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Shanghai - pros and cons

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by worlo24, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. worlo24

    worlo24 Occasional commenter

    Hi guys

    Plenty of adverts for a large British school in Shanghai currently. Anybody got any experience of teaching there or know anyone that has taught there? Also, can anyone offer any pros and cons of teaching primary in Shanghai? Apart from the pollution of course! (Most older posts seem to concentrate on this)

    Many Thanks
    hellothisismyusername likes this.
  2. hellothisismyusername

    hellothisismyusername New commenter

    I'd also love to hear about this from those with Shanghai experience - especially if anyone's taught there with their own family
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hmm. I am not going to say anything about the "haze", as it is euphemistically described in this part of the world, but I have heard some positive tings about Shanghai. Some very good salaries and great food!
    worlo24 likes this.
  4. worlo24

    worlo24 Occasional commenter

    What positives have you heard Hippo?
  5. catnipbon

    catnipbon New commenter

    He's already said "tings"
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Oops. A typo. My apologies. Yes, it should be "things". Yes, I have talked to quite a few people, expat and Chinese, who have worked in Shanghai. Some terrific schools, some decidedly dodgy ones (well, that is where we get the verb "to shanghai"), fantastic food, oodles of culture and some great salaries. On the other hand, Shanghai does not have as many nice parks as green Shenzhen.
  7. miss303

    miss303 New commenter

    Shanghai is an awesome place! Having moved on from China I miss it very much! Although pollution is bad, it's nothing compared to Beijing and much better than the surrounding Jiangsu area because of being by the coast. It is worth noting that the big 'British' school tend to be quite far out of the city centre, especially the ones in Pudong. Feel free to PM me if you'd like!
  8. worlo24

    worlo24 Occasional commenter

    Thanks miss303 - have sent you a PM.

    Anymore advice is greatly received
  9. lovely.lady

    lovely.lady Occasional commenter

    Currently in Shanghai for the second time - yes I returned! I hated it first time but this time I love it. Teaching in a fab school not one that's advertising but ours will be very soon! And its a fab fab fab school!

    Shanghai is what you make it. I have a family with me and there's so much to do. It has changed over the years since the first time I was here. I'm just about to sign up for a further 2 years. I could give you lots of information but its probably to ask questions about specific things you need/want to know. Just PM me.
  10. worlo24

    worlo24 Occasional commenter

    I have sent you a PM lovely.lady

    Thanks everyone for contributing
  11. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    If you are bring your family with you the number 1 item on the list is Health Insurance. Your pay and conditions will include health cover for you but not your family, you will have to pay to include family members to join the companies health scheme. This will be from 6-8000rmb per family member.

    A second big cash pay-out will be accommodation when you have to pay two months deposit and 1 month in advance, so 30k plus will be needed. So your first 3 pay packets can go just paying these two items.

    Any quality named brands of food, cloths or shoes you want will cost you 3 times the price here in Shanghai. A 250g tub of Flora will cost you 45rmb, so you can use that to judge the cost of your weekly shop. Quality brand milk 25rmb/Lt, 6 eggs 21rmb, loaf of bread 60rmb, 500g sudar 21rmb, tin tuna in olive oil 16rmb, olive oil 100rmb/Lt, Weetabix 24pack 39rmb and Old Speckled Hen beer 12.5rmb/can and this was the price on my last weekly shop.

    Buy all the shoes you are ever going to need for the next 2 years in the UK and bring them with you, the cost of Clarks shoes will make your eyes water 2500rmb!!!

    There is no middle in Shanghai when it comes to cost, you can pay 20rmb or 2000rmb. You will understand this once you get here and start looking for accommodation.

    Rent prices have doubled in the last couple of years so getting good western standard accommodation within the living allowance may be difficult, even a 1 bedroom concrete cave will cost you 4krmb/month, 3 bedroom apartment near your school 12-15k rib.
    worlo24 likes this.
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hmm. Interesting to compare Shanghai prices with those in Shenzhen. Yes, there are plenty of things here in SZ that are eye-wateringly expensive. Decent, comfortable shoes that are not made of plastic will cost you a fortune. Ditto a good bottle of wine, most dairy products, quality chocolate and coffee beans. Accommodation? Well, Mrs Hippo and I have a two-bedroomed apartment, right next to a huge park in the centre of Shenzhen, and it costs us 6,500RMB a month. Of course you can reduce your expenses by changing your spending patterns. I try to drink Tsingtao, rather than wine, and we brought five large bags of coffee beans back from Bulgaria. We have a large METRO store in SZ and it sells a lot of western-style foods at reasonable prices, but usually you have to buy in bulk.

    The other side of the coin is that lots of things in SZ are significantly cheaper than what they would cost in the UK. Haircuts, massages and eating out are obvious examples. Okay, so the department store may not have clothes in your size, but tailored made-to-measure clothes are usually much cheaper than they would be in the UK. Buying a car in horrendously expensive, but who needs a car when the MTR and taxis are so cheap?
    worlo24 likes this.
  13. lovely.lady

    lovely.lady Occasional commenter

  14. lovely.lady

    lovely.lady Occasional commenter

    Firstly, at my school health insurance is included for all dependents at no extra cost - yes it is comprehensive the only exception being childbirth.

    Secondly, schools pay the deposit for apartments or at least my school do!

    Thirdly, there are alternatives to the foods. I buy a mix of western stuff alongside the local stuff. All my fruit and veg is local, I buy my meat from a local butcher and my fish from a local fishmonger. Bread is 38RMB from Baker & Spice. Wine has considerably reduced over the years - you can now get a very good bottle of red for 40RMB and good deals for bulk buy from Metro. M&S Italian red, white and rose for 1 litre is 79RMB. Beans are the cheapest in M&S at 9RMB/can. I shop in bulk once per month from Metro then get things locally as I need them.

    We are a family of three (2adults & 1 teenager) and we survive on my teaching salary and that includes paying for a black driver, part time ayi and all utility bills. We don't scrimp on anything at all.
  15. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    max5775 likes this.
  16. mikemcdonald25

    mikemcdonald25 Occasional commenter

    No M&S in Shenzen I am guessing Hippo!
  17. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Thanks for the info on health insurance LL, as it is time to renew contract and negotiate pay and conditions so I need to add 1500/month extra to cover health insurance for the family.

    I once saw an outline of the pay and conditions of all the international schools in Shanghai, it LEAKED from the so called Association of International Schools In Shanghai, where the principals try to standardise the pay and conditions of all the schools. I amazed me how little some of the international schools offer in pay and conditions and yet still manage to recruit staff!
  18. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Mrs H and I once went to an M & S in Hong Kong and we were NOT impressed by the crazy prices. Metro is reasonable for things like cheese and sausages, but usually you have to buy a lot. The staff were a bit surprised when yours truly presented his Bulgarian Metro card!
  19. mikemcdonald25

    mikemcdonald25 Occasional commenter

    Absolutely Hippo! M&S in the UK is a mainstream store for medium priced good quality clothing and food but In some places (Bahrain and HK) its a top end store with highly priced good quality clothing and food. A decent suit for school would be half as much again as it would be in the UK.

    Although I am not sure I would agree with the lovely.lady and the Hippo in terms of Metro wine, its generally pretty poor!
  20. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    For flips sake. Stop moaning about prices. Here in Bangkok M and S is relatively expensive, but it sells the best tea bags. Why shouldn't I spend some of my hard earned on things that I want? Metro in Shanghai, when we lived there was OK for many things ( I once saw donkey penis sausage) but wine, as Mrs T will tell you, wasn't one of them. However, I work in the currency that I earn therefore if a bottle of wine costs 1500 Baht (50 quid) that might seem steep, but if I take home 180'000 Baht a month it isn't such a big dent. Come on people....overseas teachers not Brits abroad.

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