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School? Certificates? Volunteer work? Sigh.

chaosisorderchaosisorder Cupcake PrincessOregonRegistered User regular
edited March 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
The boy and I have finally made the move to China and are looking forward to at least 2 years of radically different living. He's working while here, which is what brought us over int eh first place. I'm kind of housewifing it up at the moment: which would be more challenging if we weren't living somewhere with a maid and if we had kids.

I'd like to spend the next few years doing something productive for our household. I have my masters in a field I adore, but it might end up where we live in an area my education is not of practical value. Like now.

Any suggestions on how I can be spending this time making myself more marketable for our return to the US or other locales? I'm trying to come up with ideas and I don't have the experience of anything other than 1. Go to school. 2. Get job in field. so my ideas are kinda lame.

Thanks H&A...you guys are always awesome.

tldr; Have two years of time to kill in China- how can I be bettering myself?

chaosisorder on

Posts

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Cooking lessons?

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    See if there are any international orgs or nonprofits that you could volunteer with. If you're not looking to make money this could get your foot in the door and lead to a job, and give you good experience to put on your resume.

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  • chaosisorderchaosisorder Cupcake Princess OregonRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Volunteer work would rock, but I can't find any organizations that let you work where you already are- most all want to assign you somewhere else.

    And oddly, the boy and I are both huge cooking people. Cooking schools are what we do for vacations.

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I'm kind of amazed you hadn't thought about this prior to departure, it's usually a subject of big fights within relationships.

    One thing you might be able to do is research. I don't know what your degree is in, but if it's in social sciences, arts or philosophy there should be plenty of things you could write about and maybe get published.

    Learning Chinese would also do wonders for your CV. Speaking more than one language is pretty awesome anyway.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • FuzzywhaleFuzzywhale Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Aldo wrote: »
    Learning Chinese

    Do this! I'm a math postgrad taking some mandarin electives and would kill for some time in china.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Learn to cook the local cuisine and use that knowledge to your advantage when you move back home. Learning Chinese as well is a huge plus, any foreign language is a huge plus for that matter.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I think you'd be mad not to take the time to really seriously study Chinese. With the way China is growing in power and importance, knowing the language will be a major plus. I don't mean just take evening classes as an idle hobby, but if you can afford it take a full-time course that will make you truly proficient in the language, as well as taking every opportunity to practice your language by socialising with local people (not just expats).

  • MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I think you'd be mad not to take the time to really seriously study Chinese. With the way China is growing in power and importance, knowing the language will be a major plus. I don't mean just take evening classes as an idle hobby, but if you can afford it take a full-time course that will make you truly proficient in the language, as well as taking every opportunity to practice your language by socialising with local people (not just expats).

    Yeah I wanna basically repeat this. If I had two years to kill, and money to use I'd take as many courses in the language as I could. China is getting to be one of the economic powers it seems and it would never hurt to be able to speak the language.

    Monster Hunter Tri US: MoSiAc - U46FJF - Katrice | RipTen - Gaming News | Los Comics
  • chaosisorderchaosisorder Cupcake Princess OregonRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Aldo wrote: »
    I'm kind of amazed you hadn't thought about this prior to departure, it's usually a subject of big fights within relationships.

    We went over it before leaving- we'd have been crazy to pass up this opportunity, no matter the hit my career takes. It's China, for pete's sake! AWESOME!

    We're in immersion Mandarin classes 3 times a week for 2 hours, one on one, so I have a feeling that combined with random daily adventures will mean a strong education in Mandarin. I'm also taking violin and calligraphy lessons for shits and giggles.

    Unfortunately, my degree is incredibly useful over here, but not without me speaking much stronger Mandarin. My background is plant pathology (we fix sick plants and identify harmful bugs) so, yeah, China has some ag going on. We're also in one of the biggest fossil beds in the world so I'm trying to get in touch with local universities to do volunteer work. I've also been looking at doing editing work for students applying for U.S. universities.

    Just trying to come up with a variety of options and maybe see some awesome opportunity I'm missing.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    We're in immersion Mandarin classes 3 times a week for 2 hours, one on one, so I have a feeling that combined with random daily adventures will mean a strong education in Mandarin.

    You'll never learn a language quickly at 6 hours a week. Can't you do a more serious qualification?

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    We're in immersion Mandarin classes 3 times a week for 2 hours, one on one, so I have a feeling that combined with random daily adventures will mean a strong education in Mandarin.

    You'll never learn a language quickly at 6 hours a week. Can't you do a more serious qualification?

    Seriously, you'll only learn the absolute basics.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    It sounds like you're pretty well off. Surely you can afford to go for around 4 hours or so of class a day? 20 hours a week for two years and you'll probably be fluent (albeit non-native level).

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    It basically sounds like evening classes for entertainment. You'll end up with enough Chinese to talk to your maid and order food in restaurants, but forget about using it in business.

    It's up to you whether you really want to learn the language, or if you'd be happier with cookery lessons to fill your time.

    Or, if you want kids eventually, now would be a good time to take a career break and have them, since a career break seems pretty much enforced by your circumstances.

  • chaosisorderchaosisorder Cupcake Princess OregonRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    No kids for us, nor any in the future.

    I assumed with the volume of immersion practice (ie, everywhere we go) we'd be getting that the 3X3 plan would be sufficient, but I can certainly bump that up- we have something silly like 5,000 hours of language training to work with. I'll find out if I can do classes without the boy and if so, up that significantly. If I can't, I bet I can find language training not provided by the company. I do agree that learning Mandarin is top of my list of productive and future use items.

    This will definitely be a career break, but I don't want to be idle. Ideally, I could apply my ag background here in volunteer work, like for the FAO or the local ag school. I'm trying to find more contact points, but that's where I was drawing a blank.

    I'm also considering what kind of legitimate courses I might be able to take here that I could put towards potential law school on our return (I've always loved ag law). Suggestions?

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