Teaching Abroad: Pros and Cons China
Some advantages associated with teaching in China include friendly people, low cost of living, tourism, and learning the Mandarin language. In contrast, the disadvantages associated with teaching in China are communication difficulty, the difference in health standards, and difficulty in disciplining students.
Teaching in China — The Pros
1. People are friendly
- Chinese coworkers and students are known to be very welcoming to incoming teachers. "Some of them have never seen a foreigner before! Teachers are greeted by waves, gifts delivered to their desk, and, when teaching young kids, endless hugs. People are interested in knowing the teacher, so he or she will never be lonely in China. "
2. Low Cost of Living
- The cost of living in China is dependent on location. The Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing are known to offer affordable products such as a taxi ride or a pair of shoes. The affordable cost of products provides teachers with more money to save and spend on travel and luxuries.
3. Traveling Asia
- China is a well-known travel destination. People interested in seeing pandas, going to Chengdu, going hiking, or visiting the Yellow Mountains will be able to do so. Apart from China, flights to other Asian countries are affordable.
- Traveling from Western nations to Asian countries tends to be costly, but people in China tend to leverage cheap travel deals and are able to tour the country.
4. Learn a New Language
- Learning Mandarin is considered part of the fun associated with living in China. The only requirement is a fun tutor and a proper language exchange partner. The Chinese language is regarded as one of the "most useful languages in global business."
Teaching in China — The Cons
1. Difficulty in Communication
- Newcomers to China tend to face challenges associated with the communication. People who speak the language occasionally find it hard to interact with locals.
- "Communication styles are vastly different in China than in Western countries. For example, saving face is crucial in China. So instead of giving constructive criticism about a teacher's teaching style, fellow teachers might never say anything because they do not want the teacher to feel embarrassed. As a result, the teacher will never know if they were doing something wrong."
2. It is Hard to Discipline Students
- The difficulty in communication also affects teachers' relationships with students. Students fighting with one another tend to find it hard to relate with the teacher. This makes it hard to be able to settle issues between students amicably.
3. The difference in Health Standards
- Health standards in Western countries are different from those in China. Some health standards in China, such as "not having hand soap in public restrooms, using steaming water to clean utensils, and random passersby hocking loogies," are hard to follow.