About Teaching in China

What qualifications should one have to teach in China?

The basic qualifications are:

Being a native speaker of English, having a minimum BA degree, loving China and its people and Clear, well-spoken English and a good knowledge of the fundamentals of English grammar.

Teaching experience and/or certificate is preferred but not a must.

What courses will I be required to teach?

Most schools require you to teach oral English, but depending on the particular school you are placed in, you may be asked to teach some of the following courses: English & American literature, linguistics, reading, composition, grammar, cultural survey of English-speaking countries, and English for Special Purposes such as business English. In some international Middle school, you may be asked to teach physics, chemistry of A-Level Cause.

What are the teaching conditions in China like?

Teaching conditions in China vary from school to school, but normally you will be teaching 16 to 20 hours a week. Class sizes vary from 15 in private training centers to 60 in public schools. On average, however, classes will have about 40 students. Normally, you will not be provided with the luxuries of a western classroom, and often the blackboard and a piece of chalk are your only teaching tools, so it is vital that you are a person with an imaginative and creative personality. Although it might seem challenging, the experience is highly rewarding and will give you a different perspective on life.

Will I receive any compensation teaching in China and how much?

Starting salaries in our contact schools are between 3,500 and 10,000 RMB/month, but usually between 4,000 and 5,000RMB/month (roughly $525-$700). Private institutes generally pay more than public colleges and universities, but you normally are required to teach more hours as well. In addition you will receive free furnished housing in most of school in china.

Though little by Western standards, 4,000-5,000RMB a month is an excellent salary considering that the average salary for Chinese citizens in urban areas is around 1,500RMB a month. In any case, things are cheap in China and 2,000 is usually enough to cover your basic expenses.

If you commit to one year of teaching, most schools will reimburse a round-trip ticket and most schools will pay half of a return ticket upon completion of a six-month contract.

Do schools provide positions all year round?

Most teaching positions start in September and some in February/March (the beginning of the spring semester, depending on the Chinese New Year), so we will have more positions available in August and January/February compared to the rest of the year. The schedule at private institutions is a little more flexible than that of public schools and universities. Most of them accept teachers on an on-going basis. Due to the fact that demand exceeds supply, there are usually a number of positions available at any given moment.

How many foreign teachers do schools in China need every year?

As the demand for English teachers is still growing, numbers are always unreliable, but according to some statistics China needs about 100 thousand teachers annually.

Can you give me a rough estimate of the monthly living expenses in a big city?

In big cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the average food cost is much higher than in small to medium size cities. In most cases, you may spend about 1200-1500 yuan for food (cooking yourself or eating at street-side restaurants is fairly cheap). If you eat regularly at western restaurants, that cost can be significantly higher. In small to medium size cities, you may spend only 500-800yuan on monthly food.

I have never worked overseas before. How will I cope with living in China?

Most of our partner schools are well experienced in hosting foreign teachers and will make every effort to assist you in settling in. As long as you keep an open mind, stay as flexible as possible and set out to enjoy your stay you should have the time of your life.

One aspect upon arriving is the culture shock. Even though China is looking more and more modern upon first glance, you have to remember that you are in a different country with a significantly different culture. A positive attitude is important. You will have to be careful in traffic, you cannot drink tap water.

Are there any extra activities for the foreigners in summer and winter vacations?

During the winter and summer breaks, we organize English camps for different schools and foreign teachers are welcome to attend these. For more details on these camps, please contact us.

Do teachers require a physical examination once they arrive in China?

A medical exam is required in order to obtain a foreign expert certificate and a work visa, and this is performed in a local hospital. It takes about one hour and the cost is often reimbursed by your school. Two passport photos are needed for the exam.

What do I need to bring to China, I will need but not available there?

It is necessary for each teacher to bring two copies of their university diploma, resume, teaching certificate, and 6-8 passport sized photos to be submitted for the medical exam, your work visa, and foreign expert certificate.

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