GREAT Pay

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

top rated

GoOverseas Badge

China being an ancient culture with 3,000+ years of history brings with it many customs, traditions and ways of doing things. This isn’t meant to be a complete list of all of them, but just some day to day things that I’ve learned and may benefit you on your adventure to teach abroad in China.

  1. We’ll start with food; the idea here is that if you eat everything on your plate, then you must not have gotten enough food. As an American this takes some getting used to. If you’re eating out with locals or especially at their home they will probably keep bringing out food until you stop eating, not the other way around. You will also notice that the portions are much smaller than in western countries. This is how the Chinese maintain their slim physique. In my experience, most Chinese don’t have a gym membership but simply by not “super sizing” their meals they maintain a healthy weight. Slurping is not only common, but from what I’ve heard it’s a sign of respect for the chef, indicating that you like the food. 
  2. Always take your shoes off when entering someone’s home. This one is pretty self-explanatory, you can be sure that any locals visiting your home will show you the same respect. 
  3. Shaking hands is not customary. This is another one that has taken some getting used to for me. When you meet a new person a simple hello, nice to meet you is enough. In respect for you as a westerner they may want to shake hands, but I do not expect this. Hugging also doesn’t appear to be as common as in America, at least not with people you’ve recently met. 
  4. When handing your business card to someone, it is customary to hold the card on the corners and present it with 2 hands, as if you were handing someone a gift. Don’t worry about this custom when giving your card to other foreigners; it’s a little unnecessary in my opinion. When receiving someone’s business card it is polite to take a moment to read the information on the card before putting it in your pocket. Also, don’t put their card in your back pocket, I’ve read that when you sit down you may be symbolizing sitting on the person. 
  5. I’m no expert on this one, but religion is not popular in China, statistics show that the number of people in China that consider themselves religious is among the lowest in the world. Traditionally, Buddhism was popular and is still in practice with older generations as well as within active temples and monasteries throughout the country. That being said, the Chinese word for religion actually means superstition and most people do not find a use for it. 

As I said, this in no way an exhaustive list, especially if you are planning on doing business with Chinese companies, there is much more to learn. This list does include what has been the most common things coming up in my day to day life…I hope you find it helpful.

If you have some additional items you like to add…please leave a comment!

Brett Isis
Founder & Director of Teaching Nomad Shanghai, China

P.S. Many people choose teaching abroad as a way to travel, see the world and save money for more travel. Not many people share their travel adventures as well as Robert @ http://leaveyourdailyhell.com . Robert has also done a year teaching abroad in China and is now embarking on a new trip in Europe. Check out his blog for all kinds of informative and entertaining posts from all over the world.

Nomad stories

Signing a Teach Abroad Contract: Things to Know

Signing a Teach Abroad Contract: Things to…

  When you begin your search for a teaching position abroad,...

21 Oct 2019

7 Benefits of Earning a TEFL Certificate

7 Benefits of Earning a TEFL Certificate

  There are many obvious as well as not-so-obvious benefits of...

12 Sep 2019

The Importance of Obtaining a Release Letter in China

The Importance of Obtaining a Release Letter…

  When you’re first starting out in the teach abroad field,...

09 Sep 2019

Teaching Abroad with a Pre-Existing Medical Condition

Teaching Abroad with a Pre-Existing Medical Condition

  If you're living with a chronic or pre-existing medical condition,...

26 Aug 2019

How to Create an Introduction Video

How to Create an Introduction Video

For new and experienced teachers alike, the idea of talking...

21 Aug 2019

Finding a Trustworthy Teach Abroad Recruiter

Finding a Trustworthy Teach Abroad Recruiter

  If you’re considering moving abroad to teach, whether you want to teach ESL...

13 Aug 2019

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

Reviewed on Go Overseas

 

Contact Us

  North Zhongshan Road No. 2000, Zhongqi Bldg., Suite 2501, Putuo District, Shanghai, PRC 200063

  1660 S. Albion St., Suite 826, Denver, CO, USA, 80222

 (+86) 21-8025-3905

 (+1) 720-531-6136

Registration

Registration

Recover your password

Send us your email and we will send you instructions to reset your password

If you remember your password

OR
*Required fileds