making sure I got no less than 100% on every assignment. With around a grand in my back pocket, my degree certificate and my TEFL qualifications to hand I started applying for jobs in countries I’d like to move to – I narrowed it down to Vietnam, China, South Korea and Taiwan.
Some of the schools I researched seemed a little unscrupulous, some of them seemed pretty unappealing, and for South Korea the only way in seemed like it would take almost half the year before I could actually move, regardless of this I had Skype interviews for schools in all the aforementioned countries but before any of the others got back to me I received an offer from a school in China called Kid Castle, the position was based in Shanghai, China. When I got the offer, it just felt right and I said yes.
In little over a month, I had left my job and was booking my flight from Manchester to Shanghai, and just like that it seemed, I was here one minute and gone the next, it all happened so fast, I only realised the gravity of what I was doing when I was sat on the plane and I said to myself ‘what the fuuuuuckkk’. I landed in Shanghai around 20 hours later after a stop in Abu Dhabi, the school arranged for a taxi to pick my up from the airport and drop me off in a hotel with other soon to be TEFL teachers. As I say, this all happened so fast it seemed like I was in England working my 9-5 job then the next I was in the back of a taxi travelling solo through the streets of Shanghai, and damn Shanghai is one crazy city. It was probably one of the times I’ve felt most nervous but I had also never felt more liberated.
Anyway, I will talk about what my experience was like in future blog posts, but long story short it was one of the greatest experience in my life, I met some really good friends, saw some amazing places and had experiences so amazing I thought things like that could never happen to me. And the school I worked for, Kid Castle…I couldn’t have ended up working for a better school, the people I worked with were always amazing and massively helpful not just with aspects of teaching but also surviving in such a foreign land.
In five months I will be returning to China with my fiancee, arriving in Beijing and going on to Harbin to see the ice festival. I have told her so much about my life in China and I can’t wait for us to experience the place again, this time together 🙂
If you see this post and you’re curious about moving to China, feel free to drop me a message.