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Dalian

 
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 811
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:17 pm    Post subject: Dalian Reply with quote

I've always been interested in living and working in China. I have an offer from a university in Dalian: 15,000/month base salary + 2,500/month housing allowance, with health insurance and a generous (at least seems to me) relocation allowance included.

I guess my questions are as follows:

1) Can one save on this salary in Dalian?
2) Is decent--e.g., furnished, central heating--housing available in Dalian at/near that allowance amount?
3) Is there anything in particular I should be watching/negotiating for?
4) What is the social life like for an expat in Dalian, China? (Broad, likely impossible question--apologies in advance.)

Any and all advice would be much appreciated!


Last edited by taikibansei on Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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teenoso



Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 364
Location: south china

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been to Dalian in many years but even then back in the 90s it was quite a cosmopolitan city , with russian /german style architecture, and a nice relaxed feel.
so I imagine now it's a very lively place, with many foreigners- it always gets good reports from teachers on this site, and some of the Unis there have a good reputation.

15K per month seems very high for a University post, and I guess that you could probably save about half that and live very comfortably .

A basic food /energy/transport budget should be no more than 5000 rmb per month. Obviously if you enjoy a very active social life , hanging out in bars and eating in western restaurants, then things get expensive
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 811
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for the feedback!

Anybody know about housing availability and costs?
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Kalkstein



Joined: 25 Aug 2016
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

taikibansei wrote:
I've always been interested in living and working in China. I have an offer from a university in Dalian: 15,000/month base salary + 2,500/month housing allowance, with health insurance and a generous (at least seems to me) relocation allowance included.

I guess my questions are as follows:

1) Can one save on this salary in Dalian?
2) Is decent--e.g., furnished, central heating--housing available in Dalian at/near that allowance amount?
3) Is there anything in particular I should be watching/negotiating for?
4) What is the social life like for a single, middle-aged, male expat in Dalian, China? (Broad, likely impossible question--apologies in advance.)

Any and all advice would be much appreciated!


1) Yes, although it depends on your lifestyle, for me I would probably spend about 14k of that. I would say an average person would be able to save 7-8k a month.

2) 2,500 isn't going to get you anywhere fantastic but it'll get you something at the lower end.

3) Probably won't have much room for negotiation on that salary. It's probably 3-5k above the standard university salary. It might be worth seeing if you have paid holidays though.

4) Great.
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isitts



Joined: 04 Jun 2010
Posts: 185
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:40 am    Post subject: Re: Dalian Reply with quote

I don’t know about that area, but that salary and housing allowance should allow you to save easily…even in a big city. I made that salary plus a 3,000 yuan/month allowance in Shenzhen and was saving plenty. My allowance didn’t cover all my rent, but it covered most of it. I could have chosen housing that was less than my allowance and kept the difference.

Looking at how far north Dalian is and that it’s surrounded by water, I would expect you’ll need to dress warm in the winter.

That seems like an unusually high salary for a university, but…maybe they’re finally going up..? Do you know how many hours you’d work?

That’s about all I can answer. I might check the air index there, too, since it’s across the water from Beijing and Tianjin.

Good luck!
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 811
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses. I'd be teaching in a program partnered with an overseas university, which perhaps explains the higher salary? Ironically, I'm also currently a finalist for a position at another such program/university which pays even more per month (but with far less, um, collegial potential colleagues).

My colleagues at the 15,000/month job--met through and after the interview process--all seem extremely cool. The work responsibilities seem challenging too...in a fun way. After nearly twenty years in often difficult work environments at two Japanese universities, I need a change. I think I'm going with them.

Thanks again for all the comments.
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Kalkstein



Joined: 25 Aug 2016
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

taikibansei wrote:
Thanks for the responses. I'd be teaching in a program partnered with an overseas university, which perhaps explains the higher salary? Ironically, I'm also currently a finalist for a position at another such program/university which pays even more per month (but with far less, um, collegial potential colleagues).

My colleagues at the 15,000/month job--met through and after the interview process--all seem extremely cool. The work responsibilities seem challenging too...in a fun way. After nearly twenty years in often difficult work environments at two Japanese universities, I need a change. I think I'm going with them.


Ah, this information does indeed change everything. You're an experienced teacher who has 20 years of experience working in Japanese universities, I presume with at least relevant qualifications such as an MA in TESOL and possibly publications? You're going to be working for a university with an overseas program.

Everyone was assuming you were a basic teacher (BA only) applying to a public university. With all that in mind assuming my presumptions are true or close to the truth, 15,000 is on the low end. The better international universities with Chinese campuses tend to pay 20,000+. Depending on workload.

I think the workload will be a lot less than you are used to in Japan and you'll probably love the job. 15,000 +2,500 housing allowance isn't going to give you an amazing life quality in Dalian but it'll offer you a comfortable life with maybe $1000 in the way of savings each month. If that is adequate for you I think you'll be happy taking the job.
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 661

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kalkstein wrote:
You're an experienced teacher who has 20 years of experience working in Japanese universities, I presume with at least relevant qualifications such as an MA in TESOL and possibly publications?


I believe the OP has a doctorate.

Warm regards,
twowheel
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AbeCross



Joined: 21 Jun 2012
Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:15 pm    Post subject: Pollution in Dalian Reply with quote

https://www.numbeo.com/pollution/in/Dalian

This city seems pretty clean—especially by Chinese standards.
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AbeCross



Joined: 21 Jun 2012
Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:59 pm    Post subject: 15,000/month base salary Reply with quote

Taiki, was that before or after tax? Some employers quote after tax and some don't.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 811
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:57 pm    Post subject: Re: 15,000/month base salary Reply with quote

AbeCross wrote:
Taiki, was that before or after tax? Some employers quote after tax and some don't.


Good question. It's before tax...is this unusual?
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 811
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

twowheel wrote:
Kalkstein wrote:
You're an experienced teacher who has 20 years of experience working in Japanese universities, I presume with at least relevant qualifications such as an MA in TESOL and possibly publications?


I believe the OP has a doctorate.

Warm regards,
twowheel


Yep, PhD, plenty of publications, even more experience--in my home country as well as in Japan. I have savings and enough work years to qualify for the Japanese pension, so now want to try something new before the age cutoff in China. Seems like a nice position--good colleagues and love what I'd be teaching--but want to be treated fairly.

Thanks again for all your advice.
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getbehindthemule



Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 699
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dalian is nice, I go there 2-3 times every year. Cool, laid back city with nice coastal walk ways and parks. Has everything you'll need for a comfortable Western Expat life too. It's bitterly cold in Winter though.
I'm on a bit more than that but can save 10k per month pretty easily living in Shanghai and have an active social life at weekends. (I do get full holiday pay though for the 3.5 months that I'm off so you should inquire about that as it makes a huge difference)
Many rave about how expensive the big cities are but I fee they are very cheap to live in (apart from Western restaurants, bars, etc, which I do frequent most weekends as a release). Rent can be expensive, depending on where you want to live, but if you live a little bit outside of the main central hub you'll find a decent place for that allowance or a little bit more. Utilities, transportation and food costs are all pretty cheap in China across the board. I would say that you could easily save half that salary whilst still having a nice lifestyle.
Best of luck in the Middle Kingdom if you take the plunge Smile

Edit: Tax will be low on that salary, around the 1k mark, plus your allowances will be tax free.
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taikibansei



Joined: 14 Sep 2004
Posts: 811
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Getbehindthemule! I hadn't thought about pay during holidays/summer. (In Japan, almost all full-time university positions pay over these periods as well--would never have thought to look.)

It would seem that I get Chinese public holidays, 6 weeks summer holidays and 6 weeks winter holidays. So that's good, right? Note that this information was included in the offer email but not the contract I'm to sign and return--is this normal?
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getbehindthemule



Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 699
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

taikibansei wrote:
Thanks, Getbehindthemule! I hadn't thought about pay during holidays/summer. (In Japan, almost all full-time university positions pay over these periods as well--would never have thought to look.)

It would seem that I get Chinese public holidays, 6 weeks summer holidays and 6 weeks winter holidays. So that's good, right? Note that this information was included in the offer email but not the contract I'm to sign and return--is this normal?


Yeah, not all gigs do here (especially for first year contract). Many offer fully/partially paid hols upon re-signing with the school. The fact yours is working an overseas program you will likely get paid hols (but check).
6 weeks Summer hols seems short, perhaps check that also.
Make sure you're happy with the contract and it details everything adequately before signing it.

Note: I dont teach at university level so perhaps others can clarify the 6 weeks summer vacation (but pretty sure most Unis get 8weeks +)
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