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Free Vacation in China!

Updated on April 21, 2013
BBQ at the school (Source: Chinared)
BBQ at the school (Source: Chinared)

How to take an all-expense paid vacation

Live like royalty on a limited budget? It's tested and proven, it's possible.

My friends thought I'd blown my cap when I told them I was leaving indefinitely for another country. Having seen signs of a declining economy in the States, I prepared my journey for an extended visit to the third-world country of China. My plan? Teach something I'd been doing all my life, speaking English. Without a teaching degree or certificate, I landed a position in China before departing my comfortable life in California. I was on my way!

Upon arriving, I discovered my plans were not unique. Foreign teachers of all ages from around the globe had thought of this idea years before me. This made me more comfortable in knowing I wasn't alone. If you have the courage to acclimate to a different culture, you can do this, too. Friends? They're like Visa cards, they're everywhere you want to be. In China, you're an instant celebrity and a walking photo opportunity.

(Source: Chinared)
(Source: Chinared)

China has over 300,000 students studying abroad, and increasing 20% a year. The need for English teachers remains in high demand. Teachers in China are amongst the most respected and honored professions. Whether teaching kindergarden, secondary school, university students, or adults, teaching in China is a rewarding experience.

If your native language is English, you can earn as much, if not more than a Chinese university professor. Foreign teachers are in high demand and can earn as high as 25,000rmb (approx. $4,000) per month, the average being between 8,000rmb (approx. $1,250) to 11,000rmb (approx. $1,730) per month. Year-end bonuses and return home flight tickets included. Full-time work consists of 20−22, forty-minute classes a week, with accommodations (most with English toilets) and meals included. Public and private schools offer Chinese holidays off, most with pay, allowing time for travel and/or taking that crash course in Mandarin. If you have the ability to teach a specialty course such as math, history, science, TOEFL, IELTS or SAT, salaries can run much higher.

(Source: Chinared)
(Source: Chinared)

Living expenses vary from city to city, with the trade-off reflected in salary. Teachers can expect to live a very comfortable life with entertainment and purchases for as little as 400rmb (approx. $63) a month. If you travel, expect to pay a little more for transportation. If you’re married, no problem, many schools prefer couples.

In an attempt to diminish the backpacking “riffraff” entering China for a free meal ticket and place to stay, many cities in China have enforced that foreigners have a working permit. This is reflected in the Z visa. The Z visa requires an invitation letter from the school, and an invitation letter from Chinese Foreign Affairs. These documents will be required at the Chinese consulate in your city. Many foreigners enter on the tourist visa (L visa), and find work without the permit, but this isn't advised, although there is a vast majority of foreigners who live and work in China without one.

During Chinese Holidays, major American Holidays, and winter and summer, a teacher has plenty of time to travel. There’s the Great Wall, Tianmen Square, the Emperor’s Palace, the Queen’s Garden, Shanghai, Macau (Las Vegas of China), Sanya (China’s Hawaii), and so much more. China boasts a 4,500 year history, so it’s guaranteed you’ll find something that interest you.

(Source: Chinared)
(Source: Chinared)

One of my favorite places is, Yangshuo, Guilin. A popular tourist town engulfed with China-hat mountain tops, streams and rivers. Attracting foreigners from all across the globe, Yangshuo is well-known for its many English emersion colleges, which foreigners tend to gravitate. The famous West Street caters to foreigners, including an abundance of English restaurants. For a dollar, you can rent a mountain bike for the day and bicycle through town and along the Li River in the back country. It’s here you’ll find ancient ruins, rice fields and water buffalo, a 4,500 year-old banyan tree, and beautiful multicolored quartz caves. This is one of China’s most popular areas for rock climbing, with several licensed operators offering lessons on an actual mountain. There’s bamboo river-raft rides, waterfalls, swimming and hiking. There’s Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Yoga, and massage classes. Artists from around the world gather to paint the next Van Gogh. Writers gather to write the next Hemingway. Watch silk being made from silk worms; enjoy street performers and ancient Chinese crafts being made. Everything is negotiable from vendors, so never say “yes” to the original price. Nightlife? Every night is a Saturday night in Yangshuo (and for all of China). Bars and clubs offer drinking games, dancing, and shows. It’s party paradise.

(Source: Chinared)
(Source: Chinared)

If you can speak English, you have an opportunity to turn those thoughts of an exotic vacation into reality. Stay for three months, six months, a year, or indefinitely. Give yourself a break, go on an all-expense paid vacation. Who knows? You might go back home with more money than you brought.

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    • chinared profile image
      Author

      Just call me, Rick 4 years ago from Asia, and all over

      Thanks for reading, Suzanne. If you need more information or help, let me know.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

      Excellent information. This is definitely a move I have been considering, and all of my online ESL students in China urge me to take the plunge! I will definitely read the rest of your HUBS on the subject! Voted up and awesome! :)

    • chinared profile image
      Author

      Just call me, Rick 4 years ago from Asia, and all over

      Sweetie1, I'm always happy to hear your responses. Thank you.

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 4 years ago from India

      English is one language we are taught in India even in pre nursery schools in cities. Since nearly everything internationally is done in English all over the world so definitely English teachers are in demand. Good thing you made many learn English.

    • chinared profile image
      Author

      Just call me, Rick 4 years ago from Asia, and all over

      Hi, stuff4kids, thanks for your kind words. I'm happy you found the hub useful. It's never too late, my English friends here range from 21 to 84 years old, but it's definitely not for everyone. In fact, my Confessions of a Wannabe Sailor story describes more about my experiences and the need to leave China. Thanks again, "stuff".

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 4 years ago

      What a fascinating story this is - I had never imagined that this would be such a seemingly easy opportunity. It isn't a thing that I would do myself at this stage in my life but for a younger person I think it would be an unmissable experience!

      The insights and information you give are really useful, too. Great hub!

    • chinared profile image
      Author

      Just call me, Rick 4 years ago from Asia, and all over

      Thanks for reading and the thumbs up! Health insurance is typically included per Chinese law. I frequently forget I have it, and just pay cash. It's so cheap here, I forget I have insurance. haha. Thanks again.

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco

      This makes me feel like traveling. What's health insurance like? Is it included? That may be the one thing holding me back. Great hub! Voted up.

    • chinared profile image
      Author

      Just call me, Rick 4 years ago from Asia, and all over

      That's great, I really appreciate the vote and share. Maybe I'll see you sometime in this vast country. Thanks again.

    • chinared profile image
      Author

      Just call me, Rick 4 years ago from Asia, and all over

      Thanks for welcoming me to hub. Wish I didn't have such a difficult time uploading photos though, I'd have placed more in my hubs. Anyway, I become aware of job availabilities from time to time, so any help you or your friends need in the future, just contact me. Thanks again.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      chinared,

      really awesome hub that you have here

      I think it would be awesome to have a free trip to China

      I for one am a person who loves to travel and tries

      to take advantage of every chance that I get

      thanks for the valuable information

      Voted up and shared.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Wow, awesome hub! I know some people who would love to try this out. Will share it here and other places. Thanks ...... And welcome to hubpages :)

    • chinared profile image
      Author

      Just call me, Rick 4 years ago from Asia, and all over

      Thanks for comment. Yea, many people just come to China with the intention of "passing through," but like I said, it does have this overwhelming ability to keep you here... haha. Thanks again!

    • Iammattdoran profile image

      Matt Doran 4 years ago from Manchester, UK

      Great hub! I met a guy in China who was there teaching English. He also happened to be from Manchester like me. I had a great time in China but was travelling the world so didn't have time to work. Might consider it in the future though