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Teach Abroad Blog

Teaching abroad

How to find a better teaching job in China.

How to find a better teaching job in China.

New Academic Year, New school, New life!  

You came to China to teach ESL, with so much hope, and thoughts of immersing yourself in the culture, learning a new language, traveling all over Asia on your vacation time, making friends from around the world, paying off some student loans, and going home a better person for it.

Yet, you found the opposite, the school doesn’t give you enough time off, they NEVER pay on time, you find yourself chasing down your boss for a pay stub or wondering why your check was short this month. You feel isolated, overworked, underpaid. Everyone hates working there. Turnover is high with stories of ‘midnight runs’ abundant, and you spend your free time browsing the classified ads or travel sites for the cheapest flight home. Your social circle is made up of other disgruntled co-workers, and you spend the little free time you have complaining to each other about the job and the boss. Throw in a bench press, some orange uniforms and it could easily be a scene from a bad prison movie.

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Applying through a Recruiter or Finding a School yourself

Applying through a Recruiter or Finding a School yourself

We sometimes encounter resistance from prospective teachers once they discover the position they applied to was posted by a recruiting agency. Why is that? Why do some teachers choose to find a job through a recruiter, while others shun agencies and avoid them to the fullest extent? And perhaps most importantly, what is the right choice; apply directly to a school or through an agency?

Honestly, there is no right answer. People who hate recruiters usually have had a negative experience with one in the past and believe all recruiters are a bunch of callous, opportunistic jerks who don’t care about the teacher’s well-being. Every recruiter is different, and you should treat them like you treat any potential employer: interview a couple of different ones until you find the right fit. Every recruiter has a different work ethic, so it is in your best interest to find one you completely trust. Personally, I believe all teachers should also interview the recruiters when they are being interviewed by them. Even though their services are free to you, recruiters do get paid when they find you a job. It is up to you to decide who really deserves the “finder’s fee.” Use common sense and personal judgment and you’ll be able to winnow the recruiters who are honest and committed.

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Living Abroad

Best travel locations for Chinese New Year

Best travel locations for Chinese New Year

 

Spring festival will shortly be upon us, and for those of you spending your first Chinese New Year here, expect fireworks….lots of fireworks. Roads will become quieter, shops opening hours will be getting shorter and the metro less congested, as the majority of the Shanghai workers migrate to their home towns for the holidays (across China an estimated 3.6 billion trips will be made). This makes travelling around China an almost unbearable task for teachers and other expats alike, so this time of year provides the perfect opportunity to leave the Mainland and explores the delights of South East Asia, which conveniently sit on China’s doorstep. Should you want to stay in China, climbing these cool Chinese mountains or a short weekend trip to Hong Kong is recommended.

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7 Great China Apps for Expats

7 Great China Apps for Expats

Before we arrive to a new country like China, off on a new adventure, there are probably many places we want to explore. If you want to avoid the hassle of guide books, maps and dictionary, mobile apps are the best way to explore a city.

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