Teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College, Shunde, Foshan, Guangdong, China
This post is my personal opinion of what it is like teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College. It also includes some useful ‘logistical’ type information. When I first came to China I taught English at a high school in YuanQu which is a small town in the north of China. I did that for a year, but it was too cold and teaching high school was not for me. Next, I did a year at Guangdong Ocean University. It was much better than my first job, but by the end of it, I was over teaching English.
I was going to leave China but ‘last minute’ I got offered a job in Shunde to teach business at Shunde Polytechnic. This post is my personal opinion of what it is like teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College. I did teach some English units also, and I taught the business units in English.
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Getting to Shunde Polytechnic College from Guangzhou
Shunde (顺德) is close to Foshan (佛山) and the much larger Guangzhou (广州). Shunde is part of Foshan. Shunde Polytechnic College itself is about a 20-minute bus ride from downtown Shunde.
If you want to take a taxi the full name is Shunde Polytechnic College. Shunde Zhi Ye Ji Shu Xue Yuan. 顺德顺德职业技术学院
The easiest, fastest and cheapest way to get from Guangzhou to Shunde is by high-speed rail.
Go to Guangzhou South Railway Station, Huo Che Nan Zhan (火车南站). Catch the train to the Shunde College station. The train costs about 20 RMB and takes about 15minutes. From the train station, catch the 919 to the college for 2rmb.
To catch a bus, go to Guangdong East Bus Station, Qi Che Dong Zhan (汽车东站) and buy a ticket to Da Liang Zhan (大良站). It costs about 26 RMB and takes about 90 minutes. From the Da Liang bus station, catch a bus to Shunde Polytechnic College. The fare is 2rmb.
Note: The Shunde College high-speed rail station has strict security. Most likely because it doesn’t get much ‘traffic’. They took my pocket knife off me and recorded my details.
There is a direct bus service from the Baiyun (Guangzhou) airport to Shunde. It will drop you near Walmart. From there you can catch the bus to the Shunde Polytechnic East Gate. Check below for further directions, under the shopping in Shunde heading.
Buses leave from the airport every 30 minutes from 0730 to 0030. It takes about 1.5 hours (depending on traffic) and costs 43 RMB.
Living in Shunde Polytechnic College
While teaching in Shunde Polytechnic you will be staying in an apartment on campus. It is very liveable because you are actually living in a guest-house. The apartment has two air-cons, a nice view, electronic doors, and a reception desk. Somehow mosquitoes still get in, but your bed has a mosquito net around it.
It’s semi-tropical in summer and doesn’t get too cold in winter. You might want a heater. All in all the weather is not too extreme either end and is warmer than it is cold. In any case, your holidays fall in the extremes of the weather so if you don’t like it you can leave during that time.
The college is somewhat isolated. It is a 20 to 30-minute bus ride to the main part of town. You can find almost everything you need on campus. There are a bunch of cheap cafeterias and a few little restaurants. There is also a small fruit stand and a mini-mart that sells a bunch of stuff.
Across the road from the school are another couple of restaurants, billiards, and a bar.
Teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College
I taught business at Shunde Polytechnic. It is a bit different from teaching English because it is a set curriculum. I did teach a few Business English units which are like teaching English so I’ll comment about that later.
The business course is in collaboration with Sydney TAFE and/or Britains BTEC. It is the same curriculum as they teach in the respective countries. The difference is that you teach it in English to non-native English speakers. Basically, the idea is to teach them how to pass… whether they actually learn the material is abjuratory in the college’s mind. Sounds bad I know, but it is common thinking in China.
I studied a similar course in Australia and enjoy the subject which is why I enjoyed it.
I did also teach a few business English modules, which to me was like teaching oral English. Everyone has their own methods for teaching English, so do what you do.
Teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College is good. The administration does not bother you as long as you show up on time and do your job. As with many places in China, as long as the students do not complain about you, it is easy sailing. Also, not much paperwork.
16 hours teaching is the contract’s maximum per week. I did about 14. Some teachers do English corner once a week, but it depends on your department.
Bureaucracy is the same as other places I’ve worked. Sometimes you have ‘holidays’ but then find you have to make up the classes on the weekend. Some foreigners get annoyed at this, as I did in my first year, but it’s best to accept it.
Pay here is good compared to other places I’ve worked. The minimum pay is 7500 RMB/month depending on qualifications and department. Also, you get paid for your holidays, and we even got a Chinese New Year bonus.
You have to pay 300rmb a month rent plus bills. Even after all this I still take away a few thousand more than my previous jobs.
TV reception is good and there is even a couple of English channels. They also give you a push bike to cruise around on, e.g., to ride to class.
The grounds are pretty nice with all the things you’d expect in a University. There’s a pool, a library, gardens, athletic fields, etc.
Getting Around Shunde Polytechnic College
For specific directions on things to do in and around Shunde, check out this post:
There are two bus stops that serve Shunde Polytechnic College. There is one at the main gate (South) and one at the East Gate. Both are about a 10-15 minute walk from the teachers’ apartments.
Front Gate Bus Stop. Shunde Zhi Yuan (顺德职院). Serves bus routes 301, 308, 312, 918, 925.
East Gate Bus Stop. Sheng Zhi Jian Ji Di (省质检基地). Serves bus routes 307, 907, 919
Most buses run until about 2100-2200, but check the times just in case. Most buses cost 2rmb.
- 307 and 907 from the East gate will take you to the fresh market and Aeon.
- 907 and 919 will take you to One City.
- 907 and 301 goes to town
- Buses from the front gate are 301, 308, 312, 918, 925
- Buses to the east gate (as far as I can tell) are 307, 907, 919.
Going Shopping in Shunde
There are a few big supermarkets which are one bus ride away from Shunde Polytechnic. By supermarket, I mean like a big Walmart or Tesco. In these places, you can buy groceries, kitchen equipment, clothes, etc.
Getting to RT Mart
From the Front gate, do not cross the road. Take bus 312 to stop 大润发X站. X might be either A or B, either way, it is the same. It‘s the 2nd last stop on that line, in the direction you will be heading.
To get there from the east gate, cross the road and catch bus 307 (heading North when you get on it).
Getting to Jusco, Walmart and Tesco
Catch the 307, 907 or 919 from the east gate. Get off at Yong Wang Gou Wu Zhong Xin, 永旺购物中心. Jusco is best for foreign foods, but also more expensive in general. Don’t bother going unless you want specific foreign fare.
A few stops more on the 919 is Walmart, and a couple more still is Tesco. I prefer Tesco, but they are basically the same.
Getting to the Fresh Market
Like every fresh market, it sells local produce. It has everything you need fresh food wise, and there are a few little stores about that sell dried goods. There’s also a small ‘restaurant’ that sells BBQ duck/pork/chicken. 5rmb worth is enough for me, they put it with veggies and all you can eat rice. It’s delicious.
If you don’t want anything ‘special’, you can get everything you need from this market. It is only a ten-minute bus ride as opposed to 20-40 for the other places.
From the East Gate, get on the 307, 907 逢沙市场(Feng Sha Shi Chang.)
Note: Shi Chang (市场) means marketplace, so if you see that in China, you know what it will be.
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