Each ENREACH Center has a team of teachers, coaches, education specialists and support staff. Click on a photo below to see what they have to say.
I’m Stephen, and I’m the Vice President of ENREACH. I joined in June 2016, and the time has flown by. Working in education is rewarding, and working in China is exciting. It’s great to be creating educational experiences that students seem to enjoy so much. I really like the people we have at ENREACH. They are passionate, energetic, and experts at what they do!
This is my second time living in Shanghai, and it’s a great city. Most Chinese cities have the same look, but it’s the people and food that make them different. Shanghai has the convenience of any big city, but I also love going to the local hole in the wall noodle shop. The city is never boring, and it challenges your senses every day. The smells, sounds, and sights are all amazing. For new teachers, my advice is to get out of your comfort zone. You’re not going so far away just to do the same thing you do at home. Try everything, especially the food. If you don’t like something, just don’t order it again! You won’t change China – China will change you.
Hi, I’m Karen, and I have been at ENREACH since July 2016. I like the idea of liberal arts and the mission of cultivating students’ ability - not just teaching knowledge. This type of education in China is very new and different from our traditional way of teaching. We provide an opportunity to the Chinese students to really indulge in international education.
I’m from Shanghai, a great modern and diverse city where you may enjoy both Chinese traditional culture and Western culture. You can find very luxurious restaurants or very small inexpensive restaurants with good food. It’s easy to live here with all the services being very convenient to get. For example: food delivery, door to door laundry service, and many other things that you can usually do from an app on your phone. It’s also a very safe and friendly city.
Hi, I’m Vanessa. I started in May 2016 as an Executive Education Consultant for ENREACH HQ. In this role, I work to make sure that the curriculum and all the pieces that stand behind are fully optimized for great delivery across the nation. I also spend a lot of time thinking about the experience of sales, service, and marketing teams view the curriculum and how that combines with the experience and needs of the teachers. I work closely in support of the Quality Control team who regularly provide the input that I rely on to get my job done.
ENREACH has been a place of tremendous growth for me professionally and personally. It has taught me a lot about the Chinese education system and what matters most to people (students and employees) from mainland China. I have taken on several different roles over the years, from college counselor, to teacher, to project manager, to curriculum developer. I thrive in the international and start-up environment because I am a hands-on learner, and I like that people are able to collaborate to express their opinions honestly, openly, and politely.
I split my time between Los Angeles and Shanghai. I miss living in Shanghai greatly and working with people onsite every day, but I decided to return to America for the time being after spending three years abroad.
The biggest thing you can do as a teacher is listen, listen, listen, and then carefully respond, offering instruction and support based on what you truly heard. If somebody asks the same question twice, you have to listen to that more deeply. If somebody says they don't understand, you have to listen to what they are saying as well as what you said to them, and then try again in a different way. I think this is what being a teacher is all about especially if you are working in a new and complex country.
I’m Allen, and I’m the Regional Director of the South China region. My goal is the help our lovely students to better prepare for their future success. I started with ENREACH in July 2018, and so far it’s been a great journey with the company. What makes me so excited about the job is that it is always changing and evolving. It is a constant adventure. I really enjoy watching the process of a simple idea grow into a successful business practice. Besides, everyone here shares the same values and is dedicated to the daily work. I live in Shenzhen, which is one of the four tier one cities in China. I love Shenzhen because it is a young and dynamic city that is full of opportunities and possibilities. It is a warm, clean, modern, and high-tech city that is often called the Silicon Valley of China.
If you really love teaching, you will love it here in Shenzhen. There are so many great children to work with who could benefit from your instruction. If you are excited about experiencing a different culture, China is a great place to be. It’s safe, and there are so many interesting people. ENREACH is growing very fast in our field, and it’s a great place to work for those seeking new opportunities.
I’m Shane, ENREACH’s Talent Acquisition Director. I work within the HR team and help expatriates interested in teaching in China make that move. I have been in China since May 2011 and with ENREACH since October 2016. I’m one of the first people new staff meet when they arrive in China. Most have never even been to Asia.
I love seeing the excitement of those experiencing China and living abroad for the first time and introducing them to one of the best things about China, the food! There is one Yunnan style restaurant near the office which is always a big hit. I’ve lived in different cities in China and am now based in Shanghai. China, and Shanghai specifically, is a photographer’s delight. I’m constantly amazed by the striking difference between the old and new. Small little dumpling and noodle stores right next to ultra tall skyscrapers and modern shopping malls. I’m also amazed by how easy it is to go abroad for a long weekend.
When I moved to China, I only thought I would be here for a year, but I’ve now lived in Shanghai longer than any other place since I graduated high school! Many of my colleagues and friends are the same so don’t be surprised if this happens to you, too. So, my advice to new teachers is tell your family and friends not to expect you to move back home any time soon. Let them know you will visit, and that they can always come visit you too.
My name is Kelley. I started with ENREACH as a Drama teacher in August of 2017. Without fail, the best part of this job is the students. It is astounding to meet so many bright young minds that are so eager to learn. There are more than a few classes where I not only find myself doing as much research and preparation as I would to teach a university class to keep it challenging, but also classes that I laugh out loud in because we are having so much fun.
For me, Shanghai is the perfect mix of feeling like home (I am a New Yorker) and all the thrill of exploring a new, fascinating country. You can drift hundreds of years into history just by taking a different metro stop, thousands of years by jumping on a highspeed train. That experience is priceless. I am not sure there is anything that I wish I knew (on a grand scale) before I moved. I just know that as long as I keep an open mind and am willing to keep growing and learning, it will be the most enriching experience that I could wish for. My advice for all new teachers is always the same: own the material. Don't try to fit it into a cookie cutter. Adapt, make it your own, and bring your own experience and gifts to class. That makes it more interesting for you and creates a far more encompassing environment for each student.
Hi, I’m Michael, the National Director for Early Advantage with ENREACH College Counseling. I started with Dipont in August 2011 and moved to ENREACH in 2012. Working with gifted students with a wide variety of interests is challenging and rewarding, because in order to be a good counselor to my students, I need to understand their specific goals and priorities, both as students and as people.
Other than a heads up that I would be spending an entire decade-plus here, I wish that I had taken the time to build up my spice tolerance earlier in life. I wasted a solid three years staying away from Hunan food. If you are coming to ENREACH, go in respecting your students; then take the time to get to know them; then take the time to get to like them.
My name is Asia and I teach Drama, CRW, and Public Speaking at the Shenzhen ENREACH, where I started in November 2019. I like that I adapted to my center very easily and received a warm welcome to the company. There is a lot of freedom and trust within the company, so the managers I work under trust me to perform my job well. If I ever have any issues I am able to speak to my team lead, and the problem is quickly solved. As for Shenzhen, I enjoy how easy it is to get around. The metro system here is well maintained and quick to navigate. Shenzhen is large enough to have many interesting places to visit but small enough that you can travel from one end of the city to another within an hour. It is also a newer and more modern city so I’m able to easily find western food when I’m craving it while still being able to enjoy traditional Chinese food.
If you have never transferred money internationally, transferring money to your home bank requires a lot of information that can be difficult to acquire when you no longer have a phone number from your country. So better preparation when it comes to setting up your finances and how you plan to send money home before moving to your province is a must. Specifically, be sure to have your bank’s SWIFT code and address to make the transfer easier.
For new teachers I would say to enjoy the time you spend here, be open to collaboration, and open to sharing and taking in new ideas. If you haven’t ever had the chance to work with ESL students before it may take them awhile to understand you and what you are teaching them, but they will get it, so have patience. Time flies here and things move fast. You blink and suddenly months have flown by, and you’ve got new friends and memories.
I’m Mark, an Academic Business Manager, and I started in July 2017. I work with some great people, especially education professionals from around the world. ENREACH has quite a unique product that I think stands out in the education industry in China, and we are constantly trying to adapt and improve to find better ways of doing what we do. I am directly involved in this process, and I like the dynamic environment and challenge it brings.
I’m based in Nanjing and, like many cities in China, it’s always developing, growing and modernizing. What makes Nanjing special for me is that it has kept a lot of its cultural heritage so there is a nice contrast between China of old and new. Sitting on the Yangtze river, Nanjing has some great scenic spots that you can easily access to find a bit a tranquility away from the busy city.
Before moving to China I wish I would have known I’d be staying here as long as I have. I would have brought more of my things with me in the first place! You should make efforts to learn the basics of Chinese (it’s really not that difficult). While you can get by just fine without knowing any Chinese, I think even just knowing a little makes your experience much more rewarding. You’ll have many more fun interactions with people here, and there is a nice sense of accomplishment when you can do everyday things (order in a restaurant, navigate through the city etc.,) in another language.
My name is Andy. As Academic Development Manager I work with teachers across the country to ensure that our curriculum is meeting the needs of our students. This includes teaching as well as observing classes, making and delivering training material to help implement academic initiatives, and writing and testing material to support ENREACH curriculum. I joined ENREACH at the start of August, 2017.
ENREACH is a dynamic organization at the cutting edge of education in China. There are always new opportunities and challenges. It’s really satisfying to know that the work that’s being put into, for example, developing curriculum, has a direct and immediate impact on students. I’ve lived in Shanghai for a long time now (more than 12 years!) but it still feels like a “city of the future” to me. It really is constantly evolving and growing, and it’s exciting to experience this first-hand.
I wish I had known that learning to speak Chinese isn’t so difficult, but you do need to keep at it, and it’s best to seek out a school for this, or a private tutor. When I first arrived, I threw myself into studying Chinese, but my method was terrible. I gave up after a year and a half of copying out characters on my own. I’ve got some notebooks that look amazing as a result, but my spoken Chinese is still not great. During your first months, find a local restaurant and eat there frequently. This way you can quickly learn a lot of meal phrases, and you can also make some friendly connections with your new neighborhood!
I’m Elsie and I started in January 2020. As the Senior Product Specialist in the Department of Quality Control, my role mainly includes integrating and upgrading products, implementing relevant training, communicating with sales, marketing, and teaching departments according to business development needs. The best thing about this job is that it allows me to communicate with people from different teams to gain multiple perspectives in the process of solving a shared problem.
For new teachers, my advice is:
Be proactive in communicating with your Chinese colleagues, especially the ones who work closely with you. Despite the language barrier, they may offer valuable insights or perspectives that you might miss.
Discuss parents’ suggestions and/or constructive criticism with other teachers and Chinese colleagues. It will help you understand their expectations and needs.
Learn more about Chinese students. One way is to learn more about Chinese culture, which will help you understand how Chinese students are raised and taught, and more importantly, understand their way of thinking.
Hi, I’m Yixin, a Senior Product Specialist who started in August 2017. The job itself is a challenging position where I have the opportunity to join different projects. Textbook design, website development, project management, etc., each offering unique ways to develop different skills and knowledge. I have learned a lot in my career with ENREACH, and I’m always excited about what’s coming next. Shanghai is the city where I grew up. After traveling and studying abroad, I still find Shanghai one of the best cites to live in. On one hand, this city is full of exciting events, experiences, and things and places to explore. On the other hand, there is always a lovely place you can find to spend a sunny day with your friends. ENREACH has a strong HR team that will help you along the way so don’t worry about being a new teacher. We welcome you to join us. As a team, we can work together to provide liberal arts education to Chinese students.
I’m Fiona and I work within HR and promote business development within departments. I started in October 2018. What I like about this job is that we use the scientific management of HR to help people better themselves. As for this city, Shanghai is my hometown. I never want to leave here. I like working with teachers because our teachers are all very professional and dedicated.
I’m Yan, and I’m a Recruiter. I look after Shanghai, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Chengdu. I started with ENREACH in September 2016. I like to see every new employee use their strengths and grow into their positions. I live in Shanghai and there are many new things happening every day to explore: tasting delicious food, making a new friend, learning a new skill, watching a wonderful show, and so on.
Soon after coming to China, you should learn to use Alipay and WeChat to pay for all the expenses in your daily life. There is a very well-developed expat social circle, as well as Chinese culture to explore, which means you will always find yourself a home here.
My name is Ginger and I’m in charge of content marketing (HQ & Shanghai). I started in July 2019. What I like about this job is working together with many energetic colleagues to give students and parents benefits. I love living in Shanghai because of the many possibilities and chances for self-improvement; international culture and open mindset. For new teachers, I’d say to inspire students with your passion and professionalism and improve your understanding of Chinese parents.
My name is Nethia, and I’m a teacher in Hangzhou. I started in November 2019. What I like about this job is meeting new people and still learning more about education overall.
Hangzhou is so different than NYC which makes the experience more awesome. There is so much to see and do, and I want to try to see most if not all. Before coming to China, I wish I’d known more about VISA rules and regulations. (Long Story)
To new teachers, I’d say to learn and follow the visa rules and regulations. Talk to people who have already worked abroad and watch as many videos about people's experiences, including the bad stories, but do not let it deter you from coming. Your experience will be different. Have an open mind. Learn how to use WeChat and keep the contact info of ENREACH staff in your phone before you arrive.
I’m Jim, and I have been teaching and coaching debate and speech since August 2019. There are many things I like about the job. I like that I can continue to spread my passion for speech and debate in a new country with a very receptive student base and corporate leadership. I like the fact that my class sizes are very manageable (12 or less). I like the camaraderie I have with my coworkers and staff.
Shanghai is probably the most vibrant city on the planet. I could spend the next 2 years exploring Shanghai and still not see it all. The skyline is breathtaking, and there are many businesses that cater to the expat community. English is widely spoken and understood here. SmartShanghai.com lists 50 museums here in town, and the parks are so beautifully kept. It's hard to believe how clean the city is until you actually see all the people who work very hard to keep it that way. I wish I had known there was no way to get those spicy single big pickles in the pouches you see in the convenience stores here.
Advice for people new to the team? Be brave and trust yourself. Most of what you've learned about China is propaganda, and you'll never know the truth until you come here and experience how friendly and wonderful this place is to foreigners.
I’m Tram and I’m the Curriculum Developer at Shanghai HQ. I started in August 2019. I love how ENREACH stimulates an intrapreneurial thinking culture and continuously fosters it. Teachers and staff are always encouraged to think outside of the box and utilize creative tools, resources and strategies to optimize student learning. What do I like about Shanghai? Everything -- from the bustling streets and gleaming skyscrapers alongside the Bund to the thrills and chills of Disneyland’s roller coasters, from rustic street snacks to fancy fine-dining, from one insightful conversation with a local newcomer to that with a seasoned expat, Shanghai is an exhilarating place to live.
What I wish I had known before coming to China is a small but important thing! For shopping enthusiasts like me, I wish I had understood the discount signs here. Shopping tip: 9折 is not 90% off; it means you’ll pay 90% of the original price. For new teaches arriving here, settling into some nice afterwork routines would make your transition to life in China more smooth and easy (e.g. joining a yoga club, attending a language exchange meetup or hosting a game night). These social routines allow you to understand how people here really live and to develop a deeper sense of cultural connection and empathy.
I’m William, the Academic Team Leader in Shanghai (and still a debate coach). I started in May 2018. I love being able to teach higher level topics and materials rather than simply English. I also like having control over curriculum and materials creation, it's very satisfying to create.
Shanghai is one of the most diverse and varied places I've been to. It's very convenient to live in, and there are always new things to try (like food). I wish I had studied Chinese a bit better before moving here after studying, I also wish I knew how to find apartments more easily.
My advice if you are new to the team? First, learning Chinese comes slowly, so don't feel bad if you don't master the language in a month. Second, accept that you won't be in control of everything you're used to in your home country. Just go with the flow, and things will turn out OK.
My name is Jose and I’m a Critical Reading and Writing teacher at ENREACH in Pudong in Shanghai. I started with ENREACH in September 2018. What I like about this job is working with the students. They are so inquisitive and hard-working, not to mention talented. It’s a privilege to work with them! Shanghai is an amazing city, with almost anything you could want available to you at the click of a button. I’ve loved scootering around the city and exploring its hidden corners and finding odds and ends tucked away.
One thing I wish I’d known about was Taobao and 饿了吗 sooner into my arrival, as nothing is better than a lazy rainy day with food delivery. To new teachers, I’d say take the initiative in your classes. If you have an idea for a class, something new you want to try to better reach your students, talk to your department head and see about getting it started. The freedom to innovate with ENREACH has been reinvigorating as a teacher from the US.
My name is Fraser and I started in April 2019. I'm a Debate Program Manager, based in Nanjing. My responsibilities are (besides attending to my own classes) assisting new teachers to become accustomed to our aims, objectives and teaching program and facilitating the development of new materials to support our staff and students in biting into topics for debate effectively and enjoyably.
I find teaching debate to be absolutely brilliant. The style of debate (mainly) done here is Public Forum - which requires students to take part in in-depth research of a topic for up to a semester at a time. This means I'm learning, because to support their understanding (for example, of monetary policy) I need to make sure my understanding has been sharpened up since I left university, too! So, the fact that I feel intellectually stimulated in my job is a great part of my satisfaction working here. It's also great to see the improvements made by the students. When someone enters a classroom - a little shy and a little reserved - but three months later is confidently espousing a position in a debate it's great to see.
I like Nanjing as it’s a very green city - almost all the roads are tree-lined boulevards and bicycle lanes run along them, separated from the traffic by a solid barrier (where the trees stand). In that way, it actually reminds me a lot of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. The people here are very friendly - I've been most impressed by the sense of community here. Walking my dog around, I certainly feel welcomed into that community - I know people and they know me. This makes me feel very much at home here. It's been easy to settle in.
Before moving to China I wish I’d learned more about Chinese history. It's got some incredibly interesting characters in it, so I feel I've been missing out. However, that may be a good thing - the process of discovery has really added to my sense of wonder since arriving. On a more practical note, a few more Chinese phrases would have been handy. The writing of characters made me fear it a little before arriving. Yet the speaking of the language is actually less difficult than I'd anticipated (I've still a long way to go, I must say). I simply think it would have been good to have taken a greater interest before arriving. It's not an essential though - I've been shocked and impressed at how high the general level of English is. It's more for showing an effort, being respectful and polite to the locals.
My advice to new expats is eat local. The food here can be incredibly cheap - and this goes a long way to making sure you can eat heathy too. The Chinese are great fans of plates of green veg - and I've got to say, they are delicious.
I’m Matthew Smith and I teach critical reading and writing (CRW) and drama courses. What I like about drama is that it’s a lot of fun to teach. CRW is fun to teach, too, because you get to see Chinese children being taught in a different and more interesting way than they’re used to.
Before coming to China, I wish I’d spent more time learning Chinese! My other advice for potential teachers is to just remember that work and management culture will have a considerable impact on your life in China, so make sure you work with someone who has a professional approach.
My name is Zinat, and I am a critical reading and writing instructor in Ningbo. I started here in June 2019. What I like about this job is the ability to teach something other than the standard ESL format. The content we get to teach is interesting and intellectually stimulating. The students are amazing – hungry and willing to learn anything new as well as appreciative of the chance to express themselves as original, creative thinkers.
I wish I had known more Chinese before coming here. Even just a little knowledge of the language can make a difference, both at work, and with making ties with the local community. Locals are always impressed and appreciative when you speak some Chinese. To new teachers, I would say don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone at ENREACH is incredibly friendly and will be happy to help share tips with you. The company is entirely trustworthy and will go out of their way to take care of you and make sure all your questions are answered.
I’m Nick, and I’ve been with ENREACH since September 2014. Currently I’m the Debate Team Lead. In this role I teach speech and debate courses, coordinate school speech and debate clubs, facilitate tournaments across the country, and support other debate coaches and teachers. Coaching debate in China has never been boring. Every year presents new challenges and opportunities, and I’ve grown a lot as an educator. Mostly, I’m proud to start students on their speech and debate journeys. I came here because debate had a transformative impact on my life, and I consider it a duty and privilege to provide that for students.
When I first moved to China, I realized that so much of what I thought I knew about the country was wrong. I was amazed how inexpensive and fun it is living here. It’s an adjustment adapting to local professional norms (and letting go of expectations) but easy once you get the hang of it. To new teachers I’d say to remember that teaching is a skill, and it’s not an easy one. Be proud of what you accomplish in the classroom and take setbacks in stride. Achieving your professional goals as a teacher is, like anything worthwhile, a factor of effort and experience.
I’m Noah, the drama and public speaking teacher at the Hangzhou ENREACH center as well as the Zhejiang Regional Director for the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) China. I’ve been teaching at ENREACH since March 2018. Teaching both theoretical and practicum-based elements of theater to newcomers is my favorite thing in the world. I deeply enjoy watching students transform from individuals who have no background in or real understanding of the art form to practitioners who can, using textual justification, historical knowledge, and their own experience being onstage, develop and deploy their own interpretation of a dramatic text to a live performance. The most rewarding moments are when students discover, for the first time, what theater and drama really are and how they can use them to explore themselves, their relationships, and the world.
One thing to know about life in China is that life is not planned far in advance in the Middle Kingdom. Anyone wishing to reside in China – which overall has been a thoroughly worthwhile experience for me – should be prepared to be very flexible and understand that cultural differences regarding conceptions of time as well as communications styles result in one living without stone-set plans until right before a major event happens. For new teachers, empathy is one’s most powerful tool when working with students. Understanding a child’s background, their needs and how one’s course can benefit them are the prerequisites for creating an engaging and enriching experience for learners in every age group. Empathy is the bridge between students and teachers, no matter their respective background or the present situation.
My name is Samantha and I’m a critical reading and writing (CRW) and public speaking teacher with ENREACH. I work with class sizes from 4-10 using critical thinking skills through reading, writing and discussion. I’ve been with ENREACH since March 2019.
I love how different this job is from an ESL position because you get to delve into the more advanced skills and topics. It is refreshing to work for a company that values critical thinking. I love getting to teach critical thinking through interesting topics like environmental issues and essay writing. For new teachers, one thing I didn’t know ahead of time was that my visa card wouldn’t work everywhere – plan on bringing cash. Also be prepared to be overwhelmed when apartment hunting. The process goes fast and you see a lot of places that are not ideal. Be prepared, have a list of criteria ready and an idea of what you want because you have to settle quickly.
I’m Jenna and I’m a public speaking teacher in Shanghai. I started in August 2019. In ENREACH, we can see our students grow. The difference in their confidence in the first public speaking lesson to the final presentation in front of their parents and peers is really huge. It’s amazing to see how creative their ideas are and how passionate our students are.
I’ve been in China since 2017 and really love it here. I think when you come to China, you need to be open minded and willing to try anything. The number one thing I think is useful when moving here is to remember China is not like any Western country, so don’t expect it to work in the same way. Be open minded, willing to learn, and have fun! ENREACH will help you along the way and all our colleagues are really welcoming and friendly, so you’re going to have a great time!
I’m Nate, and I’m a Drama Teacher in Shanghai. I started in September 2016. What I love about this job is the students. They can be a bit shy at first but once you get to know them they are amazing!!!
One thing to keep in mind is that the people here are just people and friendly people at that. People will be different but not as different as you think. We are all just people seeing things from different views and perspectives, and we all have the same emotions, worries, and problems, just in different mind sets. Come with an open mind and be ready for everything to be completely and totally different from what you’re used to. If you feel prepared to live on another planet, that is good because when you find only small differences from your normal life you will be relieved and relaxed. Ask questions of the staff in China; they will help you and do everything they can to help you adapt and figure things out.
I teach public speaking and debate at ENREACH's Minhang Center in Shanghai. I started in September 2019. I really enjoy teaching my students--they're very motivated and they often make me laugh a lot, too. It's very satisfying when I feel that a class has gone well and the students have enjoyed themselves or noticeably improved.
Shanghai is huge, and there seems to be an unlimited number of things to do here. I like how many different places there are to visit and the general atmosphere that comes with living in such a busy city. You will need a decent phone. Everything here is done over mobile apps. I had to retire my trusty Nokia and get a shiny new Huawei.
Building a rapport with the students is an important part of a good class. It's good to build up a toolbox of different ways to connect with students and make them feel that they are individuals in lessons--some of my kids have a particular game they want to play at the start of class, some want to tell me about what toy they made that week, others have extra stories they want to read or tell. Every month I learn new ways to let students express themselves in class.
I’m Will, and I’m a Senior Debate Coach. I started in September 2015. The main thing for me is the students. Being able to build connections that go beyond just instructing material has been important. I live in Shenzhen, which is a city where there are massive opportunities for growth. This city was built on the concept of opening up China to the world, and nowhere else in Mainland China can you see the history of China’s opening up as clearly. It’s a city of modernity. It’s also really well located- I regularly go to Hong Kong and Macau which gives a wide variety of options for things to do and experience. Many of my colleagues enjoy Guangzhou (formerly Canton), which has a lot of history. I haven’t gotten out there yet, but it’s on my list to do.
You don’t have to be ready to jump off a proverbial cultural cliff to move here. I had never used my passport before I moved to China. You will have plenty of time to adjust to life in China. It’s becoming easier and easier to be here. English language support is growing. You’ll be able to find things you need. You’ll have the chance to have great cultural experiences, but it doesn’t have to be on day one if you don’t want it to be. It’s OK to ease into China, and it’s even OK if you eat mostly McDonald’s and KFC at first (although most Tier 1 and 2 cities have better Western options than that). Eventually, you’ll settle in, and people will help you to find your China experiences.
Be open to the idea that kids will have different levels, even within the same grade. All of the students won’t speak perfect English, and that’s OK. Teaching critical thinking doesn’t necessarily mean teaching English. Not every class will be the same, even if it’s the same course. If you adapt to the kids you have, you’re going to enjoy getting to see the kids find their passion.
I’m Nansang, and my job at Shanghai ENREACH since September 2017 has been student recruitment. This job offers me opportunities to keep learning and growing. Shanghai is such a dynamic city with people from both inside and outside the country. For new teachers coming to Shanghai: Come meet a bunch of great students who are eager to improve their critical thinking ability. There will be problems but there are also people here that are willing to help solve the problems.
My name is Joe and I’m a theatre and public speaking teacher at ENREACH Education in Nanjing. I can teach across all age ranges and help organize our regional EdTA festivals in Nanjing. Prior to ENREACH, I had been teaching for eight years in schools in the USA. I started working with ENREACH in August 2017 and returned for a second time in August 2019. As always with teaching, getting the opportunity to open the mind of a student to the dramatic arts is a privilege. In China, a drama class is a rare and fascinating thing, and teaching students the pathway to exploration and self-discovery makes it worthwhile. Nanjing is a very busy, modern city, yet still retains a very Chinese cultural feeling. The cost of living is very low compared to Shanghai or Beijing, but it doesn’t have a lack of amenities due to its size. I feel Nanjing is the perfect blend of both advantages living here. I even requested to return to this city when I came back.
Before I moved to China, I wish I’d known that having patience with a different way of thinking is a must. There will be times you feel right at home, and there will be times you’ll feel isolated. This is standard for anyone who travels to live in another culture, and learning to embrace personal growth is part of the formula of success for an expat. For new teachers, I’d say don’t be afraid of a new experience. For some, you may not be very experienced in a classroom. Allow yourself time to grow and develop your skills and style. If you’re arriving as an experienced teacher as I was, allow yourself the space to find new ways of doing things that always worked before. Sometimes, what we used to rely on back home may not be as effective, especially in an ESL setting.
I’m Nathan, the Manager of the College Admissions Counseling Service (CACS) Shenzhen Western Team since August 2019. As a counselor, I can say that we work a lot. Frankly this is because the kids really need our help, and this in itself is what makes the job so interesting. Every day we are presented with challenges and every day is a battle to get the student to believe in themselves - to do and study something they love, to show them how unique and amazing they really are (despite all these people telling them they are average), and dealing with the ridiculous pressure they have to face as Chinese students. It’s not an easy job for sure, but if it helps a kid pursue their dreams then I think it is worth it.
I like living in Shenzhen for four main reasons. First, the active guy in me loves the access to hiking and nature throughout the area. Shenzhen is home to many trails that traverse the lush green mountains that surround the Futian and Nanshan Districts - and hopefully soon I will make it out to Dapeng Peninsula where one can hike along the sea. The next reason is the metro. Shenzhen is a very spread out city, and so getting from one place to another would be difficult without a metro. Luckily enough, Shenzhen has an ever-expanding metro of nine lines that make it convenient to get to anywhere in the city in an hour or less. Third, there isn't a winter! Shenzhen is located in the south of the country and the lowest temperature you will find in the winter is around 12 Celsius. No need to bring your snow boots! And lastly, Shenzhen is very much an international city. You never feel too far away from home with the access to international amenities in the city but also just across the border in Hong Kong. I’ve lived all over in a few different countries, and there is an adventure every day in China that makes life exciting compared to a mundane routine back in the States. I had a video call once with a friend and I was showing her around the neighborhood I live, and she couldn't believe what she was seeing. At the time, I was thinking that it is normal, but then I realized that life is an adventure here in China. Once you look at it from above, life is interesting every day. To incoming teachers or counselors: Embrace everything that comes with this transition. You will be challenged with the cultural barrier in your work and life at home, but embrace it all. These experiences can teach you so much, and ultimately your time here at ENREACH can be the time of your life.
I’m Knickel, Head of Public Speaking for Shanghai ENREACH. I started with ENREACH in November 2017. My favorite part of the job is how fun the classes are to teach. No two classes are the same and I love watching my students’ confidence build.
The one thing I wish I’d known about China before I came here was the serious lack of Cheez-Its. I would have stocked up! To new teachers, I would say to remember to just have fun. There will be things that challenge you, but your attitude will make it a good or bad experience.
I’m Oliver, the Academic Business Manager for the South Region since November 2019. When asked what I like about the job two primary reasons come to mind. One, working with a team of specialized and professional teachers who are dedicated to their discipline, be it debate, drama, critical thinking instruction, or speech. Two, working in a company that is expanding and growing and encourages new ideas and ways of doing things.
I live in Shenzhen. It’s a fantastic city really – modern, innovative, green, spacious. We are in South China where there are no winters, and the location next to Hong Kong allows for easy international travel back to Europe or to the South-East Asian countries on our doorstep. I wish I had done more research about different areas in Shenzhen and apartment costs and choices. Finding an apartment quickly is necessary to settle in and to complete the visa process. There was too much for me to process there when I arrived initially. If possible, make contact with people living in the city or future workmates to think of and ask questions before arrival.
Advice for new arrivals? Bring an open mind. I’ve also lived in Japan and France previously. Each country has things that they do and places to go that are extraordinary. They also have cultures and customs that are alien to me as someone from Ireland. It’s about learning to understand these differences and the reasons behind them and not to ‘compare’ to your home country too often. And of course, it’s about experiencing the best that that country has to offer.