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China (Shanghai) vs Dubai

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Rheady85, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. Rheady85

    Rheady85 New commenter


    I have been offered jobs in both China and Dubai and i'm looking for advise on where would be the most suitable placement as a first timer.

    I fully understand that the quality of the schools will have a huge bearing on the overall satisfaction, regardless of where i may go, so I'm looking for general living advice. For me Dubai would be the easier of the two to settle in, but China would offer something brand new.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
  2. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Shanghai isn't difficult. It is a highly westernised/international city. It does, however, have poor weather and foul pollution. The rest of China (with the exception of Beijing) well, yes, that can be a challenge!

    Living in Shanghai: can be expensive if you eat out or drink at western places (of which there are thousands). There are shops galore - again westernised goods are pricey, markets cheap. Travel is easy enough both around the city, cheap taxis, good metro and the ubiquitous bike share schemes. Electronic payments are now the norm. Internet is fast (if visiting Chinese sites) like treacle once you use overseas sites and you will need a VPN to access many sites. Medical care adequate but expensive (should be covered by school insurance). Travel overseas again expensive, but SE Asia is easily reachable. Domestic help is cheap

    To live comfortably in Shanghai, as a westerner, you really need a package that will bring in at least 20 thousand RMB a month (most good international schools offer significantly more) and housing provided or an allowance of a BARE minimum of 8 thousand RMB, preferably a lot higher than that.

    Try to find out something about the schools you are being offered - for a first timer, as you said, that is what might be more crucial, if you can see yourself living in either location.
    Mr_Frosty and Rheady85 like this.
  3. englishjohn1

    englishjohn1 New commenter

    But 20k RMB is NOT an international school teacher's salary! 30k+ yes. 15-20k is what unqualified teachers get in China although some do not get free housing or if they do, they are offered a few thousand extra a month.
  4. englishjohn1

    englishjohn1 New commenter

    Also you may call restaurants "westernised" in Asia (I don't know about China only ROC) but they do NOT taste like western restaurants except a very few expensive ones. Good tasting food and nice presented food can be hard to find. I also have found that you can not get proper sandwiches anywhere in Asia (with the exception of perhaps HK). I speak from experience of two countries, Korea and Taiwan (ROC). I have been to HK as a tourist and that was ok there. I went into China into Shenzen, again just as a tourist, and I only ate at the Shangri-La hotel so I can't comment on the usual restaurants in China.
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I have to disagree. The noodle place around the corner from our apartment gave us each a well-presented (and very filling) bowl of noodles yesterday. It was delicious! And the bill for the four of us was 70RMB.
  6. pinot

    pinot New commenter

    I also disagree - the national dish of Vietnam is pho, a fusion food of French beef broth and noodle. The other, very popular dish is a sandwich (banh mi).
  7. Rheady85

    Rheady85 New commenter

    The contract is for 26500 RMB per month, i'm looking to get clarification on whether this would include accommodation or not.
  8. Stillstayingjohnson

    Stillstayingjohnson Occasional commenter

    Net or Gross?
    Any other benefits?
  9. Stillstayingjohnson

    Stillstayingjohnson Occasional commenter

    Also, start a PM with @rouxx
    A wonderfully helpful human :)
    Mr_Frosty likes this.
  10. Rheady85

    Rheady85 New commenter

    Ive sent you a DM
  11. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    You clearly have no idea where to eat in Taipei.
    Helen-Back and pinot like this.
  12. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I would have stopped typing after the fifth word ;)
    rideemcowboy, Helen-Back and rouxx like this.
  13. tesquestion2016

    tesquestion2016 New commenter

    I am leaving shanghai after one year. My salary was a little higher than yours and I also had housing. Shanghai is a good city and can be westernised and comfortable but it can be tough going without speaking Chinese. My friends and I eat and drink in both local and westernised places but 26k rmb will not go very far. I have discovered that there is more cash to be made elsewhere. Start a conversation if you want more information about the city or schools I may know.
  14. CBrown

    CBrown New commenter

    International teacher worried about sandwiches abroad!! yikes!
    Why not make your own?
  15. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    I said in the same line most good international schools offer significantly more.

    Western food is easy to get in Shanghai and it tastes good. I also said it is expensive (relatively speaking). I would never buy a sandwich from the 7/11!!!

    You can get good cheap Asian food. Make sure you ask where the good noodle/dumpling/dongbei places are. Don't bother with Shanghaiese cooking - in all the years I have been here not found a decent Shanghaiese place (Hunan, Hong Kong, Sichuan, Yunann etc yes, but in my view Shanghai regional food is 'orrible). If any other posters know of a good Shanghaiese restaurant, please let me know, I would love to experience it!!!!

    @Rheady85 26 500 is on the low side, but not out of the ordinary for the lesser schools here (and you really do need accommodation provided - a VERY small flat will in a decent area will cost at least 8 thousand) but you will be able to live on it easily. I reckon I spend around 10 thousand a month and while I don't splurge, I certainly eat out whenever I feel like it and buy what I need, go travelling (although that can be expensive if you go overseas every holiday), theatre, concerts etc.

    Ignore EnglishJohn1 he hasn't a clue what it is like on the international teaching circuit (as many of his other posts have proved) and he is almost dangerous providing inaccurate advice.

    @Stillstayingjohnson Thanks for the compliment
  16. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    An addition to the above post - Xiaolongbao - Shanghai dumplings ARE great, but they are street food generally. I mean Shanghai regional restaurant food is 'orrible - that's why they have so many GREAT restaurants from other parts of China.
  17. tesquestion2016

    tesquestion2016 New commenter

    Shanghaiese food certainly is horrible! I also like foods from different Chinese cuisines. I am not excessive in my spending but I think the poster should be concerned about the volume of work expected for a meagre salary. The lesser schools still demand hard work and dedication. It is easier to do when the remuneration matches the extra hours. I am happy to leave here because the money simply does not go far enough. A generous housing allowance would be needed.
  18. billinziemalcolm

    billinziemalcolm New commenter

  19. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Maybe billinziemalcolm should start a new thread, this one is 2 years out of date.

    You will be lucky to be offered 26500k in todays market, 24000k is the going rate!
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    As the smelly old pachyderm has pointed out, many times, we need to look at the bottom line, what is left over at the end of the month. When Mrs. Hippo and I were in Shenzhen, I got just under 24,000RMB per month, after tax, and we managed to save most of that. (Mrs. H also brought in some shekels with her modelling, but that was very variable and some months she did not earn anything.) If you do not have the expense of running a car and your accommodation is paid for by your school, then I would say yes, that is pretty good. Shenzhen is quite an expensive place, in some ways, and of course you can easily burn through the cash if you eat out in fancy restaurants and go on lots of exotic holidays.

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