Mandarin Learning Resources

Ben Pearce recently returned to the UK after four years living and working in Haining. He has reached an excellent standard of Mandarin and is now teaching the language to students of various ages in London. In this blog, he shares some of his top tips to help you get started with learning Mandarin.



How to Save Money in China

Foreign English teachers are in high demand in China and therefore tend to receive very generous salaries for their work. [...]

January 9th, 2018|General|0 Comments

Choosing the Best City In China For You

Thanks to it's huge cultural, linguistic and geographic diversity, choosing the best city in China for you to live and [...]

December 19th, 2017|General|0 Comments

What the New Chinese Work Visa Requirements Mean For You

2017 has been a year of change concerning Chinese work visa requirements for foreigners. This April saw the introduction of [...]

November 28th, 2017|General|0 Comments

How to Send Money Home From China

Since most Chinese schools offer foreign teachers generous salaries, you’re likely to have some RMB leftover when your contract ends. [...]

October 27th, 2017|General|0 Comments

How to Buy Train Tickets in China

October 1st marked one of China’s busiest periods for travel, as millions used the week-long national holiday to travel. China’s [...]

October 16th, 2017|General|0 Comments

Using the Shanghai Metro: The Ultimate Guide

Before commencing my teaching experience in the small town of Nanxun Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, I spent some time in Shanghai. This was my second visit to China and to Shanghai. […]

August 10th, 2017|General|0 Comments

The Advantages of Private School Placements

Following the launch of our free Private School Programme a couple of weeks ago, we have received several questions about the [...]

June 15th, 2017|General|0 Comments

5 Exciting Shanghai Events You’ll Not Want To Miss

Everyone’s heard of traditional Chinese festivals like Spring Festival, but few know about the “non-traditional” festivals and events celebrated annually [...]

May 18th, 2017|General|0 Comments

Tattoos in China: Dispelling the Myth

There's a common myth that having visible tattoos in China and working as a foreign teacher is a big no. [...]

March 24th, 2017|General, Teaching in China|0 Comments

An Insider’s Guide to the Best of Chongqing Cuisine

Chongqing is, depending who you ask, the Mountain City, the Foggy City or the River City. These three names accurately [...]

March 13th, 2017|General|0 Comments

8 Weird and Wonderful Chinese Festivals You Need to Experience

Holiday's and Festivals in China By Lauren Pettit, Teacher in Jinan (2015-2016) When I left the UK to live and [...]

March 3rd, 2017|General|0 Comments

How to Eat Vegan in Shanghai

Hi, I’m Eleanor and I’ve been learning how to eat vegan in Shanghai for the past 6 months. Before I came to China, I had no idea how easy or difficult it would be to overcome the language barrier, and therefore didn’t know if I would be able to continue my vegan lifestyle in China. This uncertainty almost stopped me from going on this adventure, but now I can say I’m so pleased it didn’t. I’ve since discovered that sticking to a vegan diet in Shanghai is far easier than I anticipated. Here are my top tips to help anyone else with the same concerns. What can I eat other than rice? Tofu is really popular in China and most supermarkets offer a huge selection of it. It’s really versatile and easy to cook, making home cooking a good choice for anyone looking to eat vegan. I often make Spaghetti Bolognese with home-made tomato sauce, tofu and vegetables. Vegetables are also widely available in supermarkets and markets and they are so cheap! If you aren’t a big one for cooking though, it’s still easy to eat vegan in Shanghai restaurants. There are places all over the city that will make vegan food for you if you ask them. One of my favourite dishes is shredded potatoes cooked in oil with vegetables, which is so simple and so good! Don’t they put meat in everything? In short, no they don’t. However, be aware that some restaurants will put chicken or fish in a dish if you ask for no meat. This is because they don’t consider chicken to be meat. One time I asked for no meat, no fish, and no chicken, and they came out with a dish that had frog in! The trick is not to assume that they know what you mean when you say you’re a vegan and don’t eat meat. You should be very specific about what you do and don’t eat. If they tell you they don’t have anything for you to eat, you can always find a restaurant that will. There are so many restaurants everywhere that you’ll have plenty to choose from. So, how can you make sure restaurant staff understand your needs? Simply save the photo below on your phone and show it to the waiter. It might take longer than usual, but this is so helpful to being able to eat vegan in Shanghai. Though this is helpful, be warned that restaurant staff in China are not as polite as in the UK. If they find your dietary requirements funny, they won’t hide it and might even go and tell their colleagues. This is nothing to worry about, it’s simply because they have not come across veganism before. They are not trying to be rude, they just don’t understand. Where will I get my protein from? Soy milk is readily available in most big supermarkets, many of which you’ll find without even trying. Walmart, Carrefour and E-mart are some of the big names that can be found across Shanghai. If you’re trying to eat vegan you should avoid Vitasoy ‘soy milk’. Although this brand claims to be soy milk, it actually contains regular milk, which I unpleasantly found out when it turned in my fridge after only a few days. As I mentioned earlier, tofu is available readily in supermarkets. This is a great addition to a stir fry and comes in many varieties. I also try to eat peanuts every day, to maintain my protein intake. British people trying to eat vegan in Shanghai will be pleased to know baked beans are available in some supermarkets. Be warned however, bread in China is often sweetened with milk and is therefore not vegan. It’s best to shop around and see if you can find a brand that hasn’t been sweetened. You might have to ask a Chinese friend or teacher to help you with the ingredients. Above: this is the soy milk that is not vegan […]

February 23rd, 2017|General|0 Comments