Have you ever dreamed of going to China to teach? Are you a teacher by profession and looking for a change? Or do you simply want to go on an adventure and experience how rewarding it can be to work in a foreign country?
Teaching and training in China was definitely one of the best times of my life. I got to do what I loved most: teaching and traveling! Before I applied for my first job in China, I didn't realise how many schools are actually in desperate need of English (ESL) teachers across all school levels; whether it is teaching in Kindergarten or in College.
It was not just the expat life that I loved, it was the opportunity to meet so many people from all walks of life from all over the world, hear their stories, their experiences, thus changing my perspective on life, enriching my world-view and seriously "opening my eyes" to what the world has to offer. It was also about getting out of my comfort zone, getting away from what I was used to, being adventurous and letting myself in for some culture-shock! Yes, I would recommend it to everyone - go somewhere completely different, so different from your country or your culture and enjoy what the world has to offer. No, you will never have the same experience if you go on a package holiday and stay in nice hotels! Go out there, be with the people and best, work with them! THAT is when you are at the beginning of understanding and experiencing a foreign culture.
On top of that, I do have to add the perks you get when teaching in China: You teach for about nine months of the year and get three months off - two months for summer and almost a month for the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration. What perfect opportunity that is to go traveling in Asia and to go to places you had never even heard of before. Oh, and the one month CNY holiday is paid! But also keep in mind, that there are a lot of other celebrations and holidays throughout the year giving you enough time to go and explore some other part of the country.
The salaries in China for foreign teachers are pretty good and if you are a professional teacher and already have teaching experience, they are even better. Most the time, your flights, visa, accommodation, meals (Mon-Fri), transportation are paid for and the salary you get is more than enough as you do not really need to spend it on anything. Everything is paid for! Also, not to forget that the cost of living in China is very low. Actually, me living in the Philippines right now, compared to China - life is more expensive here! Salaries are lower and generally products are more expensive (food, electricity, internet, everything!). How I miss these things in China and of course Taobao. Look forward to it if you are not familiar with it yet!
And hey, if you are living in the West, just think of the cost of booking flights to Asia if you want to go on a holiday for a couple of weeks? It is expensive, right? However, imagine already being out in Asia, let’s say, it is just for a year, you can go anywhere at almost no cost. Once you are here, booking flights, accommodation and traveling around is very cheap. So teaching in China does not just give you the time but also the means.
And you might be surprised, but you can get hooked on it! Oh yes! I initially planned on going to China for just half a year. I stayed for almost four years, but still did not go back “home”. Nope, I decided to stay out in Asia and all in all, I have been here for seven years already. You will be surprised what life may bring! You will hear countless stories like these – of people just wanting to give it a try and experience something else, but then ending up loving this new kind of life so much and realising the world has so much more to offer that they are not yet “ready” to go back.
So, give it a try – teach in China. I am sure, you will not regret it!
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