ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My First Job in China

Updated on March 17, 2018
Eastward profile image

Eastward left behind the confines of the Fortune 500 company office to explore and experience Asia. He hasn't looked back since.

The Countryside
The Countryside | Source

Arriving at Campus

After my rough initiation to China, I was on the way to the university along with the driver, another American lecturer, and our company representative. We took in the view of the countryside which included some very simple farming communities. Some of the households appeared to be missing windows and were lit by candlelight.

Once we reached the city, Shaoyang, we noticed an interesting state of development. It appeared that some major roads were newly constructed right through houses and apartment buildings. This was the only place I had seen houses cut in half with families still living in them. Apartment buildings were going up everywhere among mountains of reddish earth and construction materials.

We made our way from the city to the university in the suburbs and entered the university campus through the main gate. The driver pulled up in front of an older, blackened building. My colleague and I looked at the building quizzically as we were instructed to get out of the car.

The Apartment

We entered the building through a rusty metal gate as chickens clucked at us from the ground level apartments. Then, we made our way up the concrete stairs to the fourth floor, following our company rep. She handed us each a key and opened the door on our side of the building. This door opened to a shared hallway area and our accommodations.

The layout was a bit unusual with our kitchen areas and bathrooms on one side of the hallway and our living rooms, offices, and bedrooms on the other. The toilets, in contrast to what was stated in our contracts and to "sample" pictures we received, were of the squat variety. Also, we noticed that there was no heating on that side of the building—and it was cold.

As we entered the living area for a quick tour of that side, workers were standing in a mess of cardboard, styrofoam, and other debris and smoking. They put out their cigarettes on the floor and left, never to be seen again. The rooms were spacious enough and there were wall-mounted heating and air conditioning units installed. The company rep told us we could take some time to get settled and that we could meet the next morning for a tour of the campus and classrooms.

The Bedroom
The Bedroom | Source

Getting Comfortable

With the company rep gone for the evening, my colleague and I retired to our respective living areas on the heated side. I used a discarded sheet of cardboard to scoop up the styrofoam, cigarette butts, and other debris the best I could and put it into a box that was left behind. I unpacked some of my necessities but figured I would wait until obtaining some cleaning supplies before going much further.

I looked around the apartment a bit to plan how I would organize things. Once I had surveyed the heated side of the apartment, I went back across the hall to the kitchen to take inventory there. I opened the cupboard door and it crashed down to the counter. Luckily, there were some utensils in the drawer which included a butter knife. I used the butter knife to screw the door hinges back on and made note of what else was at my disposal. There was a cutting board, a wok, a hot water kettle, rice cooker, and a meat cleaver.

Exhausted, I wanted to take a shower and get to bed. I turned on the hot water in the shower and closed the bathroom door, hoping it would warm up the room enough to make it comfortable. The water heater appeared to be large enough to handle the job. I retrieved some night clothes from my luggage and returned to take a shower. After having a nice shower in the now relatively warm room, I got dressed and shuffled across the hall and went to bed.

The Dining Room
The Dining Room | Source

The Tour

I slept well as the campus was quiet until sunrise. The roosters crowed and I woke before my alarm went off. I got ready and met my company rep, colleague, and the dean downstairs in front of the apartment building.

They took us by car across the bridge to where we would be teaching. The campus setting was nice with greenery and a man-made lake. They showed us the teaching buildings which were minimally equipped with some old computers, projectors, chalkboards, desks, and chairs. We took note of the lack of heating in the classrooms as well as the winter temperatures could hover around freezing.

They showed us where we could do our shopping and we stocked up on cleaning supplies, food, and some padded toilet seat folding chairs to supplement our unfamiliar squat toilets. We returned to our apartments at the conclusion of the tour and were given our class schedules. It was time to do some housekeeping and prepare for the following day of classes. Oh, and to give that special folding chair a trial run!


The Bridge on Campus
The Bridge on Campus | Source

Time for Class

My management science classes were all around 40 students. The vast majority of the students were female, with the exception of a handful of males that usually took up the furthest back seats. The English language levels were across the board from true beginner to advanced and articulate. For the most part, the students were well behaved—though copying and cheating would be ongoing struggles. They were a fairly relaxed group and asked some interesting and engaging questions.

The students made the year contract and I enjoyed teaching them. At the end of the year. I decided I would like to spend at least another year teaching in China but would like to experience another city. My company offered me a similar placement in the city of Nanchang and I'll elaborate on that experience in another article!

© 2018 Eastward

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Eastward profile imageAUTHOR

      Eastward 

      8 months ago from Phuket, Thailand

      Thanks for reading and commenting @ Readmikenow. It was certainly an adventure!

    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 

      8 months ago

      What a grand adventure! Enjoyed reading this.

    • Eastward profile imageAUTHOR

      Eastward 

      8 months ago from Phuket, Thailand

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Eurofile. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I was also dismayed by the squat toilet. The folding chair was a big help though. It would be easy to carry with on camping trips, too!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      8 months ago from UK

      Another interesting instalment in your series. I was a little dismayed at the squat toilet in your apartment. Hope the folding toilet seat worked out okay. I'm now wondering if one of those would have been handy on my childhood camping trips to France, where I dreaded the holes in the ground!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)