Some background on our trip to China

While attending Brigham Young University in the spring of 2004, I attended a career fair for engineering and technical students.  As I went from booth to booth surveying what was available in the engineering career market, I was disappointed to find out that most of the jobs being offered seemed to require credentials that few new college graduates have, they offered far less money than I wanted to earn, and the competition for the openings was far more intense than I thought it should have been.  It was almost like watching “The Apprentice” contestants jockying for a job at Burger King.

However, at one of the booths a group called ILP (International Language Program) was advertising the opportunity to go teach English in China.  The girl at the booth told me that, breaking from their traditional model in which students paid for their trip, ILP was offering new paid teaching positions in China.  With all the buzz I’d heard about China’s emergence as a legitimate player in the world economy in my business classes and on the news, my interest was piqued. My wife and I applied for the program, were accepted, and began our preparations to move to China for a half-year or more commitment.

Just previous to our scheduled departure in August 2004, we were surprised to get a call from ILP informing us that in fact we would not be getting paid to teach, but that we could still go as volunteers.  Having done some research on English teaching in China, we knew that there were plenty of opportunities to get paid to teach, so we searched the internet to find a better offer than what ILP presented.  After sending out a few emails, we received a phone call from a Chinese recruiter in Canada whose husband owned a school called G-Maple, located in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, China.  I told her that my wife and I were interested in teaching English in a place where we could establish business relationships so that we could do manufacturing and importing.  She convinced me that Taiyuan was the place for us, so instead of going to Wuxi, we changed our assignment to Taiyuan.

About richard

Richard and Lisa are certified entrepreneurs and thrill seekers.
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