A normal weekday of a Chinese high school student (Jessica)

Jun 19, 2014

Many of you who are teaching in China might wonder what an average day in the life of one of the students you’re teaching looks like. Well, here is your answer:

6:00 Get up & Have breakfast

Jessica sets her alarm at 5:50 so that she can hit the snooze button to sleep another 10 minutes. Jessica’s mom has prepared Baozi and milk for breakfast.


6:45 Goes to school It is the time for Jessica to set out to school. Sometimes she goes to school by bus. However today she chooses to ride bike. High school students in China cannot drive a car because the legal driving age is 18.

7:20 School starts If you are late, you will be punished harshly by teachers. School usually starts with reading class, in which read English or Chinese loudly in order to memorize certain articles. Class typically starts at 8:00 and ends at 11:30. Usually there are 4 classes in the morning, each class lasts 45 minutes and there’s a 10-minute-breaktime during 2 classes. Jessica’s favorite class is PE and she dislikes chemistry. Unfortunately there’s no outdoor classes today.

11:30 Lunch Time

Most students eat at dining hall in school, so they have to wait in line and take turns to get food. However, since Jessica lives close to school, she usually prefers to go home for lunch and take a nap for about an hour. Today she has tomato and egg soup, shredded potato and chicken wings. Jessica cannot fall asleep after lunch because she keeps worrying about the chemistry quiz she took in the morning. The teacher required students to present their quiz results to their parents and get their signature.


2:00 Afternoon classes start

Jessica was a bit early to school since she didn’t take a nap. She will have 4 classes in the afternoon until 5:20 and has to stay for dinner and has an individual study session from 6:00-8:30 at night. After 2 classes in the afternoon, students have a short break, during which they can eat some snacks. However, aside from this afternoon break, students are not allowed to eat in class anytime throughout the day. Jessica brought some fruit to share with her friends.

5:30 Dinner rush

Her school tries to have students from different classes eat dinner on different floors in d-hall. With meal cards in hand, students rush to d-hall to get seats. Usually students get a tray and pick a few dishes they like, along with a bowl of soup and rice.


6:00 Individual study session

Usually there will be no teachers in the classroom, and students sit quietly to work on their homework. During this session, students cannot talk with one another since they are required to keep quiet throughout the whole session. Sometimes a teacher will walk into the classroom to check up on their students.


9:00 Home, sweet home

Finally Jessica makes it home on her bike! Mom has prepared some sweets and fruit for her, but Jessica isn’t in the mood to enjoy this food as she still has tons of homework to finish. She has already spent 2 hours to chemistry homework and got stuck with a few questions. Hopefully she can figure out those questions before midnight.

00:30 Bed time

Mom has already reminded Jessica to go to bed 2 times already, but the third time she finally persuades Jessica to put down her pen and get in bed. The midterms are right around the corner, so she has to spend more time studying than other students if she wants to achieve a better score. She dreams about this big red 100 scores on exam paper tonight!


By Yoyo Chen, Marketing and Administration Assistant

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 in China, 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! – See more at: https://www.teachingnomad.com/presets/nomad-blog/item/251-reverse-culture-shock#sthash.y37xWhx4.dpuf


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