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calif90071

Tutoring In Beijing?

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calif90071

I am going to be studying at Tsinghua University this Fall 2010-Spring 2011 (doing an exchange-program through my U.S. university). I have heard that students before who studied in Beijing were able to get something of a side-job by becoming English tutors. I'm curious as to hearing from anyone who has done this while a foreign student in Beijing, and if anyone knows what kind of market this has and if the money earned is really worth the time?

Thanks for reading my post!

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Brian US

Technically it is illegal to work on a student visa, but I have never heard of someone having a problem. If you are foreign looking then you will be bombarded with teaching offers when you arrive. Most will pay between 100-200 kuai an hour and not be taxed. Depends if $15-$30 an hour is worth the opportunity cost of not studying Chinese with that time.

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calif90071

Technically it is illegal to work on a student visa, but I have never heard of someone having a problem. If you are foreign looking then you will be bombarded with teaching offers when you arrive. Most will pay between 100-200 kuai an hour and not be taxed. Depends if $15-$30 an hour is worth the opportunity cost of not studying Chinese with that time.

Thanks! I thought it was only illegal to get a professional job (or to work for someone other than yourself; basically to get a "real job") on a student visa in China, but if you don't know anyone who's had problems it doesn't sound like that would be an issue.

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Mandyding

a student visa is ok for taking a part-time job, you can ask your chinese school-mate to help you to find a good employer, making sure you get your pay in time.

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greenarcher

As long as you're caucasian the chinese in Beijing automatically think you can speak and teach English. I know a Ukranian girl who was suddenly approached by a stranger asking if she can tutor for a weekend. Yes she can speak english but with a Russian accent. They don't care anyways.

If you're not caucasian just bring your US passport as proof, that should be more than enough.

The going rates are 130-150RMB/hour.

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nazreal

Hi calif90071,

I'm actually thinking of doing exactly the same thing once I settle down in Tsinghua - although because I'm Chinese I think I'll have a harder time. Will have to use all my education and various degrees to give me a 'colour' boost!

If not, I was actually thinking of possibly doing some academic proof reading (note - not copy editing!) and get paid by the hour too....as I have editing and proof reading experience anyway. Just another possibility of getting some income whilst I'm out there...

nazreal

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calif90071

nazreal: Yeah that could be another option too (I hadn't thought of that previously). I'll probably spend a week or two settling down in Beijing but after that I'm going to look for a way to get a little bit of extra income. If you manage to find something let me know...I'm sure we'll meet at some point at Tsinghua anyway.

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Yezze

As long as you're caucasian the chinese in Beijing automatically think you can speak and teach English.

To what extent do they do that? As in, will just random people (students?) that see me walking ask me that (if i can teach them English, or something along those lines), or will it be people that i at least sort of know?

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roddy

It's not impossible. Depends where you are, how approachable you look, etc.

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Yezze

It's not impossible. Depends where you are, how approachable you look, etc.

I just hope people won't be "annoying" about it. From what i hear, the amount of English in Beijing surprises (as in, a lot of English) English speakers who go there to study Chinese.

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roddy

You get the odd idiot who won't take no for an answer, but it's rare and not something to worry about. There are less mentalists, drunks and pushy beggars around than your average Western city, so in the end you're still coming out ahead. And you can always pretend to be Egyptian.

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Yezze

And you can always pretend to be Egyptian.

(kind of a joke, but I have thought about it)

My grandma babysat me often up until i was 5, and she is French and lived in France from birth till she was 30ish. So, i know a some french and actually what i can say in French (basic phrases, including "I speak French") sounds just like a native speaker (since i was so young when she taught me and she is a native french speaker), according to her and the french teachers i have run into... So, i could just pulling that out when someone asks me if i speak English. But, if they happen to speak French, i am in trouble.

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Brian US

So, i could just pulling that out when someone asks me if i speak English.

I pull that out often at Zhongguancun when I get bombarded by people at the front door. "Parle vous Francais?" stops them dead in their tracks.

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Yezze

I pull that out often at Zhongguancun when I get bombarded by people at the front door. "Parle vous Francais?" stops them dead in their tracks.

I will definitely keep that in mind.

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nazreal

I can see I'll have completely the opposite problem hehe! I'll be the one really wanting to teach English but I guess one look at my oh so boring Chinese face will have them turning away *sniff* how positively discriminate!

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ScarlettWan

well nazreal..that'll be 2 of us in the same boat...but my friend who's just come back from their year abroad said if you walk around speaking english to your friends, people will approach you too....but then i guess it would kind of defy our purpose to be learning and speaking chinese....

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totgafk

If you want a teaching job that isn't too far from Tsinghua, please send me a message. The rate is 150RMB/Hr ("after-tax") and the employer is a "no bs" foreigner-friendly establishment.

As a side note, when you look for a teaching gig, you should be selective. In other words, you may find an opportunity to work; however, that does not mean that you will get paid, paid on time or paid in full.

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jmhcali

Haha, I use Spanish for that. Although if they actually speak Spanish I'm out of luck, since all I can really handle in Spanish is basic politeness and ordering food.

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dajaphonics

Does anyone know any specific websites where I can find students who are looking for 1 on 1 lessons or small classes? I am also looking for a private school teaching Mandarin. Has anyone heard much about Global Village or have any experience with this school?

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amandagmu

Just put up some ads on the local bulletin boards (around the school grounds). Make a couple copies per board and make your phone number and e-mail address prominent. In the ad, emphasize you are a native speaker (this will get more $, but don't say it if you can't prove it) and add any credentials that a Chinese person would recognize -- for example, if you got a high score on the GREs or if you have a Master's degree, or if you have a degree in Business from a prestigious institution, or if you have previous teaching experience. Don't be too verbose. Make a bulleted list of your credentials and a very short description of what you can provide ("tutoring in English to adults and teenagers" or "exam preparation" or "copy editing" ETC) and then just put your number and e-mail address. I staggered my rates depending on what people wanted. I charged less for tutoring or general conversation (mostly adults who wanted to practice) and more for people who basically wanted me to edit their essays for graduate school admission (in the U.S.) or help with (annoyingly tedious) homework and exam preparation, largely because I had to spend extra time outside of our meetings doing something. Also, I had an American friend, working full-time, who was getting rid of some GRE books (recent editions of Kaplan and Barron). I snagged these and they helped enormously when I helped people prepare for the GREs.

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