25 Jan

 

 

As a new English teacher you might frown upon the names of your new students. Like most language learners, they were given the freedom to choose their own English names and --- perhaps sometimes a little too much freedom. Instead of John or Mary, boys will call themselves Hulk, Tarzan, Hercules or Devil, while girls go by the names of: Cherry, Holiday, Apple, Happy, Lolly or Sugar.

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What do you want to be when you grow up?

 

English names have been adopted in China for decades and many of the "English" names resemble their birth names: Chinese boys named "Da Wei," a common name, almost invariably become "David." Others find inspiration from singers, athletes, politicians, or movie stars. Many boys went by the name of "Tom Hanks," - yes the full name - after the success of Castaway. Other popular names include Kobe - Kobe Bryant -  or Michael Jackson named after the King of Pop. 

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Call me Steve

 

The story behind the name

 

Picking a name can be challenging, therefore China's state-run CCTV news listed a few no-go's: calling yourself after famous people like Einstein, after food like Cherry or names with a sexual connotation like Easy, Creamy, Bunny or Dong. Another way to help desperate Chinese parents pick a 'proper' English name are websites including: BestEnglishName.com and SpecialName.cn. On the later website, parents are first asked to select the baby's gender, and then pick at least five out of 12 positive personality traits reflecting their aspirations for the child. The website will then suggest a list of three names, along with the names' meanings and famous namesakes.

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For a meagre 80 RMB I will give you your name.

 

Before Chinese children will adopt more conforming names let's have a look at the 21 strangest names we have encountered. Listed from quirky to bizarre. (*Please let us know the names you have seen, and we might include them in the list).  

Quirky

Gorilla

Box

Gandalf

Season

Lightning

Rolex

Lawyer

Tiger

Lucifer

Empire

Samurai

Rapunzel

Mayflower

Aloha Aloha

Obama

SmartCorps

Betterhands

Peter Pan

Fancy Go-Go

Cabbage

DreamJazz

Bizarre

 

About our company: 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 www.teachingnomad.com/job-search for the latest job openings.

13 Jan

 

Whether you’re in need of a last minute ticket home or looking for the cheapest way to check out on a beach somewhere in the sun, searching for the best airline prices can be tricky. Hunting for the best deals online can seem like more work than it’s worth, as there are a whole host of sites to search through, all with unique combinations of potential flight times, carriers and routes to consider. Here are a few of the best places to find the best deals online:

Airfare Watchdog

If you know you have a trip coming up, or have always fancied a particular destination but have been waiting for the best deal, the Airfare Watchdog allows you to set an alert on a particular route or destination. Of course, this is not so useful if you are going for a last minute adventure, but if you have a chance to pre-plan, this could make a huge difference on the final price tag!

Skyscanner

Yet another excellent search tool, Skyscanner compares international flights well and allows you to specify according to time and airline, should you have a preference.

Expedia

A site that is certainly more powerful when it comes to booking many aspects of your journey, Expedia offers easy comparison of flights as well as car rentals, hotels, cruises, attractions and more. If you’re after more than just the flights, this can be a great way to get started to make sure you are getting the best overall deal for your trip.

Momondo

This attractive site takes its data directly from the airline websites, making it more likely to provide accurate and up to date information. It will make the best suggestions price wise, which can mean you travel on different airlines for each direction of travel. But if that’s the best price, who can argue? It also provides an easy visualisation of other times you might save during the week, so it pays to be flexible.

Google Flights

Improving constantly, the Google flights search tool is generally best for domestic US flights, but has begun expanding its search. It includes a handy map tool to allow you to rearrange your desired route easily, and shows in detail the price changes over time if you want to investigate flexible options.

With these great sites in mind, don’t forget that there are a few general rules of thumb to keep in mind during your search online. These include:

Never book a flight on a Friday

This is supposedly the worst day to book flights, the best being a Saturday or Sunday. So if you can avoid a search on a Friday and wait a few extra hours, do so. Friday flights are often 13% more expensive. Therefore, you’ll likely save on the check out price if you can save the search for the weekend.

Use your debit card

Avoid a credit card fee on top of the flight cost by sticking to your debit. It might be small, but it does add up!

Cross check your search outcomes

Many price comparison sites are never as up to date as an airline’s website itself, so be sure to check back and make sure you are getting the best possible deal.

Look into Hidden City Ticketing

This trick is legal but not one that airlines encourage – for an in depth guide to how to utilise this saving, read this guide from Student Money Saver. You could save up to 50% on your next online flight booking!

Fly off peak if you can

If you are able to head out to your destination during midweek, or take those super early flights that most people dread, it might be worth the crazy early start time. Odd hours can mean that flights are slower to book up, leaving more of the cheap seats if you’re looking for a last minute deal.

Take hand luggage only

Save on checking in fees for big luggage by travelling light instead wherever possible. After all, every little counts! Make your trip a bit less of a drag, and put the check in fee to better use elsewhere. After all, if you’re also selecting a super early flight, you probably don’t want to get in even earlier to stand in line for check in – skip it and make the entire trip less stressful.

These are just a few great ways to get started in your online flight search. Use a combination of these hints to score the best deals next time you’re on the hunt for a holiday!

About our company: 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 www.teachingnomad.com/job-search 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 inquiries!

09 Jan

Beautiful-Shanghai-HD-Wallpaper

 

We’ve all heard it before— the best way to experience a new country is to live there rather than just to visit. But there’s truth behind the cliche. There is something different about living somewhere out of your comfort zone, whether that’s a few months or a few years, and there are lots of opportunities to do so. Everyone should get this chance, and one of the easiest ways to do it is to get a job overseas, such as volunteering, internships, tourism, start-up businesses. Often recent college graduates turn to teaching positions; while it is one of the most common routes, it is always in high demand. Teaching Nomad opens a whole new world to those who are looking to teach something other than English to kids (though this is a fantastic way to get involved and make a difference!). International schools for expats, local private schools, even adult education centers all look for competent teachers in a variety of fields.

What’s so amazing about properly immersing into the culture by working internationally is being exposed to things that you would never get out of a guidebook or Facebook photos from a friend’s vacation: the slang, tips on buying local, how to avoid tourist-packed crowds, where to find the hole-in-the-wall to get the best comfort food, you name it. You are in touch with the people, not just the place.

I am really looking forward to teaching abroad as part of the building blocks for my career. Now more than ever it is important to focus our attention on girls’ education, especially in countries that have a social history of keeping girls in domestic roles instead of sending them to school. It is time to guarantee equal education in order to maximize our potential—that’s where I hope to come in. As a Global Studies undergraduate at UCSB, one idea for my future is getting involved with non-profits, corporations, and government departments that work towards finding new ways to sponsor schools, hiring teachers, speaking to religious and authoritative figures about allowing girls in schools; anything to emphasize the importance in the result of educated women. For me, Teaching Nomad is a great place to start. It will provide me with handson training and immediate placement in classrooms, where I not only can become a part of the community, but also learn first-hand where help is most needed and what can be done. Plus, it will give me invaluable experience as a teacher so that if and when there comes a time where I am no longer working directly with a school, I will still have an understanding of what works and what doesn’t for those “on the ground”.

Teaching abroad would not only get me give me the chance to pursue my career, it will also provide me with the opportunity to experience more of the world. Much like in Europe, in China and the Middle East, where Teaching Nomad’s jobs are based, countries are close together, which makes it easy to hop from place to place as weekend trips—not to mention the summer vacations! Even cities within the host countries themselves offer a diverse range of language, food, religion, and history.

I want to be able to see as much as the world as I can, not just from a plane window or the back of a taxi, but living in it. And teaching abroad can get me farther than I ever thought possible, not just in what I will experience but the change I will leave behind. 

About our company: 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 www.teachingnomad.com/job-search 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 inquiries!

 

19 Dec

 

 

 

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'Shen Dan Lao Ren' is coming to town: 5 Ways the Chinese do Christmas slightly differently.

Christmas is a wonderful celebratory time of year, however in mainland China it is not even a public holiday. This explains why twenty years ago you probably wouldn't have seen any signs of Christmas around here. Merrily, in today’s China you will see, hear and feel the Chinese Christmas spirit almost everywhere around you.

 

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1. Lighting up the Christmas tree.

Few people have a Christmas tree, and if they do it is normally a plastic one they call "a tree of light". The Christmas trees most people see are those displayed in big shopping malls! The strange thing is that most of the world's plastic Christmas trees and Christmas decorations are made in China, but the people making them have no idea what they are for!

Participate in local festivals (like Hong Kong's Ta Chiu festival), which happen in many parts of China.

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2. Apple Night

A tradition that's becoming popular, on Christmas Eve, is giving apples. Many stores have apples wrapped up in coloured paper for sale. People give apples on Christmas Eve because in Chinese Christmas Eve is called "Ping'an Ye" (平安夜), meaning peaceful or quiet evening, which has been translated from the carol 'Silent Night'. The word for apple in Mandarin is "píngguǒ" (苹果) which sounds like the word for peace.

 

3. Santa’s list:

Christmas comes with the annual headache: what gifts to buy? In China, Santa’s job is a little easier because it is not unusual to give friends and relatives red envelopes, containing lucky money, as a gift for Christmas. Exchanging Christmas cards or small, inexpensive gifts with close friends and family is also common.

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Chinese interpretation of Mother Mary with Baby Jesus.  

4. Creative Cristians

The small number of Christians in China call Christmas Sheng Dan Jie, which means Holy Birth Festival. They decorate their homes with evergreens, posters, and bright paper chains. The family puts up a Christmas tree, and decorates it with beautiful lanterns, flowers, and red paper chains that symbolize happiness. They cut out red pagodas to paste on the windows, and they light their houses with paper lanterns, too.

5. Celebrating at McDonald's

 

For many young people, Christmas is an opportunity to get together with friends and have Christmas parties. These might be held at a friend's house, McDonald's, KTV, restaurant, or bar. There's a festive atmosphere, and people enjoy the decorations and Christmas carols. Many young couples view Christmas as a romantic holiday and some choose to celebrate the occasion with a happy meal at McDonald's.

 

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Rudolph the red-noised … Panda?

 

About our company: 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 www.teachingnomad.com/job-search 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 inquiries!

24 Oct

 

 1. Jiangshi 僵屍 

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The jiangshi is a cross between a vampire and a zombie: it’s a recently deceased person brought back to life, who must drink blood to survive. The twist? Because rigor mortis has set in, these creatures apparently hop after their prey with arms outstretched, making them a pretty popular character for movies and children’s ghost stories.

2. Ba jiao gui 芭蕉鬼

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Literally, the banana ghost. Doesn’t sound very intimidating, does it? This ghost is said to be found under banana trees, and there is a legend that if gamblers find a ba jiao gui, and tie a red rope around the tree, the spirit will come to them and asked to be released in exchange for lucky lottery numbers. Brave souls beware: if you do not keep your promise to the ba jiao gui your fate is sealed!

3. E gui 饿鬼

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The hungry ghosts. Many Asian countries with a history of Buddhism and Taoism observe the Ghost Festival on the 14th or 15th day of the 7th month in the lunar calendar. This is believed to be the time when the spirits can come back to visit the living, including the E gui which represent spirits of greedy people who have now been transformed to make it impossible for them to eat. These ghosts are said to roam the streets during the 7th month, trying to gobble up any offerings or trash left around.

4. Nü gui. 女鬼

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This literally translates to female ghost, and these are believed to be vengeful spirits of women who suffered injustice in life. These spirits are depicted with long black hair and white dress. Similar spirits have been made famous in Japanese movies such as The Ring. Creepy.

5. Shui Gui.水鬼

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These water ghosts are the spirits of people who drowned, with a twist: they are said to drag unsuspecting victims underwater and drown them, only to take possession of the person’s body, leaving them below the water to continue the cycle with the next helpless victim.

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If you’re not too scared to come out this October, there are a number of events going on in Shanghai from pub quizzes, movie showings, or a big night out in your favourite costume so you can celebrate Halloween in The Middle Kingdom.

 

By Ashley Farrell, Personal Placement Consultant @ Teaching Nomad.

About our company: 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 www.teachingnomad.com/job-search 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 inquiries!

 


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

 

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