Good afternoon Dr Greg.
Thank you for a really informative Guide.
I wonder if you be able to offer your advice?
A little bit about myself, I'm a 27 year old South African certified teacher (B.Ed with a diploma in TESOL) who is coming to the end of his fourth contract in South Korea. I’ve enjoyed my time in Korea (and saved and invested more money each year than I would have made before tax as a teacher back home), however I would like a change.
I'm aware of the less than stellar image the ESL industry has in China (and to a similar extent Korea). However, I’m curious to spend some more time in China (not forever) as I was there previously as a tourist. I’d like to teach while I’m there and have had ‘decent’ offers: approximately 20 hours for 15,000 to 19,500RMB--more than a teacher makes in South Africa.
These are sadly ‘oral English’ jobs not full on teaching as per my degree.
Is it easier to get my boots on the ground and then look for international school jobs while in China? In Korea, the international schools are very, very competitive and have a distinct preference for Americans over other nationalities. What is your experience in China?
Would it be better to take one of the high paying 'oral English' gigs for a year or give the mainland a skip and apply to the Hong Kong NET scheme if international schools are off-limits (to a South African)?
I enjoy my job and the lifestyle I’ve been afforded so far. It certainly beats the low pay/long hours and poor conditions of back home. However, I don’t wish to do ESL forever (even the HK NET scheme has its drawbacks).
I guess, I’m looking for advice not just on where to go (China/HK) but also on whether should I aim to get into the international school circuit. Do a last year or two in another country or wind down, in my case a very lucrative stint overseas and return to the life I have in South Africa (not something I really want, even though I have a soon-to-be payed off property)?
My apologies for the ramble and thank you for any insight/advice you can offer.