What it is Like Teaching in China

I've been teaching in China for nearly two years as of this writing and I know you're on this blog to read China experiences or the life awaits for you in this country that has been isolated from the outside world though continuing its reign in finance and number one in economy followed by America.

Yuyuan in Shanghai
I would like to begin with a soft and kind observation though a lot of people have been aware of how China dominates its popularity of cheaper commodities, still many foreigners go back to their home countries without sufficient money to start anew. Nevertheless, a lot of expats found their hearts settled down in China. Some of them got married with other expats and several foreigners luckily won Chinese women.

Teaching Job in China

There are a wide range of teaching opportunities in China, natives or non native speakers to teach English. You are either interested to teach in training centers, public schools or international schools. You must have a degree to indulge in a teaching career. Thus, I have to divulge that lots of foreigners get a teaching job without a degree -- they got their papers faked through agency (well it has been a rumor as they said but nobody could prove if it was true).

Teaching Schedule

It varies. If you teach in training centers chances are you don't have a typical schedule. Good news is that you don't have to wake up early morning. But there are training centers that have very demanding work schedule and you may have to work longer hours so break a leg! 
when I was teaching at Disney English

As for regular schools, basically the schedule is regular and the teaching load is not that demanding compared to training centers. There are even boring periods and you end up writing your lesson plans. However, there are school heads who intensely fit you to teach another class so don't be so calm yet. 

Compensations and Benefits

This is crucial. I would go straight to the nerve. If you are a native speaker, expect to get a high paying salary and extra VIP treatment. Get famed. Some schools only give 'em three classes a day (each class is 30 minutes) which sum up to 1 hour and half teaching. Their wee hours will just be an advertisement -- they mingle with parents and kids. This is a strategy that the school has a white foreign teacher. People will love you for that ( this doesn't only happen in China but also in other Asian countries). 

RMB or yuan, Chinese currency

Talking with a fair share, I knew some native English speaker teachers with a crazy schedule and they teach really hard so we're here not to generalise. These teachers usually are degree holders and are teachers by profession back home and they amazingly touch the children's heart. 

As for non-native speakers who have Caucasian look, they are also highly accepted in China to teach. But the salary is not that high as natives have. Disney English I know that offers a square compensation and benefits regardless of your nationality. High Five, DE!

Accommodation and Transportation

Some employers provide free accommodation or accommodation allowance as stipulated in your contract. Usually, the kind of apartments here are high rise so don't worry about your new abode. Some schools arrange an apartment for you. But other schools ask you to stay in a hotel for free until you find an apartment. Usually they refer some real estates.

my apartment is just behind the shopping mall

As for transportation, taxi, bus or subway is efficient here though it is packed and jammed during rush hours most specially in big cities. Don't be traumatized when you're being pushed on the subway!

Language Barrier

If you are to teach in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, you will meet some locals who can speak basic English. Overall, English language would still be a barrier. Besides, if you try to learn their language that will be your edge. Chinese will admire you for that.

Tips: Before accepting any job offers, ask your employer and make everything clear to you. They are nice and warm people so don't be shy to ask them. Do a little research of the place before you go. Isn't it better to embrace a little your new place before you go? 

Good luck on your journey! 
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