First Thoughts in Shanghai, China

Dec 4, 2017

Moving abroad can be hard at first, and for most people it’s a big decision. These feelings pass though and from there it’s mostly the best journey of your life. For those who are wondering what it’s like, here’s a few feelings you may experience when you get to China, and perhaps what you’re worrying about before you’ve decided to make the move!

  • This is so new!

Upon arrival, it’s totally normal to feel a little out of your depth. It’s a new place that you probably haven’t been to before. It looks, smells and feels different and most of all its big! A few weeks in though and you feel totally at home and may even prefer it to your home town.

  • How am I going to get around?

Will I be able to use public transport and taxis? Well, the metro is super easy to use and really inexpensive, as are taxis.  Public transport is maybe a little easier once you know where you’re going especially if your ability to voice your destination in a taxi is not quite up to scratch yet. If these aren’t an option, you could bike! Simply download an App and you’re good to go! It’s also a great way to get your bearings and see things at your own pace.


  • I don’t know anyone!

Don’t worry, everyone is in the same boat! First of all, get WeChat and you’re set! There are hundreds of meet up groups you might want to join filled with people that share similar interests, along with groups of people who are employed in the same field as you. Shanghai has a huge expat community so when you’re feeling lonely in your first few weeks, stick with it and watch your network grow.


  • I don’t speak Chinese how will I communicate with anyone?

Don’t panic! The majority of expats that move to China don’t speak Chinese. In Shanghai in particular, it is pretty easy to get by without speaking the language and if you have a few of the basics, it will be even easier. In some ways it means you can get really stuck in with the culture especially when it comes to food. Although, you will want to learn Mandarin when living in such an amazing City so don’t hesitate to find a teacher and get started. It will be one of the best things you do!

Along with the above, you will feel an abundance of other exciting things too so embark on your new journey and be ready for the adventure!


                                                                                                                                          By Jayne

Associate Placement Consultant at 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 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!


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