Will you treat Chinese differently
Volunteering in Shanghai, China: City Bustle or Cultural Depth?
Volunteering in the big city of Shanghai and tourist areas
Even if the skyline of Shanghai is in doubt: a stroll through the economically growing city center gives you here and there glimpses of the metropolis' rich history. Because tradition is not neglected in the rapidly growing metropolis despite the striking modernity. In the small, narrow streets between the high-rise buildings, traces of the early 20th century can be found, when the new China flourished under strong Western influence. You won't feel that strange here, because the tourists romp around here.
Where Shanghai is still Shanghai
Even in a city of 23 million people there is here and there Corners where you won't find any tourists. Especially in the areas around the schools and kindergartens there is Shanghai the classic image of the Chinese lifestyle Again: here the hair is washed on the street, the laundry is dried on the roadside, next to it gentlemen playing chess. You can eat outside and you can also wear your pajamas. In the small dormitories and rooms that most families in Shanghai call home, there is no room for the everyday things in life. Most of life takes place in the alleys, just typically Chinese.
Eating means living in Shanghai
As a volunteer teacher in schools or as a supervisor in kindergartens, you will live during the week in accommodation provided by these institutions. If there isn't a fridge or kitchen here, do it like the people of Shanghai! You eat to chat with friends, at business meetings, at celebrations - Eating means living in Shanghai. There are so many restaurants and street kitchens to choose from that you won't know where to start. If you don't want a frog, then a well-seasoned noodle soup (Ma La Tang) will do the same.
Survive with just a few Mandarin phrases
The good thing about the big city is that you can get by with a few mandarin phrases. Often the basics are understood in English. In addition, there are always tourists who know one way or the other. No matter how much time you spend in Shanghai, you will always feel like you haven't seen enough. If the hustle and bustle of the big city becomes too much for you, there are activities to Huang Shan from here to enjoy the impressive landscape.
So close and yet so different - the island of Chongming near Shanghai
Who would have thought that just an hour away from Shanghai you could find yourself on an idyllic island that is very different from Shanghai. No gray clouds of mist or bustling crowds; instead an agricultural harmony, decorated with orange plantations and lovely little promenades. Only in the last few years has the island developed from a somewhat neglected farmland into a popular weekend destination for city dwellers.
Lost in Translation
It seems as if the island has developed its own character, and one by the way own Mandarin accent. If you have just come from Shanghai and think your Chinese is good, then you are still a bit “lost in translation” in Chong Ming. Tourists visit the island only briefly, so don't even try to contact international travelers in order to escape the language problems. Join the localsto understand the nuances of pronunciation.
Typically Chinese - pure culture in Zheng Zhou
Now a little treat for every Jackie Chan fan: the beginnings of Chinese Kung Fu can be traced back to the 5th century in the city of Zheng Zhou. The city can look back on millennia of history and many sights are contemporary witnesses. A touristic city, would you think? No, on the contrary! If you are looking for pure Chinese adventure, you have to go to Zheng Zhou.
It gets personal
The city along the famous Huang He Yellow River is big and noisy as it should be typical chinese city belongs. But you won't feel alone here. You can find friends quickly, because with your international face you will be treated like a superstar. Fewer tourists means the Chinese are more interested in you. So it will more personal than in the big city of Shanghai. Working in middle schools will also put your patience to the test: you teach classes in which up to 70 children who are thirsty for knowledge look at you. Who does not get into the Chinese lifestyle, is here in Zheng Zhou do not feel particularly comfortable. Having your own apartment provides extra comfort, but it shouldn't tempt you to retreat after school. If you can hardly wait to try the different kinds of Chinese tapas Xiaochi and chat with the locals, this is the place for you.
A good compromise between tourism and pure culture - Cheng Du and Su Zhou
Those who are neither ready for the mega-city of Shanghai nor want to go into a cultural ecstasy in Zheng Zhou will find in Cheng you in Si Chuan Province or in Su Zhou A good compromise in the Jiang Su Provonce - something for China beginners, so to speak. Both cities boast picture-perfect motifs that attract tourists, but have lost none of their Chinese charm. Even if it is suitable for newcomers to Asia, the mandarin course should not be skipped.
To the “Venice of the Orient” Su Zhou
Just 40 minutes from Shanghai, here in Su Zhou the ancient merges with the old, the not-so-old, the new and the ultra-modern. The Chinese are already 100 meters from the large shopping centers their traditional everyday life away and sell street food in the small alleys. The tourists who the Picture book motifs of the “Venice of the Orient” want to see, stay mainly in the old town and the parks. So you don't necessarily run into these. The accommodation is less than 5 minutes from the school where you teach. Also, the area offers wonderful shopping opportunities. If all of this is too personal for you, you can simply flee to the big city at a stone's throw.
Giant pandas and spicy food in Cheng Du
Cheng Du is the one Capital of Si Chuan Province. Aside from the very spicy food that the province is known for, Cheng Du is above all for its Giant pandas known. Cheng Du is one big chinese city, but despite its big city character, Chengdu also has unique, beautiful landscapes to offer. Cheng Du is a city on the upswing, but has still not achieved the character of other Chinese metropolises like Shanghai. This makes Chengdu the ideal destination to immerse yourself in the Chinese cultural heritage. Cheng Du is also still with tourists very unknown and many of the locals have never seen foreign faces. This gives you a great opportunity to get to know Chinese culture and teach the locals something about western culture.
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