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Any Experiences as University Teacher? Any Way to Branch?

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Joined: 31 Mar 2017
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:47 pm    Post subject: Any Experiences as University Teacher? Any Way to Branch? Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

I have seen many advertisements. I myself have taught at universities in Saudi Arabia.

Many people say "ESL professor" to inflate their resume.

I am just curious what experiences are like:

1. At least in China, the university jobs pay the least. Why do people still take them? (Fewer teaching hours, fewer responsibility, a chance to get money through other areas).

2. How do people live on this low pay?

(Red envelopes, tutoring their own students, etc.)

3. Any advantages?

I ask because I really liked working at a university in the US. I would love to do things "professor related". I know certainly they need English teachers at universities, but what about getting more involved in research, etc.?
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water rat

Joined: 30 Aug 2014
Posts: 1098
Location: North Antarctica

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose some of us take them because the hours are sometimes low. At a university in Inner Mongolia I worked Monday to Friday, with one day having but one 45-minute period, and only one other day being "full" with classes all morning and one or two after three o'clock. The other days were just morning. Sometimes I would finish by 10:30. Do you know most of China takes siestas from about 11:30 to 2:30? The downside was, if you want to see it that way, is that there were 70 or more students in a group, even the English majors in the classes for English majors having little knowledge of the language, and most groups you will see but once a week for one or two teaching hours. So you don't really develop many or even any student-teacher relationships. Also, as much as they may like and admire you, it does not really occur to the Chinese professors to hang out with you much. They may occasionally invite you to dinner, but you are unlikely to become 'pals'. It just isn't their way.

The pay is generally 6 to 8,000 rmb a month, but that is quite livable if you don't drink (much) and live modestly. Some places it may be as much as 12,000 or even more. I seems to be going up a bit in recent years. It is possible to do outside/part-time work although your contract expressly forbids this, and in any case the extra work can be quite unsteady. (Say, a kindergarten group for a few weeks in summer)

The advantages are that you will have (hopefully) a decent on-campus apartment where it is quiet and quite safe, and you might make friends with the other foreign teachers, (if any) who may be for example, Korean Russian or Japanese. The campus I was at had foreign medical students, so I made a few acquaintances among the young Pakistani, South/Southeast Asian and African students, etc.

It can be quite an isolated life, but you do have about six weeks off from around January 1 to Chinese New Year, and again several weeks off in July and August. On Christmas, you might be working until the principal wanders by, wishes you a merry Christmas, and it suddenly occurs to him to give you the rest of the day off) (Or you could request it beforehand) You would probably have a valid Chinese working visa, particularly if you were staying a second year, or had secured a new job and visa at another university, so you could travel about China (and Southeast Asia) a this time. However, assuming you could save a bit, or had obligations in your home country, it is rather difficult to send money abroad. In my town Western Union only received money (for the foreign students from their families, and there were no means to send money to my own family in the U.S.)

So the last few years, I have been taking high school or middle school jobs that pay anywhere between 13,000 and 22,000, sometimes have the same students several times a week, and in much smaller groups, and can be in the major cities instead of off in East Podunk somewhere.
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