In April this year, I quit my job. I’d been working at the same company for nearly six years in my small, sleepy hometown of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and I needed a change. I didn’t have much in terms of a life plan, other than to 1.) find a job as an EFL teacher, and 2.) move to Asia. Armed with my TEFL certificate and a BA Degree (oh, and of course, my boyfriend), I took the first proper step to reaching my goal: finding a company that would help me secure said job.

After a week or two of searching online for a recruitment agency that I thought was a good fit for me, I came across Korvia. One Skype interview with Jinny You later, and I knew they were the one. They understood exactly what I wanted and needed, and their service was incredibly personal and friendly.

Myself and Tom with our recruiter Jinny

Korvia put me in touch with their partner company in China, SeaDragon. A few Skype calls and emails later, and I had myself a job at a school in the megacity of Shenzhen!

I wish I could say the process after that was quick and effortless, but it was a gruelling, stressful and frustrating few months. There were documents that needed to be notarized, apostilled and authenticated, medical checks that had to be done, CVs to brush up and letters of recommendation to organise. Only then could they apply for my work permit. After that, it was an overnight flight to the capital city of Jo’burg to finally apply for my Z-Visa!

Our first day in Shenzhen, China with Chloe from SDE

Korvia and SeaDragon were there for me every step of the way – and often at ridiculous hours of the day! They helped me organise the necessary documents, obtain a working permit and apply for the visa. It was a tiring and expensive process that took nearly three long months, but they were a huge help.

Many weeks, e-mails, documents, flights and coinage later, and here I am! I arrived in Shenzhen at the end of August, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here. Every day, I’m blown away by the magnitude of the city, the delicious food, the weird but wonderful people, and the local culture. I’m gradually settling into my new job as an EFL teacher at an international kindergarten (having never taught before!), and I’m slowly starting to feel at home in a foreign country with a foreign career.

Thanks to Shenzhen for being amazing, and to Korvia and SeaDragon for making it all possible!

At a Korean restaurant in Shenzhen, China with Korvia recruiters