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  • Zaiterade
  • Super Waygook

    • 250

    • September 08, 2015, 07:36:23 am
How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« on: October 23, 2017, 05:23:47 am »
Hi guys,

I'm weighing a few opportunities I've found to begin teaching English abroad again (did a year with EPIK in 2015-2016). I found a job that would take place in a Chinese city called Tianjin. The school and offer itself seems pretty good (Korean international school). However, I've never been to China and was wondering how it is compared to Korea? I lived in a small town in the Gyeongnam area in Korea so while it was rural, I was still comfortable overall. Would a larger Chinese city be comparable to Seoul or Busan? Is it easy to stay entertained and find things to do without YouTube or FB (Yes I am aware of VPNs)? It's a two year contract so I want to be a little careful before I jump in. If you guys have any blogs or resources about life in China I would greatly appreciate it as well!


  • CO2
  • Waygook Lord

    • 7108

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Uiwang
Re: How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 07:26:30 am »
ADVChina on Youtube is the best youtube channel regarding life in China, I'd say. They say that the government doesn't give a shit about VPN for foreigners there because they realise how shit it would be if foreigners couldn't access the pleasures of home.
ETA 2day 4hour 45min to next reboot.
DO NOT UNPLUG


  • plan b
  • Super Waygook

    • 366

    • March 22, 2013, 11:53:06 am
    • Korea
Re: How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 08:47:03 am »
I've only visited China on two occasions for a total of 2 weeks, so I haven't lived there which is completely different, but I can't see myself living there after 5 years in Korea. Some of my observations are:

1) Smoking  - Must everyone smoke like a chimney there? People smoke everywhere including elevators..and public washrooms a lot!

2. Drivers - Get ready for an adrenaline rush when crossing the road..on almost any road. It might feel fun the first few times, but dodging cars, scooters, and cyclists loses its charm quickly.

3. Internet Access - I hope your VPN works well..all the time, everytime. Without it, you won't be accessing google, youtube, facebook. I couldn't even do a search on yahoo.

4. English - Less of it than Korea... a lot less.

5. Manners and Social Graces - Get ready for a 25% increase in being pushed over Korea. And I thought Korea was bad. In addition I felt like people such as store clerks were rude..i n Korea, I find that store clerks always greet me and say thank you (in Korean of course). But it China, there are no such greeting...you are given you're change back, and that's it.

6. Daily Life - Well there is no other way to put it. I felt like a zoo animal. People stared, not in a mean way, but in a way like seeing a species of animal for the first time.  Much more staring than in Korea.

7. Security - Better carry around your passport until you have ID there..You are gonna get asked for it. And security is a real bitch..everywhere. Especially getting into any subway station.

8. Language - Is it just me, or does Korean seem like a Symphony for the ears compared to the grating sounds of Mandarin?

Generally China just seemed ..ahem..rougher. I've never seen a mom pull down her child's pants, and a kid go to the bathroom, right in the middle of a department store, until I visited China.

On the bright side..fruits and vegetables are cheaper. Taxis are cheaper as well.

Oh yeah..and the air quality ...well, we know about that :(


  • kobayashi
  • Expert Waygook

    • 988

    • August 18, 2016, 11:14:47 am
    • Nibiru
Re: How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 09:47:19 am »
i always see that korean international school advertising. if a school is constantly advertising every semester, usually there's a problem. why can't they retain staff? Tainjin is also pollution central. as bad if not worse than Beijing.

as for the things plan b wrote:

1) More people smoke than in korea, in the 2nd and 3rd tier cities there's a lot more indoor smoking. in the 1st tier like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, no smoking rules are enforced a lot more, many bathrooms have smoke detectors to prevent smoking in them.

2) Driving is the same as in korea

3) the internet there does kinda suck, with a VPN things aren't so bad. internet in korea is pretty shitty too actually when you think about it. fast yes, but also shitty.

4) less english but people make much more of an attempt to communicate with you via translators on their phone etc. In korea people will just freeze up or run away if they don't speak english, or completely brush you off if you don't speak 100% fluent korean. i got much less of that when i was in china.

5) koreans are also rude AF, if you can put up with the rudeness in korea you'll do okay in china. i actually got pushed LESS in china (shanghai) than in korea.

6) didn't get stared at once. if you want to get stared at, go out to the rural areas of korea.

7) never got asked for my passport once besides showing it to get into clubs. the subway security is a PIA though, i will agree.

8.) i also find mandarin more annoying than korean but it's an easier language to learn for english speakers (the ridiculous writing system aside) than korean and far more useful. if you know some korean you can pick up mandarin easily.


  • Zaiterade
  • Super Waygook

    • 250

    • September 08, 2015, 07:36:23 am
Re: How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2017, 09:33:21 am »
Thanks for the replies so far. Yes, the school I saw is the exact same ad you referenced. A high turnover rate is indeed a bad sign. As for both of your lists, I expected most of it. I had someone tell me that 2017 China is like Korea back in the 90s....still growing and changing wildly. Like I said before, I'm not rushing to go to China, but I definitely see the opportunities as their economy is growing. I've heard both good and bad things from friends who have been there.

As for the first reply, I'll for sure check out that youtube channel. Are there any other good resources regarding jobs/life in China? Thanks again.


Re: How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2017, 11:37:19 am »
A few years ago I looked into a job in Shenzhen, did an online interview, looked at the contract, and nothing about it added up. I couldn't get any straight answers about the housing provided or the post-tax salary. I'm not crazy about living in South Korea but at least everything is pretty predictable in terms of housing and salary and working conditions, plus I had a car and furniture etc. I figured I'd put up with the devil I know.


  • kobayashi
  • Expert Waygook

    • 988

    • August 18, 2016, 11:14:47 am
    • Nibiru
Re: How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 11:49:37 am »
As for the first reply, I'll for sure check out that youtube channel. Are there any other good resources regarding jobs/life in China? Thanks again.

check out this guy's channel, really great channel and lots of interesting vids on life in china: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChvithwOECK5g_19TjldMKw

this guy also did a whole series on "china, how is it?", so check that out too: https://www.youtube.com/user/serpentza

just scroll down a bit on his channel's landing page.

as for jobs: eslcafe still good, also check out http://jobs.echinacities.com


  • annataleen
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 646

    • May 02, 2014, 01:27:07 pm
    • Incheon
Re: How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2017, 01:22:39 pm »
As for the first reply, I'll for sure check out that youtube channel. Are there any other good resources regarding jobs/life in China? Thanks again.

check out this guy's channel, really great channel and lots of interesting vids on life in china: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChvithwOECK5g_19TjldMKw

this guy also did a whole series on "china, how is it?", so check that out too: https://www.youtube.com/user/serpentza

just scroll down a bit on his channel's landing page.

as for jobs: eslcafe still good, also check out http://jobs.echinacities.com
That guy is also part of ADV China.  ;D


  • CO2
  • Waygook Lord

    • 7108

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Uiwang
Re: How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2017, 01:36:49 pm »
As for the first reply, I'll for sure check out that youtube channel. Are there any other good resources regarding jobs/life in China? Thanks again.

check out this guy's channel, really great channel and lots of interesting vids on life in china: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChvithwOECK5g_19TjldMKw

this guy also did a whole series on "china, how is it?", so check that out too: https://www.youtube.com/user/serpentza

just scroll down a bit on his channel's landing page.

as for jobs: eslcafe still good, also check out http://jobs.echinacities.com
That guy is also part of ADV China.  ;D

The song from ADVChina, soooo good. And truly one of the most bizarre music videos out there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rpc7Mcil20
ETA 2day 4hour 45min to next reboot.
DO NOT UNPLUG


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5732

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu County, Taiwan (not part of China)
    more
Re: How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2017, 01:39:25 pm »
The quality of life in my city, Zhengzhou is great, I have a great apartment, things are cheap, I don't pay utilities, I don't pay tax, free medical, get picked up in the morning and returned home at night via the college bus. The only thing I pay for is my food. Everything else is free.

Internet is okay with VPN, security is tight, little irritating but okay.  Smoking is on a par with Seoul.  My city is modern and clean. They clean the roads about 10x a day and the sidewalks and parks are cleaned continually. Transport cost are so low it is almost a joke. Anywhere in the city for 1 Rmb (170 Won), subway travel is fantastic, now pushing and shoving like Seoul cost varies between 2 and 4 Rmb, the most I paid was to the airport, the train pulls up in the airport, was 4 Rmb, for 1 and a half hours journey.

High speed trains are everywhere and dirt cheap as are intercity buses.

Driving is like Seoul but add about 8 million e-bikes into the mix and they drive anywhere and everywhere.

We all know the pollution problems in China, but strangely I never get sick, I was constantly sick in Korea. I just get a bit of sinus, that is all.

People are super friendly, never bee spat on, never had someone get up and sit elsewhere on the train or bus, never been refused service in a shop or restaurant, like I was in Seoul. Never get stares either.

All in all, I love it here way more than in Seoul and I make much more money even though my base salary is less, I have tons of privates and I make way in excess of 3 million won tax free.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • tomoakleaf
  • Veteran

    • 153

    • September 22, 2012, 03:38:47 pm
    • South Korea
Re: How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2017, 07:15:32 pm »
I'm also in Zhengzhou and I put little videos together about my life here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV6M_1ufmq8&t=1459s

Is Zhengzhou great?  I don't think it's a go to city for a noob.  If you have some experience with Asia then it might be okay.  If I were you I would plan on teaching in the south of country such as Shenzhen since the climate and location is just way better. 

Good luck on your decision making.

Roy.


  • meldrew
  • Veteran

    • 110

    • December 14, 2014, 10:50:41 pm
    • China
Re: How's the quality of life in a China these days?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2017, 05:18:00 pm »
I thought I would give my opinion on China, too. This is my 5th year in China after 2 and half years in Korea.

First I'm addressing the OP directly, are the larger cities similar to Busan and Seoul? Yes. You can do all the things you want to do in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Beijing just like you could in Busan, Seoul and Daegu. Smaller cities (not in size but tier ranking) are different but they will still have most of what you want just less of it.

a 2 year contract, I would be careful with that. What are the benefits and the holidays? Taking a 2 year contract in any country is risky if you don't know much about the job but even more so if you're relocating to another country which, as another poster said, is rougher and for the most part can be considered accurate.

Most cities are very polluted up North, I believe is the worst but I have not personally been to Tianjin.... but Beijing is bad. But you all know this already. You are thinking about moving to China despite the pollution.

1. Smoking: it is not a big deal for me because I don't go to bars often and I don't eat out regularly. However, if you went to McDonalds, theres definitely no smoking in those sort of restaurants. It is typically the 'very local' restaurants where this is a problem. Decent upscale local restaurants will not allow smoking in. Shopping malls will be no smoking thus restaurants in those will also be no smoking areas. However, the toilets in all restaurants and shopping malls seem to be the place people go to smoke. I go to a sports bar once a week to watch football and I return stinking of smoke but hey, I need to watch the Premier League.

2. Driving - Drivers are bad but they are no worse than the Koreans. I actually feel safer in Chinese taxis because they actually look out the windscreen and use their mirrors, unlike the Korean drivers that use their sat nav like it is GTA.

3. VPNs - The government do care about these and they care even more, recently. The leader announced he wants them gone by February 2018 and local VPNs have disappeared. My students were not happy about that. Foreign VPNs have been hit worse than ever this last year and especially this last 2 weeks but they are fighting back. Smaller VPNs will go under because of this. Larger ones will probably survive.

4. English - It absolutely depends on where you go in China and where you lived in Korea. My 2nd job in Korea was in a small town and it seemed like no one spoke any English at all. But also, remember this. You visit China you should expect a language barrier. Most people you will typically speak to are taxi drivers, bus drivers and restaurant staff, can you really expect them to speak English?

5. Manners - Again, depends on many things but most shops in shopping districts and restaurants absolutely has greetings to the point where it is a little embarrassing because it appears that every waitress needs to acknowledge you have entered and you hear this 'gwali gwali' echoing around the shop/restaurant.

6. Daily life - Staring is standard in the smaller cities, for sure. But it was just as normal in Korea. In Korea I'd have kids running up to me shouting in Korean migook saram or waygook saram. In Chinese these kids usually run up to me and shout hello, how are you? where are you from? in English. I know which I prefer.

7. Security - There isn't an ID like the ARC in China. By law you must have your passport on you. In reality, I have NEVER been asked for my passport except when I am booking a train ticket. There is a lot of security in the subway stations and all public areas really. But, the way this world is going... I'm actually glad there is.

8. - Mandarin does sound harsh and especially up North they have this 'eeeeerrrrr' sound that you don't typically hear elsewhere. I do prefer the melodic tones of Cantonese over Mandarin and Korean.

9. - The pooping and peeing in public is something I do struggle with. There is no disputing this. The locals say it is because they are children and they need to go when they need to go.

Guangdong is definitely a great area. I'm now living even further south on Hainan Island. Love it.