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Going To China to Teach English: Xian

Admin - Feb 03 2016

If you're planning to teach English as a foreign language abroad, you might want to consider China, given the currently high demand for English teachers in many of the country's key locations.

China has emerged into a global economic and military superpower, with many analysts predicting that it will soon surpass the economic output of the United States in just a few years. The country also hosts a growing number of millionaire and middle class populations that not only shell out billions of dollars yearly for imported goods and services but also ramp up the demand for English language courses. Whether to merely enable them to appreciate the West's cultural products such as films, music, books or television shows or to allow them to fully participate in global business or political discourses, a strong proficiency in the English language has inevitably become a prime commodity among many Chinese families.

While it is obvious that the country's main cities such as Shanghai and Beijing remain the hotspots for English language learning in China, other locations in the country provide lucrative job markets for native English speakers who wish to teach the lingua franca of global business to even just a tiny portion of the nation's 1.4 billion population.

An alternative destination

Take the city of Xian, for example. Located at the geographical heart of China, Xian is the capital of Shaanxi province and possesses a history that spans more than 3,100 years. The city is among the four great ancient capitals of China and is home to the world famous terracotta army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

Since the 1990's, Xian has regained much of its historical importance as an industrial, educational and cultural hub. It is now home to about 8.5 million people and hosts sprawling complexes owned by a number of Fortune 500 companies such as Coca Cola, Toshiba and Boeing.

Good job marketplace, friendly cost of living conditions

For TEFL professionals, Xian offers a more laidback alternative to China”s other megacities, especially those located in the country's eastern coast. Tourists and residents find the city still very affordable to live in, with English teachers” salaries generally expected to go further every month. According to EF English First Xian, a TEFL website that specializes in providing English language learning services in the city, the generally low cost of living in Xian will allow TEFL practitioners to save a substantial part of their salaries and even send some money back in their home countries.

Getting to Xian

Like in most offshore employment cases, TEFL professionals eyeing to practice their craft in Xian needs to secure the appropriate visa. In addition to passports and degree certificate or diploma, most local employers and language learning providers require a copy of the teacher”s TEFL or CELTA certificate.

The basic and the perks

Salary range could vary, with one provider offering a monthly wage band of 5,500 Chinese yuan (or renminbi) to 9500 renminbi. To give you an idea of how much that is, RMB 1 was equivalent to US$ 0.16 as of July 25. The provider also offers a return trip airfare for a 12-month contract, comprehensive medical insurance, paid holiday leaves, fully furnished accommodations and other benefits. Other employers will likely offer similar packages.

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