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Interracial Couple
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newrubbersoul



Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 18
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:03 am    Post subject: Interracial Couple Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

First, let me say that I've really enjoyed reading the posts on this website and I've appreciated the insights that many of you have shared. I thought that some of you might be willing to share a few more words of advice.

My girlfriend and I are currently working in the United States but are now planning our move to China. Because work and housing commitments keep us here until the end of the year, it looks like we'll have to start working during the middle of the Chinese academic year (March 2008).

A little about us. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sociology and have spent the last year and a half working for a politician. My girlfriend holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and a Master's Degree in Education (Emphasis in Multicultural Counseling). Neither of us have TEFL certificates. We hope to work in a small town (preferably at the same school), but don't have a real geographic preference.

The reason for my post is that we are an interracial couple. I'm a white American and she's Chinese American. We've both read plenty of posts regarding difficulties that Asian Americans face in the TEFL market, as well as posts about teaching as a couple in China. Our guess, though, is that as an interracial couple we would face some unique difficulties/benefits that others might not.

We would like to know if any of you have any insights that you would like to share. In what ways might this impact our search for employment? Is it likely that this will be much of an issue?

I've read many posts on this forum indicating that employers in China look at a lot of things that seem to have no relation to teaching quality when hiring. For example, I've read that employers prefer couples because "they don't have to pay for two apartments." I would not have thought about this preference without having read it here at Dave's. So I'm wondering if there is anything else that might not seem obvious that we should be aware of.

Thank you in advance.
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SnoopBot



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 740
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think as a husband and wife team, you would make a good one.

Does your wife speak like a Native Speaker?

If so, this should not be a problem.

Asian looking teachers face some discrimination because it's usually based on these 3 factors.

1. Not-Native Speaking- Students complain accent is not good and most students want to improve their Oral English level for their career.

2. White face only schools- Make more money and can squeeze more fee's from paying parents. Looking Asian it is harder to justify this.

3. Chinese Teachers- They will often complain if a fellow Chinese comes back from abroad and is paid at the full FT rates.

Some of the MA Ed courses your wife had will help here in the classroom, and hopefully they will pay her the whopping extra 300-500 extra RMB a month to have her Master's degree.

It is beneficial to have a TEFL cert for YOUR benefit to assist you in teaching. However, most Chinese university positions are Oral English (conversation ones).

Having the qualities of humor, dedication, patience, with clear loud speaking seems to be more beneficial.

This of course changes if you start moving up to the more specialized courses ...Business, Law, Technology.

Good luck to both of you.

(My wife and I are both teachers and she is Chinese too )
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william wallace



Joined: 14 May 2003
Posts: 2869
Location: in between

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nil

Last edited by william wallace on Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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englishgibson



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Posts: 4345

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i understand where you're going with your question william and it'd be better to work elsewhere, but if her background is chinese.....imagine if you were in her shoes...say, if i were an american born in france or had my parents born there and i wanted to teach english, it'd be natural for me to want to go there...just a point of view Wink

OP, i'd say that SnoopBot is right on

peace to this lovely country
and
cheers and beers to ch-employers as well as their fine plans with foreign academic labor force Smile
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jeffinflorida



Joined: 22 Dec 2004
Posts: 2024
Location: "I'm too proud to beg and too lazy to work" Uncle Fester, The Addams Family season two

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm working with a chinese American from New York and she does not seem to get any different treatment from the school or the students.

And for a chinese she is a little overweight but pretty.
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should not have much of a problem. They do like the married couples. i have noticed that American Chinese, Chinese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong Chinese sometimes don't interact very closely, they sometimes don't treat each other that nicely. Not badly, just not that nicely. But getting work shouldn't be a problem
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tw



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 3898

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If she has a master's degree then go to Taiwan where you can make a hell of a lot more money than in China, and you can still learn Chinese.

If you two end up in a small and/or rural part of China, you two will get a lot of stares. It's not because you are white, but because they see a Chinese face speaking "excellent" English AND holding the hand of a white man or showing some form of affection. Of course, they wouldn't know she is an ABC, they will just automatically that you have stolen another one of their girls. Prepare for some hostility.

I don't know if her parents or grandparents are from Taiwan or other southern Chinese provinces, but in the event you end up somewhere nowhere near southern China, she'd better not think that she'd be eating things she'd been eating in Chinese restaurants back home.
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SnoopBot



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 740
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tw wrote:
If she has a master's degree then go to Taiwan where you can make a hell of a lot more money than in China, and you can still learn Chinese.

If you two end up in a small and/or rural part of China, you two will get a lot of stares. It's not because you are white, but because they see a Chinese face speaking "excellent" English AND holding the hand of a white man or showing some form of affection. Of course, they wouldn't know she is an ABC, they will just automatically that you have stolen another one of their girls. Prepare for some hostility.

I don't know if her parents or grandparents are from Taiwan or other southern Chinese provinces, but in the event you end up somewhere nowhere near southern China, she'd better not think that she'd be eating things she'd been eating in Chinese restaurants back home.


I've been following the Taiwan groups (a little) and the recent info I have seemed to get is they are starting to require a PhD to teach at the universities there now. A masters in education is not good enough.

Today my wife stated she wants to go to Taiwan next year???

Or Korea...
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newrubbersoul



Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 18
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback everyone. To answer a few questions:

Yes, we definitely want to go to China. Maybe Taiwan someday, but it isn't really on our radar screen right now. Why China? We're young and want to see the world. Working for pennies abroad often sounds more appealing than pushing paper 9-5. Plus, we've been able to save up some money from working and have extra in our savings.

Also...

Quote:
I think as a husband and wife team, you would make a good one.


We're not married, though. We live together, but not married. I don't know if employers will care, but I thought it might make a difference. Especially considering that we prefer to live in a smaller town where things might be a bit more conservative.

Thanks!
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SnoopBot



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 740
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

newrubbersoul wrote:
Thanks for the feedback everyone. To answer a few questions:

Yes, we definitely want to go to China. Maybe Taiwan someday, but it isn't really on our radar screen right now. Why China? We're young and want to see the world. Working for pennies abroad often sounds more appealing than pushing paper 9-5. Plus, we've been able to save up some money from working and have extra in our savings.

Also...

Quote:
I think as a husband and wife team, you would make a good one.


We're not married, though. We live together, but not married. I don't know if employers will care, but I thought it might make a difference. Especially considering that we prefer to live in a smaller town where things might be a bit more conservative.

Thanks!


Be careful, even in Beijing they wouldn't allow my wife to hang around my room after hours before we got married. Some fellow teachers blacklisted her even though she was their friend for years.

Some places are very Maoist with cameras and security guards, it's comical actually to hear some of these stories. Most seem to be coming from the DongBei area (maybe more conservative there).

Just tell them your engaged to get married if they ask. Sometimes, institutions have had past incidents with FT's and female students. I'm sure they rather have you bring over a steady GF than date various students or worse.

I would market yourself as an "Engaged Teaching Couple" they can get 2 teachers for the cost of one provided housing unit.

Also teaching couples are less problems and often do not do as many runners.
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voodikon



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
Posts: 1363
Location: chengdu

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey, why don't you have your girlfriend post so we can tell her the real dirt about what happens here? Laughing
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william wallace



Joined: 14 May 2003
Posts: 2869
Location: in between

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nil

Last edited by william wallace on Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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newrubbersoul



Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 18
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

voodikon wrote:
hey, why don't you have your girlfriend post so we can tell her the real dirt about what happens here? Laughing


Well, that is the point of this post. We're reading all of your advice. For those of you who have given advice, we've certainly appreciated your comments. Also, we understand that China may not be the most ideal place to teach or live. Still, we want to live in China.
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tw



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 3898

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

newrubbersoul wrote:
Also, we understand that China may not be the most ideal place to teach or live. Still, we want to live in China.


You, especially your girlfriend, have been warned.
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InTime



Joined: 06 Dec 2005
Posts: 1676
Location: CHINA-at-large

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See Sidney Poitier's movie
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
1967
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