Well, unsurprisingly, the road to China is a bumpy one, cluttered with seemingly endless amounts of bureaucracy and paperwork. I accepted a job at a college in Nanning in mid-February, and it's now nearly May and I am still trying to get all the boxes ticked on the laundry list of things I need for a work permit.
It's definitely been the slowest and most arduous process of any of the countries I've worked in so far. Luckily, the end is finally in sight.
I have a trip to New York planned this coming week, in order to go apply for my Z Visa at the Chinese consulate in Manhattan (the nearest one to Boston.) The Z Visa is the one that anyone going to China to teach should expect to get. As I mentioned before, you shouldn't consider working at any school that doesn't require you to have a Z Visa.
If you're new to teaching overseas, China is probably not the best country to start out in. The difficulty and expensive of obtaining a work visa is a major detractor, not to mention the field of EFL teaching in China is still not as well regulated and safe as it could be. That said, it is a rapidly expanding market, with better positions opening up all the time at respectable institutions. If you have some experience teaching overseas, I'd definitely consider looking into Chinese jobs.
Following my New York trip, there is just one more document to get ready before I can finally get on a plane to Nanning. So it looks like I could be there in the next few weeks, provided everything goes well.
Posts have been infrequent lately because I've had a lot going on; last week I traveled back to Dallas to visit my parents. I had a really nice time there with them and it was great to get another chance to see them before I head off to China. We did a nice hike near Denton and I got to see my first road runner. We had some great beer too. The DFW area may be no Portland, OR, but it has really stepped up its beer game in the last few years.
I'll try and do some sight-seeing while I'm hanging out in New York waiting on my visa. I'll try and get back to posting more regularly if I can.