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Need impartial advice on teaching job offer


Liebkuchen
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Right. Need some timely advice chaps! My current job is cutting hours. Until now I've been saving regularly with a year plan to afford to do my Mandarin, ideally in Chengdu. But this won't happen on 10 hrs a week at just above minimal wage. Out of frustration, I posted my details on Chinajob.com. last night.

I awoke to 3 job offers for September. Then I got a phonecall for a fourth- this time at Ludong Uni in Yantai. They then emailed me the details of the job which seemed fair- 4000rmb per month plus return ticket, free accomodation, utilities and travel allowance. I've emailed him back with a list of questions as per the issues highlighted on other threads in this forum for clarification. Ludong, and the man I spoke to on the phone have good reviews from staff online so that looks very interesting.

I did get a financially better offer in Guangdong but its in Guangdong...

Instinct tells me that Ludong seems a good shot for a first timer for TEFL (my background is a year's training, then a year's teaching in primary schools).

Should I just dive on in? I realise that I've said on here I didn't want to teach English- but teaching's one skill I do have and the job situation here is abyssmal... I'm also aware that my Mandarin learning will come third to the job and negotiating the culture.

If anyone thinks its a bad idea to go/take up the offer, let me know asap!

Thanks!

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I'd certainly not rush into it - if that's what you get overnight, why not wait a week and see what comes in. Wouldn't do any harm to see if you can get some extra money out of them on the basis of having teaching experience. If you haven't already, I'd make it explicit that you're coming to learn Chinese and won't be looking for any extra teaching hours or anything.

Been to Yantai a couple of times - average small Chinese city, by the sea, but it's not like it's got any nice beaches or anything (no matter what Yantai might say). Big naval port. Hasn't got great transport links I think, as it's not on any main train lines.

I'd hold off a while and see what else comes in. September isn't that far away, but you can afford to take a week I think.

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That's really interesting. Thanks, Roddy! My mother was cooing over the pictures of the beach and old battlements. Also, interesting about the transport links. Admittedly, I'd want to get out regularly due to the size. Okay, I'll calm down and see what comes in. I'll put it on my 'fall back' pile :)

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I will look up options in Chengdu- the two I mentioned above had contacted me directly as I wasn't properly looking.

I do now have the email address of one of the other teachers in Yantai to pick her brains. It all just took me by surprise how quickly something tangable and attractive could be offered. My family has me packed and on the plane. Oh-a bonus for me on the Yantai front is that its all English conversation. But I'll start hunting for Chengdu jobs when I get home from work tonight.

Cheers! I'll report back if/when I hear anything else.

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Oh, when a Chinese university - especially less well-known ones in smaller cities - get a sniff of an English teacher they'll snap you up. There's maybe less desperation than there was in the past, but it should still be an employee's market.

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Not that it counts for much in terms of practical advice, but I sure enjoyed Yantai last summer as a tourist. Even though I didn't really do much in the way of "tourist stuff," the fresh sea breezes were a tonic and long walks on the seawall were therapeutic. Good seafood; not expensive. Will admit that I'm partial to coastal cities, but I found Yantai much more welcoming and easy to navigate than Qingdao. I know that's all subjective, but personally I could picture living there and liking it.

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Update- been on the expat forums like Yantai Life and the place seems to engender a misty eyed fondess from those who live there. Yes, its not Chengdu but I could always go there next year and/or keep saving to go to SWUFE. If the preponderance of fishy things in the local diet is my only complaint, it'll do me :)

So, applying today for a GP's letter so the uni can get my invitation and permit for my visa appliation as well as my travel innocs.

Monday is D-day in terms of my formal decision...Its a mad turn of situation in about 2 days so thought I'd better sleep on it.

Terrified- but in an about to abseil down a very tall cliff sort of way. Statistically, it'll end well, but stepping over the edge is the tricky bit. :shock:

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Cheers, Skylee! It does sound good. I know I'd regret it in a few years not going if I got a permanent office job. Off to the day job now ironing trousers...

Roddy- The uni needs it along with my scans of my passport, degrees etc to issue my invitation and work permit- I take it its a local bureau thing? They first asked for the Physical Exam for Foreigners form but my local GPs say they take it away to fill in- I just saw mass confusion. So I asked my contact if I had to do it before hands and he said a letter from my doctor would do instead.

Its not for the visa itself as I know I don't need one and will have to do the physical exam when I hit China.

Do you forsee any problems with this?

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Terrified- but in an about to abseil down a very tall cliff sort of way. Statistically, it'll end well, but stepping over the edge is the tricky bit.

Here's how I look at such situations. Acknowledge that this is probably not the absolute optimal decision you could make. And also acknowledge that you could drive yourself crazy and make yourself miserable looking for the absolute optimal decision -- and then still probably not find it. From thousands of miles away (me to you, you to the school), is appears to be a reasonable decision, and you've done your due diligence to try to ensure it's not a stupid decision. That's all one can ask for.

And whatever happens, you're going to have a blast. Keep us updated.

P.S. "abseil" -- had to look that one up. Turns out it's what we across the pond call "rappelling". I've done that. It's a thrill!

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And whatever happens, you're going to have a blast. Keep us updated.
I second this. It is scary to decide over the course of a few days to leave everything behind and jump into the great unknown, but you know what, it'll be fine, and in the unlikely case it isn't, you can always go back.

Congratulations on your upcoming move!

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Thanks J and Lu, and everyone for your support :)

I've just had an email from a couple who have recently worked there. They even invited me to meet them in person to hear all about it which is lovely but I'm 300 miles away and need to keep my day job for as long as possible. They seem to have enjoyed it and will fill me in by email which is kind of them given the list of questions I sent was more like an interrogation!

So, I can officially say to you all I'm going to accept the offer!!!!

I'm loathe to say I'm definately away until I have my visa in hand- but in the meantime, I'm using the old threads in the forum about what to bring to make a packing list.

In town today, there was a delegation of Chinese men visiting! An omen surely!

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  • 2 years later...

Hello Liebkuchen!

 

I intend to go over to Ludong Uni to study Chinese for a year and I was wondering how your experience was like seeing that this thread is from 3 years ago? More precisely, how's the university like? I can't find much info about it (other than from their official website) so I am really curious. 

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