Going to Guangzhou, Part 1

Here is yet another e-mail from a teacher who wants to work overseas. Sometimes I wonder where there are any teachers left in the UK.

Hi Simon,

I spoke to you some time ago via TES and email (although, I can't seem to find the email in my inbox!) about teaching in China. I am currently in the UK but you gave me plenty of information that enabled me to decide that it was something I really wanted to do. 

I was looking at a 2020 start but I have been offered an interview for a job at the British School of Guangzhou starting this summer. I imagine that perhaps a candidate has reneged on their agreement to go to the school and so they have had to re-advertise the position at this point in the year. I know you worked in Dongguan (wasn't it?) and I was wondering whether you knew of the school and had any information that could be relevant? 

Additionally, I'm definitely set on heading towards that region of China, but if you were choosing between Guangzhou and Shenzhen, would you have a preference and if so, why?

Thanks for your time and I hope all is well with you in Bulgaria.



Hello, Darren! The short answer is to read my blog, bulgariawithnoodles.blogspot.com, and that should give you quite a good idea of what you are going to get! I was in Shenzhen, not Guangzhou, but I have been to GZ and in many ways they are very similar sorts of places. In many parts of GZ, I said to myself, "This could easily be in Shenzhen!" GZ has lots of History, loads of restaurants, a superb (and very cheap) MTR system and it is very "foreigner friendly". Pollution? Well, yes, but we are not talking about Beijing, for goodness sake.

No, I do not know much about the school. You should get a fairly standard expat package, I would have thought. Probably you should get a decent accommodation allowance, enough to rent a pleasant apartment, and I was paid 23,000RMB a month, after tax and one or two deductions.

The good things about Southern China? The food, some great holidays (remember HK is a major airline hub and the Philippines are not far away) and the chance to save up some cash. If you are a single guy, what are you waiting for? Chinese girls are absolutely lovely and some of them are also very rich. A teacher friend of mine married a sexy lady who was also a high powered lawyer in Shenzhen. Lots of Chinese gals want a laowai (foreigner) hubby.

I am not sure about the language in GZ. In Shenzhen, Mandarin predominated, but I think that Cantonese is the lingo in GZ and in fact GZ used to be called "Canton". There is also the famous (or infamous) snake restaurant, if you are a fan of Michael Palin and Round the World in Eighty Days.

I hope this is helpful.




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