TEFL: What will I eat on the China Internship? – Breakfast

So you’ve signed up for a China Internship and have nearly completed all of the necessary preparations including visas, vaccinations and booking your flights. With most of this organisation out of the way you can begin to start thinking about what it might be like. One such reader of our posts contacted us and asked: “What’s the food like? What about daily meal plans?” So here is a selection of typical meals/snacks we eat on a daily basis with a breakdown of prices.

There are a range of items you can have for breakfast over here on the China Internship including those resembling a more Western offering as well as more traditional Chinese choices. Some of our regulars include:

    Which biscuits shall we have? Red ones!
    Which biscuits shall we have? Red ones!

  • Biscuits. We are not big breakfast eaters and at our school we have lunch from 11 am so there isn’t really a need to eat that much when we arrive at school at 8 am. At only 1 RMB (£0.10) and in a range of flavours this is a good quick snack to get us through the first few hours of the day.
  • Steam Buns. A popular Chinese breakfast item these can be brought from the side of the street – literally! Filled with vegetables or meat they are hot, filling and delicious. Super budget friendly with prices ranging from 0.5 – 1.5 RMB (£0.05 – £0.15) which is an absolute bargain for a TEFL intern!
  • Fruit. Great for vegetarians and the health conscious amongst us. Fruit is plentiful in China, being sold everywhere including small local markets and supermarkets as well as from the back of vehicles lining the road – even out of baskets watched over by old Chinese women at the side of the road. There’s fruit you’ll recognise like bananas, oranges and watermelon as well as fruits that may be new to you if you haven’t travelled much around Asia such as longan berry, mangosteen, rambutan and yangmei.
  • Yangmei - picked from a co-workers garden
    Yangmei – picked from a co-workers garden

    Top tip: Don’t be afraid to buy from local markets or from the side of the road. Always buy fruit that you can peel unless you are taking it home to wash as they may have been picked locally and not always to the standards you would get back home. If buying watermelon you can ask them to show you inside to check it is fresh – they will cut a small triangular hole to show you and then re-insert like a cork for you to take home.

Cereal - tasty but expensive.
Cereal – tasty but expensive.
As well as those mentioned above, we often have toast on the weekends (as bread is readily available from supermarkets though often sweetened – it’s around 5 RMB (£0.50) for a half loaf) – this became a great accompaniment when we were provided with 90 free eggs from school! Eggs are only 1 RMB (£0.10) for two in our local store on the ground level of our apartment block. Along with the milk we were given, we quickly perfected scramble egg on toast. You can purchase breakfast cereal but this is only really available from Western stores such as Tesco, Metro and Carrefour. Cereal options are limited and much more expensive. We brought the cheapest packet which was chocolate chip granola and it cost 26 RMB (£2.60) on offer for only 300g. We only bought it to use up the free milk we were given from school but we won’t be getting it again as it isn’t cost effective.

Keep reading to find out what we typically get for lunch on the China TEFL internship and how we stay within budget for our evening meal. We’ll also be adding a section on snacks too. If your interested in Paid TEFL Internships then why not request a TEFL brochure.

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