It’s been a long few months of training and preparing, but things are finally ready for my journey to China.
Whilst I was on the CELTA training course I was put in touch with a University in Xian who was looking for a teacher. After long talks, giving a demo class via Skype, and contract negotiations, I was offered a great-sounding job with them to start November 1st.
There are some horror stories out there about TEFL teaching in Southeast Asia, especially China, as unsavory types catch on to the idea that “rich” foreigners (many irresponsible uni-dropouts and hapless travel bums included) can be duped into taking poorly paid jobs in terrible conditions with only a few well-worded lies. Thankfully after being very careful, exceedingly dubious and with a bit of experience in that corner of the world, I landed a well-paid job with a reputable language school.
It’s taken a while to organise my work visa, as these require official documents inviting me to China that are approved by the Chinese government. The papers came via international mail early this week, and I was able to apply for my visa at the consulate in Manchester.
It was great to visit Manchester again. I was there in 2011 for Chinese New Year and had a great time wandering around China Town and enjoying the festivities. Walking through China Town this time, I reminisced and wondered what the year ahead will be like.
Although it’s been a busy, anxious week – hoping the visa gets approved, catching up with as many people as possible, and packing my few surviving possessions – I’m trying to look ahead positively. I set off on a 24-hour journey this Monday, flying via London and Beijing, and arrive in Xi’an on Tuesday with just a few days to settle in before I start work the following week.
Thanks to all my loved ones for their kindness and support!