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UK Teacher – I will not go back; I will stay in China!

A UK woman, from Warwickshire is refusing to leave China and return to her home.

Rosina Ayling from Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire lives in Lin’an, Hangzhou after moving here in 2018 to work as an English teacher.

She booked a holiday to Tokyo during Spring Festival, expecting to return after a week back to her house. But after landing back into Shanghai airport, it was clear how much the situation had changed whilst she was away.


Whilst I was on holiday in Tokyo, I was reading the news back in China and it became clear that I was going to struggle to get back to my house in Lin’an. So, I booked an Airbnb apartment in Shanghai for a few nights, I had somewhere to stay when I landed back in China while I worked out what to do next.

The numbers were rising in the Zhejiang Province and I was getting all this information from home and the UK Foreign Office to come home now! 

Of course, it’s scary to read those headlines and be told to leave China and come home. But I knew I didn’t want to leave. My heart is in China, I love living here and I love working with the kids. Going home for me, is a last option.


After a few nights at the Airbnb apartment, I luckily could stay with some friends in Shanghai and that’s where I am currently. I feel very grateful that I have people around me right now during this hard time. I have no idea when I’m allowed back to Lin’an and each day new information and new policies are released. So, it’s just a waiting game. I only have a little mini suitcase with the same clothes I took to Tokyo with me, my laptop, my phone and limited funds. All my stuff is back in my apartment in Lin’an.

I can leave the complex I’m staying whenever I like, but get temperature checked at the gate of the community and have to wear a mask. Some shops are open, but not many and again, I get temperature checked on entry to any shop/food place. But, I feel grateful that I can at least leave the apartment. Some people in other parts of China haven’t left theirs for weeks and some people are miles away from their homes!

Online teaching has started but, I definitely miss being in the noisy classroom, I’m actually looking forward to getting back to work. There is only so much reading, watching TV and room exercising you can do! 

I do feel China has done an excellent job during this difficult time, the lockdowns have helped to keep the numbers down. By people staying inside and schools not being open. It is helping to manage the virus and it shows, because the numbers are getting better by the day.


Meanwhile, the British Government and British media are doing a good job of scaring people back in the UK! I feel they are using a lot of scare-tactics and trying to force people home. Which isn’t fair on us who want to stay here at all. People need to make their own decision. I want to stay here, and I believe this will get better very soon (I hope). 

People need to recognise what an amazing job the doctors and nurses are doing right now, they are working day and night to help. The racist comments towards the Chinese is so unnecessary and uncalled for. We all need to work together during a time like this not against each other!

My mum and dad are supporting me to stay here and carry on as I am. Besides, the worry of bringing the virus back to them is with me as they are older and therefore more vulnerable. I just need to continue to be safe, wash hands and wear my mask! I want to stay, my life, my job and my home are here. 

Yes, it is very boring right now and I miss walking, hiking, exploring and being outside. But I understand the reasons for the lockdowns, and I agree with all the decisions China have made. I just hope I can get back to my apartment in Lin’an very soon as I’m running out of clothes! 

Keep going China, keep fighting! I support you 100%!” 


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