Living abroad can be challenging for a teenager, with walls of troubles that can soon build up into piles, enough to create a Great Wall of China 2.0. While just getting around can be hard enough, one of the biggest problems is not only the journey, but the destination. As an expat teenager, I understand the complications with simply trying to get out and enjoy yourself. Believe it or not, there are several western appealing places for teenagers to go.
After working in China for the last 13 years as an MBA Professor and a Sino-Canadian Principal until my last posting as the Global Assessment Certificate Program, Assistant Director in Beijing whose main responsibility was the hiring and training of teachers and overlooking the running of the GAC Program in a number of key high schools in China. Without making this article sound like an advertisement I want to explain what the Global Assessment Certificate (GAC) program is an internationally recognized university preparation program for students who do not have English as their first language.
With the better weather and longer hours in the day it’s natural to start looking for more things to do outside, and Xi’an has many possibilities to add to your summer bucket list. Throughout the Spring and Summer months Xianease will pass along information from expats, locals, and travelers alike about some of their favorite spots in and around the city to either get away from it all, experience the true Xi’anese culture, or meet and mingle. It is our hope that over the next few months some new places will come to light and at least a few will capture your interest and get you out and about into the wilds of Xi’an.
I had to hold back tears as I zipped up my daughter's jacket that morning. Backpack? Check. Snack? Check. Extra sweatshirt (Chinese teachers like their students bundled up, you know)? Check. I held my daughter's hand and we walked out the door, on our way to her first day of school.
No matter where they are from, all parents want their children highly educated. They are concerned with which school they should send their children to, and what kind of classes to attend. There are diverse types of education and each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Now, there are many international schools rising and parents are starting to pay attention to them.
No matter how long you've been in China or what you expected when you first arrived some form of "Ancient China" probably had a part in your minds eye of what the Middle Kingdom would be like. No matter if it's from a movie set or ancient texts historical China is a romantic ideal that almost everyone that is here now at one time had a fascination with to a greater or lesser degree.
It isn't rocket science to see that romantic ideals and everyday reality very rarely coincide and soon after our arrival into modern China the romantic past slips away to busy streets, honking horns, and crowded restaurants. Funny thing is that it's not just the expat population.....
As I cross my one-year milestone in China, I find myself asking a lot of questions. What have I achieved? What can I be proud of? Do I have any regrets? I guess the biggest question on my mind is this: Would I do it differently? I often chat with other expats about these issues, our (un)shared experiences and sometimes, inevitably, our gripes. I say, “inevitably”, because as we’ve all come to realise there will always be those cultural traits that we can never fully become accustomed to.