I'm going to China for a year to teach English. Any advice?
I'm going to be living in the city of Guangzhou
for a year, teaching english at a private school. I have most of the details down - I'm getting a TEFL certification before I go, no problems with my visa, I'm getting a VPN for my internet there, my lodging is free and provided my my school, I have a contract which seems fair, and so on. I'm going with CIEE, an american study abroad-type company, so I'll have a good support network once I'm there.
I'm looking for general advice, though, from people who have spent time in China, especially people who tried to get by on minimal Chinese (I'm trying to teach myself the basics before I go) or people who did similar programs. How did you adjust to the culture? What did you wish you had known before you went?
I'm generally good at adapting to new surroundings, and I've studied abroad in Japan for a semester, so I have some basic getting-by-in-a-foreign-land skills. Still, I've never been to China before and I'm a little nervous. Any advice?