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Tired of Korea. Looking to move to China.

 
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From Korea to China.



Joined: 09 Jan 2013
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:47 am    Post subject: Tired of Korea. Looking to move to China. Reply with quote

Hello everyone. This is my first post on the China forum. I am working in South Korea. I have been here for several years, and I've simply had enough of the place. I need a change and, as my username suggests, I have my eyes on China - either China proper or Hong Kong.

I wiould appreciate any information (advice, opinions, etc..) that you may have on living / working in China. Although I am anything buyt a 'newbie' in Korea, I will be in China - although one with many years experience working and living in Korea.

Are there preferred places to live in China? Air quality is important to me. Are there jobs that should be avoided (ie. 'hakwons' in Korea). Are there decent public school jobs. Can one save money in China. Are there certain recruiters to avoid? etc.

Thank you in advance for any information offered.

Cheers.
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JamesD



Joined: 17 Mar 2003
Posts: 710
Location: "As far as I'm concerned bacon comes from a magical happy place."

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:05 am    Post subject: Re: Tired of Korea. Looking to move to China. Reply with quote

From Korea to China. wrote:
.......Air quality is important to me....


Ok, I'll be the first. This one issue will limit you to two or three cities. Check the latest headlines from Beijing, most cities are not that much better in (western) terms of air quality. I don't mean you can't find a city with clean air, just that I've never seen a city in China that most westerners would consider has "clean" air.

I've been here a very long time and even in the cleanest cities coal dust, street dust, car exhaust, and general airborne matter are the rule rather than the exception. I know what you mean about being tired of SK, was there myself for two years. It's 10 times cleaner than China.

P.S.
I'd ask you this; how important on a scale of 1 to 10? If you can't put up with a bit of dust most days and a bad air day every now and then, China may not be right for you. As for saving money, that can happen if you're in a first or second tier city, negotiate a good contract based on your experience, work a lot of privates, and watch your spending. The first and second tier cities which MAY have clean air MOST days are going to be expensive.
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zactherat



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 295

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally speaking, teachers save about half of their salary here - uni and public school teachers on 6k will save about 3, as provided accommodation cuts down on expenses drastically.

language school teachers on 10k will save maybe 5k, but paying for one's own accom (as many do) also often means a large outlay for deposit and advance rent.

Note that these figures entail very few indulgences. Before you decide that CoL is cheap in China, consider that many people save their money by eating in dirty restaurants, drinking cheap lager from corner stores. Living like that would be cheap anywhere! If you want to enjoy the same standard of living as you are probably used to in Korea, it will cost you pretty much the same here - but the air will be much muckier.

Life on these sums out in the slums will seem plentiful, but in first tier cities (BJ, SH, GZ, SZ) it can be pretty depressing, as one tends to be surrounded by professionals enjoying rather more serious careers in other fields.
But if you are really concerned about air quality, you won't want to live in such places anyway..

JamesD wrote:
This one issue will limit you to two or three cities.


Seriously.
Two or three cities out of about 300.
You are going to have to severely restrict your job search. The only place that I can think of that had the occasional fresh morning was Qingdao - which also seemed to have a lot of Koreans doing Korean stuff.. which you might or might not like. Xiamen might be another option to suit you.

Salaries there are lower than average though, as both are popular coastal destinations.

You can do well in China, as many posters here will attest, but I would say it takes about 3 years to find your footing in terms of location and employment.

Have you thought about Malaysia?

It's an emerging TEFL market, and far less polluted that the muddled kingdom.
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 272

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I'm in Qingdao and that's a nix on the fresh air. We go to Yantai or the mountains for a breath of the good stuff. The last couple of weeks have been really,really bad, freezing fog sealing it all in too, meh.

Also incredibly expensive here, most expensive place I've lived in - in China. It's a rich man's playground and prices match.

In terms of good accommodation it's a bit like looking for hen's teeth, it's on the list of the 10 most expensive cities to live in and you have to pay a one month deposit plus a year's rent up front, plus agency fee if you use one.

Saying all that Qingdao people are incredibly friendly, you just have to put up with all the laowei shouting in the summer when tourists from small town Shandong bus in for a despoil the beach day.

Mamba
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8953
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:25 am    Post subject: Re: Tired of Korea. Looking to move to China. Reply with quote

From Korea to China. wrote:
Are there preferred places to live in China? Air quality is important to me. Are there jobs that should be avoided (ie. 'hakwons' in Korea). Are there decent public school jobs. Can one save money in China. Are there certain recruiters to avoid? etc.


I'm in Suwon, hoping to go to Suzhou, the air quality is literally twice as bad on the AQI.

There are a few good universities that pay well. If you can get into those, you should be able to save about the same what you're saving now.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2459
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just remember when posters talk of savings, that they're referring to RMB savings.
You need 7 RMB to buy a US$ and there's bank charges for the remittance.
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ecubyrd



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm curious as to how many of you that harp on air quality have actually noticed a decline in health after living in China or K-land. I lived in Seoul for five years. I could probably count using only my hands and feet how many days I could see the mountains that surround the city (a bit of an exaggeration, but get the point). I've been in Shanghai for 2 years now and the air is not the best here either. I get full health checks yearly and I'm no worse for the wear for having lived in these places.

@NS That might matter for people that work in low paying places (ie...uni jobs that pay peanuts), but there are other jobs that pay on par with Korea, believe me.
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chinatimes



Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Are there preferred places to live in China? Air quality is important to me. Are there jobs that should be avoided (ie. 'hakwons' in Korea). Are there decent public school jobs. Can one save money in China. Are there certain recruiters to avoid? etc.


Quote:
Are there jobs that should be avoided

That is the whole process. When you decide to avoid, move on to a new school.

Quote:
Air quality is important to me.


I don't know why you typed this sentence first, but I will post my reply second because it makes more sense to me. I just left Beijing and spent a night in Chicago (2 nights ago). I was very surprised by the clear sky. However, my body didn't feel any different.

I suggest no morning walks in Shanghai or Beijing, and stay indoors. You will be fine.
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