It is no secret that Suzhou is a city of intrigue and culinary delights. Yet, a lesser known fact is that there is also an assortment of beverages which serve as a hallmark of this renowned metropolis. Today, I will take you on a drink tour of Suzhou, China and hope to expose some of Suzhou’s most infamous and beloved libations. These drinks span the history and development of Suzhou and represent cultural traditions and strength of community: two tenets of local culture which live on in the modern day.
My experience as an ESL instructor has been a journey. In every country and with each age group, there is a different classroom dynamic, and I must continually adapt my teaching style to fit the needs of my students in the classroom. I teach for my students. My lessons cater to their specific needs and interests. No matter what challenges we may face together in this classroom learning experience, my students know that I will always be there to support and guide them along the way.
We all have moments abroad when we look around and find random or surprising things in our surroundings. China is no different in this regard. Especially as a newcomer to China, there are some things which particularly caught my attention from the get-go or had me chuckling in spite of myself.
China is huge and has an astounding variety of cities to choose from. For this reason, it can be daunting to begin searching for potential cities which are comfortable for ex-pat life in China. Thus, during my search, I found it essential to do some research and to scope out which city would be the best for me according to my personal needs and goals. In looking for a city to live in within China, I first considered which factors are important to me in daily life and would play a part in my ultimate decision. Pollution levels and city price indexes were the first factors I looked at to help me to find some affordable cities, which have clean air most of the year. Other factors, being transportation and city facts, were facts I was able to find out about each city in doing a quick google search. After doing a thorough search and making a ranking of my top cities for teaching in China, I decided on Suzhou.
Establishing a sense of “home” in a new country is a challenge every ESL teacher abroad will face. It can be daunting at first, and it all starts at the airport. When I arrived in China, I remember stepping off the plane with a suitcase or two and finding myself back at ‘square 1’. I had started a new life abroad in various countries, so this time should have been no different. Yet, when I struggled to find my boss at the airport, I came to a sobering realization: until I could find my boss, I was essentially homeless and knew no one in Suzhou, China. It all felt disorienting and alarming, until I managed to eventually find my boss in the masses of people looking for incoming travelers.
Visas, Visas, Visas — The topic no one enjoys talking about yet the topic everyone needs to know a lot about. Our ITA Alumni Ambassadors have been in your shoes when it comes to visas. It's a foreign topic to most, no matter how experienced of a traveler you are. Our Alumni Ambassadors have been through the visa process firsthand and were tasked with walking us through the steps they took for their visa. Here we have Camille Heiden talking us through her China visa process...
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of International TEFL Academy. ITA encourages all alumni to work with Student Affairs to secure a teaching position with a company in China that provides a Z-visa whenever possible.