If you’ve thought about changing your career and embarking on a new adventure, teaching English in Asia may be the perfect choice for you. There are countless benefits to teaching English in a foreign country, and many choose to teach English in China.
Dress appropriately – It is important to present yourself in a professional manner to both your students and colleagues. Although it may be customary for teachers to appear somewhat casual in the United States, in Asian countries, uniforms are common among students and teachers. It is beneficial to present yourself in attire that students are used to, such as dark colored clothing or short-sleeved shirts rather than tank tops. You will want to observe and follow the example of teachers at your school.
Behave properly – Teaching English in Asia requires a certain formality, as the students are used to authoritative figures that demand respect. A laid back, casual relationship between student and teacher is not common in China. There is a strict sense of formality between the teacher and pupil when you teach English in an Asian country.
Be aware of communication style – Familiarize yourself with the culture, traditions, and mannerisms of the Chinese citizen. It will be beneficial to you to understand their behaviors. If you teach English in China, students are not inclined to speak without permission. They might appear shy, timid and quiet, but that does not mean they are bored or slacking off. They just are not accustomed to speaking without being spoken to.
Familiarize yourself with your atmosphere – The Chinese are known for their cuisine, but do not expect the Americanized version served in the States. There may be items that do not fit your palate, but be respectful when eating local food. Also, be aware of the importance of body language in Chinese culture. It is often considered disrespectful to stare into another person’s eyes, as a high premium is placed on privacy.
Relax and enjoy yourself – Lastly, but certainly not least, remember to relax and have fun! Experiencing a new culture and immersing yourself in another country is the journey of a lifetime, so take advantage of your surroundings and do something that scares you every day!