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Posts: 16

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Q: Single parent moving to china to teach english

Hi I am interested in moving to china. I am from the uk only speak english and am a single parent with a 7 year old son. I don't have much money. I am educated to college level but have no degree. Does anyone know how I can make my dream a reality and live in china for a year and possibly much longer? Also would I be able to pay for all my costs and an international school for my son on the salary expected?

6 years 23 weeks ago in  Family & Kids - Beijing

 
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Without wanting to be rotten or spoil your dream, unless you are a fully qualified teacher (which you evidently are not given you have no degree), you're not going to be able to make a salary that supports yourself and covers the not insignificant expense of sending your son to an international school. Technically, you will not be entitled to a work visa anyway as you have no degree (though that requirement can sometimes be circumnavigated, it piles more risk on yourself and your child).

 

Without your child, it may be doable. With a child, I think you are taking a substantial risk coming here and I would honestly recommend that you think again.

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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Sounds like a bad idea. You son is too young to be left on his own and when you speak English only I doubt you can find anyone you will feel comfortable leaving him with. 

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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It is possible to find legal teaching work without a degree, but not in Beijing. Also the salary you can expect without having a degree would not be enough to send your child to international school. Please rethink the idea.

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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It is too risky, because of your kid.

 

I suggest, you open jobs page here, and send few CV to the Schools you are interested in. You will see Schools interest in your 'no degree' CV, and how much money you could earn working here. Requirement for Z visa is degree. It is possible to get job in China without it, but School which will be able to get you legal teaching work will also offer you much lower salary. Chinese bargain at anything.

 

.....China is not the kind of environment for that way of thinking....

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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I really want to move to Beijing for a year or two not sure what to do now. I didn't think there would be to many issues in moving.

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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I think home schooling could be an option, but I don't think you could afford a home help in Beijing on a no degree salary. (if you can even find work in Beijing) I think this highly unlikely with a reputable company. You could try smaller cities. Hebei is the province surrounding Beijing. You may be able to find something there. The average salary there is around 5000 RMB a month.
Anyone know how much an international school costs these days?
Also, what happens when you eventually go back to England ? If you are home schooling then he will be on a completely different level than his classmates.

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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Apart from the fact that you would be working illegally, and subject to a lot of psychological abuse, you would also be subjecting your child to a lot of hardship.

 

I do not think China is any place to raise a child, if there is an alternative that is better.

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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actuallly it is illegal to teach in china without a degree.  those schools are doing sth illegal. and no you will not be able to afford, baby sitter costs. intl schooling. 

 

unless you want to have a student neglect your 7 year old. 

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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What is your reason for wanting this, is it to teach or is it to experience China. Why not start by getting a 3 month tourist visa and see how it is. 

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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Let me tell you how it is and this is the truth. Obviously you won't be able to get a working permit. So the only place that you can work would be in Shenzhen, and your salary could be around 12,000. But with the new visa laws coming out in September you would have to take you and your son to Hong Kong every 3 months to 6 months to renew your visa and that would cost you so much money. You wouldn't really save anything. And you would be tempting fate. Meaning what happens if you did get caught you and your son could be fined and blacklisted by the police and because your passport is registered to a bank in china you would lose all of your money before leaving china for working illegally. You didn't know that? Of course the police can seize all of your accounts because your passport number is registered there.

Second best option is to find a foreigner who is legally allowed to work here and marry him, he becomes the step father of your son, now he can get you a resident permit to stay here as long as he stays here.

Or you have to marry a Chinese man. There are many men who want to marry a foreign girl.

You must sacrifice in life for yourself and for your son and take a few risks. It's how we have to survive in the world. So I think getting married in China is the best option for you if you really want to make it in China. But you still run the risk of being caught not that it's a very big risk. The risk is yours to take.

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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If your Chinese girlfriend really loved you and your son, she would move to UK to be with you. Instead, she expects you to live and work illegally in China, and subject your son to air pollution that will seriously damage his health, food and water contamination that will also cause health problems, and deprive him of a decent education in the UK.

 

Not to mention that health and other services in China are extremely substandard, and his capacity for social interaction will be severely affected. Your actions will probably have detrimental effects on him for life.

 

It sounds like your girlfriend has no regard for you or him. She has her own reasons for being in China, and expects you and your son to forfeit a better life in the UK to keep her happy.

 

Either that, or you are just thinking of yourself. Is it your girlfriend's idea that you should move to China, or yours?

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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Oh jeez, it turns out you are a lesbian too. This is China. Possibly amongst the least politically correct race of people on earth. Imagine this from your son's perspective. There will not be a minute of a day when the Chinese don't taunt, sneer and jeer at him. It will be psychological torture.

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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I'm usually a very optimistic person but I don't think this is going to work out to be honest.  The problem is with your son of course.  Usually there are 3 ways for an expat's child to get an education in China.  First choice is an international school as you asked about.  The problem with that is it is simply unaffordable working on a teacher's salary.  Even if one make's 10,000 a month (about an average to slightly above average salary for a qualified native speaker) teaching, they'd have to spend every penny of it on getting his child into the international school.  Cross that one off.  2nd choice is probably home schooling.  If you teach outside (which you will need to in order to get a visa) then how can you home school your son?  Home schooling is a full time job.  Third option is the Chinese school.  Say what you will about the education and learning style but the primary problem with that is the language.  He won't understand anything.  Which means he won't learn, he can't build friendships, he will be totally ignored by the teacher and he'll likely be picked on by the other classmates.  In short, none of these options work for you.  I've seen a few single moms take kids here and its totally hell and not worth it in your situation.  If you could somehow make a case that you are sacrificing to come to China to provide a better life in the long term for you and your son then I could have a better outlook but I don't see it from what you are saying.  If you really want to come then try leaving your son with his father if that is an option.  Otherwise just try to visit your partner during the summer and hope after they finish their study they can join you again in the UK.  Hope I don't sound judgmental but that's the best advice I can give you. 

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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Katy, China can be tough for those of us who don't have any dependents, even after spending over a year here. If you don't have the minimum required for a good teaching job in China, your position is not secure. The other posters here have offered practical advice and wish you well, but we want you to go with your eyes open to the MANY difficulties you will face. You will be entirely dependent on your partner and this will be very isolating for both you and your son. And it is not only you, but your son who will find it very difficult. PLEASE think carefully and make an informed decision.

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6 years 23 weeks ago
 
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