One of the best ways to see the world is to work and live in a particular country. With China on a resolute journey to becoming an international powerhouse, it is a great time to work and live in China and witness its spectacular transformation.
Jobs are aplenty for both locals and foreigners in China. With over 1 billion in population, opportunities abound in any of the 687 cities. Even if you do not speak Mandarin, it is relatively fine but learning the local language will give you an edge over your competitors and make your traveling even more immersive.
Entering China for work requires you to apply for a Z visa which is sponsored by the firm that employs you. The Z visa requires you to own a Foreign Expert Certificate and pass medical examinations that certify you fit for work. On this note, it is good that you conduct your own research on the appropriate visa before any hasty decisions. Going through a reputable recruitment agency is a common choice given their knowledge of the local job market.
However, not all jobs are equally versatile and open to foreigners. To work, live, and travel in China, consider the job nature which grants you the flexibility to soak up the Chinese culture all over the country. Here are three jobs you may consider undertaking when planning to work and live in China.
01 Become a teacher in China
Teaching in China has been one of the top employment routes foreigners take up. If you already have teaching qualifications, optimize your experience with sharing and learning from the local schools and children. You could be teaching academic subjects such as English or extra-curricular activities including dance or music.
Teaching jobs in China are thriving given a competitive culture. Parents are willing to invest in their children’s future by signing up for after-school classes that will either help with their academic learning or explore hobbies and hone newfound skills.
You may teach in private or public schools if you prefer to teach academic subjects. With recent clampdowns from the Government, private tuition has become less accessible to foreign teachers. However, teaching English as a subject within a recognized institution is still a viable employment opportunity.
To truly immerse yourself in China, you may consider teaching in smaller Chinese cities. While the environment may not be as modern as in a city like Shanghai or Beijing, the hearts are definitely warmer in the smaller towns, making your experience in China truly unforgettable.
English teaching jobs in China are not only limited to children only. Adults also require English lessons to be conversant in business or professional settings. As China strives to be an economic powerhouse, adults are seeing the importance of being bilingual.
Teaching jobs in China are generally well-paid and many teachers have stayed on longer than expected. The expatriate teacher salary is higher than the local average and can cater to a comfortable local lifestyle. Moreover, school commitments factor in holidays which is also the time you are able to plan vacations and explore the rest of China!
If you are passionate about teaching and equally passionate about traveling, working, and living China will be a breeze for you.
02 Become an au pair for Chinese families
If you love working with children but do not want to plan lessons and meet the demands of a school environment, becoming a nanny is also another job that lets you work and live in China immersively.
An au pair can only work a maximum of 30 hours a week which gives you ample time to explore the city you have chosen to work in. Au pair duties can include light teaching of English but the role is more supervisory. It is important to discuss the terms of employment with the family so that both parties are clear of the expectations and scope of work.
As an au pair, the family will also have a full-time helper who is in charge of household chores. Your job is to be a good role model and main caretaker to the child or children.
One of the perks of nannying children is that the family may invite you along to their vacations. The purpose of doing so is to still help out with their children but in a different environment.
Au pairs are not handsomely paid compared to an expatriate teacher. The monthly salary ranges from RMB700 to RMB1200. However, accommodation, meals, travel, insurances, and Mandarin language classes are borne by the host family. While the stipend seems miserable, the cost of living in China is relatively affordable. Given that you do not have to pay for your own rent and food, the monthly allowance can be saved up for a well-deserved holiday at the end of employment.
03 Become an Intern
If you want some real-world experience in the world of commerce, or have an insight into your field of specialization in the Chinese environment, take up a role of an intern with a reputable company. With an international job placement, not only does it look great on a resume, it also shows your prospective employer that you have and are willing to broaden your horizons which is a virtuous working attitude. Similar to an au pair, the salary is not fantastic, but with the help of a renowned recruiter, lodging and meals can be negotiated to your favor while you save your monthly salary to travel to the rest of China at the end of the contract.
The internship program is most suitable for university students looking for an exchange program or recent graduates seeking a work and travel opportunity before full-time employment.
Working and living in China is an exciting journey. With history steeping over 5000 years, China has plenty to offer as it sojourns to becoming an international economic superstar while maintaining its heritage.