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Sam Bence

23-year-old Englishman living and teaching in Guangzhou, China for one academic year

Like many young adults in the Western world I am an unemployed graduate! I studied history at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and after brief forays into the world of estate agents and catering I toyed with the idea of studying law but eventually settled on teaching English as a foreign language abroad. I chose China as a country to go to and I find myself in Guangzhou, just north of Hong Kong. I hope you enjoy my blog recounting my experiences of teaching and living in one of the most exciting countries on earth over the course of a year.

A Graduate in China - End of Term Exams Miss the Point

Education systems vary the world over and it's easy to think that everybody does it better than we do. The grass somehow looks greener in a foreign classroom. In China, as the end of term approaches, the priorities skew towards classes getting the highest possible marks. Passing the exam is exaggerated beyond belief and the system doesn't look the least bit green.
14/08/2012 17:14 BST

A Graduate in China - Xenophobia Exposes Flaws in an Unjust Society

Only last year there were some internationally newsworthy riots in Xintang, my neighbouring town, sparked by the beating up of a pregnant woman selling fruit on the street. She was from the Sichuan province and the whole of the local Sichuanese population rose in anger.
04/07/2012 16:56 BST

A Graduate in China - Confusing Prejudice with Curiosity

From the back I could quite easily be taken as Chinese. I have dark hair and a medium build, but some of my peers, whom are particularly tall or who have blond hair, are seen as celebrities. In tourist spots we are asked to have pictures taken with young children or families who will remain complete strangers.
17/06/2012 20:40 BST

A Graduate in China - Candy Stumped for Dental Care

I remember from school and university that the Chinese students I came across had traditional, even old-fashioned names like Derek or Geoffrey. This has changed. My children include a handful of Cinderellas and Disneys, one Snow White, one Dragon and lots of Candys, Yo-Yos, Sweets or Cocos.
01/12/2011 22:17 GMT