Teaching in Shenzhen
Shenzhen is one of the most popular Chinese cities for teaching English and for good reason.
In terms of climate, Shenzhen’s subtropical location provides a remarkably temperate climate. Summer can last for around six months, but it never becomes swelteringly hot, while winter is mild enough that you won’t need to bother bringing a hat and scarf.
Location – Proximity to Hong Kong and SE Asia
Its location not only provides the city with some of the most desirable weather in the country, but it also makes it the perfect base for those who enjoy travel. Most notably there is its proximity to Hong Kong. Although the Chinese tend to view Hong Kong as part of their own country, for most Western visitors it is most definitely foreign territory. Hong Kong is one of the world’s finest cities, and the trip from Shenzhen is short and painless enough to make for either a weekend getaway and some sight-seeing or even a day-long shopping trip.
Beyond Hong Kong, Shenzhen is close to other popular tourist destinations such as the nations of Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and China’s visually and culturally diverse southwestern provinces, such as Yunnan. Thanks to its importance as a “Special Economic Zone” with heavy foreign investment, Shenzhen is now well and truly linked by some of the fastest rail networks in the world, and so getting out of the city is easy and comfortable. As China grows, money pours into the infrastructure of cities like Shenzhen, and life becomes altogether more convenient.
Cosmopolitan Atmosphere (East Meets West)
All this investment has made Shenzhen China’s second biggest trading hub (after Shanghai) and as such it possesses a decidedly cosmopolitan feel compared to other cities in the country. Shenzhen is a truly international city and as such it is perfect for foreign visitors who are looking for some home comforts in addition to their Chinese cultural experience. Here you see East mixed comfortably with West, even in the architecture.
Shenzhen is a very diverse city by Chinese standards, making life very interesting for its inhabitants. People from all around the world come to live in Shenzhen and contribute to its unique feel. All this international influence means that it’s easier to get a good Western pizza or burger in Shenzhen than in other cities.
You can also try food from every province in China. Shenzhen still retains the pricing of a normal Chinese city, with the amenities of one that is fully westernised.
With a large expatriate population, Shenzhen is seldom boring. Many teachers come here alone and soon find themselves in the middle of a vibrant social scene, with meals at both local and foreign restaurants, cheap bottles of Tsingtao beer, and also weekly excursions into the gorgeous countryside that surrounds one of the most fascinating and exciting cities in Asia. Shenzhen offers a range of fantastic options for eating out; getting cuisine for around the world is easier in Shenzhen than almost anywhere in China except for Shanghai and Beijing.
If you’re teaching in Shenzhen and looking for the more authentic or traditional side of China, then don’t be distracted by the fast-paced modernity of the city itself. It’s only a short trip to places like WanLu and Guishan, with their picturesque and serene lakes and mountains. There is a host of rural retreats for when the bright lights of the city become too much and so striking a balance is as easy as finding a few hours each week to get away from it all.
If you don’t feel like leaving the city altogether, there are numerous immaculate parks within the city limits; Shenzhen is known as one of the greenest cities in China due to the high number of these parks dotted all around. Consequently, at weekends there is always somewhere peaceful and quiet to go for a walk. Despite being a busy city, it is refreshing to be able to relax in one of the many parks. These include Lianhua Mountain Park and Fairy Lake Botanical Gardens. Also of note is China’s smallest national park – the Mangrove National Park.
Among Chinese tourists, Shenzhen is famous for its amusement parks. These include Window of the World, where there are 1:3 size replicas of various famous monuments from around the globe, and Happy Valley Theme Park, which has been compared positively to the much more famous Hong Kong Disney World.
In Shenzhen there really is something for everyone!