Teacher’s City Spotlight: Shenzhen – The City of Design

Teacher’s City Spotlight: Shenzhen – The City of Design

Shenzhen is located directly north of Hong Kong in China’s subtropical southeast.

Shenzhen is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and is a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), attracting businesses from all over the world.

Not only is Shenzhen affectionately known as China’s Silicon Valley- owing to the booming high-tech industry, it is also famous for being China’s newest city. Prior to 1979, when it first became an SEZ, Shenzhen was just another sleepy fishing village in Guangdong province. Since then it has exploded, becoming the tenth most populous city in China and is considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.

Why Should Someone Teach English in Shenzhen?

Not only does Shenzhen boast some of the highest salaries for English teachers, it has been ranked in the top 10 for most livable cities in China and in the top 5 for cleanest air in China’s major metropolitan areas.

Due to its close proximity to Hong Kong (1 hour by metro to downtown Hong Kong), Shenzhen has a relatively large foreign population, but that doesn’t mean that teaching jobs are in short supply.

Sunny Shenzhen sits on the sea, is covered in green areas, is set against rolling mountains, and is home to 15 large, lush parks. Yes, 15! Relax in the shade at the trendy coffee shops in OCT Loft, shop ’til you drop in Dongmen, and head up the coast for a weekend at the natural hot springs.

If you’re missing home or just want a taste of the West, go for a day trip to Macau or Hong Kong and you’ll be sure to get your fix. In fact, you can get to all of these cities in about an hour from Shenzhen: Hong Kong, Macau, Zhuhai and Guangzhou. There’s always more to explore!

What Does it Cost to Live in Shenzhen?

Though Shenzhen is one of China’s more expensive cities, the salaries for foreign English teachers easily match the cost of living. These prices are based on living in the most expensive areas of Shenzhen and going to higher-standard businesses, move out a little bit and you can get by for much less.

Cost of Living in Shenzhen

Expense

RMB

USD

Euro

 

Local lunch

30

4.89

3.85

 

Local dinner

50

8.14

6.41

 

One Liter of Water

4.5

.73

.58

 

Instant Noodles

6

0.96

0.72

 

One Liter of Milk

14

2.28

1.80

 

Local beer

8

1.30

1.02

 

Bus

2

.33

.26

 

Taxi

15-60

2.4-9.77

1.9-7.7

 

Bike

250-1000

40-160

30-120

 

Movie ticket

80

13.03

10.24

 

Hour Massage

60

9.77

7.70

 

Gym membership (per month)

200

32.57

25.66

 

Haircut

60

9.77

7.70

Getting to Shenzhen

Shenzhen has its own airport, but it’s typically much cheaper to fly into Hong Kong and take the metro into Shenzhen. You can also fly into Macau and take the ferry or fly into Guangzhou and take the high-speed train in.

Shenzhen just opened a high-speed train line which can get you to Xiamen in a couple hours and all the way to Beijing in only 8 hours. Wherever you’re coming from, it’s a piece of cake to get to Shenzhen.

Is Shenzhen A Good Fit For You?

If you’re looking for a city that’s linked with ancient China, you won’t find it here. Although there are the remains of some smaller temples and architecture, there isn’t the kind of cultural heritage that exists in other Chinese cities because Shenzhen was never hub…until now.

However, if you’re looking to learn Mandarin (yes, we speak Mandarin here!), to never get stuck in traffic for more than 10 minutes, to live in a spacious and green environment, and to escape China with serious cash, Shenzhen is your city!

Follow Nora on Facebook and her website at WrittenChinese.com to learn more about apps she develops to help aid in mastering Chinese!

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