Any time you are coming to a new country, you must expect that things will be different. Before discussing any specific issues, it is best to say that teachers who do best in China are those people that can take a step back from each new situation no matter how bad or different it might seem and relax and try to work through it.
Here are a few things that teachers find to be different in China, however this list is not exhaustive:
Often schedule changes or additions are made last minute (this is because it is seen as a loss of face to say something will happen and then cancel, so people often wait until the last minute)
When eating at a restaurant with friends, it is seen as a great thing to pay the bill, so often Chinese people will fight to pay. If you want to pay, you need to really insist.
Also in restaurants, tipping is not allowed in most restaurants. This is because it is seen as you telling them that they need more money than they are already paid.
Foreigners are still a novelty in China. As a result, many people have a hard time hiding their curiosity, which might manifest itself in staring at you, asking you to take a photo with them or something as nice as everyone saying hello to you.
Toddlers under the age of 2 often wear clothing that has a split opening in the crotch. Commonly called “split pants”, these allow children to quickly potty train, however, often in public places.
Toilet paper is not common in most public restrooms and is not flushed down the toilet (it is put in the waste bin), so always carry some with you.