The experience of teaching anywhere in the world awards both teachers and pupils with a lasting sense of enlightenment. The experience of teaching English in China, however, augments that sense and enriches it with a certain reward that cannot be found elsewhere. Simply put, China provides an adventure with a wide variety of experiences, from the extraordinary cultures, stunning scenery and endless traditional cuisine which enable you to see and taste it all. Teaching in a village outside of Beijing, for example, can offer a most memorable adventure, ideal for anyone seeking to meet different people and enjoy new experiences, while still doing the work they love. Furthermore, one has the opportunity to discover an ancient culture, which is sure to enrich the visitor in a personal sense.
Here are some of the significant benefits of teaching English in China:
Employment – Children in China are renowned for being diligent students and work hard to attain a decent level of education, for a remarkable trait of these children, even at a young age, is their enthusiastic attitude toward foreign teachers. In fact, the young students in China can be a joy to teach with the right approach, for if a teacher can find a way to make the experience more enjoyable or entertaining for them, they will be rewarded with lasting respect and unwavering effort.
Earnings – Life in China is quite affordable and contrary to belief, earning between $1300 and $1600 will provide for a comfortable living while also allowing room to save some money along the way for more travel or spending. Essentially, you will need at least half of this amount for bare necessities, eating out and accommodation, while the rest can be put toward luxury items or entertainment.
People – It is tradition in China to extend a warm welcome to guests, especially in rural areas, and usually this hospitality is replicated on the streets through casual greetings, assistance and general friendliness. Rather than remain only friendly, it’s not uncommon to even be invited for dinner in a strangers home or find yourself on the receiving end of gifts and kind gestures of a similar nature. Polite and courteous always, unlike many parts of the world, locals do not try to take advantage of a visitors inexperience and will most often offer prices which are not inflated in any way.
Welfare programs – Good welfare programs are important for any foreign teacher in China as the school will assign personal assistants to help out with anything, from ordering meals at restaurants, to paying bills or finding your way around. Assistants are also on hand when you need anything at all, so considering their importance, it’s worth researching a school with a good welfare program before accepting any positions.
Traditional Cuisine – First of all, forget about the Chinese food you have around the corner at home, for the authentic food experience in China is much different in a most delightful way. Despite such peculiar dishes as sheep stomach or ox tongue (which you might end up liking!), there are also quite ‘ordinary’ dishes on the menu which you are sure to fall in love with.
Escaping the routine – China is enormous, extraordinary and exciting. You will find a variety of adventures and new experiences almost every day, and that in itself is one of the most interesting parts of teaching in China. As opposed to the daily routine we usually encounter back home, teaching in China will allow you to escape the routine and find yourself surrounded with a different culture, with new faces and experiences to enjoy. Variety is the essence of China and while teaching there, you are sure to fully recognize how your own work/travel experience is a mirror image for this variety.
Working hours – Even though many positions require a specific number of hours work each week, most foreigners in China will find that they work less than 15 hours a week, providing the teacher with more time to socialize with friends, sightseeing or even working another job for extra funds.
More opportunities – As mentioned above, many teachers will choose to work more than one position, such is the amount of free time the role provides. In this sense, it is very easy to find extra hours as a tutor where you can teach children in a private setting for a reasonable income.
Standing out in China – Being a celebrity is not something most people will ever experience, but arriving to teach in China, you can expect a similar status. Not only will you fascinate the every-day locals, but you will also find yourself popular with journalists and business men alike, the latter of which will sometimes pay a foreigner for their presence at a business meeting to create the illusion of credibility.
An alluring destination – Indeed, China is a scenic country that will leave you breathless at every turn, while living there is also enjoyable and comfortable. There are a vast number of social activities at the disposal of visitors, from meeting new friends, trying different food, discovering various places, learning mandarin or attending parties and festivals. These are not words for advertisement purposes, but rather a true impression of the teaching experience in China as described by those who have lived through it and related everything it has to offer.
If you’re considering a teaching gig in China then you may need to get TEFL certified. Compare Online Courses from a wide range of accredited TEFL programs.
We also recommend checking out Maria’s ‘Ultimate Teaching in China Q&A Blog Post‘…assuming you’ve got the itch to go 😉