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As far as I know student visas can be extended indefinitely. Being on your second tourist visa is okay, on your third risky and your fourth they will not extend it. I'm sure if you're actually travelling it'd be different but if you're obviously resident on a tourist visa they don't like it.

If only. Chinese builders do not believe in central air conditioning. Every room gets its own damned air conditioner. Unless your budget is much, much greater than any teacher's will ever be.

Monday to Friday I am actually teaching for an hour and a half a day. If you're getting paid by the hour don't take less than 150. I'm getting paid by the month at that job. When I was working in public schools I'd teach maybe five 35 minute lessons and one hour long lesson a day. So I'd get paid for three hours fiftyfive minutes though I was there from eight to three. You can still save quite a bit.

Depends how well you negotiate. I got 15K in my “contract” for my non-visa job and actually get 13.9K. I have a friend who negotiates hard and then negotiates again if they yry and make him pay taxes. It works for him. But legally, yes.

I work every day and make a little under 24,000 RMB a month. That's 3,840 dollars. My rent is 2200 a month and that's my biggest non discretionary expense. I spend max 1000 a month on the metro and taxis and maybe 1000 each a week on alcohol and overpriced food and coffee. That's under 12000. This is with me cooking less since I came to Shanghai than I did in the average week at home. And if you're not a boozehound you can save even more.

And if you don't, strictly speaking, have enough money to set yourself up once you get over here you can get free accomodation by trading English tuition for accomodation. Normally kids and I've never had an extended conversation about it with anyone who's done it but I've met people who did it. And if the family you start with are shit there are plenty of others.

MileyCyrus appears to know more than me about the legal ins and outs. I have heard the required insurance referred to as bodybag insurance but at the same time I've friends who woke up in a hospital after an epilectic fit who just left. No one chased them for any money. I imagine if you go bankrupt you scrape together the money to go home and do so unless you've pissed off a powerful person enormously. I know of people who are in their third stay in prison for running gambling dens so whatever else they do they don't deport people for comparitively petty shit like going bankrupt. Or they might, if you declare it on the form applying for a new visa.

On a similar note, if the border guard or visa desk guy asks if you are working on a tourist or student visa the answer is no.

As far as violent crime goes I'd be surprised if Shanghai was as violent as New York or London. Gotta watch your wallet/purse/bag though. There are professionals all over.

True. Shanghainese/Wu is at least as different from Mandarin as French is from Spanish. But the majority of Shanghai residents are first or second generation immigrants. More or less everyone under the age of 40 speaks Mandarin to one extent or another.

Awful. If you have bad asthma don't go. It has improved steadily for the past five years but it's still quite, quite bad.

Most people who speak good to great English, really. Most shops, barss and restaurants with staff who speak good English. The pressure to learn Chinese is substantially lower than elsewhere. You will not have the benefit of anything resembling total immersion.

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