Confucius Temple (Kind of)

I had just arrived in Nanjing and was told that a must see while I was here was the Confucius Temple. I got to the Sanshan Street metro station and must admit that I was a little bit lost but after consulting my map and walking in circles for a while, I arrived at what seemed to be the right spot. I spotted a beautiful gate down a little side street. Not exactly how it was described but I wasn’t fazed. I put my map away, bought my ticket and walked inside. I was immediately amazed by how beautiful it was, a little pathway with grass on either side, marble statues with gold engravings lined the walls and a green canopy of leaves overhead shading me from the heat. I couldn’t hear the horns or the engines anymore, it didn’t even feel like I was still in the city. Scattered throughout the temple were amazing gardens with huge bonsai trees and ponds with fish and birds. Inside the buildings there were beautiful tapestries, ancient gowns and weapons, although most of the descriptions were in Chinese, which I cannot read, I could still appreciate the artwork and craftsmanship of the pieces.

It was around the 30 minute mark, towards the end of the temple, that I started to realise that it was absolutely nothing like how anyone had described it to me, and that, maybe, I was in the wrong place.

I left the temple and, after a quick bite to eat, I took out my map and set off once again to find the Confucius Temple and, after getting lost a few more times (I’m not very good at reading maps), I found it! It was hectic, even more so, I think, because the place I was before was so peaceful. There were people everywhere, shouting, selling, screaming, smoking, staring. There was something interesting everywhere you looked and even though I just ate, I had to eat again, everything looked and smelled so good.

Turns out the first ‘temple’ I went to was the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom History museum and I would highly recommend it, maybe not for the history itself, because, unless you can read Chinese, the information was a bit sparse, but go for the artwork, the architecture and the peace and quiet.

I really felt like I got to see both sides of China in one afternoon, one side was the beautiful art, tranquil spaces and rich history, the other side was the bustling streets with people everywhere, eating strange food or selling things you’ve never heard of, both were awesome in their own ways. It was a really surreal but ultimately fun experience. I guess it all just goes to show how great Nanjing is, that as you make your way through the city, you will inevitably stumble across something else that you will love.

By Myles Quinn

If you’re planning on coming to China, you will obviously want to see the Great Wall, check out our blog about Camping on the Great Wall.

Or if you’re interested in becoming part of the EF Nanjing team click here.

 

Onboarding

February 2019 Onboarding Blog Post

By Faz NJ1

Well done for making it this far! You've waded through the avalanche of paperwork and finally, you can breathe Nanjing.

Perhaps you know it already, but Nanjing doesn't have the reputation for being the most enjoyable cities to live in - for no reason. It has awesome tangible history, tightly-knit traditional communities, dazzling shopping malls, epic landscapes, sci-fi towers and labyrinthine alleys to explore. And I've not even mentioned the food. Woh the food. All of this you can lose yourself in, at the pace that suits you, because the EF onboarding process is so thoughtful and well administered.

From the start, those small gestures, which actually turn out to be huge, help you navigate and function at your best. Things like getting picked up from the airport at godknowswhatime, to going straight to a comfortable hotel in town, to having a support pack  filled with snacks and toiletries, to being taken for a welcome dinner and having all the administrative stuff sorted. It's all massive, particularly if you're arriving with no money, language skills or much of an idea why you're here!

The help doesn't stop within the first week, and EF will aim to support your interests outside of work. Whether it's tradtional or indeed cafe culture, visiting art galleries/museums, playing sports or music etc there's advice, encouragement and often a shared love for your passion. I wish you smooth onboarding and wonderful voyage beyond.

March 2019 Onboarding Blog Post

By Luke NJ4

My onboarding experience began weeks before I arrived in China. I was in constant contact with representatives of EF, who made me feel at ease before I had even stepped foot on the plane. I received new information via email each week to make sure that I was ready to kick start my training as soon as I arrived. When I arrived in China I was met by Bobby who is awesome and made me feel even more relaxed, answering any questions and making sure I was settled in my hotel before leaving. The next day I was taken to have my medical, buy a SIM for my phone and open my bank account. Later that day I was taken to look for apartments near the school I would soon be working at, after a few viewings that week I'd found one that I liked and received plenty of help from HR to have everything sorted.

I started my training with Jahf the same week, who is honestly one of the nicest people I've had the pleasure of meeting. I received in depth training about all the courses that are delivered at EF and how to execute them. I have been lucky enough to visit the majority of schools in Nanjing for training to understand the different locations and how lessons are to be delivered. Further training included observing teachers, which helps to identify how a lesson should run and how to manage a classroom of students. I was lucky enough to arrive before the launch of Small Stars 3.0, this was delivered over 2 days and it was interesting to understand why and how the changes are occurring. After moving to my school I was greeted by my Director of Studies (DoS) and my fellow teachers, training continued with a plan created by my mentor. The training at the school consisted of further observations, teaching EF Extras (1-on-1s), teaching life clubs and taking part in marketing activities. Near the end of training we were taken on a city tour by Bobby and had a great time, seeing the unforgettable massacre museum, the Nanjing wall and the Xuanwu lake. The staff throughout the whole company are friendly and very welcoming, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first few weeks at EF and I can't wait to continue teaching and see what the future holds.