Joyce Chen

joyce-chenI was born and grew up in Taiwan. When I first started work out there I was a primary school teacher teaching groups of between 30-40 students aged 8 to 12. In 2003 I came to the UK, to London, to study for my Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) and to pursue and improve my professional development. The UK education system is well known across the world as being good quality.

After I finished my Master’s, I looked for work in the UK so that I could widen my experience and I found a teaching position in London in a community college. I was there for 2 years before I got a lecturing job at the College of West Anglia here in King’s Lynn. My then boyfriend (now my husband) got a job working in the council here and that’s why I looked for something nearby. I didn’t actually know where King’s Lynn was but my boyfriend told me that it was quite close to Cambridge. I sent my CV to the College and a few months later I was offered an interview and a job.

At the College I work as an ESOL lecturer and I’m a course director for a full time ESOL course. That involves working with people who have English as a second language. I also help Business students with their academic language skills. I love my job. I love the diversity and also the support I get from colleagues and managers. I have a really nice team of people who I work with. People are really friendly, if you ask for assistance they help you. When I first started I didn’t have much experience working in an FE College and so I received mentoring which really helped me to settle in. There are also lots of opportunities for progression at the College.

I’m quite involved in the community. I started off getting involved in the Chinese community and now I’m also involved in a local charity. I am a trustee and volunteer for Kings Lynn Area Resettlement Support (KLARS). We organise activities in the community and also provide advice and guidance for people who are from different backgrounds to help them settle down in Kings Lynn

The community has become much more diverse over the past few years. There are people from lots of different countries. I find people here are extremely welcoming. The lifestyle is excellent. Living and working in London was much more stressful. I find that most of the time I can get a good balance between life and work.

Norfolk is full of beautiful places. If you like animals and birds, nature, there are wonderful reserves and the coastline is brilliant. London and the Midlands are quite convenient so getting to other areas is quite easy. I love the countryside and the fact I can just hop on a train to Cambridge if I want to. I wouldn’t move back to London, it’s too crowded and crazy.