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Moving Family to China?
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lelick1234



Joined: 24 Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Alexandria, Egypt

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:38 am    Post subject: Moving Family to China? Reply with quote

I was wondering if it was a feasible life plan to move my family (my wife and my daughter) to China. I have the following questions that would help me make this decision:

1) Will I be able to afford to feed my family?

2) How much would it cost to educate my daughter?

3) What sort of life should my family be expecting to enjoy or suffer?

4) Would a MA in TESOL improve my overall pay or would it just be a waste of money?

I am currently living in Egypt working at an American high school. I am making about the same money as most Chinese ESL job posts allegedly pay. I am just tired of the political chaos and disorganization.

5) Should I just bite the bullet and earn my teachers credential and work in the United States?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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PBirm123



Joined: 08 Apr 2013
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bite the bullet and start a traditional career(with traditional pay and traditional career trajectory) in the U.S.

That said, the pay you'll receive in China will definitely allow you to feed and provide shelter for your family.. but not much beyond that. The excess money will have to go to putting your child into an international school.. which are pretty expensive even by U.S. dollar standards.

If your wife works, too, and you both take on private students.. you could actually save some money and live a pretty comfortable life. Not a luxurious life with abundant Western luxuries, mind you, but still a pretty damn good life.
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pm'd you some details.
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muffintop



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Moving Family to China? Reply with quote

lelick1234 wrote:
I am just tired of the political chaos and disorganization.

5) Should I just bite the bullet and earn my teachers credential and work in the United States?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


I have no idea what it's like is Egypt but disorganization is rampant here in China.

Bite the bullet dude.

I earn pretty good money considering the hours I work and still can not really afford to put my daughter into an actual International School. I could pay for it but it would require sacrifices in other areas I am not willing to sacrifice.

If you get lucky and find a job at a REAL International School you'll likely get free tuition for your kid but...real schools are difficult to come by here. It also limits your opportunities since you'll be less likely to relocate to another school because your options will be extremely limited. The school will know this and the less scrupulous will possibly use it as leverage.

You will not fare well on a typical Uni salary with a family. Yes, you can survive...but...it would be be pretty damn far from what I would consider comfortable.

I earn about triple the typical Uni salary while putting in comparable hours. We are fairly comfortable but also the family is not used to 'western' life. They have lower expectations. If you are looking for a 'western' lifestyle or require many western amenities...you'll likely need about 15-20k/month or more depending on location.

Every family is different but without knowing you or your situation I would not advise moving here.

This is without taking things like food safety or the environment into consideration.
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bharrell



Joined: 25 Oct 2008
Posts: 86
Location: Chongqing

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you love your family and want the best for them in life, don't bring them to China. In addition to all that has been accurately stated above, your child would possibly learn to behave like a mainland Chinese, as they would think it is normal to queue jump, spit/urinate/defecate on the sidewalk, scream into the telephone, etc.
I think many modest professions in the USA(truck drivers and such) would be preferable. Becoming a certified teacher is certainly better.
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lelick1234



Joined: 24 Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Alexandria, Egypt

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:33 pm    Post subject: Additional Info. Reply with quote

Thanks for replies. Still looking for more opinions. To help you understand my situation, the following points should be understood.

1) My wife is Egyptian and my daughter is 8 months old.

2) We live modestly in a two-bedroom home with my father-in-law and a house cat. No rent, but very modest living standards.

3) I have to go back to US anyways to get my wife's American passport. I plan on getting a California credential in social studies and English. I will give the US three years to get a standard public/private school job. If that fails, however, I am planning to go abroad.
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teenoso



Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 217
Location: east china

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot depends on your personal circumstances. An 8 month old baby is very young to bring to China. After 3 years she will be still very young and not in school.
If she is healthy and robust , here may be fine, but if she has any health problems , I would stay out of China . You sometimes see here family protests outside hospitals , and sadly it is usually about a child who has suffered under the hospital's care.

Is your wife adaptable, and up for an adventure ? If she is not working she may suffer more culture shock than you. On the other hand, Chinese people love young children and China can sometimes be a safe and good environment for raising a child (provided the traffic and air pollution are not too bad).
Hard to see how exposure to two or three years' pollution in China can be anything but bad for a young child.

I see ex-pat families in parts of Shanghai, and I think they have made the choice - wife or husband's career first, while the kids are young enough, get promoted back in the home country, so kids get properly educated back home.

But as an English teacher, you will never have this lifestyle, nor probably the career boost that China can give people in other jobs.
If you can make it work in the US, why not do so? Frankly some of us are here only because things didn't work out back home.
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lelick1234



Joined: 24 Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Alexandria, Egypt

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:16 am    Post subject: To Sum Up the Most Positive Reviews Reply with quote

Don't make China your goal. Make it a last resort if everything fails in the states.
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moving to China is what you do when all else fails?

If you love your family don't move them to China?

An 8 month old baby is too young to move to China?

Being a truck driver in the USA is a preferable profession to EFL in China?

Wow, guys, you blow me away. Totally.
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muffintop



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mambawamba wrote:
Moving to China is what you do when all else fails?

If you love your family don't move them to China?

An 8 month old baby is too young to move to China?

Being a truck driver in the USA is a preferable profession to EFL in China?

Wow, guys, you blow me away. Totally.



Care to expand on that? Do you have a family in China? Care to list why anyone with a young child and family SHOULD come to live in China?

Better medical care can be found in his home country; potentially far more expensive care but also far better. Kinda important with a small child. Emergency care is provided by most(all?) hospitals without requiring payment upfront. Safer food. Less pollution. Playgrounds and parks up the yazoo. Sidewalks without cars parked on them or motorcycles driving on them. Little fear of counterfeit goods including medicine and food products.

While the OP does not have any intention of moving here now with an 8 month old... bringing a young child to live in China would not be advisable except under the most dire circumstances.

Why focus on the truck driver comment. What he really said was...
Quote:
many modest professions in the USA(truck drivers and such) would be preferable. Becoming a certified teacher is certainly better.
I think that was a fair comment even if I do not completely agree with it.

My wife and daughter are Chinese. I am here for one reason. Time. I could go back home and earn a fair salary (45-60k) but the hours required would pretty much limit me to being a weekend Dad at best. I worked in I.T. before I came to China and between a full time job with the possibility of being on-call and continuing education which is almost required in my field...free time would be extremely limited. My family remains here because now I can work 20ish hours a week and still provide well for my family. I have lots of free time to be a Dad....and to make long winded posts on Dave's.

Honestly, if my wife were not Chinese life would be FAR more difficult here. Difficult enough to alter the equation. We'd be on the next plane out.

To get back to the OP...if you bang out your teaching cert then you should strongly consider Taiwan if you feel the need to come to China. Give the mainland a pass unless you find some ideal location.
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Muffintop we do have a family here in China.

My experience is not your experience.

We have received excellent healthcare here in China, as have many people we know.

The advice that 'bringing young children to China is not advisable except under the most dire circumstances' is inaccurate and insulting to both me and many of my friends who have done just that and are raising happy, well-adjusted children here.

Neither myself nor my husband are Chinese and life - even with my sketchy Chinese -is not difficult for us here.

We have both the opportunity and money to leave as we wish but we choose to be here because we all like it here.

I'm not going to argue either for or against why people should bring their children to China, however a balance should be presented to give people the opportunity to make their own minds up.

I agree that a family on a low wage would struggle which is exactly why I advise people to be aware of the cost of living. I agree that China is not for everyone which is why I advise people to be aware of the pitfalls of culture shock.

A lot of people here single, married or with families are unhappy but there are also a lot of people who are happy here and that should be noted.

Mamba
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muffintop



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mambawamba wrote:

I'm not going to argue either for or against why people should bring their children to China, however a balance should be presented to give people the opportunity to make their own minds up.


I won't disagree with you there. However....your earlier post provided nothing to counter what was said previously. Nothing that offered any of this balance you are currently talking about.

I am curious to where you and your family live and how long you guys have been in China? In the city I live in...and it's not a small or unpopular city by any stretch of the imagination...the healthcare is not excellent. Unless of course I visit the hospital with foreign doctors or those who were trained outside of China. I still think it would be a stretch to call it excellent. Fair perhaps. Ditto for dental care.

I find communication to be the largest barrier. Many Chinese docs just give you medicine with no explanation. Just...TAKE THIS. It's not a language barrier either, this is what happens to my wife as well. I find this particularly infuriating when it comes to my daughter. The other day my wife went to the hospital and was given three different medicines through an IV. No explanation besides....it's medicine...was offered.

Yes, of course we all have different experiences. I made my statements based on my experience obviously. If you feel the need to be insulted by what I said, have at it. It wasn't meant as an insult though.
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muffintop we're in the same city! We live in Laoshan.

We've been in China on and off since 2001, lived in Harbin, Nanjing and Ningbo as well. A lot of your happiness depends on where you live and who's around you. Ningbo was not cool.

For doctors here in Qingdao go to the International clinic at Shi Li Yi Yuan two blocks up from Marina City 85937690 see Dr Chee, American guy costs 20 RMB a visit plus any tests or medicines. They can also sort you out a dentist Dr Li who is also American. They also provide an English speaking nurse to go with you and explain the tests. Also get the script and go to a little pharmacy about half the price. For dentists Gentle Dental are good, also David Dental.

My husband just had an operation on his arm, was diagnosed and had tests there then went over to the new hospital on Hai'er Lu for the op. It was clean, had room service for food, and he was well looked after, a week's stay and the op and meds cost 5500 RMB.

Doctors are the same all over the world, good ones, bad ones. I've found since our boy was born I've had to fight harder so as not to be railroaded. The UK was the worst; I asked why he was being prescribed antibiotics and I was told my problem was I had had too many brains and I should basically be quiet and accept it. You have to be confident enough to say no.

The same at the vet's last week (for the cat not the kid) the bill was 980 RMB I questioned it and it turned out to be 240 RMB.

Just like the lady at the eye hospital (for me) said I had to buy eye drops because I had an eye infection. I said no. I'd seen the last ten people come out with the same eye drops, we all had the same eye infection?

Maybe we've been lucky in China but then maybe I've just practised my resting b*tch face enough that people don't really push the bull cookies with me anymore.

Mamba
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muffintop



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same(ish) city different world. I'd like to move my family out to Laoshan since a lot of the negatives that exist in the cities here are not as present in the suburbs. Actually I'd prefer Huangdao but then I'd have to pull the trigger on buying a car.

I am in taidong.

I know the hospital you are talking about. I go there when I need a western doc. I also go to David's Dental. I have tried Chinese trained docs and dentists and have always been disappointed.

Anway, we should probably stop derailing this thread. I'm glad you are as comfortable as you are.
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mambawamba



Joined: 12 Jun 2012
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, and ouch on Taidong, different world. I Pm'd you.
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