Discover the Far East Teaching English in China
Discovering the Far East
In today’s increasingly globalized world, the demand for the English language is seemingly endless. For the adventurous, teaching English in China has become the best way to earn a living and explore this exciting country. But this isn’t new. For generations restless and intrepid souls from the West have been fascinated by the prospect of travelling through the vast mountain ranges, trellised rice paddies, and—more recently—sprawling neon-lit cityscapes of China. The nation is home to one of the oldest continuous civilizations on the planet (with more than 4,000 years of documented history) and a host of natural and man-made wonders, from the plumes of water cascading down the Huangguoshu Falls and the mist-shrouded peaks of Mt. Wuyi, to the modern skylines and bustling streets of Beijing and Shanghai, not to mention the striking Great Wall. China has always called out to those who have the traveller’s thirst for the new and unfamiliar, the blending of the ancient and the modern, whether as an explorer or as an entrepreneur. The question then becomes how to get your foot in the door and how to make a living once you get there.
Teaching English in China
By far the most popular stable income among expatriates and travellers in Asia is teaching English. I’ve been working on and off as a teacher (and, as you can see, a writer) in Asia for the past five years. This type of work attracts people from all walks of life—old, young, retired, married couples, artists, businessmen—you’re sure to rub shoulders with some interesting characters in this line of work. However, one thread runs common between us all. We wanted to cast off from our home country and native culture and live our lives abroad. Teaching English in China is a perfect destination to do just that.
The majority of teachers here, from kindergarten to university, are required to have some sort of certification, be it TEFL or CELTA. If you haven’t already received your TEFL certificate, it could set you back a few hundred dollars. However, you don’t have to splash the cash straight away before you find a job. Check out EF English First one of China’s largest English language training centers. They will sponsor your TEFL certification as well as provide you with a job. They have over 200 schools in 60 cities, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find what you’re looking for.
Show Me The Money
The days of showing up as a native-speaker and automatically landing lucrative teaching work have long since passed in the wake of globalization. Courses like TEFL and CELTA though, do ensure that you land on your feet wherever your touch-down and allow you to earn a decent living while you take in the sights and sounds of your new home city and explore the country on your breaks.
Time To Explore
None of us got into teaching English abroad because we wanted to get rich, nor did we do it because we liked 9-5 office work. We wanted to see the world before we retired and the English teaching positions in China offer plenty of opportunities. Every teacher should expect a decent amount of annual leave every year, as well as Chinese national holidays. Before you know it, you’ll have seen the famous sites, and you’ll have found a few unknown wonders.
Flights in China are relatively cheap and an easy way to travel quickly. There’s also a rail system if you have more time and would like to take in the countryside along the way. In a country of this size, the breadth of possibilities when it comes to what to see and do can hardly be summarized in a post of this length. However, sometime recent highlights for travellers include the vertigo-inducing Coiling Dragon Cliff Walkway 4,600ft in the air winding around the sides of Tianmen Mountain in Hunan or the equally head-spinning glass bridge over Zhangzjiaji Grand Canyon. Whether you find peace in nature or inspiration in the frenetic hustle of downtown, teaching English in China offers opportunities to suit everyone’s tastes.
This is a contribution from one of our contributors.
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