Tips for Recent Graduates: Why Should You Teach English in China?
How mixed were your feelings when you graduated? You were happy; of course! Finally, you’re about to experience life without thoughts about studying and exams. A whole new world of opportunities unveils itself for you.
But one main question naturally imposed itself: now what?
Some people have everything figured out. They will get a job at the organization where they were interns. Maybe their parents will hire them in their own companies. Maybe they will continue their studies. Some, however, simply don’t know.
They have a general idea of the job they want to have, but maybe they are not prepared for such a structured life just yet. The thought of spending eight hours in an office every day till retirement is killing their enthusiasm.
If you’re one of these students, maybe the thought of traveling right after graduation seems appealing to you. How about China? It’s one of the most magnificent countries in the world, with diverse culture and beautiful places to see.
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As for the finances, you can solve that issue. You don’t have to exhaust your parents’ savings just because you want to travel. You can become an English teacher in China, so you’ll earn enough money to support yourself there.
You need some convincing?
These are the most appealing reasons why you should consider teaching English in China after graduation:
1. You’ll Add Important Skills to Your Resume
Even if you wanted to get an office job right after graduation, you’d be faced with many challenges. Not many employers will be happy to have you just because you earned a degree. They are after something else: experience.
The entry-level jobs are not exciting and they aren’t paid well. If you consider to teach English in China, it may be your step forward for many different careers.
If, for example, you want to build a career in management or marketing, your knowledge of Chinese culture and your direct experience with it will make a massive difference. In addition, you’ll prove you’re great at working in diverse environments and you’re open to acknowledge various cultures. That’s an important thing to write in a resume, but it’s even more important for you to prove it through relevant experience.
2. You’ll Make Friends for Life
When you’re a foreigner in a strange country, being alone is not an option. Fortunately, Chinese people are very kind and well-mannered. They will offer to take you to the best bars and restaurants around the city. They will tell you what places you shouldn’t miss seeing and they will even offer to accompany you there.
Of course; you’ll meet rude people, too. China is a very populated country, so you have higher chances of meeting all kinds of people. But the nice ones are the ones you’ll stick to, right?
You just need to open up to friendships.
3. You Can Learn Some Chinese
China’s economy is growing stronger by the day. If you plan to get involved in any kind of business, your knowledge of Mandarin Chinese will matter a lot, even if it’s just basic. Maybe you won’t become fluent in a year, but you’ll definitely make progress if you take classes and immerse yourself in the culture.
Basically, the decision to teach English in China will make a great impact on your overall career journey.
4. You Can Work Something Else, Too
As an ESL teacher, you won’t be busy 8 hours per day. Chances are, you’ll be teaching few classes and you’ll have the rest of the day off. But that means you’ll be making less money. That’s not a problem if you combine this job with another one, especially if it has to do with freelancing.
Emma Hudson, team leader at Careers Booster, explains that many recent graduates are taking that route: “We have several writers and editors from our team who currently work as ESL teachers in foreign countries. Whenever they need extra cash, they accept projects. It’s a flexible system that enables them to experience life in its full meaning while earning enough money to support their adventures.”
5. You Get to Explore China
China is a huge country. Even if you stay there for years and do nothing but travel, you won’t get to see everything. However, you still get a chance to see as much as you could possibly see while you work there as an ESL teacher. You’ll take trips during weekends and holidays.
It’s a well-connected country regarding public transport, so you can easily explore the region whenever you decide to do that.
Don’t forget your camera! If you’re good at photography, you may start earning some money out of that skill. Remember how we talked about freelancing?
6. The Cost of Living Is Lower
With the amount of money you make at an entry-level job in the USA, you’ll barely survive. In China, the cost of living is much lower. For a meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant, you’ll pay slightly above $20. In the USA, the price for the same kind of meal is more than double (around $50). Chinese food is cheap, but it’s absolutely delightful!
Now you’re thinking “Yes, but the salaries in the USA are also higher.”
7. The Experience Itself
You think you were independent at college? You were living away from your parents. You took care of your budget. You were responsible to organize your own time.
Yes; you reached a certain level of independence and it was great.
But when you head off to a foreign country, you’ll experience a whole other level of freedom and responsibility. You’ll be away from everyone you know and you’ll have to make friends from scratch. You’ll become part of a really cool culture that keeps inviting you to explore it further. You’ll have to earn your own money, so you’ll be careful with the way you spend them. China has its own way of consuming your entire attention. You’ll feel like a whole new person after a single year spent there. The experience itself is enough of a reason for you to accept this challenge.
Thanks to Eugene for sharing this article with us and explaining reasons why teaching English in China can be beneficial for your future career!
Eugene is an Australian-based blogger for Careers Booster, who is into stand-up comedy. His favorite comedians are Louis CK and George Carlin. A good morning laugh is what keeps Eugene upbeat and motivated through the harsh day.