The Cultural Heart of China
The opportunities in Beijing have become much more lucrative and exciting in the last couple of years, and we’re happy to say that we often have some fantastic public school positions there that pay well above the market average while providing the standard low work hours and vacation time public school teachers in China have become accustomed to. With that in mind, we’ve created a little primer on Beijing to give our teachers an idea of what it’s like to work and live in the capital city of one of the fastest developing countries in the world. With that in mind, let’s jump into what makes Beijing so special:
Beijing is the cultural heart of China, boasting thousands of years of history in one of the oldest civilizations on Earth. This is not an understatement, from Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden Palace, Beijing has some of the most recognizable historical monuments in the world.
It’s the seat of the government and media industry. Industrious expats can often find their way into exciting new careers if they become well connected in Beijing since so many important companies and government officials reside there. It’s considered a glamorous part of the country, full of movie stars and media moguls.
Learning Chinese in Beijing is highly advantageous. If learning Mandarin is an important goal, Beijing is home to the standard dialect of the language. In a country with 200 spoken dialects, getting a feel for the language in Beijing can be incredibly helpful since the dialect there is understood across the country and in other parts of the world like Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan.
The architecture is phenomenal and a sight to behold. Beijing is one of the few places on earth where the past converges with the future in the cityscape. Imagine a skyline with fascinating modern geometric shapes mixed in with millennia old town squares, temples and pagodas.
The nightlife and standard of living are excellent. Beijing has roughly twice as many people as New York and is about the size of Connecticut. The streets are loaded with shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs. One of Beijing’s most popular pastimes is taking a stroll down one of the many food streets. From BBQ meats to local delicacies, Beijing has one of the richest food cultures in the world.
Beijing has an entrenched expat community. Unlike most parts of Asia, the opportunities and room for growth mean that many expats now consider Beijing their home. It’s not uncommon to find foreigners who have lived in Beijing for over a decade, or to meet a western family who are raising their children there. Because of this, making friends and becoming part of a community is a breeze.
One of the biggest fears foreigners have in moving to a foreign country is if they’ll find enough to do. This will never be a problem for teachers heading to Beijing. Run a half marathon on the Great Wall or get into MMA. Check out international eateries owned by an amazingly diverse range of expats. Learn Chinese calligraphy or decompress at the park in a Tai Chi class. Go to a hot nightclub and rub elbows with the models and actors from all of the daytime dramas. Finding a hobby will never be a problem.