If you've just gained your teaching certificate then no doubt you're wondering, ‘What's next?' As a certified English teacher, opportunities around the world have opened up to you. Will you choose to teach in your home country or will you leave your comfort zone and join the thousands of English teachers who have made the move overseas? Living in a different country can be one of life's most enriching experiences. So out of all the countries in the world, why teach in China? A rich cultural heritage, scenic landscapes, and world-famous food should whet your appetite. Need more? Read on for five reasons to teach in China and call this amazing country your home for a year (or more).
It doesn't take long on an ESL forum to find dozens of postings for teaching jobs in China. In fact, a quick Google search for ‘teach English in China' will produce over 200 million results. The market for English teachers may be evolving and changing, but it can't be denied that the demand for ESL teachers in China is still going strong. The British Council estimates that in 2020, two billion people will be learning and using English. Over 300 million of those learners are in China. Business English lessons are popular with professionals wishing to gain a competitive edge in their careers. On top of that, more and more parents are encouraging their children to learn English at a young age to enable them to get a head start in the job market or to study overseas. ESL jobs in China are still abundant, so make the most of this opportunity and embark on what will surely be a life-changing experience.
These days it seems as though everyone is struggling to pay the rent and make ends meet. But what if you were able to earn a decent salary, enjoy a lower cost of living, and still have some money left over to put into savings? According to the comparison website, Expatistan, the cost of living in China is 42% cheaper than the United States. Things like entertainment and treating yourself can fall by the wayside when you're struggling to pay the bills. However, when your living costs become more affordable, suddenly cinema tickets and nice meals out are within your means. You could even afford luxuries such as massages or domestic help. Lower rental costs, cheap transportation, and affordable, delicious food are among the many reasons to teach in China, where big city living comes at a reasonable price.
World quotient can be defined as the ability to see the world through the eyes of those who are culturally different from us. Some say WQ is the new IQ, and the ability to increase your world quotient is one of the benefits of teaching abroad. Teaching English in China can be quite an eye-opener as every culture has a different approach to learning, praise, and discipline. Becoming culturally fluent and adaptable to the world around you will not only make you a better global citizen, but also a better teacher. In an increasingly global environment, WQ is an important skill and one that will serve you well in life whether you are traveling in a different country or working in an office with foreign colleagues.
Much can be learned from travel, not only about people and cultures but also about ourselves. There's no better time to do it than while you're young before you get held back by everyday responsibilities. Young people are typically free from obligations to spouses and kids and not yet tied down by a demanding career. Being youthful also means benefiting from good health and higher energy levels. Instead of just reading travel blogs, get out there and live the adventure yourself. Seize the opportunity to broaden your horizons and grow as a person. As an ESL teacher in China, you're in the prime location to visit other parts of Asia as well as explore the rich culture right on your doorstep.
Imagine walking down the street in Shanghai and being able to read the street signs or bargaining fluently at the night market. Learning a new language is another benefit of teaching abroad and understanding Mandarin can open up a whole new world to you as an expat. It's a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and make local friends. You'll also have more empathy for your students as you become a student yourself. Some employers, like EF, even offer language classes for free. Having another language under your belt is always a useful asset. Who knows, you may even become a Mandarin tutor when you return to your home country.