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Old 01-25-2016, 07:12 PM
 
992 posts, read 937,271 times
Reputation: 558

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Hi everyone; I'm posting this topic to get some insight on which city I should teach English in for the next year.

About Me:

I'm a a white American male in his mid-20's.

I'm currently working full-time in the marketing and advertising industry. I'm studying for law school, and will be taking the LSAT in June. Ideally I'll score my target score and be able to apply for school before leaving to teach English for a year.

I've lived abroad before; a semester studying in Paris. I loved Europe, but I'm looking for a different experience.

What I'm Looking For:

I want to live a huge city with awesome public transit.
Excellent nightlife and attractive women
A unique culture which cannot be replicated anywhere else
Decent cost of living (I imagine Tokyo will lose this category)

I'm aware this criteria is vague, and that these three cities already fit most of them, except possibly the fourth. So, if locals or people who have been to them would post their own stories or unique ancedotes that an American should consider before making a major decision like this, I'd greatly appreciate it!

P.S. One of my best friends from college teaches in Shanghai, so I'm slightly biased towards going there
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Old 01-27-2016, 08:39 PM
 
992 posts, read 937,271 times
Reputation: 558
I'd love some insight!
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Old 01-27-2016, 08:50 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
317 posts, read 235,631 times
Reputation: 218
Currently teaching in China - and I think the experience can't be beat. Shanghai is really a super class city. Cost of living is much lower than either Tokyo or Seoul. I will say that Shanghai housing can be very expensive - so don't know if school covers this. Also, pollution will be a factor - northern China near Beijing is the worst. Shanghai area is a little better. Hope you make the right decision.
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:44 AM
 
218 posts, read 145,916 times
Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanRam View Post
Hi everyone; I'm posting this topic to get some insight on which city I should teach English in for the next year.

About Me:

I'm a a white American male in his mid-20's.

I'm currently working full-time in the marketing and advertising industry. I'm studying for law school, and will be taking the LSAT in June. Ideally I'll score my target score and be able to apply for school before leaving to teach English for a year.

I've lived abroad before; a semester studying in Paris. I loved Europe, but I'm looking for a different experience.

What I'm Looking For:

I want to live a huge city with awesome public transit.
Excellent nightlife and attractive women
A unique culture which cannot be replicated anywhere else
Decent cost of living (I imagine Tokyo will lose this category)

I'm aware this criteria is vague, and that these three cities already fit most of them, except possibly the fourth. So, if locals or people who have been to them would post their own stories or unique ancedotes that an American should consider before making a major decision like this, I'd greatly appreciate it!

P.S. One of my best friends from college teaches in Shanghai, so I'm slightly biased towards going there
Be careful about pollution in Shanghai, it's not the usual pollution you can find in US cities, it's much more violent in China. Shanghai is fantastic to visit and you'd be fine there but don't forget health is important, don't destroy your body so soon.

Tokyo is expensive but it is the coolest among them.

Seoul is good, modern and that's there than the students are the most motivated to learn English.
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,962,789 times
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You picked three Asian cities that I'm not super familiar with lol. Been to Shanghai once, and the other two twice. But no longer than a week for each of them.

Anyway, Imo all three cities meet your first three criteria equally well. On cost, Shanghai is probably a little cheaper than Seoul overall, and a decent bit cheaper than Tokyo.

Which pays the best? Do you have a preference for any of the three cultures? Personally I think all three are very cool but Seoul is my favorite. I'm not a fan of the oppressive Chinese govt and would much rather not stay there for an extended period of time. As far as pollution, China is a big offender but the thing is in Seoul they have just as much issue with the pollution from China lol. I have a couple good friends who run a very successful English school in Seoul with two separate branches. Sounds like you've got your jobs lined up but if you want to be connected to them I'm happy to let them know. They're always hiring.
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Old 01-30-2016, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Billings
17 posts, read 29,282 times
Reputation: 122
I've studied and worked in Shanghai for a year. An amazing city with a huge expat community. Convenient public transit, reasonable cost of living, great nightlife, tasty food. I highly recommend going there.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:00 PM
JL
 
7,351 posts, read 11,877,440 times
Reputation: 7198
Vietnam is the hidden gem right now...forget China, Korea, or Japan. You should check it out.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2nWereVOjs


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW_1rtpAzag

Last edited by Oldhag1; 01-31-2016 at 08:37 AM.. Reason: No more than 2 videos per post
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:35 PM
 
992 posts, read 937,271 times
Reputation: 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by JL View Post
Vietnam is the hidden gem right now...forget China, Korea, or Japan. You should check it out.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2nWereVOjs


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW_1rtpAzag
Vietnam has been on my radar ever since I was 12; however, it seems that you need to get a TEFL to teach there, and I'd rather not spend $1,200 on getting a certificate when I'll probably only teach one year.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,779 posts, read 13,347,718 times
Reputation: 11309
Also, Vietnam pays peanuts compared to China, Japan, or Korea, which is the biggest impediment to teaching ESL there for most people I know. Everyone I know who has travelled there loves it, and many look into moving there, but while the money there is enough to live well in Saigon or Hanoi, it doesn't convert to much when you want to leave.

Granted, the COL in the three cities you want to work in is pretty high. Shanghai would be the cheapest of the three but is still pretty expensive by Chinese standards. You could also look at Guangzhou or Shenzhen, both of which offer equivalent pay for ESL teachers (figure 12.5 to 15k RMB/mo) but mich lower COL. Shenzhen has the advantage of being across the border from HK, while GZ has more history and culture.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:23 PM
JL
 
7,351 posts, read 11,877,440 times
Reputation: 7198
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanRam View Post
Vietnam has been on my radar ever since I was 12; however, it seems that you need to get a TEFL to teach there, and I'd rather not spend $1,200 on getting a certificate when I'll probably only teach one year.
It is worth it and amount of money you can save will be worthwhile. Cost of living expenses is insanely cheap. If you're gonna teach, do it for at least 2 yrs. Most English teachers abroad say they will only teach a year, but many end up at least 2 yrs before moving on.

Last edited by JL; 02-07-2016 at 08:33 PM..
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