Hey there! I’m Tanny, or Ms. Tanny as my kindy kids call me but please don’t ever call me that, haha.
If you’re here, you’ve probably already read about the life of a Native English Teacher working in a learning centre. Well, I’m here to shed some light on another position you might want to consider: working as a NET in an international kindergarten.
Just a quick fyi before I get into the juicy stuff – I only teach for 30 minutes twice a day but do not be fooled by the apparent lack of timetabled teaching hours. My hands are always full even when I’m not stood in front of a whiteboard!
Let’s dive in…
I catch the train to work. It’s only a 15-20 minute journey which isn’t too bad at all and means I don’t have to wake up insanely early either!
My morning class (almost thirty, very energetic young’uns) start to arrive and get settled in. They know the routine like the back of their hand, so I watch over them while they do their own thing!
We do a quick morning exercise/greeting which is usually one or two songs. It gets the kids pumped up for the day ahead and even does a good job of waking me up. I’m not a morning person at all so these 15 minutes work just as well as a strong cup of coffee!
I teach my circle time (30 minutes of teaching phonics/vocabulary/sight words or maths depending on the day).
My Chinese class partner teaches her circle time. This is my chance to mark homework books because I don’t get any free periods or anything like that!
The kids are feeling peckish and so am I! It’s tea (or snack) time!
Time for the kids to do their work! Whatever isn’t finished is completed at home.
Because my 4 year-olds aren’t your average, run-of-the-mill kindy kids, they learn more than two languages and usually have a Putonghua class! If not, then it’s gym class which they love!
There’s usually a piece of artwork we need to complete and send home that week so I get started on that with the kids. I’ll try to do something fun too instead of making it “all work and no play” so I’ll throw in some word/number games or read a book.
Time to put their little backpacks on and go home but for me, it’s lunchtime! I get to save a little bit of money here thankfully because my school provides food. Living/food expenses can get high here in Hong Kong so every little helps (not sponsored by Tesco, promise). It’s also a nice opportunity to catch up with my lovely colleagues!
Rinse and repeat everything I did in the morning but with my afternoon class. I have just under twenty kids in the afternoon so it’s way less hectic than my morning class.
Home time for the afternoon kiddos and almost home time for me! And no, it’s not free time to chill out and check my phone! I usually prepare the materials for the next day, do some paperwork or work on my display board. Busy, busy, busy!
Time to go home! I don’t like staying behind til six unless I really have to so I make it my personal mission to CLOCK. OUT. ON. THE. DOT.
I’m home and in bed. Just kidding. Partly. There have been occasions where I’ve had to crash because my kids have drained all my energy. But more often than not, I’ll do some shopping/cooking/laundry/other standard adult stuff or just grab some dinner/drinks with friends. Sometimes I like to take walks along the many many promenades dotted around this wonderful place, just for the sake of it or to snap a pic or two for the ‘gram!
That’s definitely one thing I love about living here – how easy it is to get things done, whatever you have planned. Your friend might be working on the other end of the island from you and yeah, it sounds like it’s far but in reality, it’ll take you 30 minutes or so before you’re both clinking cocktail glasses and unwinding for the night! The promenade might be just around the corner from your flat and you only have to walk a few feet before you’re staring straight at a flurry of bright lights on skyscrapers.
That’s the beauty of teaching in Hong Kong – no two days are the same, be it in the classroom or outside; the convenience is incredible, and there’s just about something for everyone! Words alone don’t do the H.K experience any justice. You must see it for yourself! Until then, I’m happy to answer any questions you have via IG (@tannylh)!
“I love Hong Kong. It’s the perfect mix of hiking/beaches/sunshine/travel hub/employment opportunities for English teachers.” – Sabrina Dytnerski.
Today we are hearing from Sabrina, who travelled all the way from Canada to spend her time teaching in Hong Kong. Sabrina has been living in Hong Kong for quite some time now, so we are hearing from someone who is definitely clued up about this city! Hong Kong boasts one of the largest Canadian communities abroad, estimated to be as many as 300,000 Canadians living here. This is just a tiny fraction of the expats living here, and that is such an exciting thing for Hong Kong to shout about!
In this interview Sabrina will be offering you her wise tips, advice and personal stories so keep reading to find out what she say to say! Take it from us, she knows her stuff.
Interesting fact: Hong Kong International Airport is the same size as 20 soccer fields.
How did you first hear about Experior?
I first heard about Experior from indeed.com. I applied for a job with them in June 2016 and they were able to place me by August 2016.
What made you decide to move and work in Hong Kong?
My husband got a PhD opportunity here – we found out in June 2016 that his opportunity started in Sept 2016 so we had very little time to find a suitable job for me.
Where are you from originally?
How long have you been in Hong Kong?
What do you do for work?
I’m a Teaching Associate, Teacher, & Instructor.
What did you study at University?
I studied English literature & Anthropology.
Did you always want to be a teacher? If not, what did you want to be?
I always wanted to be a teacher!
How was your transition to Hong Kong? How did Experior help your big move across the world?
Experior was extremely helpful with the transition. Not only did they place me in a great job, but they held events that ensured I could meet other teachers and make lifelong friendships. Experior always returns my calls/emails. With most recruiters, they just drop you as soon as you say ‘no I’m not interested in xyz position’ but Experior will help you find something that’s perfect for you. They don’t get offended if you don’t want xyz opportunity; they just find something different that does work for you. I’d say the emotional intelligence that is prevalent in this company will be it’s greatest asset in the future.
What’s your favorite Chinese food?
DIM SUM.. dumpings…tsing tao!!
What’s your least favorite food you’ve tried?
Pig’s ear .. it was literally like eating a human ear that had been marinated in soy sauce.
Do you find the language barrier difficult? Have you learnt any Cantonese or mandarin?
I have learned about a handful of Cantonese words and a couple mandarin words but honestly, everything is in English in Hong Kong. The language barrier barely exists. I don’t know if that will change in the future, but so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that it’s not an issue if you don’t speak any Chinese. Of course, the people in my building speak Cantonese so I’d like to be able to say good morning and thank you, so it’s nice to learn a couple words.
Was it easy to make friends in a new country or difficult? Did Experior help with this?
Experior are extremely helpful in making sure you are exposed to lots of people in the same situation as you. They host (FREE!) events where you can meet people in the same situation as you are. It is hard to make friends in a new country because a lot of the local people already have their lifelong friends and you are just a transient person coming through for a short time. So it’s hard for people to want to invest time with you if they plan to live here forever. However, the expat community is huge here and they are all away from their family and friends so they are super keen to meet new people. You just have to try your best to get out there and make connections, that’s really the key to happiness here. I’m in my early 30’s so it’s a little harder to make friends at this age! But, being someone in their 20’s in Hong Kong, it would be super easy to make friends and have a very active social life here!
What’s the best thing you’ve experienced so far whilst working abroad?
It’s been a huge eye-opening experience for me. I’ve never lived outside of Canada, and I feel I’ve grown so much as a person by living outside of my home country for an extended period of time. I would say the best thing is that I’ve adopted a lovely pup from the local SPCA and he brightens my world!
What do you miss most about home?
Mum! Sausage Rolls. Central heat. Good wine. Clean air. Clean oceans. Canadian fruit.
What does Hong Kong have that’s better than home?
My dog is from the HK SPCA. I wouldn’t have found him in Canada! Otherwise, it’s got to be the weather. People complain about the humidity here, but when you come from Canada, a little humidity is a small price to pay for having 24 degree weather year round. You know how at home, you have to wait for the shower to warm up, naked, cold, crunched up in the standing position? In Hong Kong, you wake up and walk out of your air conned bedroom, into 25 degree heat and stand and wait for your shower to ‘cool’ to a nice temperature. It’s a totally different experience waking up and getting ready for work. It’s like being in Vacation Weather ALL YEAR.
What is the transport like in Hong Kong? What do you use the most?
I hate being stuck in traffic, so Hong Kong is a dream with the MTR. You never wait, there’s no wasted time. There’s no road rage. You’d be surprised how good it feels to not have to worry about traffic when doing a commute. It’s a major weight lifted off your shoulders. The only thing that upsets me about moving home is losing the Hong Kong transportation system.
What has been your favorite Experior event so far?! Tell us about it!
Experior hosts epic Christmas parties! They host fun junk boat events in the summer which I highly recommend. They are so good at making sure you have opportunities to meet people (and party with them!) in Hong Kong. I can’t say enough about how good Experior has been in facilitating my move here. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to stay here as long as I have if I had chosen a different recruiting company. Their dedication to keeping their people happy is unparalleled in the recruitment industry.
If you were to give advice to someone moving to Hong Kong, what would you say?
Make sure you save 3.5 months rent in advance so you can pay the 2 month deposit, first month, and half month agency fee (that’s if you want to find a place by yourself and not through Experior). And remember that Hong Kong apartments cost more than double what you are paying at home. It cost more than $10,000 canadian dollars to secure an ‘average’ apartment (read: teacher’s salary!) in Hong Kong. So save your pennies or get a signing bonus so you can afford it! But once you’ve paid your ridiculous rent, if you like local food, life isn’t too expensive here. But if you want Western food every day, that’s a different story. Also, get a temporary place when you first arrive (a month or two) even if it costs more than you plan to spend on rent. You’ll be so glad you chose a temp place so you can look around and see where you want to live. When I first was moving here I thought Causeway Bay was the place to be, but now I’m so glad I never moved to Causeway Bay because it’s loud and crowded and hard to be there long term. It’s fine for an afternoon, but if I had to live there, I’d never want to go outside. You don’t really know what part of Hong kong is your style from what people post online. You need to go and spend a day somewhere to see if you really could live there. And with the ridiculous deposits that are required, if you pick the wrong part of town, you are stuck there until the lease is up.
My other advice would be to try and do everything you can to meet people and make friends. Experior is great at facilitating this, but you also need to pursue things that you think you might be interested in. You won’t have the connections and community that you have at home (which is ok!) so you need to get out there and meet some people. You won’t connect with everyone either, so it’s an ongoing process for you to build a few connections and make a few friends. But the other expats are generally really keen to make friends, so you’ll probably find it easier here to make new friends than if you wanted to make new friends at home.
I love Hong Kong. It’s the perfect mix of hiking/beaches/sunshine/travel hub/employment opportunities for English teachers. It’s a great place to be if you teach kids. It’s probably going to pay you more per hour than you could make in any other country if you teach children. The need for native English teachers here that are full of energy and actually enjoy teaching kids, is HUGE.
Thanks so much Sabrina!
It was great chatting with Sabrina and she gave so much insight as to what Hong Kong is truly like. It sounds like she is very settled here, and often people are surprised at how easy it is to settle in a completely new country!
Here are a few photo’s Sabrina shared of her experience so far!
Hello. Welcome to a day in the life of a Native English Teacher in Hong Kong.
Yup, that’s me, Teacher Claire!
Lord. How did I ever become a teacher?
Bless my little Year 8 self when my English Teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I was older. I completely made up the fact that I wanted to be an English Teacher in hope that he would like me and y’know, maybe give me an extra A here and there. Lolz.
WELL LOOK AT ME NOW. Fake it ‘til you make it sistah.
My fake dream came a reality and honestly? I’m kinda liking it.
A lot of people have asked me what I do on a daily basis so I thought I’d write a blog post telling you exactly that!
It’s Friday the day I’m writing this so I’m going to write about my Friday schedule to give you a general idea about what teaching in Hong Kong is like.
snooze my alarm, and then snooze it again.
Wake up to my third alarm of the morning and groan because GOD DAMMIT WHY DO I ALWAYS WAKE UP SO LATE?!
I grab my outfit that I usually lay out the night before, brush my teeth and throw my hair into the messiest pony tail you ever did see. Drink some water, run around like a headless chicken grabbing my purse and belongings and then dash out the door. PRETTTYYYY standard, huh.
Leave my tiny studio apartment and walk to work. It takes me around 20 minutes of a normal paced walk to get to work and I actually like being able to walk! Commuting is something I hate so getting a bit of fresh air on my journey is a huge plus. Especially when it’s sunny! Yay.
Arrive at work and welcome the kids in.
I have my first lesson of the day. Lessons are an hour long and they cover a range of things such as phonics, spelling, reading, oral English speaking and creative writing.
I have another lesson straight after. Honestly, the kids make me laugh so much man.
My morning lessons are over. I have an hour free to do admin work (and also catch up with Emily (the other teacher) about life and Netflix.) COMPLETE WORK GOALS, I know.
LUNCH TIME. Yes bebeh. I usually go to 7/11 to grab some noodles and a Red Bull but recently I’ve been bringing in my own salads or cous cous because I’m a trier. Also Luke works next door to me so sometimes we go and grab lunch together at a restaurant overlooking the harbour. Cute work perks.
Another hour of admin time! All our lesson plans and worksheets are already created for us. We just have to print and organize them so they’re ready for class.
My third lesson of the day!
I have a couple of hours to get more things done such as update parents or write reports etc! All the stuff I won’t bore you with.
My last lesson of the day!
HOME TIME. I quickly pack away and walk home. I’m usually in a good mood on Fridays because it’s one of my favourite days.
I get home at around 7 ish and usually Luke has already started cooking dinner. Cutie. Sometimes I stop off at the gym on the way home, sometimes not. Usually the latter. Judge me.
I work 5 days a week (including Saturday) so my days off are Thursday’s and Sundays. It’s really good to have a day in the middle of the week to break it up a little. Teaching in Hong Kong can be really fun but it’s also super tiring.
The lifestyle in Hong Kong is just amazing and being able to find a job in a fun environment just makes it all that more worthwhile.
Let me know if you have any questions about teaching abroad and I’d be happy to answer them!
You can follow Teacher Claire and her journey on her Instagram here @grabyourcam.
Also check out her regular blogs on her website here www.grabyourcamera.co.uk She gives lots of insight into life in Hong Kong!
“I have lived here for 12 months and have have already been to 4 other countries. Back in the UK I would be slumming it 9-5, Monday – Friday for that week’s holiday to Ibiza or Benidorm!” – Jack Tucknott.
Hello, and a big welcome to our brand new #Ask-An-Expat blog series!
If you haven’t already guessed from the oh-so self explanatory title, we will be asking a bunch of our wonderful expat teachers what life is really like in Hong Kong. We will be interviewing people from different backgrounds all over the world that have found themselves teaching in this vibrant and lively city, and ask them how they managed setting up their new lives here.
Hong Kong is one of the most popular expat cities in the world, and we are hosting this series to show you exactly why that might be! With a bustling city boasting incredible skylines and is known for the “city that has everything”… there is no wonder that people across the globe are wanting to get in on the action and see the beauty for themselves!
Fun fact of the day: Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers in the world; double that of its closest rival: New York City.
We are kicking off this exciting #Ask-An-Expat series with a nitty and gritty interview with one of our very own teachers, Jack Tucknott!
Before we dive straight in, here is a photo of Jack on the very day he was flying out to Hong Kong! Judging by the huge grin on his face, he was very excited!
Anyway, let’s get on with interviewing Jack about his journey so far!
Where are you from?
I’m from Brighton, United Kingdom!
What did you study at University?
I studied a Masters in Sports Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University. Prior to that I studied a BSc in Science & Football. This was also studied at Liverpool John Moores uni.
Did you travel to Hong Kong alone or with someone else?
I travelled alone but my friend from University was already working and living out here.
Did you always want to be a teacher? If not, what did you want to be?
I’ve always wanted to teach in some form, but I wanted to work in professional sport as a sport psychologist. Then teach about my experiences. But now I love teaching English so this is maybe another avenue I keep pursuing in the future!
How did you find out about Experior? How did they help your big move across the world?
My friend was already in the company and he referred me. They were great at sorting me a job and helping me get settled in from the start. I really appreciated that they picked me up from the airport and took me into my accommodation.
Where abouts do you live in Hong Kong? What’s it like?
I live in Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon. It’s a great location in regards to the centre of Hong Kong, and it isn’t too far from my work place which is practically in Shenzhen!
Have you learnt any Cantonese or Mandarin whilst you’ve been here?
I actually know how to say “Speak English!” to my students, but I have no idea how to spell it!
Have you joined any clubs or extra activities whilst being here in Hong Kong?
I’ve been to a few salsa classes! I’m absolutely terrible but me and my friend found it hilarious and it’s good to try new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
How did you find the culture difference when you came to Hong Kong?
I love the culture difference! You can get all of the local traditions and cultures in Kowloon, but have your western fix on the Island side. It’s very easy to settle in to Hong Kong compared to other places in Asia.
What’s the best thing you’ve experienced so far whilst working abroad?
I am experiencing the definition of a working holiday. I love my job, my friends, and the opportunities I have made and found. I have lived here for 9 months and have have already been to 3 other countries. Back in the UK I would be slumming it 9-5, Monday – Friday for that week’s holiday to Ibiza or Benidorm!
And what’s your worst experience? (If any?!)
Living. It can be very stressful to get a flat and you’re paying over the odds for a box room.
What’s the night life like in Hong Kong?
It’s good but expensive! I like how you can drink on the streets and the rooftop bars are insane! Looking out to all the skyscrapers! But you need to take your wallet out!
What was your transition from the UK to Hong Kong like? Were you nervous or excited?
I couldn’t wait to get out here! I’ve always wanted to work and live abroad. I knew it would change my life for the better.
What has been your favourite Experior event so far? Tell us about it!
Probably a boozey brunch. You can never go wrong with great food and a free flow of drinks!
In ONE WORD, describe your Hong Kong experience!
What a fantastic ending to a lovely interview with Teacher Jack. We are so glad that he is enjoying his rollercoaster of a journey out here in Hong Kong. He gave us a great taste as to what life is like in the #852!
If you are interested in teaching abroad in Hong Kong then don’t hesitate to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find more information yourself on our website www.experiorasia.com
At Experior Asia, we are delighted to announce we have brand new and amazing opportunities to teach in Shenzhen, China.
Graduates, aspiring teachers or anyone who wants to explore a new part of the world, this is perfect for you!
China is one of the biggest and fastest growing economies in the world. There’s no better place to grow an international CV you can be truly proud of.
So what’s all the fuss about? One of the biggest surprises when visiting China is the country’s incredible diversity. As the third largest nation in the world, China occupies a vast expense of territory, making it home to a diverse range of terrain and weather to culture, language and food. The Chinese population is itself made up of 56 ethnic groups each with their own customs and traditions. All these fantastic aspects makes China a wonderful country to travel, live in and explore.
With the country being as large and diverse as it is, there are limitless opportunities for teachers to inspire and make a real difference. With experience or not, you can make a positive impact on people’s lives whilst teaching in China.
Situated in the Guangdong district of China, Shenzhen is on the southern border where China and Hong Kong meet. Thanks to its developed economy and the new high-speed rail, it’s super easy to travel to Hong Kong or take an exciting adventure across China.
It is also one of China’s fastest growing cities with lots of investment and redevelopment in recent years. It’s a popular central hub with a good balance of western and local culture. With all this growth comes an ever growing expat community which means you’ll never be short of friends and new faces to meet.
WHAT ROLES DO WE HAVE?
One of the best parts of teaching in China is the opportunities available for teachers with all levels of experience. Whether you’re a recent graduate in any major, or a qualified teacher with vast experience, we will have a role for you.
Check out the information below for more job details.
SO…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
● Location in Shenzhen, China
● Role of English Teacher in a kindergarten, primary, secondary schools & education center
● Working hours are 40 hours per week, may include Saturdays and Sundays.
● Students aged 2 – 18 yrs old (most students between 2 – 8yrs)
● Professional training provided on Putonghua and LAMDA Examinations qualification and other teaching skills.
● Holidays: all paid national holidays with minimum 14 calendar days
● Visa/work permit will be provided
● Starting date is ASAP
● Monthly salary of approximately RMB 19,000 per month (before tax)
● Free medical insurance provided
● Free accommodation provided in Shenzhen, with Wi-Fi, furniture etc.
● Free lunch meals provided
● Bonus: RMB 4,000 bonus, plus 10 days paid leave after completing 1 year contract
● Travel allowances: RMB 4,000 reimbursement upon completion of 1 year service and extra of RMB 4,000 for return ticket if renewal for 2nd year employment contract.
● Bachelor degree in any discipline
● Must possess a TEFL certificate or be willing to obtain an equivalent qualification
● At least one to two years of teaching experience desired, (working experience can be waived if holder of degree in Education related field).
● Willing to work flexible hours
● Must be cheerful, enthusiastic, energetic, and team player
● Passionate about teaching children, honest, disciplined and hold good communication skills
SO WHERE WOULD YOU STAY?
Here at Experior Asia we don’t just find you a job. We ensure you feel comfortable and happy in your new home. Accommodation can be difficult to find, so we go the extra mile and let you relax whilst we find it for you.
Here’s a sneak peak into what could be your new pad if you decide to say YES to this life-changing opportunity…
If you read this post imagining yourself travelling the world, changing children’s lives or simply just want to add something exciting to your CV then click HEREto apply now!
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at email@example.com
Keep an eye out for our future blog posts! We have lots more exciting content to come!