Nomad Teach Abroad Blog
27 Sep

Before teaching English in China, I was working in Chicago. I had a good sales and marketing job in the industry of my choice building a name for myself. Also, I was making good money, heading towards $70K the year I quit, in a world famous city. But I noticed after achieving this job, my interests started to change, and those who inspired me moved away deeper into their passions. And worst of all, I was becoming bored of the city routine.

Teaching English was my way of fulfilling points on my bucket list: traveling abroad and learning a foreign language.
Teaching English was something I never considered for a long-term career decision. I knew of people who've done it before but always returned to their lives in the states. I signed up for a year and assumed I'll return home shortly after.

Why I like teaching English:

1. You connect with real people who want to better themselves.

2. You'll network daily - I wasn't teaching teenagers or primary school students but established professionals. From doctors, engineers, bankers and more; I taught them all. Since moving from group lessons to 1-on-1, the caliber of students has also risen. I'm working with an COO at a tech start-up and another CEO who’s recently received Round B funding.

3. Not a sit at your desk job - I dreaded working 40+ hours weekly and watching the day pass from the 25th floor window. I felt I wasn't making a difference, just collecting a check.

4. Using new skills and learning new things everyday - I used my sales skills in a new way. Instead of trying to have people buy from me, I taught others how to communicate clearly which is something I took for granted.

5. You’ll always have job opportunities. Currently, I’m tutoring English in China but I’m interested in seeing new countries. Being able to have options such as the UAE, Vietnam, or Spain, it makes it easier to pursue my travels without stressing if I will be able to find employment.

After receiving an offer for a potentially dream job, B2B marketing specialist, I thought this was 'IT'. But after going through the probation period (90 days), I quickly realized my interests and goals have changed since being abroad. Upon my probation review, I knew I had to quit. I wasn’t just quitting because I didn’t like the job or company’s culture but I felt my sanity was on the line. A 9 to 5 just cannot offer me the perks, benefits, and opportunity to learn as with teaching English. I wasn't satisfied with sitting in one place for over 9 hours working on computer and surrounded with people who are all relatively in the same range. Now, there's nothing wrong with working a 9-to-5 that you like or love, but at this time, it's just not for me.

I reflected on this situation that if you are so focused on the destination, you’ll miss the journey. I’m living in Shanghai, miles away from everything that’s familiar and I don’t want to turn this once in a lifetime opportunity into the same situation that caused me to leave.
Now I'm back teaching English for corporate clients and training staffs. I’ve taken my teaching into a more corporate direction focusing on digital marketing, social selling, and presentation skills. Now, if you're looking for change, I would recommend teaching English as a second language.

Follow me on twitter @Deshawnwashere and visit my personal site: . Send me a message if you're interested in discussing more, send me a message, cheers.

27 Jul

 MA 2818

If you're looking to turn teaching into a career or teach at an international school in China, it might be an idea to consider getting a teaching license. Not only does it qualify you to teach in your home country, a teaching license is also a requirement for employment at international schools across the world. Getting certified takes at least one year. In addition to time, you'll also have to invest money. Getting certified in England typically costs 9000 Pounds, while Canada and the U.S. offer courses starting at CND2500 and USD10,000 respectively.

27 Jul

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For many people, coming to China for the first time China’s air pollution problem is a concern. This concern is understandable particularly if you’re coming from a developed country where air pollution is rare or non-existent.

What’s it like living with air pollution?

A comparable analogy to air pollution is the weather. It’s not a consistent thing. A whole range of metrological factors combined with variation in the human activity that cause pollution means that the pollution fluctuates quite a lot. Some days it’s so low that it’s practically non-existent, some days it’s extremely high. In the warmer months, pollution is on average lower, in the colder months it’s on average higher. During Spring Festival and October Festival (Chinese two-week-long public holidays), the pollution drops dramatically in the big cities as everyone leaves town to visit relatives and factories shut down. When it rains, the pollution usually drops. The majority of the time it’s somewhere in the middle.

Most of the time, you don’t notice it, and unless you have a pre-existing breathing condition (like Asthma) you probably won’t either. When the pollution is high, it becomes more and more visible as a greyish haze or fog and you might notice some unusual shortness of breath or a headache if you do outdoor exercise during times of high pollution.

Will Air Pollution impact my health?

The implications for your health depends largely on the length of time you stay in China as well as your own pre-existing health. For the average expat, coming to China there is very little to worry about. You could compare it to eating junk food. If you eat poorly and you’re overweight for the majority of your life, you will likely suffer some health consequences, if you’re overweight for 5 years and then start eating better then you likely won’t see any long term health consequences. Likewise, with pollution if you were born and raised in China and lived here for the majority of your life, you might suffer some health effects in the long term, but in time span of a few years it’s very unlikely to impact your health.

Does all of China have an air pollution problem?


Air pollution is an issue across China, however the severity varies depending on where in China you’re talking about. In the south of China, the air quality is on average better than it is in the north. Likewise, in the Western provinces of Xinjiang, Tibet and Yunnan air pollution is very low. This is down to a combination of metrological effects, industry distribution and differing methods of power generation and use. The map below provides a rough indication of these geographical differences.

Why doesn’t China do something about the air pollution?

The short answer is they are. The long answer is that air pollution is largely a product of China’s massive economic growth and huge population. Hundreds of millions of people striving to live a western standard of living, combined with the fact that China produces a large percentage of the world’s consumer goods. By exporting the production of a lot these goods to China the developed world has also exported the industrial emissions inherent in their production. The Chinese Communist Party’s political legitimacy is predicated on improving economic opportunities and quality of life for its citizens. So for a long time “growth at all costs” has been the overriding policy of CCP. However, this has changed significantly in the last couple of years as the Chinese population, particularly the wealthy east coast cities, have become increasingly vocal about living with pollution. Currently a huge government campaign is under way to enforce environmental standards and part of China’s recent economic slowdown can be attributed to this national effort to prioritize the environment better.

How can I track the air pollution?

The Air Quality Index

The air quality index (AQI) for China is probably the most reliable source. Which you can use to track pollution in cities all across and China and elsewhere in the world. They also have app which you can use to access the AQI on your phone.

US Diplomatic Service Twitter feeds (VPN required)

If you’d like a second opinion, the US Embassy in Beijing and US consulates in major cities track the air quality using twitter feeds, which you’ll need a VPN to access since Twitter is blocked in China.

What can I do to mitigate the effects of pollution?

If air pollution is really concerning you, there are two practicable things you can do to mitigate your exposure.

1. HEPA Air Filter A HEPA (High-efficiency particulate arrestance)


Air Filter is designed to filter tiny particulate matter from the air. By running this silent machine, you’ll ensure that the air in your apartment, where most people spend around 12 hours a day (factoring in time spent sleeping) is at normal levels. HEPA air filters typically cost between 3000 and 9,000 RMB depending on the square footage you’d like to filter and the brand. (Note: There are a number of air filters on the market in China and most of the cheaper ones do not use HEPA filters. Since non-HEPA filters only filter out larger particles there is little point buying a non-HEPA filter, despite the fact that they will likely be cheaper.)

2. Pollution Masks

pollution masks

Most convenience stores in China carry masks rated to filter the smallest particles (Particulate Matter 2.5 micrometers AKA PM 2.5). These are relatively cheap, usually between 15 and 30 RMB for a pack of 5 and they can be used a couple of times each. They can be a little uncomfortable to wear and they’re not very fashionable. So most people only wear these when the pollution is high or when riding a bike in heavy traffic.

About our company: Teaching Nomad is an American owned and operated education recruitment company based in Shanghai, China. Our goal and purpose is to help great teachers find great teaching jobs. Year round, we have hundreds of teaching job vacancies. Whether your goal is to be an ESL teacher or teach in an international school, we have a teaching job for you. You can browse jobs online at for the latest job openings. Teaching Nomad is here to make teaching in China easier, so please feel free to reach out and contact us with any questions or inquiries!

27 Jul

Banking in China - updated August, 2016


The Chinese currency is the Yuan Renminbi, it is referred to as Yuan, CNY or RMB (Renminbi). It is the only currency that can be used to purchase local items. In general, the Chinese do not use checks. Most payments, including payrolls, are done through bank transfer. Therefore, you will need to open a bank account before you get paid. Fortunately, this will likely be one of the easiest things you do in China.

27 Jul

Congratulations on getting your new job in the UAE!

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We know that you are excited about starting your new job and broadening your horizons by living overseas! In order to make your move to UAE more comfortable, we would like to recommend a few pointers that will make your transition more seamless. Sometimes, we can get so caught up in the excitement that we forget to tie up loose ends back at home.  A brief list of important things to take care of before you leave.

Teaching Nomad is your connection to teaching in Asia & The Middle East! We are a western owned and operated teacher placement agency based in Shanghai. We take a lot of pride in connecting teachers with great teaching opportunities.


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