Expat Guides

As a part of deciding to move back to America, my project to encapsulate my time in China has been to create a series of guides to help people deciding to teach abroad for longer than a few months. This page is a major work in progress, and contains titles for upcoming articles. If you want a particular article early, send me a message and I can work on that one first.

While my time as a resident abroad was limited to Shiyan, Hubei, China, these guides are written in a way that considers people in other cities, towns, and countries.

Before Getting a Job

Getting the Job

  • Where and When to Find a Job: Don’t Pay Anyone!
  • The Process of Going Abroad: Timelines, Tickets, Links, and More

Preparing to Leave Home

  • What to Pack: Flavors to Bring From Home
  • Clothes: Being Realistic
  • Hygiene, and More: Do I Really Need 12 months of Deodorant?
  • Documents for Success: Don’t Forget These
  • Dealing with Friends and Family
  • Bare Bones Chinese: Learn These Things Before You Go
  • Your Boss: What You Need From Them BEFORE You Arrive
  • Your Student Loans and Other Bills

Your First Week

  • Take Care of Yourself
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Explore: Resources to Help You in Your New Home
  • Your Community: What You Need to be Comfortable Early On

Teaching, Tutoring, and Other Jobs

Living Abroad

  • Settling In
  • To Join or Not to Join: Sports, Clubs, and More
    • An Interview with …
  • Eating at Home
  • Friends: Setting Boundaries for Everyone You Meet
  • I Hate Drinking: Everyone Else is Always Drinking
  • China: Culture Shock
  • China: Movies, Eating Out, Shopping, the Gym, and More
  • Will I Gain Weight or Lose Weight?
    • An Interview with …
  • Going to the Doctor
  • China: A List of Numbers and Resources
  • China: Sex and Dating
    • An Interview with …
    • An Interview with …


  • Single, Young, Female: Traveling Alone
    • An Interview with …
  • Traveling in a Group
  • Traveling in China
  • Where to Travel in China
  • Where to Travel Outside of China

Learning Chinese

  • Immersion is Best, Right?
    • An Interview with …
    • An Interview with …
  • Learning Chinese in a Classroom