The only way you haven’t heard about teaching English in China is if you’ve been living under a rock. Not to worry if you have, I’ll provide you with all the details you need to know. Having taught in China, I know the lowdown about the job market that has many flocking to this huge Asian country to teach. China is one of the fastest growing economies and is on a mission to emerge as a global financial force. English being the most used language in the world, the Chinese don’t want to be left behind for business and travel opportunities. Thus, there is great demand for English teachers.
English teachers are especially needed in the private and international school sector which comes with a higher salary. International teachers also receive great allowances and benefits. The living standard in China is low, you can easily live a good life and save considerable money. Living & working in China isn’t going to be a hard transition, the Chinese people are known for their hospitality and colorful culture that will make your stay here very interesting. There are many historic places you could visit such as; the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, theaters, and parks. Living in China will never be boring. Plus you’re a short flight away from South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.
Getting the opportunity to teach in China is a pretty easy and straightforward process. The most important requirements are a bachelor’s degree in education and 120 hours of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or a teaching license. The license could be from an online or class course; both are okay. TEFL trains you how to teach to foreign students and will come in handy when you’re in the classroom. Another factor they will consider is teaching experience, the longer, the better. You must have proof that you are from a native English speaking country; US, UK, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. These are the countries that the Chinese government considers to be English speaking nations. If you fit the required criteria, you can easily find a teaching job in China.
There are various ways to apply for a teaching position in China. There are many emerging agencies that do recruitment. However, this can be risky as many shady companies and individuals are looking to make easy money. You should only use an agency that was recommended by someone or after careful research. You can also make direct applications to desired schools looking for teachers. This is a more secure way to apply for a teaching position. Teaching in China is a great experience, however just like anything else it comes with its challenges. You are likely to experience culture shock as you are in a completely different country with people speaking a language you don’t understand and being surrounded by a huge population. This could get to you. However take some time to take it all in, make friends with the other teachers and attend as many social gatherings as you can. Within no time at all, you will fit right in. If you arrive and discover this is not what you signed up for, this is not the end. Face the situation head on and locate the authorities that are responsible for your contract and try to solve the problem amicably. Stressing out will do you no good.
By now you can see the reason why I love teaching in China and you should too. If it’s something you are considering doing, I suggest you go ahead and do it. Not only is the money great but the experience will be unforgettable. The worst case scenario, you return home. International experience on your resume will always be an interesting conversation with a potential employer. As long as you do it in the correct and legal procedure, you won’t experience much trouble. Interacting with different cultures broadens your way of thinking and helps you understand why different people act the way they do. China is a great destination for learning this, and I’m sure you won’t regret any minute you spend here.