CharlesLi wrote:They are very friendly towards each other (more so than Australians from my observation) but when it come to foreigners, there is always resistance. I think it may have something to do with the deep communal group-think and patriotic pride that Asians feel...
I'm not quite sure what this is in clarification of but... as an American professor of psychology, it was not my impression that the Chinese were so warm and friendly with each other. Relationships, including friendships, are almost entirely functional in China. Family members and the closest of friends (all those who are members of one's guanxi network) are regarded in one particular way: everyone else is an entirely different matter.
There is no system of social welfare in China (unless you want to include giving birth to a male child) and the country has one of the lowest rates of volunteerism in the world. That which can be stolen will be stolen and even in luxury buildings, areas that are considered communal, e.g., stairwell, are usually strewn with garbage and are in a total state of disrepair.
In the United States, Chinese-Americans are omnipresent in the fields of medical science and engineering yet they are almost nowhere to be seen in public office. This is Chairman Mao's legacy. The sociocultural environment in China will not improve until many years after the CCP has been removed from power.
Dr. Greg wrote:My personal bias is that studying Chinese at a university will be a more reliable way to proceed than studying at a private school.
Why do you think that is?
Especially in China, private schools are businesses first and educational institutions a distant second. A good teacher is particularly important for second language learning. At a private school, the owners will typically hire some 22-year old girl right out of college who can speak enough English with which to communicate with foreigners. This will be your "teacher."
If you can subsidize Chinese language study then, by all means, enroll in a program first and teach later. However, I read your previous post to mean that you couldn't afford to pay for school without first subsidizing it with a TEFL position. You are going to have a difficult time finding a university job, even in Beijing. Nevertheless, with enough persistence, you eventually will find one but the question is, how far will your new job be from your school if you enroll first and find work afterward? You may not be able to work out the logistics, not just in terms of distance but also in regard to schedule conflict.
Finally, you are a naturalized Australian citizen who was born in China to Chinese parents. If I understand you correctly, you are not fluent in Chinese. When you are in public, e.g., eating at a restaurant, shopping in the supermarket, other Chinese will tell you that you are not a real Chinese. When you are at work, the students will complain that you are not a real foreigner. If you can deal with that, then you should be able to endure the experience and draw from it what you need. When I was in Shenyang, I knew of a Chinese-American girl who cried the entire time she was in China from being humiliated and insulted on a daily basis.