People frequently ask what I’m doing after I graduate from my master’s program in December 2010. I would love to find my dream job based here in Portland that allows me to travel the world, but considering:
a) I still don’t know what I want to do with my life
b) the economy is still in the toilet and
c) I really have nothing tying me down at the moment
I decided if I wanted to run off to travel, have fun and try something totally new and different this is the time.
So why China? What am I going to be doing there? Originally, the idea was to get a scholarship from the Confucius Institute, go to China, and continue my education in Mandarin Chinese (the 9 months of Chinese I had at PSU is very limited and fading from my memory quickly). However, because of a technical issue with submitting my application online (might have been the fact that the website was in Chinese) I did not get the scholarship. Laoshi Meiru (my Chinese teacher at Portland State) tried to help me get a scholarship anyway, but nothing worked out.
My mind had already gotten fixed on the idea of going, and when my mind gets stuck on something… well, I want to make it happen. I have friends who have travelled to China and let me know that as a native English speaker is really easy to get a job teaching English there. I never thought I would be a teacher, but I love kids, it could be fun, something different! Leah, my sister, teaches, my mom teaches ESL, it must be in the blood. I’m always up for something new and an adventure. I found a few places to apply through referrals and searching online. I had a couple interviews and was most impressed with Reach to Teach. I passed the interview process and now they are in the process of placing me in a school.
Currently, I’m looking at a school in Shanghai. It will be a bit of a change, from little Portland, Oregon,population about 1/2 a million, known for it’s liberal culture, being bicycle friendly, environmentally conscious and micro breweries to the most populous city in the world, with 20 million people and well, in China. But I’m really excited. Still waiting for more definite answers and placement before giving notice at my job, buying a plane ticket, etc. I’m a planner though, my head is full of thoughts, what I need to do, what I need to buy, what I need to get rid of, dates, times, everything.
Everything, obviously, includes being 100% prepared to share about my journey with anyone and everyone wanting to hear about it. So here we are, come take a peek into Julia’s Life in China.