Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

My daughter wants to teach English in China . . .


Recommended Posts

  • 5 weeks later...
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

I think safety is not a big issue. One just has to be careful like one would be anywhere else.

As for pay, the private sector will almost certainly be higher than a university, but it will still be small by western standards. These days, around 8000-10000 RMB a month seems to be average, though of course it depends on the number of hours.

Also worth baring in mind is that to legally get a job teaching in China, one should have a college degree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

different rates in different cities apply. In Beijing for examle, if she works "freelance" she could make about 100 - 150RMB/hour teaching (sometimes more), though it would involve some time looking for those teaching jobs.

Shanghai would be more, other cities often a bit less (but life is cheaper there too).

How old is your daughter? Has she been to China first? If not at all, then maybe getting first a 3 month teaching job here to get familiar and then once she knows her way around, re-organise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

China has a very low crime rate across the board.

Women young and old can circulate safely 24/7.

If your daughter tends to stay out of trouble at home, she'll be safe in China.

Avoid offers of "three month employment" -- these are start-ups and private schools that will have you working on a tourist visa. The penalties include stiff fines and deportation. Be sure that she has a "Z" (work) visa stamped into her passport before she flies out here.

Government schools also take better care of their teachers, give them regular Mon/Fri 9-to-6 teaching schedules and more job security.

Private schools tend to mess around far more and, when you calculate the hourly rate, it is higher in a government school! Also expect private schools to have her working till 9 or 10 pm, plus Saturdays and Sundays, with most of her free time at the wrong hours of the day.

She can moonlight in private schools if she wants more money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are going to teach through an agency and I'll only be making 4800 RMBs per month, but most of our expenses (apartment, utilities, food) are all paid for. The scale does depend on where you go and who you teach for. But still, that is more than most chinese people make. If she was to be making more, her living expenses might come out of pocket so she would end up with the same amount of expendable income.

Sorry, I don't know too much, we have not been to China yet, but we are in the 'how to apply, where to go, how to find food once we get there' stage so I like passing along what I am learning. We are going through Buckland, so I would reccommend looking at their website. They don't charge any fees for their teaching program so she might consider going through them. http://www.bucklandgroup.net/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buckland is a private, i.e. profit-making operation. And solicits for volunteers? They do placement -- fine.

Expect her/you both to work 25 to 30 hrs/wk or more for that money. Government schools pay 4,000 to 5,500/mo. for 16 hours.

If you earn over CNY 5,000/mo., you are subject to income tax at 10%, so I don't see how "she would end up with with same amount" if she were paid more.

Most schools provide housing and free utilities, plus R/T airtickets home for a one-year contract. If not, a housing allowance of 1,000/mo. is reasonable for a second-tier city.

Another link for jobseekers: http://www.abroadchina.org (actually currently better than www.daveseslcafe.com which the universities and secondary schools seem to have abandoned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depend on where she goes, 4800 RMB/month could be comfortable-living wages or barely enough for survival. As for safety, the bigger the city, the more cosmopolitan the city, usually the safer it is. Keep in mind many things in China are polar opposite to what Americans find normal, the difference between city vs suburb&rural areas can claim to be one of the most striking differences, the bottom line: in China, bigger the city, safer it is, closer to downtown, safer it is, more cosmopolitan the city is, the easier transition it would be for your daughter. If possible, let her start in Beijing, Shanghai, or some of the provincial capital cities, they're more expensive living expense wise, but as long as you have common sense and follow the rules, you're also unlikely to be screwed over, let alone put yourself in mortal danger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CNY 4,800 is "barely" enough to survive? Clearly, you frequent restaurants of very HIGH quality: a bowl of instant noodles costs CNY 1,80 at the supermarket and CNY 5.00 in a restaurant.

Sorry, I beg to differ on safety: the smaller the town, the safer. Crime has one of two motives: (1) emotion and/or (2). Emotion is where you get jealous and stab someone because someone is sleeping with your sex partner. It happens in village and metropolis alike in equal proportion. Money crime, however, thrives on anonymity -- your victim doesn't know you or you can't check his background by asking friends and neighbours. It thrives in the city, for example (1) pickpocketing and (2) fraud.

Nothing wrong with big cities but if safety is the issue: any location in China is safer than any location in the USA, but villages are safer than towns which in turn are safer than cities.

Prithee tell us more about noodles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

in China, bigger the city, safer it is, closer to downtown, safer it is, more cosmopolitan the city is

I think the opposite is true.

I spent my first two years in China being the only foreigner in a 50 mile radius. I was very safe. No one could do anything to me without being very much noticed.

Later years I lived in big cities. I felt much less safe. The only time I was really ripped off was Guangzhou where a taxi driver slipped me a fake ¥50 in a thunderstorm in the dark. ( I slipped it back to his brother-in-law the next morning - same thunderstorm!)

Now I live in a 3rd tier city. I feel safe.

more cosmopolitan the city is, the easier transition it would be for your daughter.

Again the truth is probably the opposite.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not just let your daughter choose what she wants to do and make a few mistakes along the way too?

Sometimes (protective) parents, althought well-meaning, stand in the way of their children's personal and professional delelopment, assets that are ultimately required if they want to succeed in the workplace.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see any indication that the OP was planning to stop his/her daughter, s/he just wanted to know more about teaching in China. Not the first worried parent to post here.

In my experience as well, China is a very safe place for foreign women. You do run a risk of being ripped off or pickpocketed, but the risk of violence is very low.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some people are more mature than others and is this fellow asking about a daughter who is 22 or 35? (My own mother stilled treated me as a child when I was almost 40.)

If the young lady is easily inlfuenced by others, I'd steer her towards a small town, where everyone knows everyone and folks take extra care of foreigners because they're considered guests who have no family to take care of them, so they naturally fill in for family. And they they of the embarrassment to themselves and to their nation if anything happened to a foreign guest.

In larger cities, um, there are some pretty seedy Westerners, drugs are increaingly available and it's easy to someone who is of your own nationality yet knows all the local ropes. Alas, he may know too many. Then too some Westerners go psychotic when they learn that money only talks up to a point and that Chinese are not the a**-kissing coolies they had thought.

That said, Beijing and Shanghai are state-of-the-art metropolises and cultural meccas with oodles of creative dynamic abuzz; Guangzhou is a tad slower but most cosmopolitan too. Shenzhen grew from 80,000 to today's 13-to-15 million in less than 30 years; it's also on the leading edge of cosmopolitan living but expecting no cute photogenic pagodas and pigtailed schoolgirls on bicycles there at all. Among the second-tier cities, Tianjin and Changsha are easy to recommend too.

It's worth picking up a copy of Lonely Planet China for a streetsmart picture of what to expect. If it's not in that book, then, um, I would say your destination is a place of particular interest to pioneer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pickpocketing happens in the run-up to major holidays around (but not 'in') railway and bus stations, shopping malls and department stores when/where crowds are particularly thick.

I hate to be racist about it, but the likeliest perpetrators will be from either of two minorities terribly in fashion with Western critics of China.

Ripoffs are basically counterfeit banknotes and exorbitant prices. First, you have to know that perpetrators target both aliens and fellow citizens: the guy (or child!) needs bread and s/he's not racist about the source.

On prices, well, bargaining is a game. The ultimate value of any object or service is what it is worth to the buyer and your seller is simply trying to figure that out. Every now and then I buy a piece of junk jewelry or pottery from a street vendor and I'll get a first offer of CNY 300 (USD 43). When I know the price is 1/10th of that, that's what I offer and the response I get is a great big warm smile and "OK". In shops, you'll have a harder time but again, you're not facing anything especially targeted at aliens. The only difference is the starting price: it is highest for North Americans and Europeans, a tad less for Taiwanese, a shade less for Hongkongers, a shade less for folks from other wealthier provinces, a shade less for folks from out-of-towners from the same provinces and then, for fellow citizens of the same town, the price is either straight or 10% above its actual street price -- at whjch point bargaining becomes more of a conversation starter than anything else.

When I first got to China, everytime I went shopping for even minor essentials, a sort of bodyguard of three or four students would tag along. They would stand behind me and let me try to ask prices myself, but as soon as the poor shopkeeper gave me too high a number, these sweet, polite and adorable girls would come down on the poor guy like a unit of riot police. It took less than a week for the shopkeepers outside the school to learn not to mess with me -- although I have to admit that, every now and then, when I asked a price, one or two shopkeepers would scan the eyes across who was standing around in the immediate vicinity before giving me a figure.

Learn and enjoy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These days, with the hike in inflation, especially with all the bubble in the real state market, 4000+ a month won't give you a comfortable living in any of the 1st tier cities.

As for safety, as long as it's provincial capital or above, it shouldn't be too bad (Guangdong is a bad apple, its reputation has been trash for quite some time.), however, if you go further down, it won't be so fun, especially for non-locals, kinda like the situation in some small hick towns in Deep South during the 60s, where any unfamiliar faces invite resentment and certain safety problems, not to mention China's organized problem is most serious in smaller towns/villages, where local government/police often act in cohort with criminal organizations. At least in Beijing and Shanghai, you don't have to worry about the police sleeping in the same bed with crime lords.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh well, yes, there are people who have trouble living on CNY 40,000/month; I'm sure others would need at least much in USD. Really. I'm sure Beijing has restaurants where you can't get a decent lunch for under CNY 500. I mean, why have lunch in the school cafeteria across the lawn for CNY 3.00 When you can cab it into town for CNY 40 each way and eat someplace with a real French wine list? Figure it out 500 x 30 = 1,500 for food + taxi fares 40 x 2 x 30 = 2,400. I mean, the bus is only CNY 1.00 or CNY 2.00 but, well, when you have high standards and used to having your own limousine, I mean taxis are already quite a concession, now aren't they?

Why, by golly gee, that's CNY 3,900 shot out the window right there.

And like you say, Eatfastnoodle, there's "the spike in inflation". Give it another month and it'll eat up that last 100 yuan.

As for "suspicious locals", um, gosh, yeah, especially around military bases. You'd be surprised how suspicious they get when you try to practice all All-American sport like rock-climbing on one of the fences in their base perimeter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

China is somewhat similar to the US in that there are all kinds of cities and places to live and work in.

If your daughter is interested in scenery and traveling I would suggest the south, and southwest. The salaries will be lower but the landscape will be better.

If she likes clubbing and dancing on the weekend once in awhile get a City near Shanghai, a Suzhou, Hangzhou or Ningbo. She can still have scenic laid back 2nd tier China while being able to go to Shanghai for her occasional weekend club trip.

If she's looking to learn Chinese as a student while she's here and have a good accent then choose a smaller city in the north east of China or a province capital like Nanjing or even Beijing. These places have better pronunciation.

Every where is safe. Guangdong province is known for having strange food and seafood and some pickpockets around the train station. (though even that I heard is not as bad as it used to be.)

The extra spicy food provinces would be Sichuan and Hunan. (these also happen to be poorer than other provinces

Working in a high school or university will give her more safety and minders. Good luck,


if she chooses nanjing (2nd tier city) have her send me a message and I'll point out the cool places here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

China's organized [crime] problem is most serious in smaller towns/villages, where local government/police often act in cohort with criminal organizations. At least in Beijing and Shanghai, you don't have to worry about the police sleeping in the same bed with crime lords.

Really? Police and local officials are more likely to collude with criminals in smaller towns and villages?

In Beijing, party chief Chen Xitong, a Politburo member, was sacked in 1995 and later convicted of corruption and jailed for 16 years. In Shanghai, Chen Liangyu, in 2008, Shanghai party chief and also a Politburo member, was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for corruption.

Only about four weeks ago Peng Changjian, the police chief of Chongqing, one of China's largest cities and its fastest growing was jailed for life for corruption. The charges included "protecting crime rings".

I repeat what I have said before. I have always felt much safer in smaller towns and cities and especially, villages.

Most crime against foreigners happens in the big cities. although it still remains relatively low.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't really think those people fell from power because they were "protecting crime lords", do you?

In Chinese, "中国真要有够级别被政治局委员保护的黑社会,共产党早就下台了"

Also for those people, what they do or don't do are just like corruption in the White House or Pentagon, hideous, probably, long-term bad, definitely, but usually it doesn't affect average people walking on the street.

A boss in a 2000 people village, on the other hand, is a whole different ball game. every thing he does will affect you and unlike people of higher ranking, all the cash he wants to be extracted from you.

Edited by eatfastnoodle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't really think those people fell from power because they were "protecting crime lords", do you?

Possibly not. I don't know and neither do you.

But you are trying to tell me that police chiefs in big cities are not really guilty of the crimes they are accused of, but the ones in the small towns are?

Also, when I mentioned that I got ripped off in Guangzhou, you changed the argument from "big cities are relatively crime free to "big cities except Guangzhou are relatively crime free"

Your observations on relative safety for foreigners are totally contrary to my experience and to that of the many foreigners I have met over my 15 years in China.

You seem to basing your observations on your 'memories' as a Chinese person living in China - not on that of a foreigner living here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...