A few months ago, Matt was contacted by Juilliard (the music school) because they are opening a new campus in China, and they're looking for an IT director to help set up the new building and lead the IT department after the campus opens.
It took a long time to go through the interview process and make a final decision, but just last week, we decided that we would go for it. So, Matt accepted the position and will begin this July. The campus is being built in Tianjin, where we used to live, so in July, we'll be moving back north, to the Tianjin Economic Development Area (TEDA), which is about 30 minutes from downtown Tianjin.
It still took a long time of processing through pros and cons and figuring out how to break the news to our current bosses in Qingdao, but we've finally decided that this is the right move. Matt is really looking forward to the opportunities that this new job will provide. I'm going to be taking a year off from teaching so that I can support Matt in the transition and deal with housing stuff (they won't be providing housing for us, so for the first time, we'll need to look for an apartment on our own). I'm excited to take a break and just focus on homemaking for a little while. We're both looking forward to being closer to our friends in Tianjin.
One of the downsides to this job is that Matt will have less vacation time than he's had in the past. That means we won't come to Chicago this summer as we initially planned, but fortunately, Matt does have a bit of time off around Christmas. So, our plan is to visit the US sometime before or after Christmas for about a month. We'll know more about the exact dates after Matt starts the new job and sorts out the details with his supervisors.
Right now we're in the midst of visa paperwork, which we weren't expecting to have to do again so soon. The good thing is that the procedures are still pretty fresh in our minds, so it's not quite as stressful gathering things as it was when we did this process last year. Also, I'm starting to work on packing and sorting things. I'm so grateful that my job this year isn't as busy as my previous job because it gives me enough time to deal with all of this stuff without feeling the same level of stress as when we moved last year.
So, that's what we've been up to for the past month or so - hence, falling behind on my blog schedule. I have a few restaurant reviews from Qingdao that I'll post soon to try and catch up with my goal, and next year, when I'm off from work, I might even blog like once a week! :)