Why Teaching English in China is a Smart Move

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I must admit that my experience of teaching English while abroad is extremely limited.

While I was working in a jungle reserve with other volunteers a couple of us got invited over to help out with an English class. It was good fun and it was amazing to see how grateful the parents were afterwards. One even came running up to and gave us a gift of a large piece of fruit.

After this, I briefly tinkered with the idea of taking on a part time job in an English language institute, to give me the money needed to stay out there for longer. However, the pay was so poor that I decided that getting a cheap flight home and saving up for another trip was a smarter move.

Having said that, my niece went off to China to teach English a few months ago and is loving it. In fact, she has already extended her stay there a couple of times and it is now looking ever more doubtful that she’ll be back anytime soon. So what are the benefits of teaching English in China?

Meet the Locals

One of the frustrating things about travelling is that it can be hard to speak to the locals. This is especially true in countries like China where the language barrier is a big problem. By taking a course that will qualify you to teach English to the locals you will give yourself the chance to make friends with your pupils and their families. It is possibly the best way to meet plenty of locals and talk to them. Of course, you will probably also meet other foreign teachers who are posted there, which means you hang out with them and speak to them in English at times as well. This means you can have a nice balance of finding out about new things from the locals while being able to relax and talk about TV shows and music from back home with other teachers.

Soak Up the Local Culture

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Teaching English in China also seems to be a fine way of soaking up the culture. My niece’s Facebook updates are full of pictures of her eating typical food, wearing traditional clothing and generally finding out what life in China is really like. It can be all too easy to miss out on this kind of experience when you travel. Staying in nice hotels and eating in the fanciest restaurants is all well and good but it means missing out on the chance to see how the locals live, what they eat and what they do in their spare time. If there is one thing you are sure to do if you head abroad to teach English it is pass time enjoying the local culture. Sure, you will still find time to do typical touristy things but you are also certain to do things that other visitors to the country don’t normally do.

Open Your Mind    

Finally, any kind of travelling is likely to help you open your mind and broaden your horizons. However, if you decide to mix your travelling with a stint teaching English then it seems safe to say that you will open your mind even more. This sort of travel experience will let you see how enriching and fulfilling travelling can be. Of course, you are also going to meet other teachers, many of whom are sure to pass on travel tips and details of other places you should check out in the future. Once you start doing this sort of thing I reckon that it could become very addictive and lead to a lifetime of travelling.

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