Tiger I am just going to lay out the reality as I perceive it, regarding monastic life. Of course this is subjective but others will tell you similar tales I think. Come this December I will have been a monk for 9 years. If I had to divide up that time, about 6 years of it would be in the Tibetan tradition, 2 years in Theravada monasteries of the Thai tradition, and about a year at Chinese institutions- one in Taiwan, one in the West.
The first years were extremely difficult and I could barely scrape together enough support for visas and plane tickets. I did not have the luxury of picking and choosing where I wanted to be- I took offers from anywhere that would have me. Finally since completing translator training the last two years I have been working as a translator for a fantastic geshe, so I have been fortunate. My situation is never completely stable though and if centres cannot support a translator and geshe due to financial problems I might end up washing dishes somewhere for a couple of months.
A big part of monastic life, and Asian culture, is respect for your elders and submission to authority. You will find this at all Thai, Tibetan and Chinese monasteries, but it is most pronounced at Chinese monasteries. People will be telling you what to do, and you will be expected to do it- without question. As the years go by you earn your seniority and your right to an opinion- again, true in most traditions but especially in Chinese Buddhism with the heavy influence of Confucianism. If you question authority you will make things very hard for yourself.
Also, in Chinese culture filiality- devotion to one's parents, is also very important. If you told a traditional Chinese person your parents don't know that they are talking about and you won't listen to them when they tell you to go to school, you would be seen as disrespectful and stubborn- not monk material.
So if you want to make it in a Chinese monastery, start being able to listen to your elders now, and be willing to sometimes not express your opinion. Of course, if you don't want that, remain a layperson with all the freedoms that allows.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin