Teaching Adventures on the Far East
Let me tell you about my experience working in China. All started 2 years ago, for over 5 years I've had a dream about taking an extended holiday and travelling through Europe. When I started teaching English Courses, Canada seemed more than big enough for me but when the years started to go by I found myself wanting to see new things. I started saving for my holiday and 2 years ago I had saved enough money to make it a reality. Even though I was really thrilled about this trip, I had never had time to properly plan it and had just concentrated so hard in making lots of money. My mind was blank, only enticed by copies of a brochure offering to experience the best French Summer Camp France had in the warm European spring. Still undecided, I thought about talking with my friends about it. I told them that my plan was to Learn French in France, but at the mere mention of the topic Paris and nightclubs were all they could talk about. I understand they were trying to be supportive, but what started as a serious talk about the possibility of expanding my intellectual cache ended up as a regular buddy chatter about the Eiffel tower and dating European women.
Useful websites you can visit.
China government site with lots of valuable information.
Personal blog with work experiences in Taiwan.
Excellent tips if you want to take a holiday in China.
More information for those who really want to know China.(travel information)
News and current events.
Great site with and English language newspaper from China.
While I was browsing the web a week after that I ran across several ads listing job positions offered in Taiwan for English natives willing to teach the language. I was really off my comfort zone, but I kept investigating and learned that, because of their fast growing economy, English teachers are in high demand. Actually being a native and having an university degree were pretty much the only requirements although I found out that most employers have started requiring postgraduate experience for high paying jobs. What really surprised me was reading the testimonials of people already working there, the responses to the experience were positive and most teachers also said that the kids were excellent to work with. I was getting more interested in the idea.
After a few weeks of research I found out that the best time for teaching work was either September (when school returns) or during February (after the winter holiday) and started looking for different city guides and all other information I could get about Taiwan. I also found out that in most big cities (like Beijing, Shanghai and perhaps Guangzhou) there were English magazines that I could obtain and that contained job postings along with useful information for expatriates who were in China for the first time.
After all the foreplay I decided to take the plunge and try the exciting ELT career for the first time. It didn't take long to find a suitable position and I arrived in Taiwan less than 6 months after I decided to change jobs. I have to say that the testimonials were pretty accurate, although it was hard for me to get used to the large number of students per classroom. Besides that, I've found the place really charming (and it's warm almost all year round! Much better than those Canadian winters) and my co-workers very friendly. I've been here for about 9 months and, even though leaving my friends behind was rough, I am not planning on leaving any time soon.