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Alex888

Looking for opinions and advice

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Alex888

Hello everyone,

 

I've been teaching English in Japan for two and a half years and I've now decided to go teach in China.
Like the title suggests I would like your advice and opinions about the location and types of jobs I
should look for.

 

Firstly I'm looking to work in Shanghai or the cities next to it, Jiaxing and Suzhou.
I might consider Wuxi, Huzou or Hangzhou depending on the distance and time to Shanghai airport.
I need a quick and easy access to it since I have a daughter here in Japan and I'm planning on visiting
her as much as I can. I would greatly appreciate your inputs regarding these cities.

 

Secondly from what I gather most of the jobs are in kindergardens, private language schools and primary/secondary
schools. I read about training centers but I assume they're the same as private schools right? Again I would
be very appreciative if you could share your experiences and offer some opinions on these schools.


Thank you in advance for your responses.

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NinjaTurtle

There are also a number of jobs in universities. The big difference is free time vs. more money. Which is more important, free time or money? If you teach at a university, you will have more free time, but university-English-teaching is one of the lowest paying English jobs in China. If you teach children you will make more money, but it requires more effort and 'physical stamina'. EF is the big training school all over China. High school jobs and elementary school jobs also abound. Please feel free to ask more questions.

 

My town in China is Wuxi. From the university campus in Wuxi to Pudong Airport it is 3.5 hours by car. Suzhou or Hangzhou are also good, because you can live near Shanghai without actually living in Shanghai (and putting up with the problems that Shanghai has).

 

By the way, why do you want to switch from Japan to China? If I had a choice between a high school in Japan and one in China, I'd work at one in Japan.

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Dawei3

Have you fully considered the situation?  I have kids and I can't imagine leaving them in one country while I move to another.  It would hurt them terribly (and I'd miss them).   Visiting them once in a while doesn't fulfill the parenting role.  As Ninja noted, Japan is favorable and it also avoids abandoning your daughter.  Even if she is very young, she'll still benefit from getting to see both parents regularly.    

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Shelley

Many parents have moved to another country and visit their children at regular intervals and both the children and the parents have survived and indeed thrived.

 

I myself was separated from my parents aged 14 years and moved to a different country. Our family was split 3 ways, my father in Scotland, my mother and youngest brother in Tunis, myself and my younger brother in the USA. The reasons why are not needed here, but suffice to say its what happens to families sometimes.  I was excited to be travelling and seeing the states again. The whole thing was an adventure never to be forgotten and shaped my adult life. Our family eventually after about 18 months, reformed as a single unit in England and all was well.

 

And why not make the move from Japan to China, new job prospects, new people, and new culture. We are not privy to the full ins and outs of why the OP is making this move, could be he has had an acrimonious separation from his wife and desires a fresh start and fresh air. maybe its a visa issue, maybe the current job has come to an end for whatever reason, WHO KNOWS and it doesn't matter. This a decision the OP has made. 

 

I think he was asking advice and opinions about where to go and what sort of work to look for, not what he should do in his private life, and anyway why would a bunch of strangers on an internet forum know what was the best for the OP.

 

My opinion is go for it, my advice be flexible and open minded about where you go, maybe try a few places first, see what you think. As for work I am not qualified to advise but what ever you choose I hope you enjoy it and that everything works out for you.

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Alex888

Thank you very much for your replies!

 

 

@NinjaTurtle

Money is definitely more important. I teach children now and I'm enjoying it, plus I have quite a bit of stamina lol.

Could you tell me more about Wuxi, like some of your experiences there? Also how long is from from Shanghai by bullet train?

The main reason I'm moving to China is the money to be honest. I'm sure it'll be a great experience but that's my primary motivation.

 

@Dawei

I fully understand your sentiments, especially since you're a parent yourself. Since you've been so kind as to reply to my post I'll provide an explanation. I've been divorced for a year and a half now and had to move away in order to find work. My ex-wife and daughter live in Hokkaido and it's extremely difficult to find employment there. I used to visit my daughter 3 days every 2 months but now my ex-wife has a new job and cannot take 3 consecutive days off that often anymore so I'm only going to be able to visit her every 3 or 4 months. I did get offers to teach in China some months ago and turned them down since I wouldn't realistically be able to go to Hokkaido if I move to China. But with this new situation I won't be able to see her more often even if I remain here. At least with the money I'll make in China I'll be able to provide a better future for her financially than by working here.

 

@Shelley

Thank you very much for your understanding and your kind words. I've found your post very encouraging.

Actually although I'm interested in gathering information about the types of schools, the main goal of this thread is to get some insights and hearing people's experiences about the cities I've listed. I've received quite a lot of offers from all over China and feel somewhat overwhelmed since it's such a big country so I'm hoping it'll help me determine the best place to live.

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NinjaTurtle
On 11/16/2018 at 7:54 AM, Alex888 said:

Money is definitely more important. I teach children now and I'm enjoying it, plus I have quite a bit of stamina lol.

 

The younger the students, the more money you will make. The first one that comes to mind is Disney in Shanghai, 10,000 RMB a month, one of the highest paying jobs I know of off the top of my head, although I have no idea what it is like to work there.

 

https://jobs.disneycareers.com/job/china-mainland/disney-english-foreign-trainer-in-china-esl-teacher/391/9429898

 

On 11/16/2018 at 7:54 AM, Alex888 said:

Could you tell me more about Wuxi, like some of your experiences there? Also how long is from from Shanghai by bullet train?

 

Wuxi is a good location, a good-size city (not too big), close enough to Shanghai where you can easily make a day-trip on a Saturday and get back in the evening without having to get a hotel room. (A good overnight place in Shanghai is the Phoenix Hostel, near People’s Square, with private rooms.) (Shanghai has several English-language bookstores, something unheard-of in Wuxi.) But Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Jiaxing are the same as far as these things are concerned. The weather in Wuxi is quite reasonable and the air quality is usually good. If you like the bar scene, go to the Red Lion, a lot of English-speaking ex-pats like to hang out there (open-mike on Tuesdays!). If you like to hang out at a coffee shop with English-speaking staff, I recommend the Starbucks just north of the corner of Xueqian Road and Zhongshan Road, not far from the Christian church (say hi to Valla!). Pizza Hut has a great lunch deal — weekdays only — for only 30 RMB which is not on the menu and you have to ask for it.

 

It’s 1.3 hours to Shanghai Hongqiao Station by “CRT”, a little longer to Shanghai Train Station. Do NOT change from a train to the subway at Shanghai Train Station if you are taking suitcases, as you must climb up and down stairs.  From Wuxi to Pudong Airport, door to door, it’s 3 to 4 hours. The best way to get from Wuxi to Pudong Airport is to take a direct cross-country bus, otherwise you must cross Shanghai by subway which takes an hour. (Do NOT try to change subway lines at People's Square Subway Station if you are taking luggage.) (Suzhou and other cities also have direct bus service that depart right from Pudong Airport — feel free to ask where the bus stations are, in the airport.)

 

Wuxi is a nice city. I recommend it. I don’t know where to start in terms of being specific. Please feel free to ask more specific questions.

 

On 11/16/2018 at 7:54 AM, Alex888 said:

At least with the money I'll make in China I'll be able to provide a better future for her financially than by working here.

 

Are you unable to find a decent-paying job teaching children in Tokyo? Can't you find a cheap "yo jo han" apartment in Tokyo? There should be plenty of "yo jo han" apartments south of Shinagawa near Oimachi.

 

On 11/16/2018 at 7:54 AM, Alex888 said:

I've received quite a lot of offers from all over China and feel somewhat overwhelmed since it's such a big country so I'm hoping it'll help me determine the best place to live.

 

The closer to Shanghai the better. But the quality of life is much better just outside of Shanghai. (But I think you will make more money in Shanghai.) If you live in Shanghai,  Pudong Airport is on the east side of town, so living and working in the east of Shanghai may work out better for you.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fike2308

There are Universities in China that pay 10,000+ a month. Schedules tend to be light enough that you can work at a training center part-time on the side, like on weekends and/or during the evenings to supplement your income. It is possible to make a decent amount of money here....in fact, I think I'm earning more money here in China just from teaching then I would in South Korea or Japan.

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NinjaTurtle
8 hours ago, Fike2308 said:

I think I'm earning more money here in China just from teaching then I would in South Korea or Japan.

 

For a 10,000+ a month teaching job at a university, would that require a Master's Degree in that field of study?

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Fike2308

No, you can find Universities that pay 10k or more a month with just a Bachelor's Degree.

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Alex888

Thank you for your description of Wuxi, it was very informative. 10000 rmb seems quite low, most of the offers I have are around 18000 rmb and indeed those that involve teaching kids tend to be higher. I have a somewhat decent salary here, 250000 yen a month, and pay 60000 yen for rent which is quite cheap given my location. From my calculations however I could make much more in China especially if I factor in the free housing.

 

I've narrowed it down to Suzhou or Shanghai so if anyone would like to share their thoughts and experiences about the two cities I'd be grateful.

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