Discussion » Beijing Life » Contract Options - Housing.

  • SoulCreative Web Studios
    SoulCreative Web Studios wrote:

    Hello everyone,


    I am a sophomore in college currently working on a contract with a Chinese recruiting company. They offer some choices on what will be in my contract in exchange for teaching English in their school for a year in Beijing.

    I want to teach English in China to learn Chinese, and experience their culture. My ultimate goal is to learn Chinese, and work in Chinese business as I am a business management major.

    The packages are as follows:

    1. 5,000 RMB per month + Accomodation + Visa Service + Two hours Mandarin Lessons each week + 1,000 USD Airfare + Free meels on campus + Paid Chinese holiday + Assistance from staff + Free TEFL Certification

    2. 7,000 RMB per month + Visa Service + Two hours Mandarin Lessons each week + 1,000 USD Airfare Bonus + Free meals on Campus + Paid Chinese Holida + Assistance from Staff + Free TEFL Certification

    3. 9,000 RMB per month + Free meals on campus + Paid Chinese Holidays + Assistance from Staff.



    Which contract do you think is ideal? Should I find my own place to live with the extra 2,000 RMB a month I make? Should I do EVERYTHING myself with the extra 4,000 RMB a month?


    Please help. I know nothing of Beijing life, and its costs.





    Daniel Lessor



  • Pete DeMola
    Pete DeMola wrote:

    All holidays should be paid -- that's a given while teaching in China. Same goes for the visa.

    I'd go for Option #2 and find an apartment yourself. With 2,000 RMB extra per month, you can find a place -- shared, of course. But it'd probably be good for you to get out there and find a Chinese roommate. Go Forth and Assimilate.

    We have an apartment guide (click Housing, top tab), which may help you.

    Good luck!

  • Minger
    Minger wrote:

    Pete knows his stuff. I wouldn't have a lot of confidence in the housing that they provide for you, so it's probably best to fidn your own. Although I think you will need to sublet your first place from a well-meaning foreigner or Chinese person with good English skills. It will be very difficult for you to find a "local" apartment with a non-english speaking Chinese roommate.. Expect to pay at minimum 2000 to 2500 per month for a room in a two-bedroom that is up to an acceptable standard for you.

    Your compensation isn't great, but it's not terrible considering that you don't have a TEFL or a degree at this point. English teachers can probably shed more light on this than I can.

  • Simen Wangberg

    Guess I missed this thread when I replied to that other one about the kindergarden teachers not needing degrees or somesuch.

    Seconding what Pete & Ming said. Although, the housing they provide for you might not be that bad...or it might be deplorable. Unfortunately, there's no way of knowing this until you actually move in.

    Actually, there was a pretty solid article posted on this site about finding apartments around the city - Pete, a link please? I can't seem to find it now for some reason.

    In addition to the Housing section of this site, thebeijinger.com and cityweekend.com.cn/beijing both have a good number of apartment listings.

    DO NOT go through an agent.

    DO track down a local to be your roommate (you said you want to learn Chinese. Live-in language partner, hello?)

    Dunno where your place of work is going to be located at, but if you know or can find out, that will obviously be of great help during your apartment search. You don't want a long commute - well, maybe you do. But most people don't.

    At this point, I'm just repeating all the stuff that's outlined in the afore-mentioned article, so...yeah. Hopefully someone can find that and post it.



  • Simen Wangberg

    "My only worry is that I may not recieve my first payment until the end of the first month teaching their. This means that they day I get there, I am living in hotels until I can find a place. On top of that, I will need to pay the deposit, and first month."

    That's one of the biggest problems newcomers have - employers here pay once a month, and landlords usually require a deposit + three months' rent. You're actually pretty lucky if you can snag a place that only asks for a deposit + one month rent.

    I'd recommend saving up as much as you can before you get here, and bringing over as much actual cash as you can. You can exchange your American clams for Chinese ones at any bank; just remember to bring your passport!

    You can always withdraw money from your American account at the bank as well, but you're limited as to how much you can take out per day. I don't remember what the limit is though. Also, if you plan on withdrawing money from your American bank account while you're here, you're gonna want to notify your bank so they don't think someone's stealing your identity.

    Making sure that you're financially prepared ahead of time will save you loads of frustration and problems. You don't wanna live out of a hostel/hotel for your first month - the costs add up and it's just not a pleasant way to live. Save up some cash, nail down a place to stay before you get over (check out those housing ads!) and you'll have a much better experience.

    "This may be a bit naive of me, but I am kinda hopeing that I can meet some people though this site so that I may have some friends already before even moveing to China."

    While I do spend the vast majority of my time on WLIBJ deriding the intelligence and manners of the rest of the community, there are also plenty of friendly, helpful people on here. Engage the community and you'll find some cool folks to chill with, I'm sure.


  • Simen Wangberg

    "...so I should have about 1500 to 2000 dollars on my when I land in Beijing,

    Is this enough to live for a month or two on my own?"

    Ohhhhh yeah. C'mon man, do the math - $1,500 = 10,172 RMB. Hell, that's twice your monthly salary right there. You'll be juuuuust fine with that chunk of change once you land.

    "Also, how is the salary? Could I be able to go out and have a good time, travel, spend time with friends on 5000 RMB a month?"

    Depends on your idea of a good time. Rich kids think nothing of splashing out one or two thousand RMB a night on bottle service and private booths in the clubs, whereas the rest of us plebes can have a pretty entertaining night on a hundred or so, eating street food and chilling on the sidewalk.

    I don't know how much serious traveling you'll get to do anyway if you're working full-time, but train tickets are pretty cheap. 5000 should square you away pretty well if you budget intelligently. I have no advice to dispense in that regard.

  • Minger
    Minger wrote:

    I think Mike's being generous. My breakdown:

    Poor life (by non-3rd world standard):

    Rent: your own bedroom in 4 bedroom place. 10 sqm. dirty. cockroaches. maybe only living room has A/C. Water heater spews carbon monoxide into your kitchen. 1,000CNY/mo + 100 for utilities.

    Food: eat out for every meal, but in unsanitary places with foul people and limited service. 20 RMB per day (600 CNY/mo)

    I dunno what else you need... Bring condoms with you.

    Average middle-class american life:

    Rent: your own room in a 2 or 3 bedroom place. 25 sqm. New. only a little dirty. cockroaches. A/C in all rooms. 2500CNY/mo +100 for utilities.

    Food: eat one meal in a foreign restaurant per day, or a nice Chinese place, and one unsanitary street meal. Get a beer in a bar in the evening. 100 CNY/day (3000 per mo.)


    Neither of these include transportation, because public transportation is essentially free and will get you anywhere you need to go. Taxis are for people who have money to waste, enjoy exacerbating the traffic problem and air pollution problem, and like being stuck in traffic. I don't know about the other factors, but I don't think you have money to waste.

    As Mike said, you pay three months rent plus deposit. Add to that another month's rent if you got tricked into using an agent. Best shot is to find a friendly fellow who will rent a room out to you by the month until you get your sea legs.

  • Minger
    Minger wrote:

    No, we're all awful here. Try thebeijinger.com. It's the most used expat website in Beijing. You might want to look at jobs on there too.

    If you become a regular user here though, you'll find some people are exceptionally helpful.

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