After spending three months in Dalian and numerous job offers, it occurred to me what a fortunate position I am in. As a native speaker of English, I have innumerable work opportunities here in China.
Whilst my husband-to-be has spent three months looking for his first step onto the career ladder, no sooner than I’ve registered at university and made a few acquaintances, that the offers to teach start rolling in. Likewise, my classmates in university, mainly from South Korea and Japan, seem to have less opportunities to subsidise their studies.
I first came to China in 2010, after graduating in the UK, to teach English as an “English Language Assistant”, although I have to say it was less assisting and more single-handedly trying to keep control of sixty 12-year-olds for an hour at a time. At times it was hilarious, whilst at times it was challenging to say the least.
Although this time around my purpose for coming to China is completely different, I feel very lucky that should I feel the need for some extra cash, a part-time tutoring job shouldn’t be hard to find. And because English is my mother-tongue, I can ask even more hourly than I earned at my fulltime job back home. If I did decide to take a fulltime teaching job, the potential savings I could make are double what I was saving in the UK, because living costs in China are relatively very low.
I may have complained in the past that having English as my mother tongue eliminated the necessity to learn a foreign language – in the UK, languages are optional past the 9th grade – thus holding me back. I have always envied exchange partners whose English was excellent, often learning a third language too. Whilst I have always learned languages, I wished that the stakes were higher. However, I see now how lucky I am.