The schools we work with provide the most lucrative compensation packages in the industry. Live great and save extra money!

Learn More

Most options

Great schools nationwide with options for Professional, Experienced and beginner teachers in almost every subject!

Learn More

Outstanding Support

A personal placement consultant as your sole point of contact through the whole process.

Learn More


Living in China has always been at the back of my mind since I interned in Shanghai in 2009. During that summer I fell in love with the city, the people and the adventures; I knew I wanted to come back and call this city “home”. Deciding to move was the easy part, and actually making the move was much harder than I could have imagined. Boston was my home for the past 9 years. While it was hard to say goodbye, the excitement of the great unknown helped me to look forward. I was not able to secure a job before I moved but I took a leap of faith and came on a three month tourist visa. With three suitcases, I landed in Pudong International Airport and thus began the most exhilarating yet stressful first 90 days of my life! Whether you are teaching in China or moving here for other reasons, here are five tips on how I survived the first 3 months in China:

1.Make local friends- Start this as early as possible (during what we call the honeymoon phase), your new local friends are not only helpful when ordering food but more importantly can give you some everyday tips and warnings which will help the transition easier when you know what to expect. A couple weeks to a month into the move you will at some point become homesick (don’t try to be brave! everyone will be at some point) this is when you will try to find anything that reminds you of home including friends, food, language etc. Without a few local friends you will find yourself stuck in the expat community which will take away from the whole experience of moving abroad.

2.Learn how to haggle effectively- This is a hard skill to learn and I am still uncomfortable doing it but am improving every day! You can haggle or bargain at any of the small shops and street side vendors. Sometimes I think “it’s only a couple of US dollars I’ll just give them what they asked for”, but it does add up. If you are working in China, and not on an impressive expat package, my advice is to consciously think of the currency exchange as 1rmb to 1 home currency. This helps a lot with budgeting.

3.Be cautious of street food- I’m not saying avoid all street food as some of the best local cuisines can be found at these small shops and individual vendors. But during the first few weeks, as your stomach is slowly adjusting to the cuisine, pick places where you see a lot of locals eating or where you can see the kitchen.

4.Take the time to keep in touch with friends and family back home- When there is so much to do and see in China, it may be hard to find time for your friends and family back home. After the honeymoon phase when the culture shock hits you, most likely you will turn to your friends and family back home for support. Your expat friends in China, especially friends with jobs teaching English will come and go, this is just the nature of the expat community but it does get hard keeping track of all the time zones!

5.Most important of all, approach every experience with a positive attitude- A lot of things will not go as you planned. You have to keep in mind that you are in a different country with an entirely different culture. Things will not work the way you are used to back home and nor should they. Instead of trying to change the situation or the person, embrace them with a positive attitude and learn from these experiences. With a positive attitude you will no doubt have an amazing time here in China!

by Shelly Chen, Personal Placement Consultant


Teaching Nomad is an American owned and operated education Recruitment Company based in Shanghai, China. Our goal and purpose is to help great teachers find great teaching jobs. Year round, we have hundreds of teaching job vacancies. Whether your goal is to be an ESL teacher or teach in an international school, we have a teaching job for you. You can browse jobs online at for the latest job openings. Teaching Nomad is here to make teaching in China easier, so please feel free to reach out and contact us with any questions or enquiries!

Nomad stories

My First Year of Teaching

My First Year of Teaching

  My first-year teaching was an unforgettable experience. I left my...

24 Jul 2017

12 Chinese Chopsticks Don'ts

12 Chinese Chopsticks Don'ts

  Here is a little etiquette to survive Chinese dinners!

20 Jul 2017

5 Tips for China first-time travellers

5 Tips for China first-time travellers

  Here are the things to consider when traveling to China...

06 Jul 2017

Teaching Abroad with a Family

Teaching Abroad with a Family

  Is it possible to move abroad with your children? The short...

06 Jul 2017

What to do when you have a two-month holiday?

What to do when you have a…

  Very few get to enjoy the long summer break that...

04 Jul 2017

12 Times China Broke a Random Guinness Record

12 Times China Broke a Random Guinness…

  Longest wall, largest population, longest bridge… If China did break...

30 Jun 2017

How to Save Up for a Gap Year Adventure

How to Save Up for a Gap…

  Gap year adventures are a trend that is continually gaining...

29 Jun 2017

Chinese Drinking Game Tutorial

Chinese Drinking Game Tutorial

  Every culture has its own set of drinking games, so...

22 Jun 2017

Happy Teaching Nomads

  • Kimmi, USA  Placed in Shanghai

    Kimmi, USA Placed in Shanghai

    I truly appreciate all the work that Teaching Nomad did upon arriving to Shanghai. Teaching Nomad helped with everything else once I landed, from paperwork to directions. Everyone at the agency is wonderful and extremely helpful and welcoming.
  • Rafael, USA  Placed in Shanghai

    Rafael, USA Placed in Shanghai

    Teaching Nomad was by far the easiest process I have gone through. I was able to get all the information I needed to continue with the job application. It was quick, efficient, friendly, and effective (I got the job).
  • Andrew, USA  Placed in Shanghai

    Andrew, USA Placed in Shanghai

    I didn't know what professionalism was until I started working with Teaching Nomad. They have always responded to my questions and comment promptly and in a friendly manner. With Teaching Nomad I have truly found my dream contract.
  • Elsie,SA  Placed in Shanghai

    Elsie,SA Placed in Shanghai

    Teaching Nomad helped me at a time in my life when I needed to make a positive career move. They helped me find a position in which I feel challenged, motivated and where I have the opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge as a teacher.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Teaching Nomad is your connection to teaching in Asia & The Middle East! We are a western owned and operated teacher placement agency with offices in Denver & Shanghai. We take a lot of pride in connecting teachers with great teaching opportunities.


Jobs on WeChat

wechat QR code


Contact Us

   Kangding Road No.1018, Third Floor, Suite 306 Shanghai, Prc

   1660 S.Albion St. Suite 911, Denver,CO USA

 (+86) 21 8031 8819

 (+1) 720 531 6136