Case Study: Nathan in China

A British teacher in Beijing


  • Subject and level: English, Secondary and 16+
  • Citizenship: British

In what country are you teaching now and was it what you expected? 

I am currently teaching in Beijing, China. Was it what I expected? Yes and no. I expected the systems and structures to be different and they were. I didn’t expect them to be as different as they are. Management priorities are very different and student staff relationships are like nothing I have ever experienced. 

Why did you decide to teach abroad?

We were getting married and wanted to share some amazing new experiences as newlyweds. I also wanted to improve my EAL teaching and felt that international teaching would offer that. – also to escape Ofstead.

How did Edvectus help?

We sent our details over to Lisa in February and underwent a very relaxed phone interview. We then kept in touch about potential opportunities.

What do you like about your new job?

I love the variety that teaching in a completely different culture offers. I have time to do my work before school (I start at 10.30) so my weekends are free to travel and explore the area. There isn’t as much paperwork as there is in the UK so my time is free to plan interesting and fun lessons. I enjoy my job much more which makes my life more fun. I no longer live to work.

Any advice for teachers going abroad for the first time?

Be open minded! Things may not always go your way and so you must be flexible. Schools may not be run by teachers so you may find yourself doing work you may not find relevant to teaching but is to their business plan. A key thing I found was building bridges, if you stay flexible you are more likely to have problems sorted quickly and efficiently. You have to remember that you are paid very well in comparison to the local population and other staff, complaining about small things like your couch not being comfortable may lessen a real problem in the future. I have found from first-hand experience that if you have a problem and a solution the school will be very keen to listen and learn. The key is making sure that you can see a solution to the situation