EF Education First Teachers

Hey everyone,

I am scheduled to arrive in Shanghai for this June 2017. I wondered how many of you will be arriving and teaching in Shanghai around the same time. I thought it would be a great idea to connect with as many of you as possible and share ideas and tips about what to bring and what we are looking forward to, etc, etc, when we get to Shanghai. I have been binge watching so many videos on youtube about foreigners living in China, and I feel that I may have reached my limit, and I will look elsewhere for more info. 

Anyway, I hope to hear from you and chat about our upcoming move to China.

Chat soon, 

Sonya ;)

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Replies to This Discussion

I will be coming in July. I guess ill find out my district once I am there.

Yes, I guess we get to Shanghai and we will know the location of the school just before we arrive or upon arrival. Is this your first time to China?

Yeah, they will give you your centre placement when you arrive. There are something like 22 kids and teens schools, so with so many teachers coming and going you get put where there is the most need at the time of arrival -- not something that can be planned months in advance usually. But most centres are easily accessible by metro and often inside of shopping centres or near other busy areas, so don't worry about having long treks from the city centre. In fact, there were 3 centres within walking distance of my last flat, even after I switched jobs, EF was so close!

Im coming in June! I lived in Shanghai for a year and a half already so feel free to ask me about tips and experiences in Shanghai :)

Hi Holle,

Thanks for getting back to me. I want to know everything! I will start with the basics, what type of apartment did you live in when you last lived in Shanghai? What would you say is something I must bring from home to China? Really, any tips or suggestions are most welcome.



Hey girl! I've lived in 3 diff apartments. smartShanghai.com is where I have found all of them. Ive has roommates each time. Second time I had 1 roommate and paid around 3500 a month and the 3rd time I had 2 roommates and paid 4100 a month. So I would say SmartShanghai.com is one of the best ways to find an apartment whether single or with roommates. For things to bring #1 on my list is medicine and hygiene stuff ( allergy, cough stuff, ibuprofen, toothpaste, deoterant, toothbrush, mouthwash etc) whatever you usually use. Chinese medicine is not really effective AT ALL. And Chinese hospitals are super nasty sooo its better you bring some of your own medicine to keep from getting sick. And Chinese toothpaste/ mouthwash, and toothbrushes I feel like aren't very strong and or effective. I prefer to use American brand stuff. bodywash and shampoos and stuff is oky to buy in China #2.Winter IS DEATH so be prepared to buy in China/ Bring lots of warm winter clothes. #3. summer is DEATH and has super bad nasty misquitos so lots of sunscreen/ mosquito bite stuff if you get sunburn easily and/or get super bad allergic reactions to bug bites :) you can also buy misquito repellent in China. Sorry it's long haha but hope this helped some!


Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! The rent you mentioned seems much higher than I thought I would be paying; were the apartments in the new 'western style'  high rises? I heard that cockroaches are a big deal over there, is it true?

How did you bring all the extra stuff you mentioned with you? Did you pay extra when you flew over? Or is there another way? Not to mention, the weight of winter clothing! I noticed vloggers in China wearing their winter coats inside during the winter. *wow

Yeah we are going to suffer big time this summer! I will be sure to bring sunscreen and bug repellent!

Sorry for all the questions but I am so happy to be talking to someone who has living experience in China :)

Thanks, Sonya

Hey Sonya,
For rent it really depends on the area of Shanghai. I lived downtown so it was a bit more expensive, but its usually normal prices if you dont want a nasty apartment. I had no cochroaches at all, only mosquitos that'd occassionally get in through the window. So it really depends on what area you want to live in and if you want a roommate or not. You just gotta look hard enough and you'll find a good one. And yeah the apartments were like western style kind. For me I ended up having 2 big suitcases, but I also bought alot of winter clothes while I was in China theres a super cool cheap shopping underground place.

Hey again Holle,

I think down town is the place to be as I don't want to have long travel times to and from work and I want to have access to lots of different activities while I'm living there. I found pottery classes being given that I plan to take. I have a list of things I want in my apartment including air conditioning, and a washer and dryer, oh and a western style toilet! LOL I will check out the link you gave me, thanks so much.

OK, I am on the right track looking at large suitcases :) as for buying clothes there I wear plus sizes and I was told that there aren't larger sized clothing for women available there. 

How is your Mandarin? I have just scratched the surface as a beginner but I do want to learn the language. 


No worries!
Yes I think the majority of apartments all have Western style Toilets, and washing machines, very few have dryers though but if you look hard enough should be able to find one! I agree downtown like jingan, zhongshan park, or lujiazui areas are the best! lots of bars, western restaurants, clubs, gyms, so much stuff is there!!

I was a Chinese major in college so my Chinese is pretty good LOL but no worries! You will pick it up super quickly and the Chinese friends you make will love helping you out! :)

Will be arriving on the 14th of June from SA

Hey Nomawabo Myeki! I hope that all of Holle's knowledgeable info helps, I know that it has been great for me. I will be arriving a week after you on the 21st from Canada. 



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