Twenty questions to ask yourself before heading overseas
Is Teaching English in China appropriate for me?
It might be. Only you can decide if teaching English in China is the right path for your life at this time. While this section serves primarily to raise and examine the questions you should consider, more in-depth help with answers for those questions are other pages of this website.
What are the things to consider?
Do you have a family for which you are responsible?
How would they feel about moving overseas and living in a foreign land?
Do you have a spouse or partner?
How would s/he feel about giving up their job?
Will s/he be able to find work overseas?
Is s/he interested in teaching English also?
Do you have children?
How will you educate them while overseas?
How might they feel about giving up their friends?
Do you have debts that must be paid while you are overseas?
Do you have the financial reserves to return to your home country and re-establish yourself if things don’t work out?
Are there special medical issues for you or your family that must be considered?
Have you ever taught English before? Volunteered?
Do you have any reason to believe that you might enjoy teaching English?
Have you ever traveled or lived overseas before?
Did you enjoy it?
Would you find the daily problems of living and working overseas frustrating – or a refreshing challenge?
This list is only a beginning – as individual as each person is – so are the questions that need to be answered in making this decision.
What qualities are needed to succeed in China?
People who succeed in teaching English overseas usually have the following characteristics and knowledge:
- They have reasonable expectations about their new occupation and what it can and cannot provide for them
- They understand that their new country is not like their home country and that solutions to problems that work at home often don’t work overseas
- They realize that problems they had at home will probably also exist overseas
- They know they will have good days and bad days – just like “back home”
- They know they may experience good bosses, bad bosses, good jobs and bad jobs – just like back home
- They are flexible people who can roll with surprises and “punches”
- They are willing to work under different cultural expectations and willing to follow different cultural work rules
- They are resilient and can bounce back from a bad situation
- They are not generally moody or depressed
- They view their success as a personal challenge
- They spent a considerable amount of time researching their move – before they moved.