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September 04, 2006

Teaching Spots- Chengdu, China

Hello Readers!

Do you have a soft spot for pandas? Are red hot chili peppers a part of your regular diet (or would you like them to be)? Is a slower paced life more your style? If so, then Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, just might be the place for you.

Located in southwest China, with a population of over 11 million, Chengdu...

... is known for its abundance of resources, the Panda Breeding and Research Center, and its spicy food.

Though most schools in Chengdu will not provide you with the high salaries that can be found in Beijing and Shanghai, the work load is often less intense and the cost of living is much cheaper. Working for a university in Chengdu will give you approximately 4,000 rmb/month (plus free accomodation, air fare, paid vacation...etc.), while working at a private school may provide you with 5,000-6,000 rmb/month (correct me if I'm wrong, please!). It's always a good idea to get in contact with a teacher who works or has worked at the school before you pack up your bags to leave. Also, the school should provide you with a visa before you enter China. Don't agree to get one upon arrival.

Chengdu is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a history of over 4,000 years. Don't let that fool you, though; the city of Chengdu is a devloping city, with plenty of foreign restaurants and bars, and a layout similar to that of Beijing. There are fewer foreigners in Chengdu, which means that if you are looking to stay out of the expat world during your stay in China, it is much easier to do here than in Beijing.

The food in Sichuan province is known for its numbing qualities. Along with 'la jiao' (red hot chili peppers), 'hua jiao' (small numbing balls of spice) is added to most dishes to make the food taste like real Sichuan. After having lived near Chengdu for a year and a half, I've searched for restaurants with the same numbing flavor for the last 5 years in Beijing, but have only found it in a few restaurants. So if you've been to a Sichuan restaurant back home, be aware that there's a lot more spice to come!

Another benefit of living in Chengdu is that it is a great jumping off point for traveling. You can fly or train it to Tibet, Leshan, Kunming and other places somewhat cheaply, quickly, and easily.

For more information about Chengdu, check out this entry by a foreigner living and working in Chengdu: http://www.aacircle.com.au/forums/teaching-and-living-in-china/3482-real-salary-expectancy-costs.html

For a list of sighseeing options, check out this link: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/sichuan/chengdu/index.htm

For more information about the cuisine in Chengdu, check out this link: http://www.ineedhotel.com/chengdu/tour/cuisine.html

If you have experience teaching in Chengdu, feel free to add comments to this link.

Good luck!

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

Looking for more articles that spotlight hot travel spots and dream teaching locations? Click HERE!

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About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker who hails from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, has lived and worked in China since 1998. During that time, she has worked with students that range in age from three to more than sixty years old. She’s worked in universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, as well as private tutoring. Besides teaching, she’s also worked as a head teacher, an education manager, and a material development manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she currently writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing as well as working as an ESL instructor for the Australian International School of Beijing. Carol is also enrolled in Oxford Brookes' MA TESL program in Oxford, England. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at September 4, 2006 12:37 AM

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