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Do you live in China? Please help!

(10 Posts)
baiyu Mon 27-Jun-11 11:22:58

Hello,
we're hoping to move to China around next February. Me, DH and two boys who will be 3.5 and 16 months. We've lived in China twice before (in Qingdao then Kunming, also Taiwan) but pre-kids so I have a million questions about what it might be like and if indeed it's possible! I'd really appreciate some help please!

We taught English and studied Chinese before, this time we're planning to do a CELTA TEFL course before we go. What we'd like to get is 2 teaching posts at a university with accomodation included, do you think this is likely? Could we trust a university to give us somewhere safe and clean to live? Wages look around 5000RMB a month, do you think that is livable? We'd just really like a simple life for a bit so don't need to be on a luxury budget, enough for food, bills, bit of travel in the holidays, that kind of thing.

What about childcare? What do you do?

I could really do with some help, thanks very much!

ZZZenAgain Mon 27-Jun-11 12:53:30

don't know but with two dc as well, you want to be sure there is medical attention around that is good, affordable and where you are able to communicate with the medical staff. Pehraps your Chinese is already up to this.

Have you had a look around Dave's ESL cafe? I am sure there will be a lot of information on the China forum about other people's experiences

Will see if I can find it if it is still up and running

ZZZenAgain Mon 27-Jun-11 12:55:24

ESL cafe

ask there too maybe or some other EFL forum

baiyu Tue 28-Jun-11 10:14:43

Brilliant thanks, will do.

Should manage healthcare okay I think, was pregnant with DS1 last time i was out there.
Thanks for your help.

Shanghaidiva Tue 28-Jun-11 15:40:19

I live in Nanjing. I think it would be possible to find teaching jobs at the same university and know teachers who both work at the same school.

Childcare - most families use an ayi with costs in Nanjing at about rmb 12 per hour. Local kindergarten also an option, but no idea how much that would be. International school is about rmb 50 000 per term.

Accommodation in Nanjing (e.g) - you can rent a decent 3 bed flat, 2 bathroom, 2 reception flat for about rmb 5000 per month.

Costs - food prices have really rocketed in China and imported products are expensive e.g rmb 20-25 for a litre of imported long-life milk. You can eat relatively cheaply if you follow the Chinese diet.

Hope this helps.

baiyu Tue 28-Jun-11 21:02:16

Oh my word, 12 kuai an hour?! Shocker. Faced with about 80 pounds a day when I go back to work next month that's nice to hear!

Thank you Shanghaidiva. It's been 4 years since I lived there, food does sound a lot more than it was and I'd been struggling to remember what rent we used to pay. How do you find getting things like nappies? Surely not everyone uses the open trousers, or do they? It's the children element that I just have no idea about!

How long have you lived there and how do you find it? I'm assuming you have kids too?
Thanks very much for helping.

Shanghaidiva Wed 29-Jun-11 04:46:07

Buying nappies - not a problem - but you may wish to bring nappy cream if you have a preferred brand. Bring calpol for the kids and a decent first aid kit. They will also need to be up-to-date on vaccinations and you may wish to consider the following - rabies, japanese encepahilitis, hepatitis as well as normal childhood jabs.
I have been in China for 3 years and love it here. My chidren were 2.5 and 8 when we came and my concerns regarding them were decent healthcare and education. In Nanjing we have Global Doctor and International SOS, but service is limited and for a specialist we go to Shanghai United hospital and if surgery is required we are evacuated to Hong Kong. This is the norm for expats in Nanjing. A lot of the equipment in the hospital is state of the art (ds went to the military hospital for x-rays), but standards of hygiene are low.

baiyu Thu 30-Jun-11 10:30:01

Ah, so helpful, thank you so much. Yes, I guess we'll need very good health insurance and an escape route to a good hospital if we need it.

Are your children at international school or chinese school? Do you know anyone who does the latter? It's a while off, DS1 will only be 3 when we go out but as I'm not sure how long we'll stay it's something I have to think about I guess. In England he's due to go to school Sep'12 but if we move to Scotland after China it'd be Sept'13 which makes things more confusing. don't know how much I need to stress about home ed or similar.

What kind of work do you do in China if you don't mind me asking?
Thanks very much for your help.

Shanghaidiva Fri 01-Jul-11 06:56:43

My children are in an international school. I think Chinese kids start school at age 6 and do know some families who send their kids to a local school. Style of teaching is very different from Europe - lots of rote learning, tests, large class sizes, lots of homework, but standards are pretty high. Local kindergarten also an option, but if you want the children to really learn something you will need to pay for the 'extra' classes. There is the option to learn english in local a local kindergarten. Fees are about rmb 800-1000 per month for a good kindergarten.
Home schooling also worth considering. We lived in Germany when ds was born and I home schooled him in English as he attended a local school. Jolly Phonics and Oxford Reading Tree are good places to start.
Work wise I am a trailing spouse as have spent over 16 years as an ex-pat. DH is General Manager of an Austrian company in Nanjing and I manage the school library and library budget.

Shanghai Mon 18-Jul-11 21:23:07

Hi Baiyu,

Do you have any idea where you'll be living? I've been in Shanghai for 4 years and from what I hear of other cities, it can be very different in different cities.

Shanghaidiva is spot on about the nappies and healthcare etc - I think you'll find things have become a lot more westerised in the last four years!! When we first moved there we struggled to get fresh milk and bread and now you can't move for fantastic western food!

You might want to have a look at www.shanghaimamas.org if you haven't already - like Mumsnet for shanghai! should help with any questions. happy to help with any questions if you have any!

good luck with the move - it's a fab place to live!

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