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Author Topic: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons  (Read 10858 times)

Online confusedsafferinkorea

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2017, 12:45:14 PM »
All in all, China is an experience that you may or may not like. Everyone is different. I never once felt "at home" in China the way I have in Korea. Making friends was harder partly due to the language barrier but principally because Weihai was very isolated from the rest of the country. The people I met in larger cities such as Shanghai and Qingdao, I'm still in touch with most of them whereas in Korea, I'm still in contact with a lot of people I met in the countryside.

I have had the opposite experience. I felt at home from day 1. I never felt at home in Korea ever.
Everything is not as it seems.

No one owes you anything.... get over it.

NEVER think a failure is the end of the world, it is the beginning of a new opportunity.

There is no known medical cure for stupidity!

Offline meldrew

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #41 on: December 14, 2017, 01:22:17 PM »
One of the difficulties noted here is getting money out but if Union Pay works in your country it is easy, you just open an extra account and put money in there, send the ATM card to your relatives and ask them to withdraw it for you.

One more piece of good news, the government is really making an effort to get pollution levels down and I must say in my city the improvement has be staggering. Hope they continue to do it.

I was doing this back in 2015 until one day it just stopped working. I was at a uni with about 50-60 FTs and a lot of us did this (at a point, probably 15 on a regular basis) and everyone that I spoke to had the same problem. I can't remember when this happened but I think it was the beginning to mid 2016. In my case specifically, UnionPay is linked to Link in the UK, which is like 99% of all ATMs.

I presume you've done this more recently, but it is just another sign of everything being different depending on where you are and where you're from. This could have been an issue for those in Guangzhou/Guangdong only. This could have been an issue for Brits only (because most of the people I spoke to about this were fellow Brits).

I have used PayPal a few times and it worked like a charm until it didn't. My money has been on hold for 3 weeks and there is nearly zero ways to communicate with them. It's just like 'with got your money now shut up'.

I stopped using a local to send money because where I was the only locals were students. To be fair the university had organised a student help group for all things banking and foreigner related. So ,we'd get a student we'd take them to the bank, give them the money and they'd send it. I think after the New Year I'll be going back to this method.

Offline meldrew

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2017, 02:18:45 PM »
All in all, China is an experience that you may or may not like. Everyone is different. I never once felt "at home" in China the way I have in Korea. Making friends was harder partly due to the language barrier but principally because Weihai was very isolated from the rest of the country. The people I met in larger cities such as Shanghai and Qingdao, I'm still in touch with most of them whereas in Korea, I'm still in contact with a lot of people I met in the countryside.

I have had the opposite experience. I felt at home from day 1. I never felt at home in Korea ever.

Since moving to Hainan, I've realised you can really feel at home here. The university is in the city so everything you'd want is on the doorstep. Beaches all around me and easily accessible. Local friends that have similar interests and foreigner friends that are not just teachers (who from previous experience just wants to talk about teaching or politics...). I've got fast speed internet, something which was unattainable in the last 4 years. I still, every single day, get starred at like I'm an alien. That'll never change but it was the same in Korea. Pollution where I am is not a concern at all.

What would make me want to call this place home for the longterm? Possibility to have a 2nd job legally. Getting that money out more easily and reliably. Not having to deal with VPNs. However, I don't think those things will ever change.

From my experience and I don't like to generalise but I will anyway. I prefer Chinese woman. In Korea I felt like I was a foreign toy that my exes would occasionally show off to their friends or that it was a sign of how 'contemporary' she was. In China, I have had what seems like much more sincere relationships, even the ones that didn't work out in the end were.

Both countries were welcoming to me, but in Korea I was in a foreigner bubble and never saw it as a home. China makes me feel like I could live here long term and be happy... especially if they had a few progressive changes regarding working here and the internet here.

Offline MWeb37

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #43 on: December 25, 2017, 12:30:00 PM »
Pollution. That's the worse thing about Korea and it's amplified 10x in China.

Offline kobayashi

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #44 on: December 26, 2017, 07:55:20 AM »
Pollution. That's the worse thing about Korea and it's amplified 10x in China.

really depends on where you are. there are some places in china where the air is clearer than it is in korea.

a few days ago the AQI in korea was around 200, which is horrendous.

Offline fishead

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #45 on: December 26, 2017, 08:47:59 AM »
All in all, China is an experience that you may or may not like. Everyone is different. I never once felt "at home" in China the way I have in Korea. Making friends was harder partly due to the language barrier but principally because Weihai was very isolated from the rest of the country. The people I met in larger cities such as Shanghai and Qingdao, I'm still in touch with most of them whereas in Korea, I'm still in contact with a lot of people I met in the countryside.

I have had the opposite experience. I felt at home from day 1. I never felt at home in Korea ever.

Depends on the person
If you like teaching using high technology ( Korea)
If you like nice long vacations not interuppted by seatwarming ( China)
You like a dynamic cuisine with lots of different ethnic variations( China)
You like visited ancient palaces and temples they all don't look identical( China)
You like a variety of landscapes and terrain( China)
Comfortable easy public transportation( Korea)
Able to walk down the steet without the fear of being run over by a motorcycle on the sidewalk(Korea)
Agents that connect you to jobs are more trustworthy( Korea)
Textbooks and technology at school is user friendly Korea

Offline alexiscool

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2018, 03:58:06 PM »
Do you consider Shenzhen a first-tier city?

Shenzhen is definitely a first tier city. If you're considering teaching in China, Shenzhen is a great choice! To be fair, I have only taught in Shenzhen, so I can't speak for other cities but Shenzhen is a great city. It's large, has great beaches, great mountains, and you can just take a subway to Hong Kong for an afternoon trip if you want. Additionally, the air quality is generally good.

Online Thomas Mc

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #47 on: November 07, 2018, 10:30:54 AM »
I think if you want to be in Hong Kong, go teach in Hong Kong.

People speak about Shenzhen and Hong Kong being close and maybe they are but with travel times and time spent queuing at immigration I'm thinking 2 hours door to door trip minimum would be required.

Online eggieguffer

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #48 on: November 07, 2018, 11:58:55 AM »
I think if you want to be in Hong Kong, go teach in Hong Kong.

People speak about Shenzhen and Hong Kong being close and maybe they are but with travel times and time spent queuing at immigration I'm thinking 2 hours door to door trip minimum would be required.

Single accommodation in HK but outside the centre will set you back around a grand a month (pounds) so bear that in mind when looking at salaries. It's also a very expensive place to live, so you want to be on at least 30k HK dollars a month.

Online Aristocrat

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #49 on: November 07, 2018, 12:12:00 PM »
Ok I haven't lived in China, but there's one facts I do know; ANY legal dispute requiring you to be in court. If you're up against a Chinese national, you will lose... Guaranteed!  A Chinese person could've sexually assaulted you. Proof or not, you're not going to win. In Korea, with proof, you've still got a decent shot.

Furthermore, if you can sleep soundly knowing the Chinese Communist Party is currently detaining an estimated 1 million civilian Muslims into concentration camps, force feeding them alcohol and pork, attempting to brainwash them and killing them if they resist, then by all means, go for it.

Oh, and though Hong Kong is technically part of China, it's a totally different story to the mainland. Have you thought about Taiwan?
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 01:18:21 PM by Aristocrat »

Offline kangsheng

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #50 on: December 21, 2018, 12:00:49 PM »
Ok I haven't lived in China, but there's one facts I do know; ANY legal dispute requiring you to be in court. If you're up against a Chinese national, you will lose... Guaranteed!  A Chinese person could've sexually assaulted you. Proof or not, you're not going to win. In Korea, with proof, you've still got a decent shot.

Furthermore, if you can sleep soundly knowing the Chinese Communist Party is currently detaining an estimated 1 million civilian Muslims into concentration camps, force feeding them alcohol and pork, attempting to brainwash them and killing them if they resist, then by all means, go for it.

Oh, and though Hong Kong is technically part of China, it's a totally different story to the mainland. Have you thought about Taiwan?

Exactly. The Communist party is evil. Sure, other countries did it, but they're doing it now.

Online confusedsafferinkorea

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #51 on: December 21, 2018, 01:01:32 PM »
Ok I haven't lived in China, but there's one facts I do know; ANY legal dispute requiring you to be in court. If you're up against a Chinese national, you will lose... Guaranteed!  A Chinese person could've sexually assaulted you. Proof or not, you're not going to win. In Korea, with proof, you've still got a decent shot.

Furthermore, if you can sleep soundly knowing the Chinese Communist Party is currently detaining an estimated 1 million civilian Muslims into concentration camps, force feeding them alcohol and pork, attempting to brainwash them and killing them if they resist, then by all means, go for it.

Oh, and though Hong Kong is technically part of China, it's a totally different story to the mainland. Have you thought about Taiwan?

Exactly. The Communist party is evil. Sure, other countries did it, but they're doing it now.

I loved teaching in China so much and as long as you have the right visa and keep below the radar you should be okay. They changed the rules about visas so I had to leave and I was pretty sad to. I am now in Taiwan and it is absolutely awesome and I didn't actually realise how restricted I was in China till I got here.

The common Chinese person is absolutely fantastic, but the government is as evil as they get and we don't know half the things they are doing. China is super fast on its way back to the good old days of Mao and the tragedy is the average Chinese person has no cooking clue about what that evil regime is doing, they think it is all rosy.  One day they will wake up and find themselves in an absolute dictatorship and then they will be even more screwed than they are now. Not that they can do anything about it. They are quite powerless and Winnie the Pooh is hell-bent on making them even more powerless.

I would definitely look at Taiwan if you are a licenced teacher.
Everything is not as it seems.

No one owes you anything.... get over it.

NEVER think a failure is the end of the world, it is the beginning of a new opportunity.

There is no known medical cure for stupidity!

Offline KimDuHan

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #52 on: December 22, 2018, 12:24:00 AM »
Are Canadians still safe in China?

« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 12:26:06 AM by KimDuHan »

Offline some waygug-in

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Online confusedsafferinkorea

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2018, 07:37:46 AM »
NO.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4780032/china-canadian-detained-working-illegal/

Don't ever go there on the wrong visa, that is the bottom line. Do your homework before you go and triple check everything is okay before you go.

I am not siding with the Chinese government at all but they are fully entitled to take action against you if you have the wrong visa. Almost all countries do that in any case.

If you have the right visa and keep a low profile, don't say the wrong things, don't even mention Taiwan, you are fine.  I had a really good time there, great students and great people. Just the government sucks.
Everything is not as it seems.

No one owes you anything.... get over it.

NEVER think a failure is the end of the world, it is the beginning of a new opportunity.

There is no known medical cure for stupidity!

Offline fishead

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2019, 09:18:32 AM »
NO.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4780032/china-canadian-detained-working-illegal/

Don't ever go there on the wrong visa, that is the bottom line. Do your homework before you go and triple check everything is okay before you go.

I am not siding with the Chinese government at all but they are fully entitled to take action against you if you have the wrong visa. Almost all countries do that in any case.

If you have the right visa and keep a low profile, don't say the wrong things, don't even mention Taiwan, you are fine.  I had a really good time there, great students and great people. Just the government sucks.
It would be interesting knowing the name of the agent she went with. I would not be surprised if the agent told her that it was perfectly OK to enter the country on a tourist visa and that doing this is a normal practice and once she arrived the company could easily switch her visa over by sending her to Hong Kong for a day on their dime.

This is an all too common occurance. I applied to teach in China though a recruiting agency whose head office is located in Vancouver Toronto. I had a phone interview with an agent who started by asking me a lot of persoanal questions related to my age health conditions and whether I was currently taking any medication. Later he asked me If I  would be willing to enter China on a tourist visa and that it would be changed to a working visa later on. The thing that surprised me was this company that had an office on Canadian soil was suggesting that I do something that would endanger my own welbeing. He later ensured me that this was a regular practice and that he has sent numerous teachers on this way and has never had a problem. So here we have it someone living a modest middle class lifestyle on Canadian soil encouraging Canadian citizens to do something that will endanger their own wellbeing and possibly make them a prisoner in a communist dictatorship country. It's also disturbing to note that it would be possible that the company could get off scott free becouse they regularly make potential clients of their services sign wavers  stating that there are dangers involved in working overseas and that the company will not be held legally responsible for the poor decisions made by their clients resulting in harm or potential death.

Interestingly enough it only took me a short time to find a reliable agent that was based in China that was willing to allow me to take the legitamate safe way to enter Chna and work.

Offline MizuWizard

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Re: Teaching EFL in China: Pros and Cons
« Reply #56 on: February 27, 2019, 10:46:25 AM »
As you know China is vast in size, in my own city many of the teachers had different experiences while working under the same company. As I saw on a previous post, make sure you have your visa together before arrival. If your employer says something along the lines of completing the process in China...run. Unfortunately I was young and misinformed at the time, long story short I unintentionally worked on the wrong visa for 10 months. So there were several other factors that cloud my opinion of China. This experience is coming from living in Shenzhen, a newer city that is populated by migrants from cities all over China. Under my company I worked for a public school and private school, upon leaving the company I acquired another private school position independently. Did a couple of side jobs but didn't find them appealing.

Pros of living in Shenzhen (China):
- Pretty safe in terms of not getting robbed or something
- Wechat pay (super convenient way of paying or transferring money with your phone)
- Beautiful parks
- Borders Hong Kong
- A few cool places to visit (Amusement parks, famous shopping districts, art villages etc.)
- Tasty street food (very suspicious and oily though)
- Great transportation (metro, buses, city bikes to rent on the street, taxis (many scammers though), motor scooter rides (select parts of the city, since it was technically illegal)
- Cheap prices for most things (But compared to how much you make it may not be o\worth mentioning)
- If you want extra work it's easy to find, people will just offer private tutoring or ask you to work part time for them. Everyone knows it's illegal but it's not easy to get caught unless you're spreading the word.
 
Cons:
- THE INTERNET IS TRAAAAAAASH!!!!!!!
- VPN is crucial for social survival
- The language is difficult af
- Nothing seems safe
(You become skeptical of everything, just from the things you see and people always trying to make a quick buck at anyone's expense.)
What's in this food.
Is this real alcohol or will I go blind.
Did the nurse change the needle before sticking me with it.

- Most restaurants had a B or C rating for cleanliness if they even bothered to get an inspection.
- Good luck finding ice at non western restaurants, they might laugh in your face if you ask lol
- City of no smiles (People just seem so stressed with the work construct and building a family)
- Poor LGBTQ culture
- Poor hygiene (People don't cover their mouths, don't wash their hands, pick their noses, most public bathrooms don't even have soap)
- People spit EVERYWHERE!!! The sidewalk and streets just glisten in the sunlight.
Its so bad that Hong Kong actually has to have "no spitting" signs in public areas.
- Babies don't wear diapers (I know that this is to cut down on diaper waste and it helps families financially, but it's uncomfortable seeing babies and sometimes even kids, do their business in a bush or out in the open.)
There have been a few incidents of kids pissing in a bottle or plastic bag on the subway....
- Subways are usually crammed with people, the security checking is also very taxing.
- The amount of surveillance they have on you is scary, police will randomly knock on your door, ask for your visa information and interrogate you at random times. Luckily I never even had this experience but all of my friends had this happen to them.
- Squat toilets (very rarely will you find western toilets in public)

Company pros:
- They can help you get settled with bank accounts and getting a phone plan, you can also talk to them if their are issues within your workplace.

Company cons:
- Contracts are just sheets of paper
- High turnover with their employees and teachers
- Most companies will take nearly half of your paycheck every month in some cases
- Teachers are easily replaceable
- They will do many illegal things to save themselves money or avoid paying a fine

Public school pros (Some may just have been because of my school though):
- 2 hour lunch break
- Sometimes lenient on going home early
- Classes often get stolen by homeroom teachers or canceled because of a school event

Public school cons:
- 50-60 students every class
- co-teachers were just homeroom teachers that usually took the class as a break period
- no curriculum or book to work off of
- basically a babysitting job, not much room for teaching such a large amount of students

For private schools I can't even make a list of pros and cons because it is very circumstantial. But the big take away is that the kids don't want to be there and you are at the mercy of the parents.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 10:51:20 AM by MizuWizard »