Our Writers

The people that make it all happen


Ben Baldieri is an EFL teacher from Winchester, England. Ben is an avid traveler based in Shenzhen, China. He writes about about TEFL, travel and fitness, plus everything in between. You can find his blog at www.wheresthehotsauce.com.

Austen.JPGAusten Beck is a 25-year-old foreign English teacher at a Primary School who lives in Shenzhen, China. She does as much as she can in her free time, to become the writer/blogger/journalist that she’s always wanted to be. From Los Angeles, California where she initially wrote for her University’s school paper as a photo-journalist. Was published in several columns as well as published her own documentary project, For the Girls, during her senior year. Graduated in May 2015 with an award for Undergraduate Excellence in Research and her bachelor’s degree in photography and creative writing. She went on to travel, write, and take photos for more documentary projects that were recognized and shown by art organizations throughout Los Angeles. She is creative, collaborative, and hard-working in her passion for writing and continues to grow.


Molly Oberstein-Allen graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in philosophy and letters, and she currently teaches english in Shenzhen, China. In her spare time she enjoys learning chinese, reading, and getting lost.

lucas.jpgLucas Chapman is an Australian English teacher living and working in Shenzhen. After studying Commercial Photography he went on to study Business and Marketing. Lucas has traveled to nearly 30 countries and has lived in 4. With China as his new home he fills his free time with electronic music production and socializing with locals & foreigners alike. Culturally rinsed Lucas loves all things absurd and bizarre, making China a great new home for him. With a unique talent; you could talk to Lucas all day long about any topic, ranging from the psychology and mannerisms of domestic house-cats, to turning a muddy freshwater carp into a delectable and delicious dish.


Laura Grace Tarpley is a native Arkansan. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys tinkering with crossword puzzles, eating cheeseburgers, and taking naps on her huge couch. Check out more of her writing at her website: https://lauragracetarpley.contently.com/

Ivan.JPGIvan is part teacher, part writer, part cultural scavenger, and full-time Sasquatch hunter. When he isn’t busy scouring the woods of the northwest looking for giant footprints, he can often be found behind a spectacular plate of exotic cuisine or a laptop screen with either a Word document open or that day’s NBA scores. He has lived in China for 3 years and has traveled to 12 countries, including most of East Asia and randomly Guatemala. Check out his blog, countryandahalf, for travel tips, China life and more.

Ashley Dubois.jpgAshley Dubois is a Canadian English teacher and writer living in Shenzhen, China. She has previously written for The Journal at Saint Mary’s University and created promotional material for the Halifax Chapter of AIESEC. She is currently improving her travel writing while exploring Southern Asia, and has visited 24 countries to date.

Alistair pic.jpgAlistair Heald is from South Africa and has worked in education since 2011. He is presently an ESL teacher in Shenzhen, China. Alistair holds three degrees in psychology and completed his master’s degree in psychology in 2015. His areas of work interest include addiction and children’s psycho education. He is presently publishing his thesis in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Alistair has a strong passion for working with children and as such has worked in many different fields within the education system including sports, teaching and children’s therapy. Alistair Heald lives in Na’nao which is located in Shenzhen’s Dapeng District.  Alistair hopes to learn to speak Chinese and to travel to as many different places in Asia as possible. Alistair has enjoyed his journey in China so far and looks forward to spending another year here.

Jessica.jpgJessica Addington is from Colorado, USA. She taught in Dapeng, Shenzhen and has experience volunteering in many schools back home, with children of every age.  She enjoys traveling the world and spending time with her family and friends. Jessica loves China and all the cultural differences it has to offer.

Leanne Overby - headshot.jpgLeanne Overby is a primary school teacher in Shenzhen. She is a Canadian-born wanderer and lover of travel, food, writing, photography and the outdoors. When she’s not working or planning her next trip, you can catch her at the beach or exploring a new neighborhood in the city.

Are you a current SDE teacher wanting to share your experience of working and living in China? Reach out to someone in the SDE office for more details about how to become one of our writers.