CALVIN & JANELLE
Hello, we’re Janelle and Calvin, teachers at York’s Ping Dong branch. We’re from the great state of Texas, and we’ve been here for over nine months, now!
We chose to become teachers in China for the opportunity to see another part of the world. After doing our research, we decided on York. Though we went back and forth between wanting to live in the more cosmopolitan Shanghai and the more naturally scenic Fuzhou, once we started asking questions about the schools we were considering accepting positions with, it wasn’t long before we decided on York English. We were especially attracted to the training and support they provide for their teachers. Now that we’re here, we know we made the right decision. Moving abroad is so easy when your apartment is taken care of and ready to be moved into upon arrival, a friendly community of teachers welcomes you with meals and accompanies you on shopping trips, and almost all the administration work is done for you, leaving you to find your feet not only in terms of teaching at York but in Fuzhou as a whole.
We came here desiring to develop as teachers and form relationships with our students and coworkers, but, as mentioned, we also wanted to see the world! Teaching at York has given us numerous opportunities to do this. We’ve already gotten to see quite a bit of China. We’ve been to Huangshan, Zhangjiajie, Beijing, Xi’an, and Xiamen. We also had the chance to spend a weekend in Hong Kong, and a week vacation in Thailand!
When we’re not working or in transit, we enjoy exploring Fuzhou. It’s so easy to get around, especially on an e-bike, but also taking advantage of the many bikeshare programs and the subway system! Some of our favorite places are the beautiful parks, the historic Three Lanes and Seven Alleys, also known as “Old Street,” with many interesting little shops, including a candy store and a shop where everything is made from cardboard, Drum Mountain, complete with cable cars if you’re not keen on climbing the 2000+ steps, and 18 Streams, an amazing scenic area with swimming holes perfect for escaping the summer heat. And, when you need a break from Chinese cuisine, you can find Tex-Mex and Indian restaurants, just to name a couple of our favorites!
We are so grateful for this experience York has provided us. We’ve made so many friends, gotten to teach some wonderful little humans, work with some amazing TAs, and gotten see so much of this part of the world. We can’t wait to see what the next six months bring!