Updates from Abroad

Ni-Howdy World!

The beginning of June marks two months of life in Shanghai. Quite pathetically in those two months, I’ve had two posts. It’s not that there aren’t things to blog about here in Shanghai – au contrare pierre, there are.. My current pace and schedule just leaves a lot less time to blog. But don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you.

Keeping it short and sweet (maybe) life in Shanghai has been so far wonderful. Coming from Ho Chi Minh City, the transition was seamless. Any culture shock that would have been expected happened in Southeast Asia. Shanghai is so international and developed that you might forget you’re in China sometimes.

The city consumes you – there is so much to do here and so much going on at all times. I haven’t been bored once. Shanghai has a buzz about it that’s really stimulating, it has this energy about it that just enticing. Part of it is the opportunity it offers, things are moving forward and it exudes positivity and productivity. I’m digging it.

Work is well. Still sticking it to City Weekend and really enjoying the experience. It keeps me busy and the best part is it has me exploring the city for art reviews, interviews, or events. In addition to that, I’ve found some tutoring jobs. Currently tutoring 6 days a week. I have one 17 year old student, Winnie and a 6 year old student, Kevin. He is preparing for upcoming international school interviews and the other day killed one! He chatted with the interviewer for 40 minutes his parents told me – you go little Kev! There are ample ways to get involved in tutoring here, same same with Vietnam, the demand is booming. What’s even more on the rise is college preparation services, test prep, and some pre-college counseling work for students heading to America. I’ve heard lots about it and have two friends here working for a company that preps and prepares for college applications but I haven’t sunk my teeth into any of that sort of work yet.

The pay for teaching English is Shanghai is higher than it was in Vietnam. Lowest price is about RMB150 an hour, or about $25/hour. But one can make upwards of RMB300 an hour if you’re doing it right. Sadly my CELTA certificate has less value here mainly because everyone “has” one, if you’re picking up what I’m putting down.

As for my language skills, Chinese is tough. I think I may be those who just didn’t get the language gift, it just doesn’t stick for me. And after years of taking French, somehow everything comes out with a French accent. The other day I said “Oui” to my cab driver. A tip for my former self three months ago, study that Chinese!

Got questions about teaching, work, travel, or life so far in Shanghai? I’m all ears.

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