For many women considering a move abroad, questions about safety and cultural integration are front of mind. China, with its sprawling urban and rural areas, unique culture, and language barrier, might seem daunting at first. But what is it truly like to live in China as a woman? We asked several expat female teachers from our BASIS International & Bilingual Schools across China to share their experiences.  

Whether exploring their home city or traveling throughout China, our women teachers have consistently remarked how they feel safe, even when walking alone at night. They are surprised by the ease of getting around and the abundance of convenient services, making daily life enjoyable. China is also a place of rich culture and history, and our expatriate teachers have appreciated the opportunity to explore the far reaches of China alone or with family. 

Teacher Experiences


“Living in China for the past five years has been such a great journey. I arrived here quite nervous, being a woman on my own in a foreign country, especially with a language barrier. What surprised me the most was the instant sense of safety and security I felt here. I can travel around the country on my own without any fear. I am able to walk to the gym during the early hours of the morning and have the freedom to take public transport with ease. There is no need to carry money around; everything can be paid for using WeChat. China offers so many services that are easy to get no matter the time of day. Where else in the world can I buy an emergency electric heater and have it delivered within an hour, at 10pm!” 

Jasmika Hargovan
Math & Science Teacher
BASIS International School Shenzhen 


 “Living in China as a woman has been such a positive experience for me! Since I arrived five years ago, I have always felt very safe here in China! Walking any street alone at any time of the day or night has never presented any type of problem or issue at all. I enjoy walking and have explored so much of Shenzhen on foot. It’s a great way to see this beautiful city, and I highly recommend it—the streets, the parks, the communities, the mountains, and even the malls on rainy days have so much to offer and shouldn’t be missed. Public transportation on the metro or buses is also a safe and extremely easy way to see the city. Friendly Didi drivers can also show you around Shenzhen. The people are kind and friendly. The sights are interesting. The sounds are exciting. Do yourself a favor, take a trip to Shenzhen, and have a walk around town.”


Lora Goude

Grade 1 Teacher
Grade 1 Humanities Chair
BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen 


“During my 15 years living and traveling in and around Asia, the adventures have been infinite. Moving to China to join BASIS International & Bilingual Schools Chengdu was a big decision, but one that continues to reward me with more than I ever could have thought possible.   

Life on campus at BASIS International & Bilingual Schools Chengdu has provided a safe space for early morning runs and walks in the park after dark. During the Lunar New Year break, I traveled to different grottoes along the Silk Road to learn more about the history of China. Throughout all of my travels, I felt safe and welcome even in the smallest of cities on the oldest of trains, where fellow travelers were worried about me braving the frigid cold winds of the north. While I will do my best to avoid traveling during public holidays in the future, I loved almost every moment of adventure and laughter they provided.” 

Margaret Lehmann

ELL Coordinator
BASIS International & Bilingual Schools Chengdu 


 “I have lived in China for nearly 15 years. As a woman in China, I have always felt safe, even walking down dark roads after a night out. When I moved to Zhuhai in 2010, before there were DD cameras and CCTV on every corner, I still had no worries taking taxi cabs late at night or walking isolated mountain paths early in the morning. It never occurred to me that these could be potentially dangerous situations for a woman because I never felt my safety was threatened in these circumstances. My home country of New Zealand is a generally safe place, but overall, I consider China one of the safest places to live as a woman.” 

Kim Jenson

ECE Chair, Kindergarten Teacher
BASIS International School Guangzhou 


“As a woman residing in Nanjing, China, I appreciate the diverse opportunities available to me. Within the city, there are various groups and communities that serve as a valuable platform for socializing, organizing excursions, and joining different classes, enabling me to broaden my horizons and forge meaningful connections. I cherish the ability to travel safely throughout the city, whether going out with my family, meeting up with other women, or pursuing individual interests. I feel fortunate to be part of Nanjing’s community, which fosters personal growth, provides a sense of security, and encourages exploration and learning.” 

Hollee Torrence

Primary Math & Science Chair
Math & Science Teacher
BASIS International School Nanjing 


“Having lived in China for 11 years, my husband and I can safely say that we are comfortable raising our 7-year-old son here. As a woman, life here is convenient, as I can always get what I need anywhere, and the medical fields in China have advanced so much that I am comfortable visiting hospitals and doctors here if required.  

I also appreciate that I am safe here at night and can go out with friends without having to look over my shoulder for any potential hidden dangers. My best memory of life in China is heading out to buy milk at a convenience store at 11pm, which surprised my in-laws, as they are not used to going out at night at all. In my home country, South Africa, going out after dark is extremely dangerous and not recommended. So, when they saw this, they were in awe, as we can do this comfortably. Being a woman in China is a fantastic experience, and I look forward to spending many more years in this beautiful, vibrant country!” 

Elana Molier

Primary Humanities Teacher
BASIS International School Hangzhou 


“As a woman in China, I take great pleasure in immersing myself in this nation’s rich history and culture by exploring ancient sites that tell stories of the past. Amid the vibrant city life, I cherish moments spent with friends, relishing delicious meals, and enjoying each other’s company. These experiences not only strengthen our friendship and connections but allow me to express myself freely.” 

Dr. Nathalie Nunez Sanchez

Primary Math and Science Teacher 
BASIS International & Bilingual Schools Wuhan 

For more information on teaching with BASIS International Schools, visit our careers website.

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