July 2: The Leaving Process

In case you missed my last post, I’ve officially decided to leave China at the end of my teaching contract.

I’ve received a lot of questions about what leaving means and why I had to decide so early.


Due to the visa process and the replacement process, my company requires us to decide between our 9th and 10th month. For me, that meant between the middle of May and the middle of June.

There are also a lot of logistics that come with leaving China. Here’s what I need to do in the next few months:

  • Hand over my classes. My school is getting a few brand new foreign teachers during the summer that will take my classes. I will spend about a month working with that teacher (or multiple teachers) and training them. They will observe my classes, teach short sections of my classes, I will introduce them to the parents, and eventually, I will be able to observe them teaching my classes. It’s weird to think that someone else will be teaching my kids, but I’m sure my replacement will be a good teacher.
  • Determine my last working day. Officially my contract ends on August 23rd, but that does not necessarily mean it will be my last day at work. I’m currently working on finding a day that works for both me and my school.
  • Cancel my visa. I can’t just leave China; I need to cancel my visa first. Depending on when my last day in China is, this could mean applying for a ‘stay visa’ or simply canceling my current visa. If I leave after the last day of my visa, I will need a stay visa that lasts up to 30 days. I can then leave whenever I want. If I do not convert my visa into the stay visa, I will need to leave before the last day of my visa.
  • Pack. I need to pack all of my stuff into 1 large suitcase, a carry-on sized suitcase, and a backpack. It’s a lot of organizing and figuring out what should be thrown away and what should come back with me.
  • Prepare the paperwork for the cat. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what will happen to my cat, and I’m really excited that he will (fingers crossed) be coming back with me. In order to take a cat out of China, there’s a lot of paperwork that needs to be prepared. He received an international microchip and a rabies vaccine at the special government vet, and he’s up-to-date with his other shots. The last piece is getting his airline ticket and his final paperwork. I have to take him back to the government vet exactly 7 days before leaving. He’ll have some blood tests done and they will (hopefully) clear him to leave. He will be flying in the plane with me (under the seat), so I’m excited to see how that goes…
  • Finally, clean and leave my apartment. 
I saw Spiderman almost a week ago! I’m really going to miss seeing movies earlier than they come out in the US!

It might not seem like a lot (or maybe it does), but it will take me the next 7-weeks to get everything prepared. While doing all of that, I’ll be saying goodbye to many friends who will be leaving before me. I’ll also be working extra for the summer course. And of course, I’ll still be working on my graduate school courses.

I’ll keep you all updated as I prepare to move back to the states!

See you all soon,



P.S. Here’s some great footage of me bowling with my friends last week.

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