How can I educate myself about China?

Travelling to a country, and looking at the amazing architecture, landscapes and history is not the same without an understanding of how these factors were culturally influenced, and what their significance means to the modern-day Chinese citizen. We have henceforth put together this page to point you in the right direction of how you can educate yourself to get the most out of your stay in China.

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Will reading help me learn about China?

Reading is a fantastic tool to educate oneself and this does definitely not exclude learning about Chinese culture. There are a wide variety of literature that can help provide you with an understanding of societal norms and how China has grown into the economic powerhouse they are today. Firstly, we recommend learning about how the history has influenced their current culture to help you remove that layer of culture shock you may get when first initially arriving in China. Secondly as you find yourself exploring the vast landscapes, and looking at the stupendously interesting historical artefacts, learning about their significance and why they have a place today can give you a deeper perspective into the importance of them. One example is Terracota Warriors, another Tiananmen Square, or the Forbidden City. Ask yourself, why are these places significant enough for China to make them accessible to the public, with millions each year. There are plenty of books available and online resources from which you can read and learn about Chinese history.

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Learning Mandarin to learn about Chinese Culture

As you hike up various mountains, visit a variety of tourist attractions, or simply find yourself lost in a village remote from urbanisation, learning the language is a fantastic method to understanding China and their local cultural influences. By being able to speak, read and write Chinese, you will be able to go deeper into understanding, and therefore provide yourself the opportunity of experiencing much more than the average international English teacher. You will be able to speak to the locals, to learn their perspectives, obtaining lots of knowledge you wouldn’t be able to get from a book. We’ve put together a quick page for you to get started with the basics and another page that argues other reasons why learning Mandarin is important.

Free online resources to learn about Chinese Culture

Did you know you can access free online courses from a variety of reputable universities across the globe? These online courses cover a myriad of subjects, with some involving Chinese culture. Harvard is one example of a great resource for you to educate yourself. At the time of writing, Harvard has an online course where you can learn the dynamics of contemporary China using the tools of close reading, discussion, and analysis. Accessing free, self-paced courses like this example is a brilliant opportunity for you to utilise.

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Access all our Teaching Vacancies in China on our ESL Job Board

Your FAQs

We’ve put together a Resources Page to answer your most frequent questions. From Saving Money, to Getting Your Z-VISA, we have gone into detail there.

Your school will apply for your VISA for you to work directly for them. We’ll be with you every step of the journey. We’ve created our own VISA Support Page. Remember, the VISA you’re applying for is a Z-VISA.

You will have a minimum of a one-year contract, that will be full-time. You can save a lot of money teaching in China, and we’ve put together more information for you to read.

When you are directly employed by the school, they will offer you insurance. This means private level care. Be sure to check your contract for sick days.

You will have to go through your bank to legitimately send money home. To do this, follow the steps they give you. Your school will help support you and will be able to translate anything you need.

That is fantastic news! Not speaking Chinese is great for your students, as you will be able to immerse them in English more. We’ve also put together an Essential Mandarin Guide, and Benefits For Learning Mandarin when you’re exploring.