Teach Abroad Blog
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While teaching abroad in China there are several technologies that can be utilized to smooth the transition and in turn make life easier. Most likely in the country you lived in before China you would have access to social media sites such as Facebook, or video hosting sites such as YouTube. However, these are unfortunately blocked in China. Fret not because you can easily sign up for VPN services which cost around 10 USD per month, some choices are Astrill, HMA, Liberty or if you are looking for something that is free I would recommend Freegate.
It goes without saying that Beijing is a must see for anyone visiting, living or teaching in China. Not just because of the names, but because these places really live up to the hype! This trip was very special for me because it wasn’t just Sophia and I going, but also my father, mother and brother from the U.S. were here!
After they arrived we gave them 2 days to get over the jet lag, then we were headed to the new high speed train from Shanghai to Beijing. After the recent tragedy involving one of these high speed trains, some people were questioning their safety. We decided to go for it and I’m really glad we did. Travelling by train definitely has its advantages. First of all you don’t have to arrive 2 hours before the train and wait in long security lines. Once on the train, every seat (even economy) has as much leg room as first class on a plane.
This journey starts out at 6:00 am with a 10-minute walk to the metro station on Dong an’ road. I lucked out and my flight to Shenzhen (borders Hong Kong) was leaving from the airport closest to our apartment, it’s called Hongqiao. Of course, you can fly directly into Hong Kong, but this route can save you around USD$100 depending on when you book.
I made it to the airport and was quite surprised that we boarded the plane on time. In my experience and from what I’ve read, flights in China are almost always delayed. Boarding was the only thing we did on time…once seated we sat on the tarmac for a good 45minutes.