Can you save money Teaching English in China?
That generally depends on your lifestyle, your income, and the city you live in. However, the good news is that it is generally much easier to save money while Teaching English in China than in most western countries and in most other countries, to begin with.
If you are reading this article, saving money is probably one of your top reasons you chose to Teach English in China. Now obviously, if saving money is more important than learning a specific culture or language, you’ve probably also wondered; how much can you save Teaching English in Korea, how much can you save Teaching English in Japan, teaching abroad salary by country, ESL salary in China, and perhaps, even making a career out of Teaching English Abroad.
Let’s first start with two places I wouldn’t advise Teaching English in if saving money while teaching is your primary goal. That would be Japan and Hong Kong. The reasons why these two destinations are not the best places to save money are because firstly, cost of living is REALLY HIGH, and secondly, they are very popular destinations for foreigners. Because they are very popular destinations for foreigners, while demand cannot exceed the supply of teachers, wages have been stagnant. To make it worse, cost of living, from rent, transportation, and cost of food is higher than other areas.
How much can you save Teaching English in Korea? More than Hong Kong and Japan considering all things equal in terms of lifestyle and salary. The way Korea’s general infrastructure and urban planning is set up, Korea has a unique set up where no matter what your salary is, you can align your housing costs, to other basic necessity costs so that you can live a decent lifestyle while having the ability to save decent money. However, when you start upgrading your lifestyle in Korea, in terms of consuming import goods and products that aren’t classified a bare necessity, price points start to go up and put a good dent in your wallet. Nevertheless, as long as you can balance your leisure spendings with your daily necessities, you can save a decent amount Teaching English in Korea.
Where is my favorite destination to Teach English?
China for so many reasons!
In my opinion, you can save the most money Teaching English in China while enjoying a good work-life balance. First of all, the actual teaching hours are generally the lowest in the entire ESL industry. In most schools in China, the actual teaching hours range from 12-20 hours per week, compared to 25-30+ hours per week in Korea, 35-40+ hours per week in Hong Kong and the same goes with Japan. In addition to one of the lowest actual teaching hours, China has the best holidays as well. You get two MAJOR HOLIDAY periods where you will have roughly 5-8 days off, in addition to about 5-15 days of annual paid leave.
Your Next Question is…..
What are the general monthly salaries Teaching English in China?
That could vary widely depending on the type of job you choose and the city you select. If you were to Teach English in Shanghai or Beijing, you would get the highest salaries, but also the general cost of living would be the highest as well. Furthermore, it is the easiest to get carried away with your spendings in Shanghai and Beijing as these two cities provide the best party and nightlife scenes. If you are new to teaching abroad and wanted to have a fair balance between modern city and a moderate cost of living, I would recommend teaching English in Shenzhen or Guangzhou.
You’ve also probably wondered if choosing a Tier 3 city, which is a smaller and more rural city in China, would that be the best way to save money?
Not necessarily. Yes, the cost of living here is the lowest out of all the cities in China, but that would only be if you were to live a local lifestyle. The cost of a Big Mac or your favorite Latte from Starbucks would cost the same whether you lived in Shanghai, or some small rural village in China, if they even had a Starbucks there. Also, the salaries in the smaller cities are substantially lower as the demand for English teacher won’t be as high as it would be in a city like Shenzhen or Beijing.
To get the highest possible savings Teaching English in China, I would recommend choosing an emerging Tier 2 city where the middle class is growing at a fast pace, a great example of this type of city would be Chengdu.
Choosing the right city and the right job is important nonetheless in maximizing your savings potential while teaching English in China. In addition to this, making a career while Teaching English abroad and settling down in one city for a few years will also help fatten your wallet. Taking an entry-level teaching job and moving once a year is not a good way to save money unless your goals of Teaching English in China is traveling and visiting as many cities as you can. There are some major perks of staying at one job for more than one year. First one is you don’t have to spend money on moving costs and relocation expenses. Secondly, your salary would increase if you stay on another year as well as promotion opportunities. Thirdly, many teachers looking to earn extra money would also be able to pick up private tutoring jobs and have them on a more long-term basis. These private tutoring jobs can be very lucrative, especially if you group 3-4 students into one lesson. Private tutoring gigs usually are obtained by networking with mothers in your neighborhood, and also by getting them handed over by other teachers who decide to leave China. Nonetheless, it pays to stay in one city for an extended period of time.
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In Summary – Yes you can potentially save a lot of money Teaching English in China.
If you have any other tips for people to help them save money on their English Teaching Adventure leave them in the comment section below!
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