You finally landed that awesome teaching job in China and you’re already packing your bags? That’s terrific news, but you shouldn’t rush the departure. There are some things you need to do before teaching in China.
Before venturing into a foreign country, presumably on the other half on the planet, you need to ask yourself: “What is the single most important factor of working abroad?” The answer? Adaptability!
Recent studies show that foreign workers who feel at home right upon arrival perform up to 60% higher. Most of these newcomers either have a friend or a relative to guide them, but you don’t need that. Why feel like a stranger when there’s a myriad of welcoming software at your fingertips, regardless of where you set foot?
6 Must Have Apps before Teaching in China
Here are the most helpful Android & iOS attaches in the Chinese republic.
Pleco, Every Teacher’s Best Friend
Since communication is your greatest prerequisite in this line of work, a viable dictionary is a must. Pleco is not just a collection of peculiar characters, it is an unbelievable tool designed specifically for conversational Chinese.
You are bound to be surrounded by unknown symbols throughout your stay. Conveniently, this app translates any Chinese text in front of your camera and even tells you how to pronounce it.
Although the app isn’t free, dishing out a few bucks to get your hands on something as useful as Pleco is worth it.
WeChat, The Official Chinese Messenger
Sometimes, even teachers need to do their homework. If you’ve done yours, it’s imminent that you’ve heard of China’s harsh internet restrictions.
WeChat is the only chat application that China hasn’t blocked for its internet users. Everyone in China uses it, but you can also connect with everyone back in your hometown if they install it.
One of the most astonishing features of WeChat is the ability to connect it to your credit card and use it for shopping. Simply scan the QR code, and you will get charged automatically on your way out.
Another intriguing function of the app is its scanner. It shows the profiles and distance of the nearby users. This commodity enables you to possibly even check on any late students.
Metroman, The Faithful Underground Companion
Without a doubt, the fastest way of commuting throughout China’s gigantic hubs is by using the subway. Getting to a lecture punctually has never been easier than boarding a bullet train.
The Metroman app offers you a real-time map of the current trains, as well as the most optimal route suggestion based on your location and destination. The handy app also works in offline mode and calculates your fares.
It covers 24 of China’s biggest cities, allowing you the smoothest transportation experience. You will want to check out this app before teaching in China. As a complete stranger, you will be able to find your way around like the locals.
Waygo, The Ultimate Translator
Have you ever seen one of those futuristic films where automatic translations are instantaneous and flawless? That future is now, thanks to Waygo.
Remember those odd-looking ‘hieroglyphs’ you’re used to seeing in eastern movies or Chinatown? Now you can read all of them in English without a need to stop and scan.
Waygo is adamant on making you feel like Chinese is your native language (at least when reading it), and it delivers no less than that!
Youku, The Mobile Hollywood
Where will you watch your favorite shows or watch some quality documentaries when China has banned both YouTube and Netflix? Well Youku of course, for it is a fusion of the two.
This is one of the most prominent Chinese apps that even foreigners are anxious to start using, although it’s restricted to the Chinese territory. It offers an extravagant viewing experience for both locals and visitors alike.
Alipay, Your Eastern Wallet
Meet the Chinese version of PayPal, as useful and secure as you can imagine. When you receive your funds from teaching, you will be able to instantly access them on Alipay.
Your mobile phone is the only shopping necessity in almost every store across China since Alipay is the nationwide most popular payment method.
Home is Wherever Your Apps Are
By putting to use all of these versatile applications before teaching in China, you will eliminate any feeling of alienation. It’s stressful enough to travel. To understand the language will assist any visitor who’s teaching English overseas.
When it comes to getting paid through modern means, it is perhaps even easier in another country than your own. To top it off, the irreplaceable homey piece of mind can now follow you everywhere by the internet. It’s safe to claim that you can live with the same comfort you’re accustomed to, even in a country as reserved as China.