Teach Abroad Blog
International schools are prestigious; they pay the best, have the best facilities and only hire the best teachers, like we said: the best.
Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes? What’s an international school all about? What makes them stand out from the rest?
You may have just received an offer to teach at a great school in Beijing and in your excitement, you accept the offer without hesitation. Sometimes with our excitement, we become blind to the risks and precautions we need to take. What may look great on paper may not be in real life. Teaching in China has long been a popular choice of adventure for those who wish to experience a different culture as well as those who are looking to further their careers., however, it’s important to know what to expect and the reality of the situation. Here are a few things that you should take into account:
First off, you need to make sure you’re ready. 95% of schools are going to require at least a 1 year commitment. Everyone is relying on you to fulfill this obligation. The school’s reputation with the parents is based on the quality of their teachers. The parents don’t want to see their kids changing teachers every 3 months. It’s not effective for learning. So, you have to go into it with the right expectations. If you spent extended time traveling abroad in the past, then you have probably already developed the right mindset and will be ready to face the challenges that come with living in a foreign country. If you haven’t traveled long term, then just expect a period of adjustment. Part of the commitment of Teaching Nomad is to set you up with schools that have quality programs designed to make this transition time easier.
I’ve recently returned from a year of living abroad in China and oh how I miss it! For someone who went to China kicking and screaming, my homecoming has been bittersweet.
At the behest of my employers (actually no, I think this is great because all I’ve been doing since returning home is complaining to friends and family about how I want to be back in China so they probably appreciate that I’m letting it all out) I’ve been asked to write about what I miss about China. I have eight things here, but keep in mind; I could go on for DAYS about what I miss, so eight seemed like a good cap.
My first abroad experience was Taiwan. I went there to study Mandarin through a partnership with my home school, Mississippi State University. While I was in the country I met a lot of very interesting expatriates. One of the veteran teachers there told me, “if you enjoy Taiwan, you should try China. Taipei is like a retirement city compared to Shanghai”.
I won’t deny that I’ve asked myself and I’ve been asked that several times: why live in China?
Going abroad, sure, that sounds like an adventure: new cultures, new food, music etc. A different flavor from the everyday life you know. But China? It’s not a different flavor but rather a different dish altogether. It’s more like an adventure straight out of National Geographic: harsh conditions, eating funny looking foods and languages that make you cry. Yet China is where the masses are flocking to. And after living here for over a year, I can give you the inside scoop as to why this massive rooster shaped country is so appealing.