What is a Disney Trainer?

My first day of onboarding is when I met a Disney Trainer for the first time. On her chest was a pin that read ‘Disney Trainer’ with Jiminy Cricket standing proudly; as an avid pin collector, it immediately caught my eye. I acclimated to my life in China, soon became acquainted with my team and my Disney English center. Then I asked my Senior Foreign Trainer — who had the same pin — “What do I need to do to get one of those pins?” With a smile, she looked at her pin and encouraged me to work hard in the classroom so that one day I could also go through the process and become a Disney Trainer. Continue reading “What is a Disney Trainer?”

Meet Rachel: Creating New Adventures in Chengdu

I might be the exception to the rule as most Disney English Foreign Trainers go. The majority of my colleagues are relatively new to teaching and are young enough to be my children.

Me? I taught at a private school in the U.S. for 15 years prior to joining Disney English. Ever the late bloomer, I didn’t start my teaching career until I was in my mid-30s. Before entering the classroom, I was a stay-at-home mom of two rambunctious, but adorable, boys.

At the age of 50, I was offered the prestigious position as head of the English department at the school I worked for, where both my boys had attended from kindergarten to graduation. But I turned it down! Continue reading “Meet Rachel: Creating New Adventures in Chengdu”

Choosing the Right Apartment for Your Lifestyle

Living in China has been a life-changing experience that has altered how I view the world. And a big part of this experience has been having an apartment that reflects my vision for how I want to structure my life outside of work.

One of the first decisions a new Disney English Foreign Trainer needs to make within the first few weeks of arrival is where to live. Prior to that, our Foreign Trainers live in a hotel that is paid for by Disney English. After that, each Foreign Trainer receives a monthly stipend that can cover – or partially cover – his or her housing expenses.

I was filled with excitement at the prospect of choosing my apartment! It made me feel independent as it was up to me to determine the type of apartment, location and whether or not to live with roommates. Continue reading “Choosing the Right Apartment for Your Lifestyle”

Becoming a Language Learning Director

I have had quite a journey throughout my Disney English career!

As an experienced teacher, I was excited to accept the role of Foreign Trainer, as I was eager to teach English to children ranging in age from 3 to 12.

Coming to China – a country which I knew very little about when I arrived in 2011 – made me feel nervous at first. I didn’t know anyone, and this was the first time I had traveled this far away from home. These feelings quickly changed when I met some amazing people who helped me get to where I am now. Continue reading “Becoming a Language Learning Director”

Exploring Beautiful Guilin and Yangshuo

When deciding where to travel in China, your choices are endless — from bustling metropolises, to expansive plains, majestic vistas and historic wonders.

If you would like to experience a bit of all of these things, then Guilin and Yangshuo in Guangxi Province in southern China are the places you should visit. In fact, Guilin is one of the most popular tourist areas in China. The region is accessible by train or the Guilin Liangjiang International Airport.

Getting between Guilin and Yangshuo is easy. For me, the best and most picturesque way is to travel by boat on a Li River cruise. The out-of-this-world scenery you will encounter was used in “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” as the backdrop for the planet Kashyyyk, the Wookiee homeland. So don’t be too surprised if you bump into Chewbacca!

Here are some of my favorite “must-dos” for this region: Continue reading “Exploring Beautiful Guilin and Yangshuo”

Working Together at Our Disney English Centers

As you would expect, working as a team is a key component to success at Disney English. Every cast member is critical in helping each Disney English center achieve its goals.

Disney English has centers in six major cities in mainland China: Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. And within each of these cities, there are several Disney English centers.

Each department and position play a role in creating a great guest experience and make each Disney English center a fun place to work. Continue reading “Working Together at Our Disney English Centers”

Nanjing City Guide

I live and work in Nanjing, and I love it!

Located 187 miles (301 km) northwest of Shanghai, Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu province. The city of 8.3 million people is an amazing mixture of traditional and modern styles and offers a temperate climate.

Did you know that Nanjing has been the capital of China several times in its long history?

There’s so much to do in – and around – Nanjing, so let’s get started! Here are some of my favorite things to do: Continue reading “Nanjing City Guide”

Recruiter Tasha: How I Developed My Career in China

My professional teaching journey started in Canada when I realized I was always gravitating toward opportunities that allowed me to teach in one way or another. While studying for my university degree in education, I decided I wanted to experience life outside my country, and China was my first choice. So I spent some time living and working in China. (This was in the days before Disney English started in 2008.) I then returned to work in Canada for a few years, but I kept being drawn back to my experience in China, and I knew it was time to go back. Continue reading “Recruiter Tasha: How I Developed My Career in China”