Why Teach in China?
China is becoming an ever increasingly popular destination for ESL teachers, but what is it that makes China such a great place to live and teach English?
China is huge, you could live there for decades and barely scratch the surface, you’ll never run out of things to see and places to visit. For those interested in history, cities such as Beijing and Xi’an preserve the past wonderfully. You can walk through the Forbidden City and scale the Great Wall in Beijing, or visit the vast army of Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an. For those who love the outdoors and Hiking, why not tackle the Five Great Mountains of China? You can ski in the north, trek through deserts in the west and even bathe on tropical beaches in Sanya down in the South. There’s really something for everyone! Every region has its own distinct culture and cuisine, making it a food lover's paradise, and that deserves a paragraph or more of its own.
Chinese food is famous worldwide, but the variety goes far beyond the Chow Mein and Egg Fried Rice you may be used to at your local Chinese Restaurant back home. The list of delicacies could be endless so we’ll pick a few famous dishes from some of China’s largest cities.
Beijing: Peking Duck
Expertly carved in front of you at the table, eating Peking Duck in Beijing is almost a ritual. The meat and crispy skin is wrapped in paper thin pancakes along with bean sauce, scallion and cucumber slices. No trip to Beijing is complete without Peking Duck.
Chengu: Sichuan Hot Pot
A favourite of people all over China is the Sichuan Hot Pot, and along with Panda’s is arguable Chendgu’s most famous attraction. Packed with Sichuan Peppers this dish isn’t for the feint hearted and will leave your mouth numb! It’s worth noting that you can select your broth so you don’t have to choose the spicy one, but why not give eating like the locals a try? You can choose your own meats and veg which you will cook yourself in the pot, which bubbles away in the middle of the table.
Although not as famous for its food as some cities, Shanghai does offer a particular delicacy for which it’s renowned around China, the Xiaolongbao. These thin-skinned dumplings are filled with not only delicious fillings like crab and pork, but also piping hot soup. Don’t forget to pierce the skin first to let out the steam if you don’t want to burn your tongue!
Xi’an: Biang Biang Noodles
Long thick noodles, covered in toppings for you to mix in all sat on a pool of sauce. Spicy or non-spicy is your choice, but we’d recommend adding some spice. Biang Biang noodles are the food so nice they named it twice!
Standard of living
A combination of things makes China an extremely comfortable place to live on the salary of an ESL Teacher, a salary which is rapidly increasing. The cost of living is still relatively low meaning your salary goes a long way.
Public transport is cheap and incredibly efficient. Groceries are cheap too if you shop locally. Sure, if you eat at fancy western restaurants every night and shop in the designer malls you could blow your salary pretty quickly. But a bus journey and a local meal here and there and you should find yourself with a healthy chunk of your salary left over at the end of the month.
You’ll have no trouble finding and affording a clean and comfortable apartment within your budget. Many teachers choose rooms in a shared apartment to keep costs down. If you’re not too extravagant you should be able to live comfortably, enjoy the great things China has to offer, travel, and still save money as you go!
All this and more makes teaching in China a great destination for English teachers from around the world, whether it be for a year out or a change in career direction. Demand for English teachers has never been higher, so why not apply now?