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Why do I want to work in China?

Popularity 18Viewed 7849 times 2014-6-2 17:57 |System category:Life| Overseas, education

Countless people have asked me this question: why don't you work in Australia? And I am getting tired of repeating the answer. So here I want to answer it in great details. 

To many people, those who want to continue staying abroad after finishing their study in particular, my decision of going back to China after graduation seems not so understandable, especially when I can speak English fluently. Mark this: please do not just assume! 

The most significant reason why I desire to come back and work in China is not because I am patriotic but because I want to and have to be close to my family. Once I asked my parents " Is it all right for me to stay in Australia if I can get a job?" My parents replied " Of course, if that's what you want." However, at the end of last year, when I was in China for Chinese Spring festival, I brought up this topic again and claimed to come back to China. My father confessed that deep down he did not want me to stay abroad as he only has two daughters. 

Some people I have encountered in the past found it a bit bizarre that my parents wanted me to come back even if I was not the only child in the family. I suppose they just don't get how important family is to me. You might say that my parents can come to Australia and visit me once in a while. But, I am pretty sure they will get bored very soon as they don't speak the language and I won't have much time to accompany them when I have a job. 

The second reason is that you have no clue about how competitive and difficult it is to get a comparatively good job here. Quite a few of my classmates who are native speakers and had graduated at the last year are still looking for TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) jobs. To some of them, it is already hard enough to get a casual job, let alone a permanent one. 

You are probably thinking that I can start working here by doing some other jobs, like being a cashier or washing dishes and looking for English teaching jobs in the meantime. But, no, that's not what I want. My parents didn't send me over to a foreign country to wash dishes or to mop the floor. I don't study so hard so that I can work as a janitor ( I don't look down on them, it is just not what I want) Moreover, you never know how long you need to wait until you can finally secure a decent job. There is no way I am wasting the prime time of my life awaiting for the chance which might appear. My youth is too priceless for the probably all for naught waiting. You just don't trade the best time in your life for the fake vanity you can get by working in a western country. I'd rather land a good job in China than stuck with a job here I have zero interest in. 

Another significant reason is that living in a foreign country is much harder than what you can imagine. Language can be a huge obstacle for people living in a foreign country as you basically need the language to deal with everything in your life such as bank accounts, your real estate and insurance company and so on unless you live in a Chinese community. But then again, why bother living in a foreign country if you still choose to be glued with your Chinese counterparts? To me, it just ruins the very essence of living abroad, if you don't mingle with the local people. 

Of course, many people come to live in a foreign country not to experience the culture but to enjoy the picturesque scenery, almost zero-pollution environment and comprehensive and complete medical insurance. But, all of these are not my priorities of living in a different country. They are just perks to me. If I lived in a foreign country, I would definitely want to get to know its people and it's culture, which I reckon is the core of living abroad. 

You might ask " why don't I stay abroad as language apparently is not an obstacle to me?" It is absolutely true that I don't have problems communicating with local people. But, as I said earlier, language is only one of the many difficulties you will be faced with residing in a alien country. First and foremost, loneliness is overwhelming. When you are studying, you don't feel that much as you are invariably surrounded by your classmates or schoolmates. However, once you start working, your social circle becomes really small as you get stuck with your colleagues nearly all the time. Even though you can spare some time to meet your friends, your friends don't necessarily have time for you. 

In addition to that, you feel extremely lonely because you cannot break through the invisible cultural wall to mingle with the locals. This is also one of the reasons why Chinese people here tend to stay together all the time. In western countries, privacy is everything. They value it so much that your imagination might even fail you with regard to the importance of privacy. I have noticed this due to that fact I have been staying with Australians nearly all the time since I came to this country. For example, I was told that parents and parents-in-law need invitations to come to visit their children. To be perfectly honest, I find this a bit indifferent. This to a certain degree alienates the relationship between people, which is not valued in Chinese culture. We Chinese value privacy but we value the kinship even more. 

The last reason is that I cannot earn much money working as a TESOL teacher here. So if I can lead a decent life in China and meanwhile save money for travelling abroad, why don't I take it? Furthermore, I firmly believe I can do a better job teaching just Chinese students rather students from all over the world since I have gone through the similar journey they are going through or will take in the near future. In the end, I want to say that I still love this country even though I have no intention working here. All the experiences I have accumulated here is extremely valuable to me and the me who I will grow to be in the future. I appreciate every thing I have been endowed here and everyone, be they good or bad, I have met here.

This article only represents my opinion based on my personal experience. It can be biased since my whole experience of studying abroad is quite different from other students. Enjoy reading.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)

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Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-4 21:21
PatrickInBeijin: Thanks for a good posting.  Your experience mirrors that of a number of my students and friends who have returned.  (One friend returned and helped me ...
Sorry, I cannot read your comment. I don't know why it is taking so long to approve your comment.
Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-5 07:44
PatrickInBeijin: Thanks for a good posting.  Your experience mirrors that of a number of my students and friends who have returned.  (One friend returned and helped me ...
Cannot agree with you more. Thank you for your understanding.
Reply Report Fred.Hui 2014-6-6 09:23
Min1989: I will do that.  You can also ask me questions if there is anything in particular you want to know about living in Australia.
Firstly,what is the purpose of you to go to Australia and did you satisfaction?
Second,compare with china, what is your feeling about Australia?
Third,the Australian people are friendly to you?
Looking forward to you reply,tks!
Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-6 10:43
Fred.Hui: Firstly,what is the purpose of you to go to Australia and did you satisfaction?
Second,compare with china, what is your feeling about Australia?
Third ...
Haha, it seems that you are very keen. I will answer you first question here. I think I will write another blog to answer your other questions.

I decided to come to Australia because I had always been attracted to the culture from English speaking countries. Also, I wanted to hone my English as well as my teaching skills. To a certain extent, I wanted to challenge myself. You see, I was not so sure whether I would be able to make it or not. But, then I was offered to stay with my Australian friends while studying in this country. That made me feel more confident about studying in this university. It wasn't an easy decision to make. But, I felt like I could use a push sometimes to go further. After a decision is made, you just need to cross the bridge when you come to it. Most of the time, the difficult part is actually making the decision.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2014-6-6 11:35
I think my own feelings mirror your own. Coming to China, I loved it here. I am sure I can find work, the people are lovely and I speak Chinese (not as well as your English, but still). Yet, there is a part of me that grows stronger everyday that makes me think of home, of my family, of my culture. You are right, living in another country is a difficult challenge, it really is. I feel it can be very draining on you as a person.

Lovely blog
Reply Report juzunme 2014-6-6 13:22
You're right in your decision. There is not one way to make a life. As long as you have passion for what you are doing, China or Australia won't make a difference. Good call.
Reply Report Fred.Hui 2014-6-6 14:15
Min1989: Haha, it seems that you are very keen. I will answer you first question here. I think I will write another blog to answer your other questions.

I de ...
OK.Expecting it will come ASAP. Good luck everyday!
Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-6 18:08
seanboyce88: I think my own feelings mirror your own. Coming to China, I loved it here. I am sure I can find work, the people are lovely and I speak Chinese (not a ...
Yeah, you are right. I have a friend who migrated to Australian about 12 years ago. Still, she finds it difficult to mingle with Australians. I think it is extremely hard to find a sense of belonging in a foreign country.
Reply Report Min1989 2014-6-6 18:10
juzunme: You're right in your decision. There is not one way to make a life. As long as you have passion for what you are doing, China or Australia won't make  ...
That's true. You gain some and lose some whenever you make a decision. It all depends on what you want for you life.
Reply Report Newtown 2014-6-7 07:49
"Of course, many people come to live in a foreign country not to experience the culture but to enjoy the picturesque scenery, almost zero-pollution environment and comprehensive and complete medical insurance. But, all of these are not my priorities of living in a different country. They are just perks to me."
Of course, who would rather not be deprived of such "perks" and live in cities in China such as Beijing where the air is toxic, and where for any kind of professional medical procedure you have to pay through the nose via generously stuffed red envelopes. And you mention how parents require invitations to visit their children in western countries  - what about Chinese superstitions such as those which totally prohibit parents-in-law from entertaining new born children for a year in their own homes !

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  • The Purpose of Reading 2018-4-12 13:45

    we have the same feeling about. reading,reading. really tells us a lot especially when welearn foreign languages.it. can help us to understand other. country's culture and customs.therefore,when we talk. in foreign languages.we. needn't worry about. making too. much mistakes.it also can enrich our life.let's enjoy reding

  • Why don't We Stand Out and Fight? 2018-4-4 14:14

    It is actually emotionally and mentally healthy to have nursing homes for old people in residential areas, and makes it easy for families to visit their elderly relations regularly.
    Death happens to everyone and it is stupid to hide it away. Death is not bad luck - it will happen to you and me.
    In some European countries there are homes for the elderly next to kindergartens, and everyone benefits from interacting with each other on a daily basis.
    The elderly benefit from interacting with children and keeps them mentally alert, whereas the young learn about death as a normal part of life.

    For a country that supposedly 'respects' their elders, China has a very superstitious attitude to death and dying.
    where i am from, the elderly are allowed and supported by family and state) to be independent and in their own homes.
    Where medical treatment is needed, residential homes allow the elderly appropriate facilities in towns and cities while their families can visit easily and local residents can interact with them.
    In addition, local communities benefit from being able to interact with these residents and the residents can still be part of a local community, not hidden away as something to be ashamed of or 'taboo'.

    Shame on China for such medieval superstitious attitudes regarding death.
    Does China 'respect' the elderly so much that they should be hidden away from people's lives?

    Do you want to be isolated and hidden away when you are old and your family don't want to or can't visit you?

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