IEC Teachers and Staff International Student Life

IEC@DVC Teacher Allison’s Life as an English Teacher in China

February 21, 2019

IEC@DVC teacher, Allison, is currently living in China and teaching English. She is sharing her experiences with us through the IEC@DVC Blog! For this post, we hear how it’s been for Allison these first five months (including what it’s like to spend the holidays away from home).

IEC@DVC Teacher Allison’s Life as an English Teacher in China

Hello again! I am officially half way through my fellowship in China, so I wanted to write an update about my experience over the past five months. First of all, I can’t believe that it’s been five months already. The time feels like it has gone by fast and slow at the same time, if that makes any sense. I will be completely honest when I say that this has been a challenging experience for me. I had a lot of homesickness during these past few months, especially during the holiday season. It was tough to see everyone back home enjoying a special time when it was just a regular day for me. I’m sure many IEC students can relate to this. 

However, I have tried to make the best of my situation by introducing my culture to people here and therefore, having a fun cultural exchange in the process. For Halloween, I dressed up as a black vampire bat. I told my students that their teacher was not there today and I put on a spooky voice that made them laugh. I taught them about the history of Halloween and all about how we celebrate it in the US. We took selfies after class and I was surprised when some of them came dressed up on their own. 

For Thanksgiving, I wanted to throw a pot luck party for all of the people who had helped me while I was getting settled in China. I managed to make several classic American Thanksgiving dishes from scratch. I had a lot of fun cooking everything in my kitchen with my friends. We ended up having the perfect mix of American and Chinese traditional food. I even tried chicken feet for the first time! 


In all, there have been many highs and lows throughout my experience so far. I feel as though now I can truly understand my students’ experiences with living abroad. I have also learned how important it is to embrace people and their culture even through the differences.


Thanks for sharing, Allison! We miss you but are enjoying reading all about your experiences.

You can read Allison’s first post here

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