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Handbook for new foreign teachers
2014-05-09 17:44  








Introduction Guide to Zhaoqing University






Office of International Cooperation & Exchange




Produced for use by the Office of International Cooperation & Exchange at Zhaoqing University by Derek B Buick with co writers Darren Lightbrown Emma Jordan & Alexander Mills Janaury 2013.







Contact: Office of International Cooperation & Exchange,

Zhaoqing University,


Zhaoqing City,

Guangdong Province,

P.R. China
Post Code: 526061

University Website: http://www.zqu.edu.cn
Tel: +86-758-27
Fax: +86-758-2716969



Table of Contents



Table of Contents. 2

Welcome to Zhaoqing University.. 4

Introduction & Acknowledgements. 4

Office of International Cooperation & Exchange Statement. 4

Introduction to Zhaoqing.. 7


Places  & Cities …………..……………………………...……………………………………….7

Bookstores. 11

Literature on or about China – Personal Recommendations. 11

Television/DVDs. 12

Zhaoqing Eateries. 13

On Campus. 16

Places to eat in Guangzhou.. 17

Bars and clubs in Zhaoqing and near by.. 18

Other.. 错误!未定义书签。

Phones. 21

Gas. 21

Food Shopping.. 21

Water.. 22

Star Lake Mall & Walmart  Shopping Centre…………....................................20

Banking.. 22

Part-time work.. 2255


Medical Care.. 24

Mail.. 253

Safety.. 25


Travel.. 26

Transport. 26

Local Places to Visit. 27

Flying Away.. 27

Travel Recommendations. 28

Yunnan Province.. 29

Culture.. 32

Chinese Customs. 32

Chinese Language.. 32

Cultural Past Times. 32

Interaction with Students. 32

Translation.. 33

Clothing.. 33

Communication.. 34

Other Foreigners in ZQ/ ZQU.. 34

Religion.. 34

Visas. 35

Insects, Bugs and other Unwanted Creatures. 35

Teaching – Advice from teachers. 36

Initial teaching experiences of FTs teaching in China.. 36

Curriculum... 37

Classroom Environment. 37

Resceduling Classes & Teaching Facilities. 37

Timetables. 38

Students. 39

Teaching and Learning Styles. 40

Advice from former teachers. 40

Enjoy the Chinese life and culture.. 41

Useful Chinese Words and Phrases. 42

Tones. 42

Chinese Characters - Strokes: 42

Chinese Grammar.. 42

Pair words of conjunctions. 42

Lack of tense concepts. 43

Word class. 43

Sentence structure.. 43

Punctuation marks. 43

Greetings. 43

Personal Pronouns: 44

Other Common words/phrases. 44

Numbers. 45

Eating.. 45

Shopping.. 47

Useful places. 48

Some useful websites: 48






Welcome to Zhaoqing University


The Office of International Cooperation & Exchange at Zhaoqing would like to welcome all the new arrivals to Zhaoqing University this year. We hope that you will enjoy your stay here so much that you will never want to leave!


Introduction & Acknowledgements


       This handout was produced in an attempt to make the initial period of settlement in Zhaoqing University for new foreign teaches (FTs) an easier process than it has been in the past for teachers, including myself.  Office of International Cooperation & Exchange (International Office) in Zhaoqing and try and help future arrivals have a smoother transition than others. In this handout there is a guide to teaching styles and learning styles, useful website links, a list of recommended books about China, cultural differences that may be encountered and a brief guide to Zhaoqing with a small directory of useful places.  This guide is not meant to be in any way exhaustive, should you feel that the guide would benefit by any additional information then please contact the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE who are able to update the guide to be more relevant to new FTs here in the future.

Thanks must go to the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE, particularly Shirley, for the advice and encouragement received.  This guide was produced after conducting qualitative research of colleagues present and former of ZQU, all of whom I would like to thank.  This handout has been developed for use by the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE in whichever way they wish.


Office of International Cooperation & Exchange Statement


       The Office of International Cooperation & Exchange is comprised of three subordinate sections - the Comprehensive Foreign Affairs Section, the International Exchange Section and the Section of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs. Its main work includes developing international relationships and organising exchanges, dealing with overseas student enrolment and management, foreign teacher management, foreign project management and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan affairs.
   International exchange activities include developing contacts with
over 30 universities and colleges around the world. Such as, the University of Bolton in the UK, Edgewood College, Anoka Ramsey Community College in the United States, Southern Cross University in Australia, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, Himeji Dokkyo and Soka Universities in Japan, just to give a few examples.



University of Bolton

University of Sunderland

Anglia Ruskin University


Edgewood College

Delaware State University

Muskingum University

Anoka Ramsey Community College

The University of Texas Pan American

Northern Illinois University

University of the Incarnate Word

Hiram College



Southern Cross University



Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan



Zabaikalsky State Humanitarian Pedagogical University named after N. Chernishevsky



Ikhzasag International University



Hanoi University

Hanoi University of Commerce



Taylor’s University College






Sokka University

Himeji Dokkyo University

Nagano University

Nippon Language Academy
Kyuu Shuu Foreign Language College


Taiwan, China

Chia Nan University of Pharmacy & Science

Kun Shan University of Technology

Hsinchu Chuang University

St. John's University

Chaoyang University of Technology

Nanya Institute of Technology

China University of Technology

Fortune University

Cardinal Tien College of Healthcare and Management


Macau, China

Macau University of Science and Technology


Introduction to Zhaoqing


       Zhaoqing is a city with thousands of years of recorded history and has been designated as a national tourist destination in China, attracting of hordes of travellers from across the globe each year.  Although the majority of the visitors are from Mainland China, increasingly the city is attracting tourists from Hong Kong, Macau and countries as far away as Europe and America.  The tourists come to feast their eyes on the stunning scenery of The Seven Star Crags, Star (xinghu) Lake and Dinghu Mountain.  Zhaoqing is known throughout China for its green hills and limestone crags.


Zhaoqing University is situated in Zhaoqing City, a national tourist destination famous for its green hills and limestone crags. Zhaoqing is part of Guangdong Province’s Pearl River Delta, an early gateway into south China and an area with strong cultural traditions and educational foundations. Rich tourism resources, modern agriculture and trade and commerce make it a thriving region.

      Zhaoqing enjoys fast and frequent road, rail links to Hong Kong and the provincial capital, Guangzhou. To the west of the city is Dinghu Mountain, one of Guangdong’s four famous peaks, and to the north is
Seven Star Crags and Star Lake, said to share the beauty of Guilin and Hangzhou’s West Lake. The university’s two campuses are close to both attractions, 20 minutes to Dinghu, 10 minutes to Seven Star Crags, 15 minutes to Star Lake.


       Zhaoqing is one of the ancient cities in the history of China, first being named Gaoyao county in the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), before being changed to Duanzhou, Sihui and Gaoyao. It was finally renamed Zhaoqing in the Qing dynasty (China’s last dynasty) although all the other names still exist as place names throughout the country. Duanzhou is the central area of Zhaoqing city centre, Sihui is a town to the north east of Zhaoqing (along the express way to Guangzhou) and Gaoyao is the small city that faces Zhaoqing across the Xijiang River. 


       Zhaoqing was one of the first places in inland China to be visited by a foreigner, the Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci settling there in the sixteenth century.  For more information about Ricci, try the Ricci Institute section of the University of San Francisco website.  http://www.usfca.edu/ricci/home/mricci.htm


Zhaoqing Today………


Over the years Zhaoqing has been growing rapidly with new roads, new shopping malls and many new lakes around the city and still expanding. The east side is the new Zhaoqing with modern new buildings of apartments, shopping malls, hospital and a new express railway link to major cities like Hong Kong.

Seven Star Crags Lake, Zhaoqing



A map of Seven Star Crags

Places & Cities



       It is likely that even if you want to avoid big cities, you will end up having to visit Guangzhou sometime. It contains the nearest airport called ‘Baiyun’  to Zhaoqing and many consulates; it also contains selections of western goods, such as foreign language books, western supermarkets and the nearest library with an adequate collection of English books, newspapers, magazines and academic journals. Today Guangzhou is still constantly under construction making new lines for the subway. To find out more try the websites dedicated to the needs of ex-pats in Guangzhou;







Shenzhen is the face of the new, modern, dynamic China that is being shown to the world. Brash, glitzy and never quiet, Shenzhen owes its prosperity to its location, as it is adjacent to the Kowloon peninsula of Hong Kong. Shenzhen has Guangdong’s other large airport and is the more convenient entry point into Hong Kong.





Hong Kong

To reach Hong Kong the simplest way is to get a bus from downtown it leaves early in the morning and terminates either Kowloon or Hong Kong Island  (usually takes approx 4 hours depending on traffic).  Prices can be from 180rmb return or 100rmb one way. http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/index.jsp


Macau (Macao)

To reach the tiny former Portuguese colony take a bus to Zhuhai (approx. 3 hours) from the central bus station in Zhaoqing. Like in Shenzhen, the traveller can then walk through customs out of mainland China and into the Macau SAR (Special Administrative Region).  Macau is small enough to be explored on foot and is known as one of Asia’s most peaceful and clean cities. It’s also infamous as a gambling hotspot.


Hainan Island

       Hainan is China’s tropical island and is known for its beaches and year-round warm weather. They are plenty of activities like swimming, scuba diving, etc. Some hotels have their own area space of beach. Just be careful what you buy there they will charge a coconut for 36rmb. Often foreign teachers at Zhaoqing University are taken there by the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE for a mid-term break.


Guilin & Yangshuo


       Long renowned as one of China’s most beautiful places, Guilin and nearby Yangshuo are in Guangxi province, the province immediately to the west of Guangdong.  Often foreign teachers at Zhaoqing University are taken there by the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE for a mid-term break or they are taken to Hainan Island.

More info: http://wikitravel.org/en/Yangshuo



Chime Long Theme park, Panyu


Is a family entertainment park with roller coaster rides, water shoots, live shows, and a zoo. Open 7 days a week from 9:30am to 19:30pm. Prices vary depending on what you want to do and what you want to see. For more information have a look at their website.



Bruce Lee Paradise Museum


If you are a Bruce Lee fan then you’ll love this place, it’s the biggest Bruce Lee museum in the world with a 18.8 metres statue of the legend. In Bruce Lee Paradise, there are mountains, lakes and lush vegetation everywhere and plenty of footpaths. Not too far away from the museum there is a Bruce Lee Ancestral House. The places are located in Ju’nan between Foshan and Shunde district. For more info have a look at the website.





Additional Info about Yip Man a Master of Wing Chun who taught Bruce Lee the art.



 Close by……


Foshan Ancestral Temple

A famous Daoist temple in southern China, was built in Northern Song Dynasty, renovated once, and with more than 600 years history till now.

It was built for worshiping Beidi, the leader of all gods in Foshan, thus it was called ancestral temple. Check out the website:






Although there is a proliferation of bookstores throughout Zhaoqing, very few of them sell any books in English other than for learning the language itself.  Some of them carry a very small selection of novels but these are likely to be in both Chinese and English (meaning they will be bulky and unwieldy) and will almost certainly be from the canon of classical literature.

For a wider range of literature a trip to Guangzhou (approx. 100km east of Zhaoqing) is necessary. The best option is ‘The Guangzhou Book Center’ in the Tian He district of central Guangzhou, a seven-storey bookstore with English books on a number of the floors. Also available there are maps of regions and cities of China in English as well as a very small collection of English language magazines such as National Geographic. In the Beijing Lu (Beijing Road) shopping area there is a large Xinhua bookstore, one of a chain of nationwide bookstores. They have a small section of English books.

To find a large array of English books it is necessary to go to Hong Kong, which has many bookstores. A particular favourite is the Swindon Bookstore in Kowloon.  


Addresses: Guangzhou Book Center. 123 Tian He Lu, Guangzhou. Tel: 020 8334 4762


Xinhua, 276 Beijing Lu, Guangzhou. Tel: 020 8334 4762


Swindon Books - Shop 370, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Kowloon, Hong Kong


 2nd floor at the Grandbuy Shopping Mall at Time Square, Zhaoqing,


Literature on or about China – Personal Recommendations


Should you wish to read more about China there is a huge range of English language books about the country, its people, history and culture. Here are some personal recommendations, if you know any other books you would like to recommend then please tell the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE and they may be able to include them in future editions of their welcome pack. Note that these are only recommendations and there’s on accounting for taste!

Mr. China by Tim Clissold - Clissold leaves his native England for China, via a meeting with a hotshot Wall Street dealer. By the time he reaches the shores of Cathay they have between them managed to raise US$400million to invest in China. 'The Chinese' by Jasper Becker - Is excellent and probably the most comprehensive overview of China by a western analyst.

'The Rough Guide to Mandarin Chinese (A Dictionary Phrasebook)' - has both English-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-English. Features the English, Chinese, pinyin and also the pronunciation.

1421 - The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies – Menzies, an ex-Royal Navy officer, traces the route taken by legendary Ming Dynasty explorer Zheng He and concludes that he may have reached American decades before Columbus.


Lonely Planet Guide to China – An indispensable travel guide to China, if you travel around China’s most famous monuments then expect to see foreigners walking around, clutching a copy of this guide in their hands. Contains maps, history, places to stay and where to eat or visit.




There are two English-language channels available in Zhaoqing: Pearl and ATV World, both Hong Kong channels. There is also a national English language news channel, CCTV 9. On Pearl they have a western movies playing from 9:30pm on Sundays. Often the way to spend an evening is to watch a DVD, which are available throughout Zhaoqing. Usually they cost between 5 to 30rmb depending on the quality.


Guangzhou Pearl River                  Bruce Lee Paradise Park










Guilin Mountains                             Hong Kong Island @ night

Zhaoqing Eateries


Eating is a national pleasure anywhere in China and though family and friends will barely have heard of Zhaoqing, this city of around 1 million people has a lot of good places to eat Szechwan (spicy), Cantonese (sweet) Shanghai (seafood) and northern (dumplings and noodles). There are many places advertising themselves as western restaurants too, especially around the Star Lake and bar area. Typically this means they have expensive steaks and Spam sandwiches on the menu. It’s worth a visit to check out the spelling mistakes.


Eating times are quite set in Zhaoqing and eating during these times will give you an indication of how popular the places are. If you’ve to wait for a table it has good food.  But don’t worry; people are usually quick because they want to go home for a nap.

Lunch – 11:45 – 12:45                             Dinner 6:15 – 7:15

Of course, you can eat around these hours too J



Dynasty Hotel, Duanzhou Road (opp Paifang Sq)

Western and Japanese Restaurant (2nd floor)

Chinese Restaurant (1st floor)

The best place for western food in Zhaoqing, whether yum cha-ing in the Chinese, tepanyaki-ing in the Japanese or cheeseburger-ing in the western.


SuperKitchen 4th floor, Star Lake Mall, Duanzhou Road, Zhaoqing

Good selection of food from Western to Asian dishes and a DIY section to help yourself to salads. Prices are reasonable and staff are friendly.


Spango Pizza Ground floor, Walmart Centre, Duanzhou Road Zhaoqing.

Selections of different pizzas from small to large prices can be from 36 upto 100rmb. They also have other delicious dishes and side snacks.


Star Lake Hotel, Duanzhou Road (tall silver blue spherical building) 


Good for views of the whole city, They mainly do buffet charging from 150rmb per person most it is Chinese food, though food tastes better at the Dynasty.


OYC Hotel  Xinghu Dadao, Zhaoqing

The all new 7 star hotel and can easily be recognized by it’s oversize appearance.  Inside the hotel is huge. They do have a banquet with different foods from all over the world a bigger range that what Star Lake Hotel offers roughly the same price. Also in the hotel they have other restaurants.        


UBC COFFEE SHOP, Duanzhou Road (opp Star Lake Hotel)

This Chinese chain has a very relaxing environment, and is popular on sat/sun mornings.  Good menu selection, particularly Chinese food. Prices are resonalble.


Shui He Tian, Wenming Road (close to the Bus Stn)

This restaurant has got 3 in town. It’s very traditional Chinese cuisine from Dim Sum to main meals. Prices are from 5rmb for side plates. Their portions are big. Try their Egg Friend Rice for only 15rmb. Also on the street there is a Night market where you can buy clothes and hardware products from 7pm to 10pm.


Cantonese Kitchen (near KFC on the post office road)

It’s not actually called this, but it’s what we always call it.  Chinese name has something to do with rice, fish and countryside. Staff wear traditional costume in this traditional

Cantonese food place. English menu, dishes from 3rmb – 15rmb inc. rice noodles, dumplings and soups



Seafood Restaurants  @ Xi Jiang Riverfront


From the main Tianning Road walk towards the river and turn left


Fantastic scallops and mussels but no English menu.  So unless you’re great at acting like seafood (or fancy a stroll around the kitchen pointing to bits of food) then invite some Chinese people for dinner (who’ll know the best places to eat by the river)


Yunan Cross Bridge Noodles

Main Post Office road (just past the Cantonese Kitchen and a KFC)

Climb the huge green staircase for this experience (the food can be found anywhere) of a Yunan restaurant chain across China. The story goes that in ancient times a scholar and his wife lived on an island with no cooking facilities.  So every day she would cross a bridge to reach the mainland and bring back food for her husband.  Who complained because the food was cold.  So he thought up the ingenious idea of only bringing fresh food from the mainland and putting it into a bowl of boiling water with a thin layer of oil on top (to retain the heat.  Clever, eh?) to enjoy hot food at home. Basically this is an easy hotpot in a relaxing environment.






Waterfall Show in Paifang Square, Zhaoqing.


Common Restaurants



No matter where you go you’ll always find these restaurants they are scattered all over Zhaoqing most of them are located in shopping centres Star Lake Mall, Wal-Mart and Grand buy Shopping Centres.



There is a huge lotus pond, which is very pretty when the lotus is in bloom (May/June) and it’s something you’ll find on most menus.  Anyway, if you take the pond as a clock, then at “11” there’s a good coffee shop, PARTON COFFEE serving freshly roasted coffee from 5rmb – 15rmb and at “1” there’s a Northern Food restaurant with no English menu but there are colourful pictures you can order from. 














On Campus                                       Campus Library opposite canteen 3  

There are plenty of eating options on the main university campus however there may not be so much point in giving any recommendations as the restaurants open and close with sometimes alarming frequency. However, it may be more useful to ask students as they are more likely to be up to date on such matters.


Along the front of campus there is a row of shops and restaurants. Along here can be found Cantonese food, a dumplings restaurant, a Hunan restaurant (has blue and white tablecloths - very spicy food), a Muslim restaurant (many lamb dishes) and also a restaurant that serves food from the Shantou area (lots of fish dishes). It’s worthwhile asking students for their recommendations. You don’t even have to leave campus to sample many varieties of Chinese food!


You can eat well at the canteens on campus for around 7 RMB* for a full meal. There are restaurants just outside the campus, two in the village and one behind the water tower. There are generally two options, fast food or food cooked to order. Fast food is cheap and often comes with rice, normally about 10 RMB for a meal with soup. Food cooked to order is more expensive but still reasonable. If you are eating in the canteens or want to order fast food from a restaurant it is important to turn up at the right time. Lunch is 10:30 to 12:30 and evening meal from 4:00 to 6:00. Eating later than this means choice is reduced and often the food is cold.







Places to eat in Guangzhou


“You name it, it is there—all types of cuisines- check out the local website.






 Advice on restaurants from former teachers

Downtown there are many good places to eat Chinese and Western food. The northern restaurants around the lotus pond are a favourite as well as steak at the Dynasty Hotel which is often on special offer.


When you visit a restaurant for the first time, take one of your Chinese friends (or students) with you. They will gladly help you choose something from the menu.  Ask your friend to write the food you like on some paper, then you can use it for future reference. It’s useful to carry a little book not just food words but places where to go.



*To pay for food at the campus eating outlets you will need a smart card. These can be bought and recharged in the canteens on campus.


Chinese Tea anyone?

Bars and clubs in Zhaoqing and nearby



Bar Guide


Xinghu Lu (Star Lake road) Bar Street:

This area changes frequently with new management and new name but West Bar, Starclub are the two main ones that have kept their names. Today, New Night and various others with even more strange names are to be found along this road. Busy almost every night of the week, caters mainly it seems to students who like to play dice games and drink beer out of little glasses, who just want to ‘Gan bei’ (Cheers).


Best place for a quiet beer and some relaxation?

Dynasty Hotel, Coffee Shop Ground Floor

They have a coffee shop on the ground floor and serve beer from 10rmb and spirits from 15rmb a glass. It’s quiet most of the time and they close at 1am


Red Bar Yuejiang Road, Zhaoqing.

A personal favourite to most foreigners, it’s small and tucked away if you prefer to drink at the bar then this is the place. The decoration looks British old style pub with Royal England wallpaper and comfortable big sofas. Also inside they have rooms for bigger groups. They have a variety of drinks from Budweiser to German Beer charging from 15rmb. Spirits can be ordered by glass or if they are many of you it’s best to order a bottle. A bottle of Jack Daniels from 350rmb.


Blue Folk 1-2/F Yuehai Hotel, 1 Tianning South Rd., Duanzhou, ZHAOQING

Every now and then they do have live bands playing on certain nights and stand up acoustic nights plus they have KTV rooms upstairs. So if you fancy showing off your singing talent to a live audience the owner Fong who can speak English can play a lot of western songs. They sell beer but not much of a selection of spirits or wine.


Che Cheng Complex (not so relaxing)

Is a square block complex where the main new bars and clubs are now where most people go for KTV and an ‘Ibiza style’ nightclub out near a lot of restaurants, further away from the Star lake bar street. Flashy atmosphere, but high prices and the dice games take precedence here. That being said the music is actually somewhat better if clubbing is your cup of tea.




A typical KTV design room                   Babyface Nightclub, Guangzhou



Xinjiang river

Plenty of KTV bars for those who want to croon the night away, best avoided really, as probably cost a small fortune just for the room. If you do have a desire to be Elvis Presley or Adel for the night, it can easily be found, once you know your way around.



Guangzhou is a much larger city than Zhaoqing and more care should be taken when there. Particularly be on the lookout for bag snatchers or pickpockets, they tend to congregate in the largest numbers near metro stations, bus stations or other very busy places. Also…beware of buying goods off the street. While DVDs are only 5rmb, buying laptops or mobile phones are another matter. They are often stolen and there are many cases of theft. Despite this Guangzhou is a safe city but only if you take care and be on your guard in public places. 

This, however, is advice that should be used for any city centre in China. In taxis it is usually easier to make sure they use the meter or they may try to charge extortionate rates, as you are a foreigner and they may think you have no clue what the fare should be.

Elephant & Castle, 363 Huanshi Dong Lu, Address In Chinese - 环市东路363Tel: (020) 8359 3309 - The E&C is a roomy sports bar with an outdoor pool table and two bar areas, it’s a lively place that opens at 5pm with a three-hour “Happy Hour” lasting until 8pm with drinks roughly half-price. It can get very busy on nights that it’s home to informal business gatherings or when there are big sporting events, but usually it’s simply a good place to go for a relaxing drink or western food such as burgers, fish and chips or a BLT. Draught beers include San Miguel, Tetley’s Smooth and Guinness.




The Hill Bar, 367 Huanshi Dong Lu, 环市东路367, Guangzhou.

The Hill Bar is one of Guangzhou’s oldest westernized bars and is literally on a hill (well…more like a bit of mound really) in the center of the city near the other bars mentioned. It has regular live music with a separate area for the bands and also has darts and some draught beers.


The Paddy Field都柏林湾餐厅, Central Plaza Ground Floor, 38 Huale Lu, 华乐路38号广怡大厦首层1A Guangzhou.


The Paddy Field is close to both The Hill and The Elephant & Castle, and is Guangzhou’s first and. The inside has the traditional Irish-theme-pub look to it and they have a large range of Irish drinks at the bar area or sample classic Irish dishes in the dining area. They also have Sunday Roasts, cheesecake and lasagna among other dishes. Not cheap but the closest to being back home you may find.




Like Guangzhou, Shenzhen is a large city and care should be taken there, especially at night. 


Bill’s Bar – Shekou district


Bill’s Bar (x-ta-sea bar) is an American-style sports bar run by (funnily enough) Bill, a friendly American guy.  Western-style bars on draught usually from 15rmb-40rmb a pint.  They also have pool, satellite TV, western snacks and very late closing times.


McCawleys Bar – Shekou district

Like PaddyField in Guangzhou, an Irish bar with the usual Irish tipples, just as expensive as well.

Website - http://www.mccawleysirishbar.com/eng/home.asp




Nowadays mostly everyone has the new iphone or Samsung Galaxy. There is normally no need to buy a mobile phone if you already have one. In China the phone and SIM card are bought separately and therefore you can simply buy a SIM card when you arrive. These normally come with the same value of credit as you pay for the card so effectively don’t cost you anything. For topping up you can buy a card on campus for 50 and 100 RMB. You can join the campus cornet cluster which has approximately 18,000 users among our teachers and students, 5rmb/month.





“One cannister of gas costs about 130 RMB/bottle/13KG (The service will pick it up and deliver it to your door—usually the next day. Tel: XXXXX)


The people come every day even during the holiday to collect the bottles on campus—usually in the afternoon. Just wave and they’ll take care of the rest. They will even deliver when you’re not home and come back for payment. Make sure your bottle is labelled clearly.


* Gas can be ordered by asking the gas man who wanders around the campus or by calling.


Food Shopping


On campus—small supermarket and morning wet (farmers) market.

In Duanzhou (downtown)—4 major supermarkets plus many other markets.



Star Lake Mall (RT Mart) and Wal-Mart Shopping Centre, Duanzhou Road, Zhaoqing


Here you can buy your day to day groceries like anywhere else but western foods are limited if you’re a butter and cheese lover then you would have to travel to Guangzhou to buy them. However these days you can food on only called Tao Bao a Chinese shopping website. It’s all in Chinese if at a loosed end you can ask one of your Chinese friends/students to help you out.




Guangzhou—major supermarkets include Park and Shop, Westin, Jusco, Metro, Parkson, Trust Mart and Carrefour plus some shops for Western food specifically—Aussino, the Corner Deli and Oliver’s (2 of them) and 7-11 shops.


When you see something you can use, or want, buy it because when you need it, it won’t be there. Some things seem to go in cycles—it’s either lots or none.”




12 RMB for 1 bottle at a time. Can be ordered by calling – you will need to speak Chinese so get a student to call for you if you have problems. TEL:2777008 or 2716314 There are two places that deliver water. They are in the university grounds and the other charges 8RMB. Ask a student or, failing that, the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE for the number.




“Show up with your passport and in 5 minutes you can have an account—primarily savings with an ATM card. Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Industrial & Commercial Bank with 2 ATM cards and 3 Chinese credit cards for different purposes. You can also open a foreign currency account in Bank of China and GD Development.

Money can be changed at the Bank of China on Duanzhou Lu--#10 bus—also the Star Lake Hotel in a pinch. Western credit cards can be used at the B of C to get Chinese RMB. ATMs are for debit cards, not cash advance—found everywhere but mostly in Chinese. The Chinese do not generally accept credit cards except the high end ones in major tourist places. Be prepared to travel with cash! There are various ATMs of Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commerce Bank of China and Postal Service Bank of China on campus.

















Recreation & Sports 


Between 4:30 and 6 PM is sports time and you will see many staff and students engaged in various activities. Generally none of these are formally organised you just turn up and join in any activity you fancy. This took a bit of getting used to but now we both do some sort of sport most days. If you want to run you can either go round the track (open to 7 PM) or out the back of the campus and along the mountain tracks.  Under the Gymnasium is an indoor running track, table tennis, badminton, a weights gym, and many different dances, tai chi, tai kwoon do, etc. classes. In the evening people often ballroom dance on the steps in front of the gymnasium (picture right).


Generally speaking the sports are not competitive, people just play football or table tennis without counting the score. However there are some staff competitions organised which you will have to ask your department about if you want to join in. There is a basketball competition in October, a football competition in November and a staff athletics day also in November.




Other hobbies such as photography and calligraphy can be pursued by joining the relevant student society. There is one day in October when the societies advertise themselves but if you ask about it is normally possible to join in without joining at the start of the semester.


If you play golf, there is an excellent course in Gao Yao. It is very expensive to play at the weekend but often runs good deals during the weekdays to attract local people. You can hire clubs there if you don’t have any.


There are tennis courts on campus for which the charge is usually 10-15RMB ah hour. They also have tennis rackets and balls available for hire.


Part-time work


You may well be bombarded with offers of part time work—most local schools are alright but some are better than others (ask staff who have been around a few years for advice). Notify the Office of International Cooperation & Exchange if you accept any offers (the university is strongly against taking outside jobs but might tolerant as long as the university’s interest is always put first). The deal should include a price per class or hour plus transportation to and from the workplace. Make them make an offer first and then state your expectations. Sometimes you are asked to “help” people with a translation—be wary. Sometimes they expect free help and then they will get paid for your work. Don’t stretch yourself too thin especially in the beginning. Don’t be afraid to say “Sorry but no.”


Many people on campus would like tutoring for their children—it is good PR to accept and it’s very convenient. You set the terms to suit you.


DO NOT sign any contract or written agreement for outside work as this puts you in an illegal situation.


Make sure that any part-time work that you take on DOES NOT interfere with your work at the University.




Each month your salary will be paid into your bank on the 15th.  If you lose your cash card or have to change it then notify that INTERNATIONAL OFFICE staff ASAP.  The card number is required to place money into your account and if you don’t let the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE know you have changed your card they will not be able to deposit the money and your salary may be delayed.


Medical Care


Campus care—for minor problems or emergencies. There is a good dentist on campus!

Downtown—Number one People’s Hospital—near ZQ Middle School--best in the city—one doctor spent a year at Bolton, UK—I prefer the Gao Yao Hospital across from children’s park on Tianning Bei Lu as the doctor I go to is a friend of a friend. Most hospitals are clinic style—you take whoever is there or whoever you thinks looks like the best one.


There is a dentist in the hospital next to the Health School who speaks a little English. I had an extraction done and a partial made due to a broken tooth and am quite satisfied. He also cleans teeth.


GZ—Many ads for English speaking doctors and dentists—the US Consulate has a list of those recommended.


HK—Adventist Hospital is supposed to be the best. Many, many choices with good quality.


It’s wise to have injections before coming all recommended by our doctor. In addition it would be a good idea to take out a one year travel insurance policy with Insure and Go (web based insurance) that includes health for less than £200 each.




Sending packages—take your items to the post office—buy the boxes there and they will help pack it. If you pack it before you go, they will open it to check the items. Some things cannot be sent.


Receiving a package—they send a notice to the address on the package—go to the main post office with your passport to claim it

Proper addressing is very important!!. USE the Office of International Cooperation & Exchange address.


Sending packages is time consuming and I suggest going to the post office at a quiet time. It is fairly straightforward it just takes a long time.


Queuing in an orderly manor is not a custom of the Chinese. You have to push your way to the front of the queue, just like they do!


The main post office road is Jianshe Road. #18 bus goes there directly.



EMS China has opened international postal service to various countries globally. http://www.ems.com.cn/

TEL: 11185




TEL: 400.886.1888/ 400.889.1888



Shunfeng Express delivers express mails to the US and Japan.


TEL: 4008 111111





Generally Zhaoqing, and especially the campus, is a very safe place to live.  There are many security guards around the place, both day and night.  However, don’t let this stop you from using common sense and taking precautions.  There have been incidents the past, although these are rare. 


“Zhaoqing appears a very safe place to live. On campus there are many guards who patrol day and night. There are pickpockets in ZQ, on the buses and around the busy areas. If you leave any possession in a public place it is unlikely to be there when you return. It makes sense to take the same care you would at home. Often however, foreigners comment that they find themselves feeling safer in Zhaoqing than they had in their home country. Even so, please be careful.







To Guanzhou Airport take the bus from RT Markt that will take you directly there.





Price (yuan)



Baiyun Airport


(Arrival Gate A9)

08:20 09:00 09:50 10:40 11:30 12:20

13:10 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00

19:00 20:00 21:00 21:50



Star Lake Hotel




RT Markt


Tel:  0758-2211996

05:00 05:40 06:40 07:40 08:40 09:30

10:20 11:10 12:00 12:50 13:40 14:30

15:20 16:10

16:50 17:20 18:30


Baiyun Airport






To HK Airport there are two ways getting there from Zhaoqing by bus or by train. Direct bus from Huada Hotel are available, 220 yuan round trip.


Huaqiao Dasha Hotel

TEL: 2232650

OYC Hotel

TEL: 2888888




Sheung Shui, Sha Tin, Princes, Austin


Ticketing agent tel: 8522317790027391728









It’s best to take the train that leaves around 3pm and will take you straight to Hong Kong train station and then can take a Taxi from there could cost you around

$HK 235.



Getting around Zhaoqing


There are several ways to get to town. Bus #10 and #18 (every 10 minutes from the campus – takes 20 minutes), ride our bikes (30 minutes, there are lots of Bike parks in town to put your bike when you get there) or a taxi (15 minutes). Taxis are normally easy to find outside the campus during term time but can be scarce in the holidays. Calling a taxi is hit and miss and they don’t always show up.


Local Places to Visit


Get the ZQ travel card asap. It saves lots of money. Star Lake and Dinghu cost 60 RMB a head just to get in plus other small charges. Very worthwhile.

Spend the night on Dinghu—good for relaxing.


Outskirts of ZQ:


Gao Yao Ecological Park, Deqing’s Dragon Mother Temple and Pan Long Xia with its waterfalls, Fengkai’s Small Guilin and the Biggest rock in Asia, Huaiji’s Swallow Cave, Guangning’s bamboo forest, Sihui’s Zhen Mountain, the village that makes paper from bamboo and orange picking in Jianggu”


Flying Away


Around China


They are frequent flights anywhere from Guangzhou Airport. To find out the best deals have a look on www.ctrip.com




Neighbouring Countries

While you’re here you might aswell travel to other countries that are nearby most trips are an average of 3 hours travel.


Japan – Frequent flights from Guangzhou Airport fly to either Osaka, Tokyo and other major cities. If you’re planning to travel around Japan. Try purchasing a Japan Rail Pass before you go. You can do this at a local travel agent company. This will give you unlimited access to train/bus/boat rides all over the country and subways as long it is JP company. Flying will take around 3hours.

For more info check out their website for all the latest news and prices




Singapore/Malaysia— Singapore is small you could do Singapore in a day. It would be a good idea to continue you’re travelling into Malaysia to visit Kuala Lumpur the capital of the Country another place is Melaka a great tourist spot with much culture and many things to do. Their public transport are trek motorbikes and each one has a different style and music playing outside their bass amp.


There are often good deals to Thailand and other neighbouring countries advertised. Getting tickets is simple. China Travel near Dynasty Hotel. They give up to 60% discount, most flights work out at about 750 RMB = Up.



Travel Recommendations by current and former teachers




I got a good deal to fly to Tokyo from Guangzhou for only 1800rmb but it meant stopping of in Beijing. Once landed I had to rush to the next terminal I barely made it. After landing in Tokyo airport I started using my 2 week Japan Rail Pass travelled up to Sapporo down to Nigata and all the way down to Hakata. Before I go any further for accommodation wise I didn’t release I needed to book a reservation for a hotel room. So I ended up staying in the Internet bars to sleep and check emails. They are not bad you can purchase a 12hour stay for 1000yen you have got a cubical legless chair (picture right), PC, TV and free drinks.  Anyway, I managed to purchase a plane ticket out to Okinawa (Where Karate originated) to have a look around it’s a place all the nice beaches are and this is the place were Japanese go for a short gateaway from their busy city life style. I then flew to Miyajima to see the Shrine in the sea. Continuing my trip I went to Hiroshima to visit the ruins of the Nuclear Bomb disaster. The city is very memorial with statues and shrines for the people who lost their lives in the 1945 disaster. I continued up to Kyoto to visit the temples. Kyoto seems to be the only place that is left of old Japan. Leaving Kyoto I went to Osaka, lovely city famous for its Teriyaki Pizza. Continuing my best rail pass I had a quick stop in Nagoya the third biggist city in Japan to visit a friend in an area called Moriyama. Then I went into Tokyo instead on staying in Internet bars I rented a room in Higashi Kogenei called Big Apple Guest House. Most people who were living there were foreign teachers and office workers. Also a few Japanese people who have left their hometown to make it big in Tokyo. Interesting people they gave me all the ins and outs living in Tokyo where to shop, what to see and what to avoid. I went back again on a working holiday visa in March – October 2007 to teach and taking part in local Karate Schools. Tokyo is a great place to visit but to live and work there is a hard life.

Info: http://www.japan-guide.com/




If you love the sea then go to Thailand. I flew with my wife from Hong Kong to Bangkok great deal from Wing On Travel in HK for only $HK2400 each. 6 day in Pattaya and 4 days in Bangkok. We hired a driver from Bangkok Airport named Mr Rangsan only took 1hr and 30mins. We stayed in the Hard Rock Hotel facing the beach (my kinda place) great room, great food and great swimming pool. I asked if I could have the Elvis Presley suite but no it was occupied. Anyway Pattaya is quite a lively place with many massage parlours, bars playing different kinds of music on Walking Street and many night market restaurants. During the day you can take tours to different places, scuba dive, Jet Skiing, Paraglide, hire car or motorcycle. Bangkok the capital of Thailand. Bangkok is a crowded busy city but much more to see and do if shopping is your purpose then go to Chaktuchak station on the weekends where they are over 15,000 stalls from food to furniture. I thought Hong Kong was shopping heaven but after experiencing Chaktuchak this place is much much better by the end of the day you will be sick of shopping. Too many choices. Have a look for more info. http://www.tourismthailand.org/


Yunnan Province China


“Lijiang in Yunnan Province!!”


Yunnan is a good destination from Zhaoqing as there is a direct train. Getting a hard sleeper seat (try and get the bottom bunk) is an experience in itself and the 27 hour train ride to Kunming is stunning. From their you can go on to Vietnam, Tibet or travel north to Sichuan.



Guide to Zhangjiajie National Park in northern Hunan Province by Darren, previously written for an Internet forum so please excuse the informality;


Zhangjiajie National Park, Hunan Province

Zhangjiajie was the first National Park set up in China in (I'm thinking) 1979. It's pretty famous amongst the Chinese population and has had Chinese movies filmed there and Chinese songs inspired by it.

Living in Zhaoqing in Guangdong Province I set off at 11.50am local time to catch the bus to Guangzhou Tian He. There I met my girlfriend and we then caught the Airport Express to the, ahem, airport. It was a quite speedy hour and twenty minutes to Zhangjiajie City and so we went to catch a cab to Zhangjiajie Village.

This is near the National Park and the next day (after a rip-off supper and breakfast) we walked to the Park entrance. Having read that it had shockingly been upped in price to 160rmb last year you can imagine my delight by being told that this year it was now 220rmb. I can assure you that upon hearing said pricing information I was about as happy as a penguin in a microwave. Still...holiday and all that, so I paid it. It entitled us to two entries into the park - although you can get away with as much time as you like as long as you stay inside the park and don't come out. Sort of like the 'one-entry' visas many are familiar with.

The Park itself is a mixture of scenic beauty and Chinese tourist rip-off. On the first day we took a cable car to a nearby mountain and...kind of...looked down. There wasn't much else to do. This part of Zhangjiajie comes from the Yangshuo school of sticky-up rocks that looks nice. In the typical Chinese tradition every rock/mountain/hill etc. that looks nothing vaguely human in any way is still given the personification treatment regardless. Hence seven rocks sticking into the air is interpreted as 'Five Fingers' ("Hey , just pretend a couple of them are stuck together!"), a couple of crags which have the impertinence to lean within five hundred yards of each other have to suffer the nomenclature of "wooing lovers" and a tiny little wannabe mountain with a couple of holes halfway up looks like a 2nd Century BC Chinese author...As if those who named it had a daguerreotype to hand and compared the two!?!?! Shocked

ANYWAY... after strolling about the top we decided to go down the mountain and save 50 or so kuai rather than get the cable car down. BIG MISTAKE. The one thing that Zhangjiajie contains more than anything else is...steps.

After an hour of bone-crunching downward strides my knees were shaking like an alcoholic grasping his first drink of the morning. We met a Chinese guide (ethnic minority of Miao(sp?) whom number 60% of the local population) and she took us to a local guesthouse. She didn't tell us it'd take 2 and a 1/2 hours but what the hell...by the time we finished walking my thighs would rival any World Strongman contestant. I almost felt I could pull a truck with my teeth.

We then went up an elevator. Not just any elevator though...one on the side of a bloody mountain. The view was great, the cost was horrendous and we reached the destination. 80rmb for a room and 120 with heating. I'm not Captain Scott however so 120 it was. The food was very overpriced inside the national park.

The next two days saw us walking...and walking...and walking. Everything in Zhangjiajie seems to require the arrival of steppage. So the next day we climbed and then descended mountains. On the third day we visited the biggest cave in China. At least that's what the ticket touts said. Don't remember much about those two days as when your calves are throbbing like a head waking from a three-day old hangover life starts to pass you by.

Overall though I'd recommend Zhangjiajie. It's tourist trap in places and can get busy but there
aren't loads of waiguoren to spoil your 'Cook as the first man exploring the Pacific' delusions and it looks great.


Shamian Island


Former colonial part of Guangzhou – pictures in the following links;


Guide to Shamian Island - http://preetamrai.com/weblog/archives/2005/11/22/my-little-hiding-place-shamian-dao/



Shamian Island                        Zhangjiajie National Forest Park


Chinese Customs


Find a good book on the subject and read it. The Chinese are very open to foreigners and will show their best to you. Be careful when visiting students that you do not ask for anything unusual. Their income is often quite strained and your visit requires them to buy the good food (ie expensive!!) so be sensitive. Be gracious and accepting.

Be careful about saying you like something because you may end up with it. This is how I got two guinea pigs in January 2002. All I said was they were cute and soon I had 2 companions on my 8-hour train trip home. I finally got rid of them in July 2003.



Chinese Language


In Guangdong province their native tongue is Cantonese and the people would prefer to speak their native tongue and dialect in socialable hours. In business or school they must speak Mandarin. Learning Mandarin will take you far and all around China. If your learning Cantonese your speaking their native tongue and will be able to understand what they are talking about in Socialable times. Learn on your own. If you make the effort you can learn it. There are lot of materials online to download or checking in the bookshops.



Cultural Past Times


I am learning to play the gu zheng just because I like the sound. A teacher, Ms Jiang living in building 24 loaned me one and found me a teacher who comes once a week.

There is a pottery studio on campus and some of the guys in the art department are good artists.


“Tai Chi is popular on campus as are various martial arts. It is easy to join in with any group practicing. The art department has many tutors and students who can teach Chinese painting and calligraphy if you are interested.”


Interaction with Students


I have students in and out of my house a lot when I am home. I enjoy this but not everyone does. Set the rules. If my gate is open and my sign says open they can ring the doorbell. I sometimes ignore them if they violate this. They often send a message before they come to make sure I am home and accepting visitors.


Students visit our home quite often and usually unannounced which can be difficult at times. You may find you have to ask them to leave as they don’t always pick up on signs that you are busy or want to go to sleep. Generally speaking the visits are welcomed though and can lead to some interesting informal discussions. One student visits regularly to help us with our Chinese which is very useful.


We have visited several students homes which is a great way to experience the culture first hand.




I use the students for help often but not when it interferes with their classes. They are usually very willing to help—sometimes too willing. However, you do have the right to have some privacy about personal affairs and in this case ask an adult/trusted friend to help. For some of my travel, I have a student go with me. What I pay for depends on the student’s financial condition but it usually includes transportation and lodging.

I now pay a student who needs the money to dust and clean my floors. In the past I’ve had students cook for me using my money for the food. They cook and we eat together.


I have three students I use on a regular basis to translate lectures and help with some of my research. I pay for the translation if it is for my personal work but for classes the students do it for their own experience. If you need a translator for a lecture or class it is better to try and organise it for the evening or weekend. As I teach a specialist subject and use translators for most of my teaching all of my classes are in the evening or at weekends.




For teaching—smart casual: men—slacks or jeans with shirt or polo, women—slacks or skirt with blouse or top. You need one good outfit for rare special occasions.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that breathe in the heat—natural fibers.

Even though this is Guangdong, you may need long underwear in the winter as it is as cold inside as it is outside. The classroom windows are usually open in winter. You will need a warm coat and gloves if your hands are sensitive. The key is to wear layers and keep yourself warm with hot liquids.


Hot and humid in the summer, cool and sometimes damp in the winter.  This is the Tropic of Cancer.


As at my home university you can probably wear what you want for teaching but smart dress is appreciated. I like to wear a shirt and tie for formal lectures, but this is definitely not expected.




Cultivate friendships with one or two key persons and they can help you more. Sometimes you have to pick your fights and focus on the major problem. Some complaints are simply TIC—“This is China”—and you are not going to change the system. Working within it brings more longer lasting results than recreating it. They are willing to listen but sometimes it is not their decision to make. Don’t complain constantly. Make it effective when something is serious and then stick to your guns.


You will quickly discover which people are good at getting problems solved for you and making friends with these people is important. I have found that department technicians play an important role in making sure your teaching goes smoothly and keeping them informed of your schedules is useful.


The Office of International Cooperation & Exchange is in charge of keeping you up to date with what is going on at the University. It is a good idea to call in occasionally to find out any news.



Other Foreigners in ZQ/ ZQU


There are more and more foreigners in ZQ every year. Many of them work at CAS—the Canadian-American School (a private K-12 school with many boarders) down the highway from ZQU.


Zhaoqing is becoming a popular tourist destination and we have seen more and more foreign tourists during the year we have been here. If you crave some foreign company we suggest any foreign bar in Guangzhou like The Elephant and Castle pub.




There is a Catholic church behind Children’s Park. There is also a small church in Gao Yao near the river.


There is a Protestant church temporarily meeting near the Ho Gang market while the church is being rebuilt from the ground up. The service is Sunday at 9:30 in Cantonese.

There is also a mosque on Kangle Lu in the old part of town.

In GZ there is an International Fellowship Sunday at 10—Star Hotel in Tian He near the East train station—in English—followed by buffet lunch (40 RMB). There is also a church on Shamian Island near the US Consulate with English. I think there is a Catholic cathedral near Haizhu Square but I am not sure where.

The church in Dong Shan has wonderful Christmas and Easter services—mostly Chinese.

There is a house church in GZ with Pastor Lamb—he speaks very good English and is quite an interesting person to meet.




You should obtain a multiple entry visa so you can travel freely to HK, Macau and other countries. This past year, the school paid for this also.

You MUST have a medical exam by the Chinese doctor—very cursory—height, weight, blood pressure, vision, and blood sample. They do use sterile needles. The clinic is just for foreigners and those Chinese going abroad so it is okay. This year I had a chest x-ray for the first time because of SARS. You must pay for this exam around 500rmb. The procedure is: arrival with the visa obtained in your country, medical exam, visa application with picture with designated receipt. Easiest studio to go: Youyixuan Photocopy Shop & Studio, third floor, the campus supermarket. Don’t forget to ask for a receipt (huizhi, in pinying) It takes a couple of weeks during which you cannot travel as you need to show your passport for planes and hotels. If all in doubt always double check at your local Consulate /Embassy for an update. 


You must get the Z visa to enter China, otherwise it will not be possible for the university to sort out the multiple entry work visa when you arrive.


Insects, Bugs and other Unwanted Creatures


ZQ is in a tropical zone and we do get creepy crawlies. The best and most non-toxic way to deal with cockroaches is to pour boiling water over them. Then there are the tennis rackets like device for frying mosquitoes. Delightful smell. For ants use dishwashing soap bubbles. If all else fails, use your big can of Raid.

The wall lizards I usually tolerate as they do eat mosquitoes but my cat doesn’t agree with me on this. They are her favourite prey.

I live and let live for spiders. We have had a few cockroaches in the hot weather but not much else. The mosquitoes are the worst problem (they tend to bite my wife rather than me) but we don’t get too many in the flat. All the beds have mosquito nets and air-conditioning both of which keep them away.

Teaching – Advice from teachers


Initial teaching experiences of FTs teaching in China


I never taught at home, but from my student days, I remember there was much more back and forth between the students and teachers. Students weren't afraid to ask questions or give an opinion. Here, classes can seem more passive and students sometimes are more used to receiving what we may perceive as a lecture rather than an interactive class”.


“Be careful of a possible problem: sometimes one student does all the talking and the rest of the class comes to assume that that one person will answer your questions, thus freeing them of any need or obligation to speak."


They were all very polite and happy just to speak with me.  They’re very concerned to be able to hold a conversation with a ‘native speaker’. I think students in the west (and I’ve previously taught in two western countries) are not as courteous or friendly to a newcomer.


“This can be because one student may have much more confidence in their speaking ability.” 


Breaking up friendship groups and sprinkling the competent speakers throughout the new groups helped a lot, as did giving them solidly-defined tasks. Simply saying "talk about sports" had them lost. The students I had seemed to feel more comfortable when the teacher acted with a strong sense of leadership.”


Students in China have a thirst for knowledge concerning the west. This is encouraging but concerning because of the protective environment. In the UK, students are encouraged to learn. In China, students are told to learn.


Chinese students work harder but do not have much optimism regarding their potential.  For example, biology in China is considered impractical when searching for employment.


Many students didn’t understand me; be prepared to talk more slowly, louder and more precisely.”


Students are easily impressed by your ‘foreignness’. Can talk more about what happens in your own country that is different from China. Many students seem to work hard but there’s little improvement in the end. A lot less lesson preparation!


The students were co-operative and enthusiastic, actually standing up and clapping when I first arrived. Though they were obedient and passive at times and I missed the critical thinking and creativity of my Canadian students.


Walking into the classroom for the first time, I was warmly welcomed by each and every student. For some of them, I was their first ever-foreign teacher and one of the first they had ever even seen.


It was difficult for me to get to know the other Chinese English-speaking teachers.  They seemed afraid to speak to me and were insecure about their English, but when I did make a few friends they would ask me for advice. It is certainly worth the effort”




“The curriculum is set by the school according to the national guidelines and the students have few choices. The students are always together for a class except PE and elective classes. The school is completing the transition from a 3 year to a 4 year school.”


“Understanding the full curriculum has been hard as it is currently not translated to English in my department. I teach about half my classes as part of the main curriculum and about half are elective courses. Elective courses are easily written and validated though they will not be taken as seriously as the main curriculum courses by the students. It is important to know if you are teaching four year degree students or three year diploma students as their level and outcomes are different. In my department it is about a 50:50 split.”


Classroom Environment


 “In this university most classrooms have a computer, better learn PowerPoint to give lectures.”


I was impressed that each classroom for language lessons came equipped with computers, projector, and air conditioners although desks could not be reorganised. In the west, my experiences of the teaching building were of older designs.


Rescheduling Classes & Teaching Facilities


“All classes must be made up. Generally, if I know I will be absent on a particular date, I try to make up the class beforehand if at all possible. Give the students a choice of when and give the monitor the job of finding the room for you. Be a little flexible as they know their schedule and work load.”


“The monitor is in charge of organizing the class. If you need something done, ask the monitor directly and it will be done. If you ask who would like to do it, you will get little response. You also have the vice-monitor who is mainly responsible to get you to sign the attendance sheet every week. Make sure you sign. It is also proof you are teaching your classes.

“The student in charge of study is another. Good person to know. If someone doesn’t hand in the homework, it’s his/her job to see you get it. He/she is also useful for collecting or handing back homework. One of my classes this year has a student whose job it is to keep me up to date about where the class is and who will not attend. These people sometimes change after a term so check. They want to do their job so give them some responsibility to assume.”


“Generally speaking the teaching facilities are good. I make sure when I book a classroom it has multimedia equipment. So far I have had no problems in getting these class rooms. I can prepare the class on my laptop and then plug it in when I get to the class.”


“I have had to make some trips this year interrupting the classes I teach. This has been easily resolved by rescheduling the class. As the class all tend to have the same schedule, finding another time is never that hard. Getting the class monitors mobile phone number is very important to keep in touch with the class.”


“If you teach in the public English department, rescheduling classes can be difficult. Usually there is a monitor for your class, however, this may not be the case for every class, (or maybe the monitor doesn’t want to admit to being monitor for fear of not being able to understand you). The monitor may not be able to speak or understand much English, so be careful, what you think might be a simple instruction may not be so simple for him/her. You need to contact the Head of the public English department firstly to seek permission to reschedule, and then speak to the secretary, who will contact the relevant classes and reschedule your class for you. You need to have dates, times etc. readily available. In my experience I have found the department very flexible with regard to rescheduling your classes, as long as you make up the class there usually isn’t a problem”.





There is a school calendar but it is always subject to change. National Day and May 1 are 7 day holidays but often followed by 7 days of classes—2 make up days plus the usual 5. Sports meeting is usually 2 days in November—no classes. Each class will have one day to work on campus each term—the school will not tell you when and often the students do not either. You may show up some day and find you have no class. They can be made to make it up if it is crucial to your teaching program.


There are four holidays in the school year. One week for national day in November and one day for Qingming in April, Labour day in May and Mid-autumn day in Sep. These holidays are actually just three days but the Chinese add another two days and then work the following weekend. This means that you will have to teach the weekend following the week off if you have classes on Thursday or Friday. The University also has a seven week break for Spring Festival (normally in January and February) and a seven or eight week break for the summer.


Depending on what you are teaching you may find that you can finish your teaching some weeks before the end of each semester as time is allocated for exams and marking. You need to be very sure that you have finished all your duties, set and marked exams and given in marks before leaving at the end of the semester. We found that we were able to get at least an extra week off by getting this work finished early.




“The students tend to be less sophisticated than their age. They love to play games such as Musical Chairs and Pop the balloon. They like both Chinese traditional things and hip hop. More and more no longer have black hair and the number of pierced ears is skyrocketing.”


“The students always seemed younger than their true age. Even after two years of teaching college students they still seemed more like 16 yrs old than 21.”


Most of my students in the US (I did not teach English but science) were auditory learners. It seems that in China a much greater number of the students are visual learners.


It took some time for me to adjust my speaking to a level that everyone could understand. As well, determining the level of each student and class proved quite challenging in my first semester.


Chinese students are more earnest, try really hard to please and help the teacher. They seem to work harder/study more (but maybe methods not v. effective) but are afraid to make mistakes. They want to be your friend. Seem to have a very limited social life. Mental age is 12-14 years when they’re 18-20 years. Do not think respond creatively as much as western students need to be coaxed into it.”


I found the students to be very enthusiastic, eager and in general, polite.



“They are still quite dependent on their family and most do like to find any excuse to go home. I do require that they ask permission from me to miss class. For most it isn’t a problem as most seldom miss class. The exception is the last term before graduation when many are job hunting or already working.”


“Many students come from families where there parents had limited education due to the Cultural Revolution or poverty. They value the chance to study. English classes are predominately female. Boys are a rarity. In Chinese they are called boys until they marry—often close to 30. It is not an insult.”


“Varies.  If you make the effort you will get to know the class and they will tell you. Most are from Guangdong Province”


“The university recruits students from all over China but the vast majority is from Guangdong. They tend to be hard working and spend little time engaging in social pursuits associated with western students. In general they are polite and good mannered though habits such as falling asleep, talking and text messaging in class are very normal. Different teachers have different approaches to deal with this.”


“The students are very well mannered and polite. In class they sometimes fall asleep. Initially this annoyed me. I also thought this was an insult or a poor reflection of my teaching, perhaps they were bored? or could not understand me? However I soon discovered that this is normal. When I asked one of my colleagues what should I do, she simply replied ‘oh let them sleep’. However, I decided that I don’t think they should sleep in my classroom, so I tend to make a joke of the situation, and called them ’noddy’ or ‘sleepy head’, which usually aroused their curiosity and they would then pay attention. Alternatively I would suggest (in a humorous manner) they leave the classroom and catch up on their sleep. This also usually works really well”.


Teaching and Learning Styles


It is much more of a leap for most Chinese students to be creative, they find it hard to move away from the crowd in this. A lot of them are uncomfortable with a teacher who steps back and leaves them to it. However done right, most will appreciate it in the end. They hate to be condescended to as much as any Western Student...


Compared to universities in the UK, the system of teaching the students are used to here seems to be very much based around rote learning and repetition of vocabulary.


Chinese students are forced to memorize a LOT of information.  To give them a script, they can recite it easily, though they may not understand the meaning.  Also, they have a difficult time when you allow them to ‘speak out’ – it is very different from what Chinese teachers usually allow.




Advice from former teachers


A lively teacher, able to interact, will make a considerable difference.  Encourage independent thought.


Beware of political restraints. Accept that your students are not accustomed to expressing opinions.  ‘Saving face’ is an innate desire which must be avoided but also tackled.


Be real, true to yourself. Share your personal experiences with students


I’d say prepare to have a good time! I’d also say to be aware of your boundaries – if you’re not careful you’ll end up doing way too much and burning out.


I’d say that ‘cheating’ and ‘plagiarism’ are more common here – and not considered as seriously as they would be elsewhere (it is a collective society, in many ways). You can overcome this with group exams or by being very vigilant during exams. Like everywhere, if you let them cheat, some will.


Don’t expect a lot in the first month or so. The students are very shy, to make mistakes and “lose face”. They need to become comfortable with the teacher before they will strive to improve. Smile a lot and always show them that you understand most of what they say.


Enjoy the Chinese life and culture


Learn the language. Besides helping you get around independently, it’s an excuse to get out of the "language exchange" offers that mostly turn into English lessons. Talk to city dwellers at stores, restaurants, etc. who don't speak English and immerse yourself, it’s fun nowadays I am finding it more useful to learn Cantonese because social times students and local people will speak their native tongue”.


“Eat the street foods, they define local and regional tastes all over the country, and each city or region has its own super-delicious local foods.


Some issues could be seen as “sensitive” to Chinese students (i.e. Japan, Taiwan). The first time I was asked about Japan, I answered in a way that offended some of the serious ‘nationalist’ students.  Coming from a more laid-back country, I wasn’t prepared for the intensity of which the Chinese truly love China. Westerners are usually more subtle in their patriotism.



Useful Chinese Words and Phrases


Although the local dialect in cities and towns around Guangdong is, mainly, Cantonese, the official state language is Mandarin (Chinese – Putonghua – numbers relate to one of the four tones a character possesses), which is used in official settings including education. Zhaoqing University provides free lessons in Mandarin Chinese for their foreign teachers, ask the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE for details.  


There are four tones in Mandarin Chinese (more in Cantonese) and these can pose difficulties for foreigners whose languages are not as reliant on tones.  The syllable ma for instance could mean mother (first tone), hemp (second tone), horse mă (third tone), or scold (fourth tone) and even as a question ma (neutral tone).




The tones are -

1st tone (high, level, long), indicated by a horizontal bar e.g. ō
2nd tone (high, rising, medium), indicated by a rising accent e.g. ó
3rd tone (low, dipping, long), indicated by a dipping accent e.g.
4th tone (loud, falling sharply, short), indicated by a falling accent e.g. ò


Chinese Characters - Strokes:


Some Important Characters:




City of Zhaoqing

Zhaoqing xue yuan



Zhaoqing University




Guangzhou city

Zhong guo




Ying guo





Chinese Grammar

Word Order

Question form of the statement.

Wo shi  ying    guo    ren.

I   am  English country person.

Ni  shi  ying   guo    ren  ma?

You are English country person ?

Ji      dan duo shao  qian?

Chicken Egg how much money?


Pair words of conjunctions

Yin wei……, suo yi……

   Because…, so…

Sui ran……, dan shi……

  Although… but……


Lack of tense concepts

Tense indicators: le,  time adverbial.

Wo shi lao shi.  Wo yi qian shi xue sheng.

I   am teacher. I   past  was student.

Tense is often indicated by the time rather than by the change of verbs

Many Chinese people have difficulties in telling the differences of tenses.


Word class

No articles. Not sensitive about numbers.

Wo xi huan kan shu = I like see book.

No equivalent auxiliary verbs since the questions and negatives are formed differently from English.

Not many prepositions in Chinese

Unit words: yi ge, yi zhi, liang, pi…


Sentence structure

Predicate can be acted by a noun, adj, numeric, in addition to verbs.

Wo hen hao       Ping guo zhen da

I very good        Apple really big

Many Chinese students do not realize the importance of verb in the predicate. Common mistakes are sentences without verbs. Or they may take some as verbs: against, from, born, etc.


Punctuation marks

Full stop as a circle

Book or article quotations

Suspension points: ……


Here is a very basic list of Chinese words and phrases; English-Chinese dictionaries are available in most bookstores including those in Zhaoqing and are useful when conversation grinds to a juddering halt, particularly when needing to buy something.  It’s advisable to take lessons however as the many locals know little more than ‘hello’ and therefore conversation can be rather limited. Also, there may be mistakes here as my Chinese is poor at best so please don’t take the following as being akin to gospel truth.




Pin Yin




Ni2 hao3

nee how


Hello, literally means ‘you good!’

Zai4 jian4

dzai jyen



Ni2 zao3

nee dzow


Good morning

Ni hao

ni how


Good evening

Wan3 an1

wahn an


Good night

Hui tou jian

hway toh jyen


See you later

Ni hao ma

nee how mah


How are you? How do you do?

Wo hen hao

wor hun how


I’m very good




Dui bu qi

dway boo chee


Excuse me/sorry

Ni shuo shen me

nee shwor shun mur


Sorry/Pardon me? What did you say?

Xie xie

hsyeh hsyeh


Thank you

Xie xie wo bu yao



No, thank you

Wo shi ying guo ren

wor shur ying-gwor run


I am English

Wo shi mei guo ren

wor shur may-gwor run


I am American

Wo shi ying yu lao shi

wor shur ying-yew low-shur


I am an English Teacher

Zhaoqing hen piao liang

hun pyow-lyang


Zhaoqing is very beautiful

Wo xi huan zhong guo

wor hshee-hwahn joong-gwor


I like China.


Personal Pronouns:

Pin Yin






Me, I






You (for respect)





W men




Ni men



You (as a group)

Ta men





Other Common words/phrases

Pin Yin




Shi de

shur dur









Lao jia

low jyah


Excuse me (to get past)

Lao jia, qing wen

low-jyah ching win


Excuse me (to get attention)

Wo ming bai le

wor ming-bai lur


I understand

Wo bu dong



I don’t understand

Nin hui shuo Ying yu ma

nin hway shwor ying-yew mah


Do you speak English?

Wo bu hui shuo Hanyu

wor boo-hway jiang hahn yew


I can’t speak Chinese




Pin Yin















a couple


























Bai – suffix meaning hundred, e.g. yi bai = 100, er bai = 200 etc

Qian – suffix meaning thousand, e.g. yi qian = 1000, er qian = 2000 etc

Wan – suffix meaning ten thousand, e.g. yi wan = 10,000, wu wan = 50,000 etc

Yi bai wan 一百万 – a million

Note: Many people tend to confuse numbers as the Chinese use the digits differently.




Pin Yin




Chi fan le ma

chur fan le mah


Have you eaten yet? (A very common greeting in China, fan actually means rice so literally it means ‘have you eaten rice yet?’)

Chi fan

chur fan


Come and eat! (Often shouted) by food vendors as potential customers walk past)

(Hen) hao chi

(hun) how chur


(Very) Delicious

Jiu ba




Ka fe dian



Café/coffee house

Can ting




Die zi




Kuai zi




Bei zi








Bo li bei

bor-lee bay


A glass

Dao zi




Shao zi




Pan zi



Plastic basin

Cai danr




Mai danr



Get the bill

Tian pin








Xi shou jian





Some foods


Pin Yin




Chao mian



Fried noodles

Chao fan



Fried rice

Mian tiao




Jiao zi




Mi fan







Nai lao




Dou fu



Bean curd/tofu

Xiao mai




Mian fen



Wheat flour







Jiang you


Soy sauce







Niu rou










Yang rou




Zhu rou




Sheng jiang




Da suan




La jiao



Chilli peppers

Din xiang




Mian bao




Ji dan




Ping guo




Cheng2 zi




Xiang jiao




Xi gua



Water melon

Hu jiao




Shu cai




Mo gu




Qie zi




Tu dou






Some drinks-


Pin Yin




Pi jiu




Ping zi




Ka fei




Niu nai




Cheng zi zhi



Orange juice

Guo zi zhi



Fruit juice

Mi jiu



Rice wine

Bai jiu



Rice wine

Wei shi ji










Qi shuir



Soft drinks

Bing chah

bing chah


Ice tea

Ke kou ke le







Pin Yin




Zhe ge duo shao qian

Chee-gur-dwor shao-tien


How much money is it?

Tai gui le



That’s too expensive

Wo bu yao



I don’t want it (or need it)


Useful places


Pin Yin




Fei ji chang




Yin hang




Yi yuan




Jing cha ju



Police station

Gong gong qi che zong zhan

goong-goong chee-chur dzoong-jahn


Public bus station

Huo che zhan



Railway station

You ju



Post office

Lü guan


Hotel (small)

Fan dian



Hotel (large)

Bin guan




Li fa dian




Shang dian




Xue xiao




Da xue




Xue yuen



College (Zhaoqing University is known as ‘zhaoqing xue yuen to many locals)


Some useful websites:




Useful Website Links


Airfares / Travel




http://www.macauzhuhai.com/drupal/ - Guide to Macau & Zhuhai



China Employment Matters



Chinese Language


http://www.formosa-translation.com/chinese/index.shtml - English to Chinese dictionary + expressions + symbols
http://us.dict.cn/en/  - English to Chinese dictionary, no pinyin + examples of word use
http://www.esaurus.org/  - English to Chinese medical dictionary
http://www.mit.edu/~jrg/medicalchinese/chi-eng%20med%20pamphlet-SMand.pdf - English to Chinese medical questions, terms and expressions + body parts
http://www.dianying.com/b5/topics/chart/  - Chinese names for foreign movies


China Living Info

http://www.blogtt.com/trip/showmapidx.asp?province=23 (maps but Mandarin only)



English literature (often includes all English-language literature not just UK)


http://www.literaryhistory.com – History Guide to and analysis of authors

http://www.bl.uk/collections/wider/subguides/englitguide.html - British Library texts


http://www.bl.uk/collections/wider/etexts.html#English - download Eng. literature

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/books/ - English literature for children with some games.


Guangdong(GD)/Guangzhou(GZ)/Zhaoqing(ZQ)-related Websites

http://www.hoteltravel.com/china/guangzhou/maps.htm - Guangzhou city map 
http://www.newsgd.com/citiesandtowns/  -  Guangdong map
http://www.gzcatv.net/ -  Cable TV in Guangzhou
http://www.gzbus.com.cn/web/line_search.asp - Guangzhou bus lines

http://www.zqu.edu.cn/english/ - ZQ University Website


http://www.zqtourism.com/eng.htm - ZQ Tourist Board

http://www.usfca.edu/ricci/home/mricci.htm - Ricci Institute webpage


Internet TV/English Language TV in China

http://www.hkatv.com/world/05/  - ATV World, English lang. TV channel available in ZQ

http://pearl.tvb.com/schedule/ - Pearl TV schedule, English lang. channel available in ZQ

www.cctv-9.com - National English Language News Channel












Teaching methodology sites, lessons ideas and websites for teachers


http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/ - The BBC’s superb website for students with many teaching resources.






http://iteslj.org/Techniques/     - EFL/ESL Teaching Techniques

http://www.onestopenglish.com/News/Magazine/Archive/archive.htm - Methodology


Huge list of sites for ESL






Websites with details of UK education


http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ - History of UK, with many teaching resources, excellent.

http://www.britcoun.org/   - The British Council

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/  - Statistics about the UK

http://www.britishcouncil.org/ecs/publications/essential_guide.htm - Guide to UK education

http://www.britannia.com/history/ - History of Britain with many articles

http://www.britishbornchinese.org.uk - Website for the British-Chinese community

http://www.britishempire.co.uk/ - Info on world’s largest ever Empire with teaching resources.


http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/ -Dictionary of Eng slang + colloquialisms used in the UK





If you have the time after you have settled into your new life in Zhaoqing, the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE would appreciate if you could fill in this questionnaire to allow them to improve how they help newcomers to Zhaoqing, any advice would be appreciated.





What initial differences did you encounter when first teaching in China, as opposed to in your home country?




How did teaching in China differ from your experiences of teaching in your home country?




How did the students you encountered in China differ from your perception of students in your home country?




Is the classroom environment different in China than from what you were used to?




What are the obvious differences in learning styles and teaching styles in China compared to your home country?




What advice would you give to western teachers about to start teaching in China for the first time?




In this introductory handbook to western teachers, what further information do you think it would be useful to see included?











Contact: Office of International Cooperation & Exchange,

Zhaoqing University,


Zhaoqing City,

Guangdong Province,

P.R. China
Post Code: 526061

University Website: http://www.zqu.edu.cn
Tel: +86-758-2716390
Fax: +86-758-2716969
E-mail: wsc@zqu.edu.cn




























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