Teaching English in China

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  • Though I am a native English speaker, I have never been a teacher. Can I apply for this job? Yes, we could provide training for you to be qualified to teach in China. The schools in China require native or near native English speakers to communicate with the students and teach them English language and subject knowledge, e.g., GCSE, A-leve or International Baccalaureate. With more experiences and qualifications, you will have a better chance of finding a better paid position.
  • Does the school provide accommodation? Yes, your accommodation is provided free of charge in the school in most cases. But other schools pay an allowance and help you to find alternative accommodation.
  • Do I have a choice of length of placements? Yes. We offer placements for durations of 1 month to 24 month, but the vast majority of schools offer the standard yearly contract with the option to extend if required.
  • Can I choose what type of institutions to teach in? Yes, you do have choices of various types of institutions, ranging from nurseries to universities but the more flexible you are, the better chance we have to find you a position. The age groups for the schools we work with are: Kindergarten: aged between 3-6; Primary school: aged between 6-12; Middle school: aged between 12-16; University/college: aged between 16 and above; Language school and other various educational institutions: all age groups.
  • If I apply, am I guaranteed to get a placement? No, this is like any job application, there are applicants that succeed. We interview applicants to ensure that they meet our general requirements. The final decision, however, is made by each school. But if you have good credentials, e.g., you are flexible with your placement choices, hold a degree certificate and teaching qualifications, and can commit for more than a year, then you stand a better chance.
  • What are the class sizes? They are usually around 20 to 30 students.
  • What subjects will I be teaching? In most circumstances, it will be English language. But the school may have other subjects which you may be qualified to teach. This is open for discussion with the insitution where you will be teaching.

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  • What are the working hours? 15-40 hours a week - these are mostly on working days but some schools may require work at weekends. You are often expected to prepare classes and to spend time socializing with students. Most classes last for 1 to 2 hours long.
  • What are the costs involved? The placement itself is free. But you will need to prepare for a minimum of ?1000 initial fund in order to apply, as you will initially need to pay the following: Initial flight to China, around ?500; Visa costs, around ?100 - ?200 depending on your nationality; Your first months expenditure, around ?200 - ?300 (as you will be paid 1 month in arrears); The school may ask you for proof of finance e.g., a copy of your bank statement to show your eligibility. (You could block out any sensitive details such as account number on your statement.)
  • Can I start at any time of the year? Yes, you could. As we work with a number of schools, some schools may have positions available at various dates in the year.
  • For how long will I have to wait before I start my job? We recruit all year round, but we recommend you apply to us around 3 month before your intended travel date. This gives us sufficient time to find you a school and complete the interview (often within 1 month), for the school to apply for your work permit (another month) and for you to apply for your visa and get ready. If you apply too early, we may need to hold your information and process it around 3 months before your planned departure. However, we often have some urgent placement opportunities for anyone who is willing to start immediately.
  • What type of visa do I need in order to teach in China? The government in China requires teachers to hold a work visa Z visa. In order to apply for a Z visa, the school in China need to be able to apply for a foreign expert permit on your behalf. The vast majority of our partner schools can do this for you. This will be communicated to you before the interview.
  • When will I be given full details such as salary/accommodation, etc? Once you have submitted your application, we will send your details to schools with vacancies on our database. Once a school decides to offer you an interview, we can then pass you the full details of the school such as salary, accommodation, location, type of school, and also give you the school's web address, etc.

  • What are the requirements to take up the placement? 1. Age between 18 to 55 years depending on your specific role to take up; 2. Have good English grades at school; 3. Appropriate personal qualities (maturity, flexibility, ability to cope with challenges, good communication skills); 4. Good health. You must be a proficient English speaker. We accept people from all ethnic backgrounds. You can be currently residing in anywhere in the world, it's your English proficiency level and academic qualifications that counts.
  • Do I need a TEFL (TEACHING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE) certificate or other qualifications? It depends on what position you are applying for. If you do have a TEFL certificate, then it will be very useful. If you do not yet hold a TEFL, our advice is: apply to us first, but tell us you are willing to take a TEFL course if required. As some schools may not need TEFL so you will not need to take the course, whilst other schools may need it, therefore, may give you an offer on the condition you take a TEFL course. There are many courses available online starting from about ?200.
  • Do I need to have a university degree? Yes but no. It again depends on which opening you are applying for. With some schools you may get away with just a college certificate, please contact us if you're in this situation.
  • Do I need to be able to speak Chinese? No, you do not need to speak or understand Chinese.
  • Do I need to attend an interview in China or in the UK? No, we will arrange a telephone or video interview between you and the institution or us on behalf of the institution.
  • After my placement if I would like to continue to stay in China what can I do? If you would like to find a new teaching position after the completion of the placement, we are happy to help you find an alternative school. Alternatively we can advise you on options available in the country. Foreign experts with experience in China are in high demand so you are likely to be able to find a job in other areas, we can again advise you on this.

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  • What happens if I am in a dispute with the school or am unhappy? If you are unhappy with your placement, please contact us and we will try to mediate your concerns between you and the school. From our experience, the vast majority of the concerns raised are due to misunderstanding or differences in expectations; or due to cultural differences, which are often resolved through dialogue. If you are still unhappy after negotiations, we can help try to find you an alternative school. However, if the school dismisses you due to your own fault, then we may not be able to help.
  • Will there be an induction course before my placement? Most institutions will provide you with the necessary training in order for you to perform your tasks. Some will provide initial induction and others will provide on the job training. Many institutions will ask the teacher to get involved in existing social programs and at times to help organize programs along with other teachers and students.
  • Do I need to pay any taxes? Different schools quote salary in different ways, some quote pre tax salary, others after tax. However the actual salary you will receive will be stated clearly in the final contract. If you are unsure, please do contact us before you sign the contract.
  • Can I apply with friends? Yes of course. But we can't guarantee that you will be able to work in the same school but we can find you placements in the same city so you could meet up regularly.
  • How much luggage can I take to China? Most flights restrict you to 20 - 30KG of luggage on international flights. Domestic flights in China are restricted to 20KG. If you have more luggage, you may need to use a luggage shipping service such as Seven Seas worldwide.
  • Can I take my family with me? Yes, you can, as long as you tell us beforehand, we can arrange you with a school that will accept this arrangement. However, your family will need to pay for their own costs such as rent, food, visa and flights, etc.
  • What are the living costs like? Generally, living cost in Chinese cities is much lower in comparison to western standards. The average salary for a Chinese graduate in most Chinese cities are just around 2000 - 2500 RMB per month. The rate of exchange for Chinese RMB to GBP is usually around 1 GBP = 10 RMB Yuan. Sample costs: Meal at a cheap restaurant: 30 Yuan; Taxi: 10-20 Yuan; Bus fare: 1-5 Yuan; A film DVD: 5 Yuan; Budget hotel: 200 Yuan per room per night.

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