Jobs? China! Vietnam!
Go East, young man– as free-market Communists embrace more freedom while Western bureaucrats, lawyers and scholars seem intent on screwing it up, say some critics…
One teacher’s expoerience. Check out teaching jobs via:
Go East, Young Man
By JONATHAN LEVINE
Published: January 8, 2012
…a dead-end job near Greenwich, Conn. I was in my early 20s, overeducated with a series of non-performing degrees from New York University and Columbia, and frustrated. When I saw the Occupy Wall Street protesters on TV, fed up with the economic status quo in the United States, I saw myself.
Or rather, I saw my old self, before I figured a way out.
To the occupiers and their sympathizers, I say vote — not with the ballot, but with your feet. Now that your encampment has disbanded, don’t just leave Zuccotti Park: leave America.
For China. At least, that’s what I did. It was the best decision I ever made.
In February of last year, I moved to Beijing, having landed a job teaching American culture and English at Tsinghua University. While I was not a global neophyte, I had never set foot in Asia. China had 1.3 billion people, and I didn’t know any of them.
But now, after living almost a year here, I feel that China is my second home. My work is fulfilling and my workload is manageable enough to give me time to travel. I have found friends among China’s large expatriate community, my colleagues and, of course, my eager students. The food is outstanding and caters to both the gastronomically meek and the profoundly adventurous.
Most of all, my experiences here have been enriched by the Chinese people themselves. Their patience, courtesy and hospitality leave me in no hurry to return home anytime soon.
And guess what? I’m not so special.
China wants you. Job prospects are abundant. The effects of the Great Recession of 2008 may be felt in the United States for years, but they barely scratched China. Demand for native English speakers is white-hot. ChinaJob.com, TheBeijnger.com and Dave’s ESL Cafe are just a few of the places where you can search for work.
There are problems here, of course. China is a nation that unapologetically rejects Western democracy — and yet I am surprised to find that Chinese citizens and the news media have as much freedom as they do. For my money, CCTV News English, a channel offered by China’s major state television broadcaster, is more fair and balanced than Fox News.
Pollution is bad. Beijing, like much of China, is often enveloped in what local residents euphemistically call “mist.” But there are nice days, too, more than you might think.
Many critics have rightly pointed out the shocking failures of the Chinese food safety system — the most famous being the tainted-baby-formula scandal of 2008. But what you may not know is that China meted out swift justice in that case to the perpetrators. That is more than can be said for the handling of many corporations in the United States that have harmed their consumers and remain unpunished.
We live in grim times, but fortune favors the bold. So if you are reading this from some occupied encampment, a soul-crushing cubicle, your parents’ basement or anywhere else in America really, maybe you should consider paying me a visit.
I’ll buy you a duck.
Jonathan Levine is a lecturer in American studies and English at Tsinghua University in Beijing.