Here’s guest blogger DN giving you 1 on 1 advice on the similarities and differences in teaching English in Korea and China.
Hello. Let me introduce myself. I am Digital Nogitsune, otherwise known as DN. I am a teacher overseas and I used to work in Korea. Now, I am currently in China “teaching.” If you are wondering about the “” that is a whole different post for somewhere else. For now, I am just here to give you a general outline on the differences of teaching in Korea vs. China.
Pay – It’s generally lower than Korea but the cost of living is lower here too. Since I am single here, my job provides my breakfast and lunch on working days, it is cheaper for me to just eat out at certain restaurants where I live. This means I don’t have to cook anything or buy groceries and it also keeps out mice… also different post.
– My apartment is freaking awesome. It has two floors, 2 bathrooms – one with a bathtub upstairs, 3 bedrooms and it came furnished. I was able to pick it out, too. Although, it feels like it picked me. My landlady and her family are great. It costs me roughly $500 – $750 a month. The landlady lowered the rent to 3000RMB ($500) when she realized I will be living in the apartment on my own and I don’t have family in the country. Sweet. I also got away with a low deposit.
I am not sure about other jobs, they may provide an apartment for you. My job, all the teachers were able to go house hunting with assistance and pick their own apartment. Be sure to have a bunch of money saved up. Three month’s rent and first month’s rent ready, plus more money to get settled in to buy groceries and what not.
– All the children wear uniforms in their schools. Heck, YOU may even have a certain uniform to wear. I suggest reading your contract very carefully before signing on and talking to the other teachers. Even then do your research on the school. From my experience so far they have some “take me for my word” attitudes and such. BTW, you WILL be working the weekend if there is a holiday during the week to make up for that time off. That is apparently China wide. Plus large classes I hear… 30+. I don’t have too much info on this because where I teach is not the norm.
– It’s next to impossible to send money home if you really need to. You will be in the bank for at least an hour and a half just to get the money changed over to the correct currency to send it yourself using internet banking. There is also Western Union, but I have no tried that yet.
Hospitals – SKETCHY AS HELL. NOPE! Unless it is a foreigner hospital like Clifford Hospital in Guangzhou. That sucker looks like a five star hotel/ spa.
Pay – Higher than China. Low cost of living too, depending on how you spend your money.
Housing – Usually already picked out for you and you are taking over the last teacher’s accommodations. There is an option in most contracts to get a housing allowance instead of taking the apartment if you have/find your own. You would have to pay most of the money on your own though.
Schools – You get to wear your own clothes. Check the dress code before coming to make things easier on you. Public school you don’t work weekends EVER unless otherwise specified and you agree to it.
– INFINITELY easier than China. Heck you don’t have to go to the bank after getting internet banking, if you don’t want to. Especially, if you have KEB Bank. None of the BS, you would have to go over in China.
Hospitals – Yes.
I would like to give you guys more information between teaching in China and Korea. My current job is not normal and there are a bunch of snafus that I am going through here that are not the norm here (or so I hope). I am working on remedying this situation but that is another post too in another place.
All photos courtesy of Google. Full credit to owners.