China's future [ESL thread]

This is a part of our Cambodia forums to chat about anything Cambodia-related. This discussion forum is at the top of our site because it's usually the busiest part of the expat community chatter with random topics on just about everything, including expat life, Khmer politics, Cambodian blogs we have or have come across, or whatever else our members want to discuss. Whether you're an expatriate, tourist, Cambodian or random traveler just passing through South East Asia, you are welcome to talk about anything or start new topics yourselves.
Jacket
Expatriate
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:10 am
Reputation: 4
Location: Kampong Cham
Austria

China's future [ESL thread]

Post by Jacket » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:30 am

Short version: What is your opinion about the future of living and teaching in China?

Long version: I had made some plans of going to China to work as a teacher there instead. Staying in PP just isn't an economically sound choice. I love Cambodia even with all the flaws it has, but overall, if I do the maths, it becomes bleedingly obvious that going to China is the smarter move. With all the different teaching jobs I've had in this country, the one I currently have, is the best paid yet, however, I'm still not getting anywhere with that money. If I want to maintain a half-way decent standard of living, I can only afford to save 300$ a month, so it takes me for ever to accumulate any meaningful amount of money.
Meanwhile, if I were to work in China, I could earn 1600$ to 2500$ per month* (often times with accommodation provided), which means that I could easily save 800$ to 1500$ per month (9600$ to 18000$ a year). I'm trying to be reasonable however. If I get a job for 1800$ + apartment, I'd be satisfied already. As much as everybody tells me to "aim high", I don't want to start teaching English at a University or something, just to be faced with the truth that there's hardly anything I can teach these kids.

The way I see it, I don't save 300$ a month, I lose 500$ and that adds up. Just from being underpaid, a year of teaching in Cambodia costs me six grand! Blimey! And that doesn't even cover the costs of visas, work permits, white-man-tax, police bribes etc. etc.

Another added benefit of China is the availability of psychoactive medicine, since I need adderall badly, but it just isn't possible to get it here. (Go figure, illegal amphetamines are everywhere but try to get legal ones and you're out of luck)

I still intend to come here and have the time of my life, but it will be more of a holiday destination, rather than a place to live for a prolonged amount of time.

Here's the twist though. With all the political and economic nonsense that's been happening in China for the last couple of weeks, it seems that China is on the turn. It hasn't been anything but constant growth for many years now and that growth hasn't just slowed down, some even fear recession. I'd hate to show up in China and start working there, just to be without a job a few months down the line.

*depending on where I decide to start and what qualifications I'm willing to make up
Bei der Weiterbildung; in der Todeszone.
User avatar
vladimir
The Pun-isher
Posts: 6077
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 6:51 pm
Reputation: 185
Location: The Kremlin
Russia

Re: China's future [ESL thread]

Post by vladimir » Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:53 am

You should go to China, no question.

The majority of school owners here are tight-fisted slave-drivers, I would leave tomorrow if I didn't have a family here.

Only a select few are worth working for here, ISPP, NISC, that's about it.
Jesus loves you...Mexico is great, right? ;)
qinjingyou
Expatriate
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:11 pm
Reputation: 1
China

Re: China's future [ESL thread]

Post by qinjingyou » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:47 am

China's a good place, and you'll make more money. If you can put up with schools here then schools there should be easy.
在见
TheGrinchSR
Expatriate
Posts: 1263
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:12 pm
Reputation: 9

Re: China's future [ESL thread]

Post by TheGrinchSR » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:58 am

Jacket wrote:Short version: What is your opinion about the future of living and teaching in China?

Long version: I had made some plans of going to China to work as a teacher there instead. Staying in PP just isn't an economically sound choice. I love Cambodia even with all the flaws it has, but overall, if I do the maths, it becomes bleedingly obvious that going to China is the smarter move. With all the different teaching jobs I've had in this country, the one I currently have, is the best paid yet, however, I'm still not getting anywhere with that money. If I want to maintain a half-way decent standard of living, I can only afford to save 300$ a month, so it takes me for ever to accumulate any meaningful amount of money.
Meanwhile, if I were to work in China, I could earn 1600$ to 2500$ per month* (often times with accommodation provided), which means that I could easily save 800$ to 1500$ per month (9600$ to 18000$ a year). I'm trying to be reasonable however. If I get a job for 1800$ + apartment, I'd be satisfied already. As much as everybody tells me to "aim high", I don't want to start teaching English at a University or something, just to be faced with the truth that there's hardly anything I can teach these kids.

The way I see it, I don't save 300$ a month, I lose 500$ and that adds up. Just from being underpaid, a year of teaching in Cambodia costs me six grand! Blimey! And that doesn't even cover the costs of visas, work permits, white-man-tax, police bribes etc. etc.

Another added benefit of China is the availability of psychoactive medicine, since I need adderall badly, but it just isn't possible to get it here. (Go figure, illegal amphetamines are everywhere but try to get legal ones and you're out of luck)

I still intend to come here and have the time of my life, but it will be more of a holiday destination, rather than a place to live for a prolonged amount of time.

Here's the twist though. With all the political and economic nonsense that's been happening in China for the last couple of weeks, it seems that China is on the turn. It hasn't been anything but constant growth for many years now and that growth hasn't just slowed down, some even fear recession. I'd hate to show up in China and start working there, just to be without a job a few months down the line.

*depending on where I decide to start and what qualifications I'm willing to make up
I lived in China for 3 years so feel qualified to comment.

1. Chinese salaries don't go anywhere near as far as Cambodian ones. Life, except bare bones Chinese life, is much more expensive there. The average price of a beer in an expat bar is $6, for example. Cheese, butter, and anything else that's not a standard feature of Chinese life costs a fortune. I had to pay $15 for the tiniest jar of Marmite - here I can buy the biggest standard size for $7. A coffee in Starbucks costs more than it does in Hong Kong... the few Western brands there are "aspirational" brands to the Chinese and they pay through the nose for them.

2. It's filthy and really filthy. The pollution is absymal everywhere and it if you get a miracle post to a low pollution zone... your chances of meeting another English speaker are zero.

3. The rudeness and pushiness of daily life is awful. The honeymoon, if you even get one, wears off real fast.

4. There will never be a shortage of demand for English teachers in China. However, you are most likely to be ripped off repeatedly and have to work illegally. If you're anywhere but Shenzhen or another border town - visa runs will add a shit ton of money to your living expenses. They will also eat into your free time now that HK and neighbours to China are no longer allowed to issue same day visas. A one year visa can be arranged but that will cost you $1,000 minimum and worse... you will still have to leave the country every 30/60/90 days depending on your nationality. You will also have to register with the local cop shop (a time consuming PITA) every time you get back into China or every time you stay anywhere else in China and again on your return.

5. Quality of life is lower in almost every single respect in China though electricity is reliable and Internet is faster.

6. Wait until you walk down a street littered with maimed beggars (and heartbreakingly maimed), the corpses of dogs being delivered to the local restaurant, and the stench of stinky tofu (which makes durian seem scent-free by comparison) hanging in the air. You'll be wishing you were anywhere else on earth.
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." - George Orwell
TheGrinchSR
Expatriate
Posts: 1263
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:12 pm
Reputation: 9

Re: China's future [ESL thread]

Post by TheGrinchSR » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:01 am

Oh and the included "apartment"? It's usually in a neighbourhood with zero amenities, a hundred miles from where you want to go out at night, and fit only for a dead dog to rot in. Almost all ESL teachers in China move out and find their own places because of this.
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." - George Orwell
qinjingyou
Expatriate
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:11 pm
Reputation: 1
China

Re: China's future [ESL thread]

Post by qinjingyou » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:01 pm

You paid Y40 for a bottle of beer? Wow. I got a small keg of German beer for Y60.
To OP: obviously YMMV. I always had a legal visa , a modern apartment, rode an electric motorbike ... I came here, talked to a couple of schools and went into another line of work.
Pollution is terrible and there are too many people, but overall I liked China
在见
TheGrinchSR
Expatriate
Posts: 1263
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:12 pm
Reputation: 9

Re: China's future [ESL thread]

Post by TheGrinchSR » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:10 pm

qinjingyou wrote:You paid Y40 for a bottle of beer? Wow. I got a small keg of German beer for Y60.
To OP: obviously YMMV. I always had a legal visa , a modern apartment, rode an electric motorbike ... I came here, talked to a couple of schools and went into another line of work.
Pollution is terrible and there are too many people, but overall I liked China
"a modern apartment, rode an electric motorbike" - doesn't add up, sorry in most major cities of China - motorbikes are banned. And where they aren't banned... apartments aren't modern (not that they're all that modern even at the best addresses - like Shenzhen's tallest building, where 7,000 RMB a month gets you a room that would fit comfortably inside my Cambodian bathroom and where the shower units are mounted directly above the toilets...
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." - George Orwell
User avatar
vladimir
The Pun-isher
Posts: 6077
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 6:51 pm
Reputation: 185
Location: The Kremlin
Russia

Re: China's future [ESL thread]

Post by vladimir » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:20 pm

Grinch, it would be interesting to chat when you are in The Penh (that's the capital of The Bodge/ Cambo, not so far from Snookies, for the conservatives among you).
Jesus loves you...Mexico is great, right? ;)
TheGrinchSR
Expatriate
Posts: 1263
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:12 pm
Reputation: 9

Re: China's future [ESL thread]

Post by TheGrinchSR » Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:09 pm

vladimir wrote:Grinch, it would be interesting to chat when you are in The Penh (that's the capital of The Bodge/ Cambo, not so far from Snookies, for the conservatives among you).
I'll give you a shout if I ever head that way but 'tis is as rare as rocking horse poo when I can be arsed to visit PP I'm afraid.
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." - George Orwell
qinjingyou
Expatriate
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:11 pm
Reputation: 1
China

Re: China's future [ESL thread]

Post by qinjingyou » Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:38 pm

TheGrinchSR wrote:
qinjingyou wrote:You paid Y40 for a bottle of beer? Wow. I got a small keg of German beer for Y60.
To OP: obviously YMMV. I always had a legal visa , a modern apartment, rode an electric motorbike ... I came here, talked to a couple of schools and went into another line of work.
Pollution is terrible and there are too many people, but overall I liked China
"a modern apartment, rode an electric motorbike" - doesn't add up, sorry in most major cities of China - motorbikes are banned. And where they aren't banned... apartments aren't modern (not that they're all that modern even at the best addresses - like Shenzhen's tallest building, where 7,000 RMB a month gets you a room that would fit comfortably inside my Cambodian bathroom and where the shower units are mounted directly above the toilets...
So you spent three years living in Shenzhen on an F visa. That sounds unpleasant, even though I quite enjoyed my short visit there.
It was illegal too, to teach on a business visa.
I had a z visa, experts certificate, and residence certificate. No visa runs for me. Just extend the residence certificate each year.
Motorbikes are only banned in city centers, they're all over the suburbs. Zhejiang had flocks of ebikes zooming home at rush hour, really amazing.

7000/month isn't very good, it wouldn't get you far. Most teachers I knew made more than that.
Curious, why couldn't you get a Z visa?
在见
Post Reply Previous topicNext topic
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post