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Americans Living/Working Abroad
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LHanks



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 3:04 am    Post subject: Americans Living/Working Abroad Reply with quote

I am seeking a teaching job abroad, I am looking at China. I am an American and everyone I mention this to thinks I am crazy for going abroad in "these times". Even my parents are very apprehensive. I am a little apprehensive. but want to go badly. I taught in Japan 1998-2000 and loved it. Do you think Americans are in a lot of danger abroad?, I know we arent liked, but that is nothing new. Please share your thoughts.
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gerard



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 581
Location: Internet Cafe

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 3:25 am    Post subject: be smart Reply with quote

Cool I can only speak for South Korea but why not go abroad? The only problem I have had was a drunk screaming at me that it is "his country." And that was funny more than anything. Americans are not popular at the moment but it is still much safer here than home...China is likely even safer...
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1085
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:19 am    Post subject: Safe? Probably. Reply with quote

Well, first, I'll tell you that I'm a Canadian. To most people around the world, Canadians, Americans - same diff.

I'm taking off for Japan soon, and have considered the state of world affairs a lot. I'm confident that in Japan, I'll be safe enough. However, I think it's best to avoid travel to Indonesia and Philipines. A friend was working in Manila just a month ago, and found the city to be an armed camp - the country is quite unstable. Indonesia is a bad place to be right now - Muslim extremists targeting Australians, and probably anybody foreign-looking, for that matter.

I'd love to hear from more Americans other nationals about the state of foreign relations on the ground in S. Korea. Any info, folks?
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dezza



Joined: 12 Jan 2003
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2003 1:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Americans Living/Working Abroad Reply with quote

Even though I'm not American, and in fact I'm Chinese Canadian, I do know Americans who, when asked, say they are Canadian, South African, etc etc (The Chinese won't be able to tell the difference!) which will help you avoid a flurry of questions, preconceived notions, etc etc. Then again, you may feel like a poor patriot if you were to do this but some people don't have a problem with it...just an idea!

As far as physical danger is concern, there is relatively low crime in China and terrorism is very remote. There is probably a higher probably of physical danger to you standing in New York than in Shanghai!!!
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joe
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Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 50
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2003 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In regards to your comment "I know we aren't liked" -- this is actually a misconception and great exaggeration. I am an American from New York, and during the time I spent in China, I was treated with more respect, compassion, and friendliness than I had ever experienced in my life.

You certainly will not be emotionally "hurt" in China. The vast majority of Chinese love America and everything American. If anything, you will be put on a pedastal and be treated like royalty.

In terms of physical danger -- I agree with a previous poster. I felt more safe from violence in China than I do on the streets of the U.S.
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Paul G



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 125
Location: China & USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with Joe. From the standpoint of personal safety, China has to be one of the most secure places in the world. But then, when you look at their criminal justice system, you can understand why people think long and hard before breaking the law.

As far as animosity towards Americans goes, I (an American) have never experienced or witnessed any. You have to understand that the Chinese consider themselves to be the geatest people in the world. The Chinese name for China is "Middle Kingdom". In other words, they are the center of the earth and everyone else is peripheral. The Chinese are prejudiced against all non-Chinese, but not in a malicious sort of way.

You will run into all kinds of problems living and working in China, but anti-Americanism probably won't be one of them.
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 2:15 pm    Post subject: It is relative! Reply with quote

As a matter of fact, you can often watch crime unfolding before your very eyes! Impoverished peasants in China's interior are known to raid trains that stop during the night, and they help themselves to the valuables of passengers who sleep in open compartments. I am not making this up. I was told by Chinese colleagues and students that they would never dare offer any resistance to a robber nor alert victims of a thief.
This is not theoretical. I lived in a Guangzhou district in 1994, and every time I travelled on a local bus I was surrounded by pickpockets that worked the bus in a gang. The first time I lost 300 RMB, and this taught me how to better protect my valuables.
I also watched, incredulous, as a gangster beat a man with a bamboo stick. I thought he was going to kill him.
There have been murders committed on Westerners. If a foreign journalist finds out the news makes the rounds, if not, it may very well never be reported.
Crime definitely goes in tamdem with the general economic takeoff of the nation. I expect it to worsen considerably due to millions of people losing their jobs and livelihoods in the near future.

However, do not get me wrong: I am depicting the downside in a drastic manner because I know which places are unsafe, and where you are safer. Just don't buy Chinese government propaganda about this country's safety! It used to be relatively safe back in the days before the country opened up twenty years ago.
Still, you can't ignore that almost all houses have double doors and uglywindow bars to prevent burglaries.
If you work in a university or public school, you will probably be pretty safe as you will be housed on campus!
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xiaoyu



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Location: China & Montana, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 3:48 pm    Post subject: Safe is as Safe does Reply with quote

everyone here has brought up great points.... sure as a foreigner you are on average safer than you would be in other countries when you are in china... as long as you mind your p's and q's..... as an american i didn't have any problems.... some people might have problems with you but that doesn't mean that you have to let that intimidate you... just be nice and polite... in my experience the chinese were great... i think for the most part as long as you do your best to show them you aren't an "ugly american" you will do fine.... northern and northeast china from what i have heard and seen are the easiest on foreigners if you are still concerned.... good luck...
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Paul G



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 125
Location: China & USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a little bit off-topic, but the term "ugly American" is misused so often, by so many people, I thought I would set the record straight.

"The Ugly American" is the title of a book first published in 1958. It is about an American man who goes to Southeast Asia to help with an engineering project and is quickly disenchanted with misplaced American priorities in the region. He ends up spending a lot of time in the region helping the local people improve the quality of their lives. He is liked and respected by the local people and does a lot of good things for them.

The book is called "The Ugly American" because the hero is butt ugly! The title refers to his physical appearance, not his conduct. Rolling Eyes
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xiaoyu



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Location: China & Montana, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the correction in reference to "ugly american".... i guess you could say i was trying to use it in the incorrect way it is commonly used by many today to refer to a derogatory stereotype of americans abroad.... again thanks... hope you can all see the common idea that is sometimes projected through the term "ugly american" even though it is not literally correct....
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12169
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 8:53 am    Post subject: The "Ugly" American Reply with quote

Many people in the US have a strange view of the world. The rest of the world does not have a uniform opinion about the US. Once upon a time it was considered part of a liberal education for people to travel outside their own little patch. OIt seem sthat that is no longer the case and for many the first exposure to the world outside their own little patch is when they take up a TESOL job. Come on, travel a bit before you start teaching !!!! And you will see thgat the world is a diverse place and is not full of demons !
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trakblue



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2
Location: thailand

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:11 am    Post subject: americans abroad Reply with quote

Rolling Eyes i have had very little problems as an american, even during the strong anti-american times here in korea (which is pretty much gone--i think they realize the crazy north korean dictator is enough reason to keep the us military here a little longer.) and my travels through thailand have been greeted enthusiastically by most thais (and i am moving there soon to teach.) amazingly, the most hostile relations have been with the canadian teachers in korea (not all--but many) who either ignoire me, or are outright hostile when they find out i'm american. go figure--same continent and all.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12169
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:44 am    Post subject: US and "Abroad" Reply with quote

It seems to me that there is no one place called "abroad". The world outside the USA is very diverse. People in the USA rewally need to be a little more sophisticated in looking at the outside world. Maybe I am expecting too much when people in the USA watch an average of 5 hours TV a day !!
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Scot has showed, the biggest hassle you will get is not from Chinese, but from some other foreigners, who are more anti-american than any Chinese person. Is it possible to be robbed in China, yeah i guess, though many people know I always have about 20,000 RMB in my house, and it's still there (Where do I live you asked)
Definitely you are much safer here than in most western countries. Every big city has crime, of course. Overall easy to avoid here. The biggest problem I see is when any foreigner works for a school illegaly, and happens to be in a "bad" school. Happens occassionally.
Actually, people in America don't actually "watch" tv for five hours a day, but have the tv on as a habit. But if you ever live in Britain, and see the shows they have there, you will know why they watch less TV, and mostly American (hopefully that was a friendly barb)
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yuly333



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try being an American from the South. I am, and because of this, I have felt more hostility from other Americans than from the actual natives of whatever country I was in. It's one thing for a local from your host country to label you "an ugly, stupid American," but when someone from your native country ridicules you, it's really disheartening. But I guess it's their problem for being ignorant and for judging a book by its cover. (BTW, I don't even have a Southern accent and I dress in all black except for the occasional silver or burgandy scarf, I am well educated, and I've traveled the world, so I don't really fit the description of a stupid Southerner-whatever that may be!!!) Question Question Question
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