In February, I moved from little Adelaide, Australia to Fuzhou, China to become a teacher. Below are the details of why I chose to move overseas and how the opportunity came about.
I have always wanted to travel and living in the US for six months in 2015 increased this desire. The biggest problem I had with wanting to travel is money or lack-thereof. Being a uni student with minimal income made saving up for any adventure extremely difficult.
However, opportunity struck a week after my graduation with an email informing me of the chance to live and work in China. Though China had never been on my bucket-list of places to go, how could I resist? What could be better then getting paid to live somewhere completely different to where I’m used to.
I spent hours making sure my application was as close to perfect as possible and within a couple of days I had a Skype interview with a recruiter. I’ve never felt so confident after an interview. Another couple of days later I had a list of recommendations of schools for me to apply for and interviews set up with my favourites. Both schools I chose to interview with offered me jobs, which is when the decision to move overseas started to seem real. After reading as much as possible about the schools, making pro and con lists and talking to friends and family about my options I made my decision. I was moving to Fuzhou, China to work at York English.
Within a week I had gone from a uni graduate with no idea of what to do with my life to a soon-to-be ESL teacher in a foreign country.
The next step was telling my friends and family about this ‘surprising’ decision. This meant hours on the phone calling relatives who don’t live in Adelaide as well as those I don’t see often to find a time to catch up. The most memorable of these conversations was with my grandparents who live on the other side of town. We went out to lunch and they assumed that I had news to share about getting a new job. They had no idea, though that this job would be in a different country. To them, and most other people, it seemed to come out of the blue, though I don’t think anyone was to surprised by the idea of me traveling or moving overseas.
In addition to the surprise, many people I spoke to were confused by the pronunciation of the city I was about to move to. It didn’t help that when I googled the correct pronunciation I found multiple incorrect ways to pronounce it and I had been told by Chinese people that I was pronouncing it wrong. FYI, I have now learnt that it is pronounced ‘Fu-jo’.
Though the thought of moving to China consumed my every thought from the time I read the initial email to arriving at my new home I still can’t believe how lucky I am. I am super excited to experience this amazing culture and get to see the many amazing places China has on offer.
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