Reasons to teach English in China. What makes China a top ESL teaching destination?
If you are an ESL teacher, or plan to become one, you might be searching for different countries. After 8 years as an ESL teacher, if I will need to choose a country to teach English again, China will definitely be on the top of my list.
Teaching English as a foreign language is an ever-growing industry. As globalization continues, the need for English is becoming an essential skill in almost every workplace. In fact, some companies or universities even interview prospective candidates in English!
Why teach English in China?
So, you want to teach abroad, and you’ve spent hours trawling the internet for the best option. You’ve seen an endless amount of jobs in China, but you’re wondering why on earth you would move there over anywhere else. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons.
🧧 You can earn a good salary compared to the cost of living
The average cost of living in China is significantly lower than in most Western countries. Salaries in China may seem lower in absolute values, but in reality, ESL teachers in China can save much more than in every other location. You can live comfortably; taking weekend breaks, planning extended holidays and still have enough to save or take back to your home country.
Compare how much you will be able to earn and save by teaching in China (and how much should you make in the US to save the same amount).
👔 Working Hours and Work Environment
ESL teachers normally work up to 40 hours a week, and they don’t have any other responsibility rather than just teaching, and earn more compared to the local Chinese staff.
More than 90% of my Chinese friends are definitely more hardworking than any other friends I have from other countries. It sounds strange in the beginning. But I feel more hardworking and more creative in China.
When I see them doing what they need to do regardless of time and day, I feel like I also need to do the same in order to give more value to my students.
For example, I see Chinese teachers trying to help their students whenever they need help and I also try to do the same even more than them. Sometimes, spending 5 minutes to answer their questions on WeChat builds a life-time friendship. In order to look around and learn the real meaning of hard work, China is the best place to be.
🐼 China is a Teacher’s Market
The level of English in China is generally very low, as it has only allowed foreign visitors and workers into the country since the ’70s, which is relatively recent compared to other nations. This means that there are plenty of jobs in the major cities, as well as smaller towns and villages, so you can be as picky as you like about the employment and terms you choose to accept. One child policy no longer exists in China, giving an additional boost to the ESL industry.
🐉 Cultural heritage and multiple locations to choose from
China is one of the most historically rich countries in the world, with the second-highest number of UNESCO heritage sites. The country itself has a diverse and eclectic mix of cultures, cuisines, people, and provinces which are sure to astound you in their own individual ways. Not only that, but China’s positioning in Asia means it’s easy to take low-cost flights or overnight trains to other Asian countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia or Thailand. Being able to choose the location depends on the climate you prefer and a city size is a great option for the ESL teachers in China.
🤖 Modern technology
You should consider China if you are a big fan of technology. China is making huge progress every year; many Chinese companies, starting from phone and car manufacturers, are hungry to create new technologies.
I use WeChat Pay every day and stopped carrying cash with me long ago. WeChat pay can be used everywhere right now and no other country adapted to cashless life as fast as China. The only way to be able to use WeChat Pay is to have a Chinese bank account and ESL teachers with a work visa can open one easily.
When it comes to safety China is definitely one of the safest countries in the world. I have visited more than 40 Chinese cities in 10 years and never had any issues.
💪You acquire incomparable knowledge and experience (and maybe even language!)
Chinese culture is like nothing you’ve experienced before. By immersing yourself with the locals and the way of life, you’ll return home a more open-minded, well-rounded individual with memories to last a lifetime. Try and take in as much of the (almost impossible) language as you can, as you can be sure to impress someone in the future with your Chinese skills!
🕊️ You can truly make a lasting difference to all those you meet
In China, teaching methodologies are very different from Western societies. The education system uses a rote learning method, where teachers dictate what the students need to write and memorize. English language teaching is dynamic, fun and engaging, and we encourage students to express themselves using their new language abilities. Once you’ve broken the ice, the students will be able to share creative thoughts and ideas that they previously hadn’t thought possible. You really will introduce people to a new way of thinking and learning.
Another reason to come to 🇨🇳 and stay for the long haul ✌️
One of the reasons that keep me in China is definitely the culture. Chinese people are really warmhearted and friendly. The more friends I make, the easier my life becomes. Teachers are well-respected in society, and they are never left out.
As a teacher, I expect surprises from my students any day. Some of the middle school students have shared their food with me, gave presents, and invited for dinners. Whatever they do, I am sure they do to show their respect to their teachers, and I love it.
For me, being a teacher is not just about making money and China shows me how valuable my job is. It's hard to get the same feeling in other countries easily. I'm feeling great about being well-paid and valued at the same time.