Michael, 36 years old, a foreign teacher at an international school in Beijing.
The maximum monthly salary of foreign teachers is 30,000 yuan. The school will provide a dormitory and reimburse the return air ticket every year.
After coming to Beijing for five years, I still haven’t fully integrated with my teachers and colleagues. Everyone likes to party and chat, but I prefer to be alone.
I finished my master’s degree in the United States and passed the international teacher qualification certificate. Five years ago, I came to China through an intermediary to teach mathematics and American history in an international school, and lecture in English.
I am ashamed. I have been in China for several years and I still haven’t learned Chinese. There are many Chinese colleagues in the school, but we use English to communicate with each other. Basically, we communicate at work.
Our school is a private school, and the treatment is not bad. The monthly salary of foreign teachers is 25,000 to 30,000 yuan. The school will provide teachers’ apartments and reimburse a round-trip air ticket from China to the United States once a year.
There is a big terrace on the top floor of the teachers’ dormitory, which is my favorite place.
Sometimes after dinner, I would take a few cans of beer and climb on the roof, sitting there while drinking and looking aimlessly, as if I could see the hometown of America.
Homesickness is certain, but you can only go back once a year. During the holiday, I will make an appointment with the two fellow villagers who came to China with me to travel. China is very big and there are many interesting places worth visiting.
On weekends, I also teach adult English part-time in Wudaokou, half a day on Saturday and Sunday.
“Foreigners” like to get together with “foreigners”, like Sanlitun and Wudaokou, which are “distribution centers” for foreigners. But I am nerdier, a typical “nerdy”, but I have a friend who deliberately refuses to interact with people.
He is also an American, working as a teacher in an international school in Shanghai. Usually, a friend asks him to go out to eat and drink, but he mostly refuses because he often fights after drinking.
He doesn’t party or drink because he doesn’t want to cause trouble after drinking and cause unemployment. It is not easy to find a job in the United States, and he cherishes his job opportunities in China.
In the “foreigner” circle, coming to China as a foreign teacher is a pretty good job. Some people also want to teach in an international school, but because of insufficient academic qualifications or no qualifications, they can only find another way.