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"I'll be RICH!!!"

Well, comparatively speaking, yes.  Your salary, even the 2,200 rmb/month standard salary for teaching at a university will make you a high-wage earner by local standards.  But, you may or may not get rich in terms of what you will leave with.  Also, at the end of this article is a week's worth of eating dinner out prices.    

     Its possible to earn 7,000 rmb +/month working at a private school and doing private teaching.  As costs are so low, you could easily save quite abit of that.  Some teachers are currently making as much as 350 rmb/hour for private teaching.  Stay a few years, and... HEY!  But, where to keep that money.  

     The Bank of China, the big state run bank in China will let you open a deposit account, and even offers ATM cards.  The cards, however, have a daily withdrawal limit of around 2,500 rmb.  

     Also, a once state owned bank that was spun off in the late 70's, CITIC, the China International Trust and Investment Corporation (Ka Wah Bank) is perhaps a more accustomed to the kind of requests foreigners might make.  Unlike the BoC, it is not found all over China, but only in larger cities.  

    If you get to earning large amounts and saving it, you might be concerned with currency fluxuations.  Although the government pegs the rmb to a stable exchange against the dollar, some people prefer to hold their savings in US$.  You can convert you salary to hard currency.  The amount of you salary that you can exchange for hard currency is set out in your contract.  It can be as high as 70%.

     Concerning bank accounts, the key issue is availability of your funds.  If you opened an account in China your funds would be unavailable for withdrawal once you left China.  The money stays in China in your bank account.  There is strict control over the outflow of currency.  We are all hoping that the W.T.O. will change all this.  This should happen in November 2001.

         One alternative if you are really making big money, is to travel.  In Hong Kong you can open a dollar account at one of the banks; Hong Kong allows people to exchange up to 5,000 rmb.  But, you would have to live quite close to Hong Kong to make this be a cost-effective.  

    Still another is to be teaching in China with a foriegn owned school.  Often, these schools will make arrangements to use direct deposit and pay into your account back home.  The ironic  side of this is that most teachers have been unhappy with the management and labor practices at foreign owned school.

     Still a third option is to leave with a check from your school.  This would require a high degree of confidence in your school.

     The long and short of the matter is that most people teaching English in China will earn a great income compared to the local standards, but not relative to their own country.  Even if you saved the 50% of a 5,000 rmb salary, after 12 months that would be 27,000 rmb. It's unlikely that you would save that much money.  If you were lucky enough to, until the banking rules change, you should expect to enjoy your earnings while in China.

 

5/14 -- 51 including a taxi
5/15 -- 66
5/16 -- 74
5/17 -- 339 five people, with sodas and beer
5/18 -- 139 Pizza Hut

ddd

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 Teaching
 English
 And
 Living
 In
 China
  1999-2001

 

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