My First week in Shanghai started with an Introduction of the City, Mandarin Lessons and the first private Sightseeing tour. After you have learned how to use your metro transport card, nothing can stop you in Shanghai. Because of the Expo everything is signed and written in letters and even the taxis have a translation service hotline. You will learn easily how to communicate with taxi drivers, order your food by pointing to pictures and haggle on the fake market. Shanghai is great for shopping and you should leave enough space in your luggage when you arrive. During my time in China I traveled by train to Suzhou, Hangzhou and Beijing and always had good experiences with the transport and the trips in general. I met a lot of nice volunteers from all around the world and enjoyed many of my weekends and dinners with them. It is highly recommended to do some traveling, which is very easy to organize, and inexpensive as well.

My work time was between 8.00 and 16.00. During the week I had 9 lessons of 40 minutes each. My timetable was Mon-1 lesson, Tues - 2, Wed - 3 , Thur - 2, and Fri - 1. Between 11.30 and 12.30 was time for lunch. The meals were always good and (I am always picky with food) I found something to eat every time. The teachers and especially the Exchange Coordinator Mrs. D. were very communicative and caring. They joined me at lunch and were very interested in European culture and our ways of teaching. By the way, they taught me Chinese food vocabulary.

A normal day started depending on the lessons between 8.00 and 12.30. My first lesson began suddenly. I got my translated timetable and knew the classroom I had to go to. As I stepped in front of the Class a spontaneous hurricane of applause started. Obviously they seem to like their new German teacher with the long blond (“yellow”) hair (“like a Vampire”). After everybody got a sign we could start to work. I was teaching German by using a mix of Chinese vocabulary and easy English. I prepared my own working papers with German and Pinyin and PPPs for the lessons. During my free periods I would sit at my office desk and use the Wireless-Lan to prepare my lessons or check e-mails. Although the secondary school is more demanding than the kindergarten, the contact with the pupils is amusing and instructive. They were very interested in me and my lessons. Sometimes they gave me small presents like pencils, exercise books and so on. I don’t want to ever forget that experience which ended with a sad goodbye.

The time in Shanghai and especially at the Tongji Secondary School was very impressive and I learned a lot about the Chinese culture, lifestyle and livings conditions. I will miss my pupils and the time in school. Moreover, I will also miss the food and the gorgeous skyline of Shanghai. 

Thanks, May