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Travel & Teach - China


Global English students are working all over the world with their accredited TESOL certificates. Find out how TESOL training from Global English has made a difference to their lives:

Jason Sheets

You can usually get higher salaries if you show up here and then look for a job. In all of China, the salary figure of Y2500-4000 is accurate, but in Beijing and Shanghai the salaries are much higher. The average is probably Y10,000 a month. You can earn even more money doing part-time work, with hourly wages ranging from Y100-200 an hour and part-time work is very easy to come by. Jobs are advertised in the local English magazines in the big cities.

It is extremely easy to get a visa after arriving in China. You can come to China on a tourist visa, and then change after finding a job. Sometimes, people might need to travel to Hong Kong to get the visa, but that is simple too and takes a day at the most. So visas are no problem.

However, contracts aren't worth the paper they are written on. The school will try to cheat the teacher, so it's better for the teacher to not put too much faith in the contract. The legal system just isn't that developed. Don't work for Universities or public schools as they pay almost nothing and the conditions are deplorable. Private schools are the way to go.

Laura Whalen

I taught English in China for 4 years (Sept. 99- Sept. 03) and had an amazing time. When I think of my experience, I remember streets filled with bicycles, living amongst a population of over 1.2 billion people, students very eager to learn English and meet a “foreigner,” an endless variety of wonderful Chinese food, eating with chopsticks, frequent Karaoke parties, road signs in Chinese characters, learning to bargain in the markets, a very noticeable growing economy, a country changing with foreign influence, constantly being welcomed into someone’s home for a meal, being taught how to make dumplings, learning about the local holidays and customs, always being helped because I was a “foreign guest,” how time revealed the differences and similarities in culture, fun with Chinese/English language barriers, great travel opportunities, and meeting wonderful people.

I was an International Relations and Chinese Studies major during college, and as part of my studies I spent about 8 months living in Beijing. When I graduated I decided to go back and teach in China. With help from an American University, I was placed in the International Division of a combined middle school and high school in Shanghai. I stayed there for one year teaching English literature and Beginner/Intermediate ESL for grades 4-6 and 7-9. After that year I decided to move to Beijing. Relying on contacts from my original placement, I found a part time job at a middle school teaching Intermediate ESL for grades 4-6. Once in Beijing, through talking with other teachers and reading the local expat magazines it was easy to find out about different schools and teaching opportunities in the city. A friend told me about the Wall Street Institute and I applied and worked there for the rest of my time in China. At WSI I taught Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced ESL classes for adults.

In general, I think there are many opportunities to teach in China. Therefore, teachers usually can choose if they want to be in the city or country, if they want to be teaching children or adults, and if they want to be in the school system or with language centres. Some teachers even create their own schedules through part time jobs and private
tutoring. Some things to keep in mind:
1. You must have a BA. All schools will ask for a copy of your diploma or proof that you have graduated from college.
2. I strongly recommend getting a TESOL certificate. It is becoming more necessary to have one and it may help secure a higher salary. More importantly, it is very practical because it will help you teach more effectively and handle the variety of questions the students will ask.
3. Salaries will vary from school to school and each school will have different benefits. For example, some will provide roundtrip airfare from your home country if you stay for 1 year.
4. Because there are different laws and regulations for living and working in China, your school should help you with the VISA requirements, housing options, necessary paperwork, and registration procedures.
5. Living and teaching in the main cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen is very different than being in the countryside. The cities have received a lot of foreign influence and are more internationalized than the countryside. Therefore, your living conditions, food options, activities, school resources, etc. can greatly vary depending on your location.
6. Each school has its own setup for the English classes. Some schools have the foreign teacher team-teach with a local Chinese teacher. In this case the foreign teacher practices pronunciation and conversation while the Chinese teacher focuses on grammar, reading, and writing. In this setup the foreign teacher will probably spend shorter amounts of time (maybe just once a week) with the same students. On the other hand, some schools put the foreign teacher in charge of all components and he/she is the sole teacher of the class and meets everyday.
I truly enjoyed my experiences in China. Now I am back in the U.S. continuing to pursue my interests and teaching ESL to adults in Pennsylvania. The combination of my experience in China and my certificate through Global English definitely helped me get my current ESL job.

I have enjoyed teaching abroad, as well as in my home country. I may go abroad to teach again in the future, but I'm not sure yet.

Mike Tronson

As my daughter completes her university studies it marks a turning point in my life for us both. She is well established and I am free now to move into a career in teaching.

The opportunities for a TESOL teacher are plentiful and widely varied. I worked for two years in Korea for a private academy and while I enjoyed the job it was less than satisfying simply because it was mostly a business with economic goals. The approach seemed to be to achieve high TESOL test scores and little concern was paid to the acquisition of language skills. There are schools that are all about producing graduates who are fluent in English and ,therefore, equipped to compete in the English speaking world. It is my desire to be a part of such efforts and to do so I must acquire the teaching methodologies required to contribute.

I started my TESOL studies through Global English late last year and have completed Level Two. At first it was difficult and seem like I was expected to already know enough to create a lesson plan. Looking back it was the task of doing what I didn't know that taught me what I need to know to teach well. I'm very pleased with my TESOL course and plan to complete Level Three by the end of winter.

I've accepted a job in eastern China with a large private school covering K through 12 studies. The young students study ESL and the seniors study in English using Canadian curriculum. It is a very good position that fits who I am and will lead where I want to go. Being certified in TESOL has allowed me to find employment that has rewards beyond a pay cheque. My thanks to Global for making this possible and for providing a quality course of study.

Mike Tronson
British Columbia, Canada


A TESOL was essential for a legitimate school.

After my Global English TESOL I was offered a job in Changchun, China with a fabulous and highly competitive package: accommodation free and a salary enabling me to be free of money concerns here. I was able to save a considerable sum for someone my age.

Also, Changchun is less polluted than other parts of China, and so I had a comfortable life there. I had a lot of free time, so I was able to travel all around China and have amazing experiences.

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