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Author Topic: Beijing Bound...?  (Read 3918 times)

icebear

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Beijing Bound...?
« on: May 09, 2007, 04:01:59 AM »
Accidentally had this in the wrong forum... sorry for the repost.

I enjoy the hell out of life in Shenzhen, even in the slightly decrepit Bao'an, but I've got a few factors pulling me north next year... so I'm considering making BJ my stomping ground, but don't really have any solid info on the place besides that a lot of Chinese and foreigners that I've met seem to enjoy life there. I know some posters here live and work there, or have in the past. Anyone care to give their straight up impressions on the city, along with tips on the teaching market (fair wages, areas of town that are to be sought out/avoided, the apartment situation, etc etc etc)?

I'd appreciate any input.

decurso

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Re: Beijing Bound...?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2007, 07:09:08 AM »
Nolefan and Cheekygal are the experts on Beijing but I'll kick in my two cents worth.For my money there is no better place in mainland China which is why I too am planning on heading up there this summer.The great thing about Beijing is that if you want to live a low budget Chinese style existence it's perfectly feasible.There are lots of small eats places and cheap beer-BQ places where you can have a good night out for less than 40 kuai.On the other hand if you want to live a completely western existence you can do that to.There's great nightlife,a hot live music scene,fabulous western restaurants and the supermarkets carry every western ammenity you could hope for.

 For the teaching market and apartments That's Beijing is your best bet.A lot of the jobs pay pretty low so I would(and am) hold(ing) out for 6000 RMB for a public school or Uni job(depending on hours), 8000 for a private school with apartment included or 10,000 without apartment.Kindergarten jobs in Beijing pay the biggest money but with good reason.Beijing is also one of the best places in China to freelance.I've seen ads for jobs paying 4000 per month for 8 hours a week.A few gigs like that and you're set.Of course these jobs rarely provide visas or any other benefits.

 Beijing has more to offer than anywhere else in China.Noles and Cheeks will fill you in when they can.

contemporarydog

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Re: Beijing Bound...?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2007, 12:04:16 AM »
Yeah, someone elsewhere who lives in BJ told me that there is a place there doing fish and chips comparable to the UK for just 30 RMB.  That's damned cheap considering how expensive real fish can be in China.  (OK I know the crap the Chinese eat is, technically, real fish, but it's not what I think of when I think of eating the stuff)
It is too early to say.

cheekygal

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Re: Beijing Bound...?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2007, 05:00:00 AM »
Icey, my hands are full. But I will contribute pretty soon!!!

Nolefan

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Re: Beijing Bound...?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2007, 07:17:18 AM »

A year ago, I would have advised you to run for the hills... however, I've grown quite fond of Beijing lately and I might even say that I really like being here. There is indeed a good place for fish and chips ( about 30RMB) and they even serve tartar sauce and vinegar with that. quesadillas & burritos are increasingly popular as well.

There are plenty of teaching opportunities but the increase goes both ways.. there are plenty of backpackers looking to finance a 3 month stay as well. proportion of shitty jobs is the same but raw numbers are higher.

Most of Beijing's laowais are on F visas and many schools expect you to handle your own visa issues. usually, 6 month multiple entry F goes for 1400 RMB. a Z visa will run you anywhere between 4K and 5K.

alors régressons fatalement, eternellement. Des débutants, avec la peur comme exutoire à l'ignorance et Alzheimer en prof d'histoire de nos enfances!
- Random food, music and geek tales from the 'Jing: http://beijingdaze.com

Nolefan

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Re: Beijing Bound...?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2007, 07:19:10 AM »

 I would suggest spending some quality time browsing thatsbj.com and looking at the classified there. Check the forums as well.
alors régressons fatalement, eternellement. Des débutants, avec la peur comme exutoire à l'ignorance et Alzheimer en prof d'histoire de nos enfances!
- Random food, music and geek tales from the 'Jing: http://beijingdaze.com

contemporarydog

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Re: Beijing Bound...?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2007, 02:02:48 PM »
Christ, I didn't realise that there were places in China where people had to spend that kind of money for their visa.  Every place I've been in has done it all for me, other than my original entry into China.
It is too early to say.

cheekygal

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Re: Beijing Bound...?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2007, 11:52:40 PM »
Alright. I'll second both noles and decurso. You can have any type of life in Beijing you want. All depends on how much you want to get paid. There are many companies, training centers, schools that always look for teachers. You can be on a contract and get paid 10-12,000 with/without benefits. Or it can be less. Also depends on location. I know a lady who worked in a kindy in the south of beijing and her salary was around 15-16,000 a month (of course without benefits). Another friend of mine is a part-timer for New Oriental school. She works only 3 days a week, she has the highest part-time rate (she's been with the school for a long time - the school has different rates according to your experience and students' feedback) and her salary - if there were no cancellations - comes out very high.

I take a bus to my school and it costs me 1rmb one way. I rent my apartment for 2,000rmb in downtown. Apartments' rates in Beijing are so various in the same area due to the fact that next to some international compound you can find a lot of Chinese housing areas so-called "Li" (Nanli, beili, dongli, xili). Those that are government owned and leased to people are cheaper.
The further you get away from downtown, the bigger and cheaper you can find apartments. Like, around the airport area it is possible to rent villas for as much as 4,500-5,000rmb a month (as big as 200+ sqm). In downtown for that big of a place you'd pay 3-4 times more. The only inconvenience is commuting to work, unless you work somewhere around that area.

Food. A lot of really cheap places. Even foreign food stalls with more or less decent prices. If you are a Chinese food fan then you can eat really really cheap. Markets are everywhere - bigger, smaller. Food, clothes etc. Medical services, different activities, events, places to go out to, places to go for a walk... I can go on and on.

What you need to do is make up your mind whether you really do want to move here. Then start looking for a job. And once you are already here - it will be even easier to manage your life etc!

icebear

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Re: Beijing Bound...?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2007, 12:53:08 AM »
Most of Beijing's laowais are on F visas and many schools expect you to handle your own visa issues. usually, 6 month multiple entry F goes for 1400 RMB. a Z visa will run you anywhere between 4K and 5K.

So essentially you're paying about 200/month for your visa, which is acceptable to me if I'm hitting some of the wages advertised online (8,000+ range). Is that pricier Z visa for one year as opposed to 6 months?

I'm under the impression that one has to leave the country when getting a new visa... is this the case in BJ or can you go through a service for 1400 within the city? If one has to fly down to HK every six months for visa issues, well, that's a little pricier.

Quote
What you need to do is make up your mind whether you really do want to move here. Then start looking for a job.

Agreed. I'm leaning more and more towards it, and will make a definite decision pretty soon.

Any thoughts/knowledge on the district Hai Dian Qu (???)? I have some Chinese friends living out there, or moving out there, and would like to be able to meet them somewhat conveniently. Is my best bet narrowing my search down to that area, or can I locate myself anywhere along the metro and be within decent commuting time? On that note, how is the commute/public transportation? I've heard some horror stories...

And thanks for all the feedback!

decurso

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Re: Beijing Bound...?
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2007, 01:34:31 AM »
 Haidian is the main University Distrit and it has all the cool things you would expect to find in a student neighbourhood.I quite like it.However...it is REALLY far from the center of town.Not all parts of Haidian have metro service and the bus ride is interminably long.I know a few people living there who like it a lot but they rarely venture outside Haidian.

Nolefan

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Re: Beijing Bound...?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2007, 03:06:25 AM »
ditto on Haidian.

I made it there twice in 1 year! first time for MIDI festival and then for a job interview... it's as far away form my home as going to another bloody city.

re: visa. You can do it here but once a year, you need to exit the country! juambinba has to take a little trip to HK becaue that was the date of her last entry stamp so she can't get it extended in Beijing that easily. Trip to HK ends up being worth it cuz: you get ticket + 6 month F for around 3000 so no headaches or complications.

alors régressons fatalement, eternellement. Des débutants, avec la peur comme exutoire à l'ignorance et Alzheimer en prof d'histoire de nos enfances!
- Random food, music and geek tales from the 'Jing: http://beijingdaze.com