Teaching English in China with CIEE

7 Mar

CIEE sent us to some cool events, including an acrobatics show (above). See that big hollow metal ball? They rode MOTORCYCLES in it. Like, straight up. Well not straight…you know what I mean.

Overall CIEE was a pretty decent placement agency. I wound up with a workweek of around 8 hours/week, paid the equivalent of $6,000 for the whole year, which was enough to live pretty large in that area. Plus, when I was stranded in the Middle of @#$king nowhere, Yunnan Province (a very scenic area), the lead Shanghai staffperson totally wired me $50 to get my sorry butt back to civilization (also known as Kunming).

That said, they did technically place me in an “extralegal” position. You know, like every teaching position in Changsha.  I didn’t figure this out until about 7 months in; apparently you are technically supposed to have two years post-graduation work experience before teaching English ANYWHERE in China, for visa reasons I guess. Except…nobody with two years experience is going to accept a position in Changsha! They’re going for Beijing or Shanghai or someplace else with milkshakes and peanut butter on every corner. So the one year they enforced this rule, Changsha had no English teachers.

That’s mainland China for you–existing on the creative side of the law.


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