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For those of you China Bound....

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by percy topliss, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, umm, yes. I have heard reports of some pretty bad pollution in Shanghai and Beijing. I would not recommend these cities to anyone with young children. Here in Shenzhen, this hippopotamus walks to work every morning. Mrs H and I have not had any health issues or breathing problems.
  3. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    To be honest the report is about an industrial city in the North East. Mrs T and I lived in Shanghai for three years and didn't see to much in the way of pollution however I do understand it has got much worse now, I wouldn't recommend families with young kids to go there!
  4. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    The pollution in Shanghai on a day to day average is bad but not that BAD to avoid going outside. What seems to be increasing are the high spikes that are hitting the city two or three times a year. Been raised in gods county we had coal mines, steel works, chemical plants, ship yards and toxic waste pits, maybe its the soft southerners who can't breath polluted air. Where's there muck there's brass!

    Most people have air filters they can turn on in their apartments to scrub the air clean when you can cut the air with a knife and take it home with you. All the international schools have industrial air filters in their classrooms to keep the air clean, if you can get all the Chinese staff and students to close the doors and windows!

    It has got to the point where dirty factories are now been shut down and a move away from coal fuel to heat homes and buildings. With the opening of Shanghai Disney in a year 300 polluting factories will be closed so visitors can have a blue sky to enjoy on their visits.

    In the next 5 years china will open 30 new Mega nuclear power stations to replace brown coal fired power stations, in the next 20 years 70 more nuclear power stations to open. This is why the UK is buying its nuclear technology from China.

    But be careful what you wish, I seem to remember when England had full employment, a coal industry, a steel industry, a ship building industry and coal fired power stations. There is a real possibility that if the wind turbines are not turning and the coal fired power station shut down the lights will go out as in 1974 winter of discontent.

    You may have clean air in the UK but China has all the jobs, just go into Tesco and read the labels on the back of the 50inch LCD TV you are buying for Christmas.

    Its unfortunate that for many reasons we can not work in the UK and are forced to work abroad to support the future of our families. Can you afford to own two apartments in Shanghai and have the deposit for a 3bedroom semi somewhere in Yorkshire working as a teacher in the UK.

    IAMBOG New commenter

    if you can get all the Chinese staff and students to close the doors and windows!

    And therein lies the biggest problem.

    Also, yes, perhaps more jobs in Shanghai, but average salary is 5000RMB.
  6. vanagloria

    vanagloria New commenter

    Working in the UK, you might not want or need need two, or even one apartment in Shanghai?

    If these represent an investment in your children's future it seems a very shaky one considering the colossal social unrest that is bound to occur in their lifetimes in China.
  7. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I am not sure where you get your salary information from but the average take home pay for a western teacher (fully qualified) is several times that of 5000rmb! The lowest salary I know for a "Name Brand" school is 24K before tax, for a teacher still wet behind the ears.

    As Vanagloria points out when you work in a foreign country you always need to check the stability of the place. I left the middle east while it was still a reasonable safe place to live and work, now I would worry about getting my throat cut on social media. I am looking for my escape route from the smog here in Shanghai but have the luxury to plan the move and not have to jump blindly.

    I think China is still going to be stable for the next 10 years at least. Plenty of time for the property value in Shanghai to double again and the UK Pound/RMB exchange rate to hit 1/5.

    Life is a Risk!
  8. wendybrady

    wendybrady New commenter

    i have spent two years teaching in China as a single mother with two children. It is way too busy, you will spend most of your time sitting in traffic and every day the air quality is dangerous. children could not play out safely. The international schools i worked in were just about profit and my children suffered from an awful education in British International Schools that cost a fortune for fee paying students. They are a total rip off. However, you can travel as you earn more and do not pay rent. This is the only good point. You will be over worked and be constantly dealing with silly meetings, reports and paperwork as it is all about pleasing fee paying parents. Don't go if you value your health and your children's education.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    This is now my third year of teaching in China as a married hippopotamus with no children. My present school, in leafy Shenzhen, is actually pretty laid-back. The students in my Year 5 class are always having Mandarin lessons, ICT, PE, Music and Science, so I am not too busy. As for spending all of my time sitting in traffic, Mrs H and I do not have a car and so we do not spend any time at all in traffic. Once or twice we have taken taxis (very cheap) and occasionally I have been on the back of an e-bike (scary and great fun). Normally we take the MTR and it is cheap, quick, clean, easy to use and efficient. Maybe it is about time the Chinese came and sorted out the London Underground. As for awkward parents and silly paperwork, wendybrady, I have not really come across either of them.

    Every day the air quality in Shenzhen is not dangerous. I walk to school each day through the park. No, we do not have an expensive air filter in my classroom and no, we do not have one in our apartment. To the best of my knowledge, I have not developed any serious health issues and neither has Mrs Hippopotamus, although she says that the food sometimes gives her indigestion. No, I do not think that I have a hacking cough, a sore throat or cancer.

    Yes, it is true that some international schools do indeed cost a fortune, if you are a fee-paying parent, wendybrady, but usually they are free if you teach at your child's school. (There are plenty of expensive, fee-paying schools in the UK and the US, I believe, so this is not really a specifically Chinese issue.)

    If you do value your health and your children's education, then I would recommend getting a teaching job in China. Mrs Hippo and I had a great Christmas holiday in Yangshuo and Guilin with some lovely Chinese friends. I would like to include some photos of the beautiful countryside where we went cycling and bamboo rafting, but I cannot work out how to include photos on this new-style TES thing.
    aussie_teacher_nt, Mrs_St and agbak like this.
  10. agbak

    agbak New commenter

    The hippo,
    I certainly agree with you and one of the popular sayings on the thread...."You Have To Make It Work For You".....Daughter,has just returned from Hohot,near Harbin,and concluded it was the best time of her life...left home at 18 on a gap year as a TEFL teacher
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Do not misunderstand me. I have heard from many people, both expats and Chinese, who have worked in Beijing and it really is true that the pollution is very bad. This is not something invented by the BBC or CNN. However, not all Chinese cities are Beijing!

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