Teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College, Shunde, Foshan, Guangdong, China.
This post is my personal opinion of what it is like living and teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College (Foshan, Guangdong, China) as well as 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 in 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 (Foshan) to teach business at Shunde Polytechnic, so I accepted it. 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, so I’m sure most foreign teachers that are thinking of teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College can find this information useful, or at least, that is the idea.
Shunde 顺德 is a ‘city’ just outside of Foshan佛山, which is just outside of Guangzhou广州. Technically, Shunde is part of Foshan. Shunde Polytecnic 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
Getting to Shunde Polytechnic College from Guangzhou
The easiest, fastest and cheapest way is to catch the 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 20rmb and takes about 15minutes. From the train station, catch the 919 to the college for 2rmb.
To catch a bus, get 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, probably because it is new and 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, which 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, take about 1.5 hours (depending on traffic) and costs 43 RMB.
Living in Shunde Polytechnic College
The apartment they give you when employed teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College is very liveable, because you are actually living in a guest-house. They are equipped with two air cons, nice view, electronic doors, reception, etc. Somehow mosquitoes still get in, but your bed has a mosquito net around so it is fine when you sleep (and you feel like a princess).
It’s semi tropical in summer, you will use the air-con, and doesn’t get too cold in winter – maybe you’ll want a heater, but all in all the weather is not too extreme either end, and is warmer than it is cold. In any case, as with all school based jobs in China, your holidays fall in the extremes so if you don’t like it, just go to another country for the holidays.
The college is somewhat isolated. It is about a 20 to 30 minute bus ride to most off-campus stuff, e.g., walmart, town, etc, but the campus has everything you need including a bunch of cafeterias which are pretty cheap (think 6-7rmb for a decent meal) and a few little restaurants. There is also a small fruit stand and a very mini mart that sells a bunch of stuff.
Across the road from the school is another couple of restaurants, billiards, and a bar.
Teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College
As I said before, I taught business in Shunde Polytechnic, which is a bit different from teaching English because it is a set curriculum. I did, however, teach a few Business English units while teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College, which is pretty similar to just teaching English so I’ll comment about that later.
The business course in in collaboration with Sydney TAFE and/or Britains BTEC. It is the same curriculum as they teach in the respective countries, only you are teaching in in English to non-native English speakers, which can be challenging. Basically the idea is to teach them how to pass… whether or not they actually learn the material is kind of abjuratory in the colleges mind. Sounds bad I know, but it is common thinking in China.
I studied a similar course in Australia, so it is kind of my ‘field’ which is why I enjoyed it.
I did also teach a few business English modules, which to me was very similar to teaching oral English. Everyone has their own methods for teaching English, so just do what you do.
Overall, 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 fairly easy sailing. Also, not much paperwork.
16 hours teaching is the contracts maximum per week. I did about 14. Some teachers are supposed to 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. It’s just China. Some foreigners get annoyed at this, as I did in my first year, but just go with it.
Pay here is good compared to other places I’ve worked. I think minimum 7500rmb/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 gas, electricity, water, etc, but even after all this I still take away a few thousand more than my previous jobs.
TV reception is good (with a couple of English channels), internet is included and they give you a push bike to cruise around on, e.g., to ride to class.
The grounds itself is pretty nice with all the things you’d expect in a University (not an American College) including a pool (open semi according to the advertised times), library, gardens, athletic fields, etc.
Getting Around Shunde Polytechnic College
For specific directions on recreational things to do in and around Shunde, check out this post on things to do in Shunde.
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 where you can buy groceries, kitchen equipment, clothes, etc.
Getting to RT Mart
From the Front gate, do not cross the road. Take bus 312 till 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’s a few little stores about that sell dried goods, e.g., noodles, rice, beans. 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, and 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 market place, so if you see that in China, you know what it will be.
Well that’s it for this post on teaching in Shunde Polytechnic College. As always, if you want to add/update anything, let me know in the comments.