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Foshan, China English Teaching Q&A with Ehsanul Haque
Written by: Ehsanul Haque
Last Updated: February 18, 2021
What is your citizenship?
What city and state are you from?
How old are you?
What is your education level and background?
Have you traveled abroad in the past?
What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad?
I really wanted to travel and teaching English is a great way to do that. I also wanted to get out of my comfort zone and experience a whole new culture and people.
What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad?
Possible culture shock, missing my friends and family, and comfort of living
What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad?
Some were skeptical but most were excited and very supportive.
TEFL CLASS INFORMATION
Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy?
A TEFL certification makes you a much better candidate for a position. It's highly valuable as it makes getting a job overseas much easier.
Which TEFL certification course did you take?
Online TEFL Course
How did you like the course?
I LOVED the class. Looking back, it prepared me very thoroughly. I had never taught before and the TEFL class reassured me that I knew exactly how I was going to teach. The instructor was wonderful. She replied to any questions and concerns I had. She also provided feedback in a timely manner. The practicum itself was also very useful because it gave me valuable classroom experience before I left for my actual job.
How has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position?
The class was very useful. It provided me with classroom management skills as well as techniques to keep students engaged in learning.
Which city and country did you decide to teach English in and why?
I chose to teach English in China in the city of Foshan. I really loved Chinese history and wanted to learn some Mandarin.
How long have you been in this country and how long do you plan to stay?
7 months. I plan on staying for at least another year.
What school, company, or program are you working for?
Guan Hua Primary School
During which months does your school typically hire?
Did you secure this position in advance of arriving?
How did you interview for this position?
- Skype/phone interview
What kind of Visa did you enter on?
Please explain the visa process that you went through.
I was skeptical about working under a tourist visa. My whole plan was to get the work visa prior to arriving in China, but time wasn't on my side. We settled for the tourist visa, and the school worked promptly to get the residence permit. Everything worked out fine.
What are the qualifications that your school requires for teachers? Please check all that apply
- Bachelor's Degree
- TEFL Certification
- Native English speaker
What is the best way to apply?
- Apply online
Please include any application resources (website, email, etc.) or other information here:
Tell us about your English teaching job!
I work about 15 hours a week with an additional 10-15 hours designated for office hours. The pay is not great, but I wasn't too concerned with that. I make about 8000RMB ($1245)/mo. I am able to save about $400/mo while still living very comfortably. I teach children at a private primary school. The school provides A LOT of vacation time. They do provide nearly 1.5 months in the summer. The school also gives 1 month in Jan/Feb for Chinese New Year. This is in addition to the Chinese holidays.
How did you find somewhere to live and what is it like? Do you have roommates?
The school provides western accommodation for its teachers. I live alone in my own apartment. It's pretty great!
TELL COUNTRY INFORMATION - FUN!
Please explain the cultural aspects, public transportation, nightlife, social activities, food, expat community, dating scene, travel opportunities, etc...
Foshan is a pretty large city about an hour away from Guangzhou. The public transportation is very efficient (metro and bus). They are almost always on time and run throughout the day. They are also both pretty inexpensive. The nightlife is also pretty good. There are a few western bars and even a club or two. There's plenty to do in Foshan. Like the rest of China, the food is plentiful and delicious.
There is a pretty nice expat community here as well. Most are also fellow English teachers. Being a westerner, the dating scene is pretty nice.
There are plenty of nice places to go and mingle. Travel opportunities are plentiful. Hong Kong and Macau are both only a few hours away by bus. Guangzhou Int'l Airport is about 1.5 hours away by metro.
COUNTRY INFORMATION - MONEY
What are your monthly expenses?
The school provides accommodation for teachers (Utilities as well). Food, travel, and social activities are usually where all my money go. There are plenty of food choices but eating out too much can add up very quickly. I cook for myself sometimes, but there are A LOT of street vendors which sell great food for very low prices. Transportation is always inexpensive. There don't seem to be any unlimited transportation plans but I never spend more than $50/mo (I choose buses and metro over taxis almost always).
How would you describe your standard of living?
In your opinion, how much does someone need to earn in order to live comfortably?
I would say $1000/mo would suffice.
ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE TEACHERS
What advice would you give someone planning or considering teaching abroad? Would you recommend teaching in your country?
THE TIME IS NOW. DO IT. Teaching abroad is a very valuable opportunity. You get to immerse yourself in a completely different culture. Don't hesitate and make the move! I absolutely recommend teaching in China if** you love history and want to be able to see the history of one of the greatest countries in the world.
As a 22-year-old college graduate, Ehsanul was looking for a way to travel the world and get out of his comfort zone. After finding International TEFL Academy, he completed his TEFL certification online and headed to China, a move he totally recommends, especially you love food and want to immerse yourself in a new culture.
Want to Learn More About Teaching English Abroad?
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