The Advantages of Working in a University in China

The Advantages of Working in a University in China

Whilst living in China, I’ve worked in both Universities and also private schools, so I thought I’d share some advantages of working as an English teacher in a University. In China, these are sought after jobs, so regard yourself lucky if you successfully managed to get a Uni job here!

1. Guaranteed money each month.

So in a Uni job, you are guaranteed that the students will and more importantly HAVE to come to class. (if it a mandatory class and not an elective that is),You don’t need to worry ‘Oh I wonder will many people come to class today?’ In my current Uni they have to come or else they will fail. However in my first Uni job, I had a few elective groups, and a lot of students skipped it. So if you manage to get secure a job, make sure you know if it’s a mandatory class or elective class. Mostly they will be mandatory though!

2. Low hours

At the moment, I teach 10 classes of 90minutes each. Plus miraculously for this semester I only work 3 days a week. (Although one day I work from 8am to 8:40pm which is a LONG day) but in Uni jobs, you usually will have less teaching hours than private schools.  It does mean a little less money than private schools, but I think it’s still a good deal.

3. Students are older

Although sometimes I feel this is a curse, generally you can have a laugh with the students and get to know one another better than if you are teaching older students.

4. Holidays

Of course Uni jobs are well known for their long holiday breaks, plus they are fully paid. So you don’t have to feel guilty about booking time off for going on a trip!

5. Lesson Plans

In my current job, I only have to make 1 lesson plan, and that does me for the whole week! Yes it does get monotonous after a while, but I know some teachers HATE doing lesson plans for each lesson.

5. Other benefits

In our Uni, they provided us with a huge apartment which is rent free, they pay for internet, half of electricity, water, give us €20 each month for food allowance (it doesn’t sound a lot but when lunch is about €1 in the canteen then it’s plenty. Plus they pay us a bonus for starting the contract and another for completing it.

So all in all, Uni jobs are pretty good! I know every Uni is different but I don’t think I’ve heard of a person working in a bad one. But read your contract closely about what benefits they offer!

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Deciding to visit Guangzhou

Deciding to visit Guangzhou

Although I have to put up with some VERY LAZY students, there are a few benefits with working in a University in China. The first and most important one is holidays!

With our university, they agreed on working some days where the rest of the people in China would have off. Then they clump all these days that we worked and then we would have a week off. Not too bad for a Uni that is very badly organised!

So in December we will have a week off for New Years and we’ve decided to spend it in Guangzhou. We were debating where to go but because it will be winter and we really don’t want to go to the north of China as it will be absolutely freezing, we thought we’d better find somewhere in the south where it will be a bit warmer than Chengdu! I hope anyway!

It’ll be nice to see the city and try the food there, which is much sweeter than Sichuan food. As we plan on leaving  China next summer, (yeah I know I said that loads of times and I’m STILL here)  we’d like to try and visit a few places before we go. Obviously China is a huge place and it would be rather difficult to visit every single place of interest, but we’ve managed to see a few sightseeing places and cities!

So that is the plan! When I first came to China the thought of travelling in this huge, non english speaking country was very daunting. Now however, we have enough Chinese to get by and we know what to roughly expect when we travel around. Plus in the East of the country a lot more people speak English so it’s handier to travel there than in Chengdu, where literally no one speaks it!

Every city in China is different so we’re excited to see what Guangzhou has to offer!

再见

爱玲 (Aisling)

 

All The Same Names

All The Same Names

With having 10 classes of about 25 students in each, there are quite a lot of students names to remember! However in the other University where I first taught in Chengdu, I sometimes had 80+ students in one class alone. So there was absolutely no way that I could remember all their names. This time around, there are less students, but instead, they all decide to choose really similar names to each other!

For girls, I’m pretty sure the majority of the girl students begin with the letter ‘A’.

Alisa, Alice, Ann, Anne, Anny, Annie, Anna,  Alyson, Alina,  Aimee, Amy, Abby, Amber.

TOO MANY ‘A’s!!!!!!

How the hell am I supposed to remember all these girls with names that sound so similar to each other?? In one class I had 2 Amy’s and 1 Aimee. So one Amy thankfully decided to change her name to….

‘MC DOUBLE T’

….. I’ve no idea where she got it from but at least it doesn’t start with A! So I don’t mind at all!

During our first class together, I asked all the students “Why did you pick your name?”

“Because it was easy”

Too right it was easy!

The boys on the other hand have more unique names; Ambrose, Wilson, Curry, Fireman, Black, Eden, Angelo, Jack, Juny, Silver Wolf, Snapper, Sim, Farlin, Ingemour, Brother Zhou.

So there are a few strange boy ones but they are definitely the one’s that I can remember!

I feel bad asking the girl students 5 time during class ‘Sorry what’s your name again?’ But at the same time it is very difficult for me to remember all these ‘A’ named students.

So I’m going to be struggling with remembering who they all are for this semester and then next semester I will have brand new students!

Let’s hope next time I’ll be the only person in the classroom with a name that begins with ‘A’!

Aisling.

Procrastination: TV Series (Updated October 2017)

Because we never watch TV in China, (it’s full of war dramas with Japan and China and  The Voice of China) we are constantly looking up new TV series to watch on our laptops. Here are a few that we have watched/our watching right now. I won’t give details about them; if you like the look of them, you can check them out yourself.

More series will be added while I watch them.

 

PENNY DREADFUL

Penny Dreadful Ratings– 8.2/10 IMDb

93% Rotten Tomatoes

THE WALKING DEAD

The Walking Dead Ratings 8.5/10 IMDb

82% Rotten Tomatoes

BETTER CALL SAUL

Better Call Saul Ratings: 8.7/10 IMBd

97% Rotten Tomatoes

COMMUNITY

Community Ratings: 8.5 IMBd

86% Rotten Tomatoes

If you’ve lived in China, you will relate to Fresh Off The Boat. I love this series because it’s light-hearted. If you are in a bad mood and need something to cheer you up, stick on this show. The first series concentrated on the eldest son, but from the second onwards they also have episodes dedicated to the Mum and Dad, which I feel is much funnier now.  I love the Dad in it!

FRESH OFF THE BOAT

Fresh Off The Boat Ratings: 8/10 IMBd

If you love instrumental music, you should check The Leftovers out. I really love the music in this. With only 3 seasons, it’s a quick series to watch!

The_Leftovers,

The Leftovers Ratings: 8.2/10 IMBd

90% Rotten Tomatoes

VIKINGS

Vikings Ratings: 8.7 IMDb

91% Rotten Tomatoes

Have yet to watch Love/Hate. Made in Ireland and it has been a huge hit there.

LOVE:HATE

Love/Hate Ratings: 8.4/10 IMDb

SUPERNATURAL

Supernatural Ratings: 8.6 IMBD

92% Rotten Tomatoes

Preacher Is definitely original but so far I’m not feeling this series. I’ll keep at it though.

UPDATE: I’ve given up on this one unfortunately!

Preacher

Preacher Ratings: 8.1/10 IMDb

93% Rotten Tomatoes

stranger things

Stranger Things Ratings: 8.9 IMDb

95% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE: AUGUST 2016

Loved loved loved The Man In The High Castle! Can’t wait for season 3.

man in high castle

The Man In The High Castle Ratings: 8.1/10 IMDb

95% Rotten Tomatoes

bob

Bobs Burgers Ratings: 8.1/10 IMDb

89% Rotten Tomatoes

peaky

Peaky Blinders Ratings: 8.8/10 IMDb

94% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2016

I know there was an old TV series which Westworld is based on, but I love that it’s so original at the moment!

westworld

Westworld Ratings: 9/10 IMDb

89% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 2017

My fiancé told me about this animated series called Trollhunters, and to be honest I wasn’t too interested. But I decided to give it a go and now I absolutely love it! It’s a great show for both kids and adults; the characters are loveable and funny and it shows that they put a lot of effort into making this animation… I really really enjoyed the series and I can’t wait for the 2nd season!

trollhunters_poster

Trollhunters Ratings: 8.5/10 IMDb

94% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE: MARCH 2017

I’ve actually watched Black Mirror when it first came out in 2011, and I forgot to add this series in. I re-watched it again with my fiancé and he loved it. Every episode is unrelated to each other, with a brand new cast and storyline with each episode, and the first one is crazy. They each leave a lingering thought of ‘what if’.Absolutely brilliant series and so original, you should definitely have a watch of this unique series. They now have a 3rd series out.

black

Black Mirror Rating:  8.9/10 IMDb

96% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE: APRIL 2017

Big Little Lies is a short mini-series, and with having a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I decided to try it out. I really enjoyed the series! The character development of the 3 main characters was very good, and the final episode brings everything from the first 6 episodes and it’s a brilliant ending. The first two episodes are slow to start off, but you find yourself wanting to find out what happens to each of the characters. Brilliant series! Even my fiancé enjoyed it!

big

Big Little Lies Ratings: 8.7/10 IMDb

92% Rotten Tomatoes

 MAY 2017

American Gods is based on a book, and I tell you, it’s quite a surreal series! The visual effects are brilliant, and the introduction is… just a little odd. I would advise you to read up a little on the ‘Gods’, as it goes a little into myths, which I had no clue about until my fiancé told me.  Once this was explained to me, I really understood and enjoyed the series more.

You can check out the background to these gods in this YouTube video: The Mythology Behind American Gods

american gods

American Gods Ratings: 8.3/10 IMDb

94% Rotten Tomateos

JUNE 2017

I know I know, how could I not have watched Game Of Thrones...?? I’ve only gotten into it the past week and I finally know why everyone loves it! I’ve read all the books years ago, so when I watched the first episode; none of the characters were what I thought of when I read the books. I felt everything was too different in the series… so I just decided not to keep watching! Now however, having forgot pretty much every single detail from the books, plus my characterisation of the roles, I really really love it! I’ve sped through 5 series in about a week!

game

Game Of Thrones Ratings: 9.5/10 IMDb

95% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE; AUGUST 2017

sinner

I quite enjoyed this short series!

The Sinner Ratings: 7.7/10 IMDb

100% Rotten Tomatoes

OCTOBER 2017

the-good-place

The Good Place Ratings; 7.8/10 IMdB

95% Rotten Tomatoes

 

A Reconstructed Ancient Town (In The Middle Of Nowhere)

A Reconstructed Ancient Town (In The Middle Of Nowhere)

About a 10 minute walk from our apartment there is a ginormous reconstructed entrance gate to the unknown! We passed it a few times meaning to go in and find out what was inside, so with it being a holiday in China at the moment and because it was a nice day that day, we decided to go and check it out.

We were pleasantly surprised; it was quite big, and it was all constructed to look like an ancient old town. We wandered through the area and we found places with people drinking tea and playing Chinese games. We didn’t expect it to be as nice as it was!

 

But we kept asking ourselves; why would they build this here, in the middle of nowhere?? Well it’s not in the middle of nowhere exactly; there are communities of people and what not. But it’s certainly not in the city. Why go to all this effort and spend lots of money on creating this town, where most people most likely don’t even know it exists??

There were a few people and families in it while we there, so people do come and walk around, but it wasn’t crazy like all the other ancient towns nearer to the city are. It was a nice change though. I’m certain that if it was nearer to the city and more easily accessible it would be bustling with people!

I’m pretty sure in the next 10 years the city will have expanded even more and the area where I live will be more incorporated into it, so I’m sure the town will get more visitors then.

There were a few restaurants opened inside it which people were eating in, but it seemed like before there were many more, but have now closed. It’s weird; looking into the now closed up restaurants, we could see bottles of unopened soy milk, plates and pans about the place, so it’s as if they just suddenly upped and left!

But anyway, it was nice not being surrounded by a swarm of people for a change!

再见

Aisling.