If there is one country in the world that Western countries don’t know very much about, it just might be China.
But after having lived there, people just seem to fall in love with the country, the culture, the language, and the people. It is truly a very exciting (yet, still challenging) place to live.
It is important to note that living in China was quite a different experience 15-20 years ago, compared to how an international school teacher lives there now. The expat experience has vastly improved over the years. For example, now there are apps to help you talk Chinese to taxi drivers, back 10 years ago that just did not exist.
On the news though, we are constantly hearing about the negative aspects of life living in a number of cities in China, namely the high levels of pollution and the negative effects it is having on people’s general health.
Those negative things aside, there are still a bountiful number of positive aspects to living in China. Because of the fact there is a growing number of international schools in China, numerous prospective hires are considering a move there every year.
So what are some of these best parts of living in China? Using the Comment Search feature on International School Community, we found 47 user submitted comments that had the keyword “best” in them. Here are nine of those comments:
In Suzhou, it is the E-Bike:
“E-bike is the best way to get to and from school, and the weather permits year-round travel without much discomfort. Depending on the time of day, it can be very difficult to find a taxi home, so if you miss the bus you can waiting hours. The school is not within walking distance of any bus, subway, or taxi stand.” - Dulwich College Suzhou (28 total comments)
In Beijing, it is the Benefits teachers get:
“The benefits rank among the best in the country. Full health care for you and your dependents, including some dental. PD is paid by the school, but must be approved by the school and align with the school vision and mission.” - Keystone Academy (54 total comments)
For Xiamen, it is just may have the best air quality:
“The best air quality in China if you want to live in a city!” - Xiamen International School (25 total comments)
In Changchun, it is commute to work:
“The best part of the school is the apartment. You have a free shuttle from home to work. ” - Changchun American International School (71 total comments)
In Hong Kong, it is the way you get to the airport:
“Checking in at the Airport Express and then hopping on the train, bags free, is the best!” - Hong Kong International School (118 total comments)
In Zhuhai, it is the experience working at a certain international school:
“My experience this year was the best thus far. My worthiness to the whole school community was recognised and i was asked what areas I felt the school could help me with in the coming year. Very amicable and respectful unlike my past experiences.” - Zhuhai International School (81 total comments)
In Kunshan, it is shopping for expat goods on TaoBao:
“The best place to get expat food is on taobao, learn enough Chinese or get someone to help you. Otherwise there are stores in Shanghai you can commute to.” - Kang Chiao International School (Kunshan) (75 total comments)
In Tianjin, it is the apartments that some teachers live in:
“Staff housing is very good - especially for families. Wellington apartments are best, if a little dark inside. Boarding is fine but you obviously have the students on site. Arcadia is nice but a bit of a trek from school.” - Wellington College International Tianjin (54 total comments)
In Shanghai, it is the facilities and the community feeling:
“When the school was founded, the neighborhood was barely developed and Shanghai didn't have the same expat-friendly infrastructure it has now, so the school community was necessarily tight and dependant on each other. Teachers lived in school provided housing within three blocks of the school. Teachers are now allowed to live elsewhere and Shanghai has some of the best facilities in the world, but the school has maintained much of its community feeling amongst teachers and staff. School is also very responsive to medical and family needs, in terms of procuring decent medical benefits and quality housing.” - Concordia International School (Shanghai) (137 total comments)
For more first hand comments about working at international schools in China, check out the International School Community website. We are the “go-to” website for up-to-date information about the life of international school educators. Join today and receive a free two-day trial of premium access to all features on our website.