Teaching English in China is simply the best experience I’ve ever had. I love traveling the world. I live to embrace adventures, cultures, religions, and wonderful people. But living in China tops my list. My love of English teaching was sparked when I was volunteering in a rural village in Laos when an opportunity to teach English in China presented itself; I jumped at it.
I’ve been in China for eight months, but I’ll soon be continuing my journey somewhere else. No matter where I travel to next, I know I’ll return to China. The experiences I’ve had here have truly been amazing and unforgettable. Teaching will be a part of me everywhere I go, along with Chinese culture, customs, people, and phrases. I wish to share all of my wisdom with my friends, family, and all of you.
As a foreigner, you are treated with utmost warmth and hospitality. Anyone you meet on the streets is always ready to help you and answer your questions. If you’re living in the tourist cities such as Beijing or Shanghai, you may not receive the same welcome, but almost everywhere you visit in the country the people treat you like a celebrity.
I can’t count how many times I’ve been invited to dinners and parties by the locals, teachers, and students. Even the vegetable sellers at the market will not charge you exorbitantly just because you are a foreigner. I regularly use taxi services since I’ve moved here, and the drivers have never overcharged me. In many countries you go, there is always the “tourist price” for almost anything you purchase, but not in China. The people here are genuine, warm, and very kind.
The teaching schedule
I teach two classes a day, three times a week. Each class is for 1 hour and 40 minutes, and there are no office hours. Tell me what another full-time job in the world requires you to work only 10 hours per week? When I’m not teaching in class, I have ample time to plan my lessons, read about the Chinese history and culture, journal, and explore my city and province. Living in Yunnan province is simply heavenly.
In other words, it’s one of the best jobs in the world. $1,600 monthly salary at home is probably below the poverty level, but here in China life is very affordable. You need less than half of that to make ends meet. This means that you can save the rest or spend it on traveling.
Now back to the job, English teachers are highly valued in China because they’re in great demand. The government labels me as a “foreign expert”, which is hilarious. So if you’re a native English speaker don’t take your skill for granted.
You may have eaten Chinese food in your country, but I can assure you it doesn’t compare to sampling from the source. It’s simply too delicious! There’s a wide range of colors, flavors, textures, and ingredients. Who knows, you could be like me and find yourself loving the food that you thought was totally disgusting. Go with an open mind; I promise the stinky tofu does taste better than it smells. Lucky for me there is a large student population where I live, thus a whole lot of cheap street food. As every seasoned traveler will tell you, the best chefs in any country are found on the streets. But don’t worry, you can also find Pizza Hut, KFC, and McDonalds around.
If you’re interested in teaching English in China and want to work more than 15 hours a week, you’ll love the money making opportunities you have. It’s extremely easy to find an English teaching job in China. A friend of mine interviewed with four schools near where I’m living, and she got four job offers. In fact, I find myself turning down opportunities all the time so that I don’t get overwhelmed. It’s common to receive offers to privately tutor students at home or work where you can easily earn $28 an hour. That’s really good money, and you can use it however you want.
China is the best place to teach English. So what are you waiting for? All you need to do is start researching and applying for jobs. I wish you the best of luck!