Duo help on journey of discovery
A GROWING number of Australians are calling China home – and Mooloolaba brothers Thomas and Zak Gray are hoping to help even more make the move.
Fresh out of high school, Thomas's itchy feet told him he had to explore the world.
“To be honest I didn't really have an inclination where I wanted to go,” Thomas said.
“I really didn't know anything about China before I got there.”
He lived in Harbin, in the northeast of China, teaching English for a year. He has since returned and graduated from University of the Sunshine Coast.
So passionate are they about China, Thomas and Zak have started a business that will open the country up to more people.
You Can Teach Recruitment trains people to teach in China, guarantees a job in the Asian country, guides you through preparation before you leave and meets you at the airport when you arrive.
It is a system they hope will help many more experience the same they have.
Thomas said his time spent in China was “the definitive experience of my life”.
“Placing yourself in such an alien culture, something that's so different to what I'd known my whole life,” he said.
“It really forces you to reassess what your values are, things like that.
“When you're around everybody that you've known for a very long time you don't have to have such a strong sense of who you are.
“But when you go over there and don't know anyone, you need a strong sense of individuality.”
There is a growing number of Australians shifting to China and some estimates say up to 2000 Aussie expats are in the Beijing area alone.
Commerce insiders say Australians are being drawn by proportionally higher salaries, lower taxation and the perception of career advantages amid a rapidly growing market.
“If you look at trade between Australia and China at the moment it's booming,” Thomas said.
“A lot of people go over to teach English but there is so much opportunity.”
Find more information about the China workshops at www.youcanteach.com.au.