How To Get A Job Teaching English In China | Apply Within
How To Get A Job Teaching English In China: Are you interested in living abroad? Or even experiencing a new culture and making friends in another country? Do you want a job in which it’ll allow you save quite a bit of money, provide you with plenty of time for holidays, and most of all you get the opportunity to have fun? Well why not try your hand at teaching English, more specifically teaching English in China? Read on and we’ll explain how you can get a job teaching English in China.
*If you’re interested in teaching English in China send us an email at email@example.com*
| How To Get A Job Teaching English In China |
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List of Topics
1 – The Basics: The Requirements
2- Foreign Experts Certificate, Z-Visa and Residence Permit
3 – What’s It Like Teaching English in China
4 – What’s It Like Living in China
5 – Cost Of Living in China
6 – Where We Teach English
7 – About Shane English
8- Working Week and Salary of Teaching At Shane English
9 – How To Apply To Teach English in China
The Basics – The Requirements To Teaching English In China
First things first, when applying for a teaching position in China you will need to meet several requirements, with teaching experience surprisingly not being one. The main two requirements are that you have a college/university degree and a 120 hour TEFL certificate. What course you graduated in from university doesn’t matter as such, it’s more that you can meet this requirement. In regards to the TEFL course it needs to be the 120 hour portion of the course, not the 90 hour course. TEFL courses can be easily found and completed online. For most schools and learning centers a TEFL course completed online is enough to satisfy this portion.
*PLEASE NOTE* Recently China is in the process of overhauling their system and tightening up the restrictions for teaching English in the country. Previously to teach English in China you only needed a 120 hour TEFL certification, however in the last few years the landscape for teaching English in China has been gradually changing. China is now expecting their applicants to have graduated from university. For more information on what is needed, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org as we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.
Aside from educational qualifications you will also need to complete a police background check and a medical check, while all the documents need to be verified by a Public Notary (U.S)/Justice of The Peace (AUS). Having the police check conducted is rather obvious, since you’ll be around children this is a way to weed out nefarious persons. The medical check which is needed is a basic check to make sure that you aren’t carrying any infectious diseases which can be brought into China.
A Complete List of What Is Required
- An Undergraduate College/University Degree
- Completed a 120 Hour TEFL Course
- A Medical Check
- Police Background Check
- All documents need to be verified by a Public Notary (U.S)/Justice of The Peace (AUS)
- No previous teaching experience required, though it does help
- English is your first language
As mentioned briefly before, teaching experience is not a requirement, though some cities or schools will insist on 2 years experience as being mandatory. You’ll find that the major cities which are considered tier 1 cities like Beijing and Shanghai do regularly expect at least 2 years experience. Though having said that, you may be able to find a job in those cities which don’t. Generally speaking the jobs which require 2 years experience are those which are paying a slightly higher salary.
In regards to training if you have no teaching experience, most schools and learning centres in China do provide in-house training. This great if you’ve had no experience teaching before. What most schools and learning centers are looking for when it comes to personality is that you have a positive attitude, are comfortable with children, and don’t mind being a little silly.
Foreign Experts Certificate, Z-Visa, and Residence Permit
All the information you have compiled and have provided will be used so that you can obtain a Foreign Experts Certificate (FEC), and than and a Z-Visa. The end goal from all of this is that you’re given a FEC and a Z-Visa in order to obtain a Residence Permit once you reach China. Upon arriving in China you’ll have 30 days to upgrade your Z-Visa to a Residence Permit. Your employer will help you with this. To change the type of visa in China this is usually done at a local police station.
The process is essentially 3 steps – 1) Compile the information, 2) Submit your application, and 3) Collection and upgrading. Below each step has been broken down to show you a more detailed working of how things proceed.
1: Compile Information
1) Compile information >> 2) Send/email to employer in China >> 3) Employer uses information to send you a Foreign Experts Certificate (FEC) and employment summary letter >> 4) You receive a paper copy of your FEC and employment summary in the mail.
2: Submit Your Application
5) Go to the nearest Chinese Visa Application Service Center Use FEC and employment summary to apply for a Z-Visa >> 6) Fill out the form and pay the fee.
3: Collection and Upgrading
7) Receive passport back >> 8) Once in China you have 30 days to upgrade to a Residence Permit (employer will do this).
The price and how promptly the visa application processing center will take to approve your visa will depend on several factors, but the most telling factor is money. Put simply you can pay more to have your visa processed the next day. The going rate decreases in price the longer you need to wait for the visa to be processed. Generally speaking if you choose the slowest option it will take around 1 week.
Other things to consider when factoring in the speed of your visa being processed is the time of year and how many other visa are needing to be processed. Generally speaking the Visa Processing Center is slightly busier around Chinese public holidays, more so Chinese New Year, so keep that in mind.
A great website to visit for additional information is the Chinese Visa Application Service Center. That is the official website used for the agency which processes visas for China. On their website they have a full listed guideline to what is needed along with the forms which need to be completed for the Z-Visa. A Z-Visa application can be filled out online or submitted in person. Either way you need to visit the closest Chinese Visa Application Service Center to drop off and collect your submission and passport.
What’s It Like Teaching in China?
The work isn’t hard or intensive, but it can be a little stressful living in a foreign country at times. This is what adds to the stress for most people, it isn’t the job, but navigating a different country. Since things may not be done the same way as they are back home, this is the side of teaching in China which people will struggle with. If you can come to terms with the culture shock and adjusting to another country, than you’ll do just fine.
Teaching English in China is rather fun. Lessons can be extremely fun and only seem to be limited by your imagination. In some classes I get students to throw foam blocks at each other, play tug-o-war, dodge-ball, musical chairs or duck, duck, goose, and at times I even get them to participate in chop stick relay races. The rules are a little laxed in China when it comes to a few things, but as long as you can assert classroom management and the children are still learning, you can make your classes as fun as you like.
One other thing which is a little different from teaching in China as opposed to a Western country is the Chinese view towards touching. A gentle affirming pat on the shoulder or back, or even a simple hi-five would be frowned upon in most Western schools. However in China these affirming messages of support seem to be encouraged as it shows parents that you like their child. From a Western standpoint it may seem a little weird, or take some time to get your head around the idea, as there is a big awareness of the negative aspects of what getting too close with a student can entail in Western culture.
I feel as though it’s a welcome change, as you’ll find that a lot of your students will want to hug you and show their affection. I think it’s a nice way to show it back. The touching and closeness was something which I needed to get over and become accustomed to the Chinese way of thinking when I first began teaching in China.
One other thing to consider when teaching English in China is the normal routine of the children and their mindset. Chinese children are expected to do well not only for themselves, but for their families as well. Chinese children are expected to do well in school and attend university, find a well paying and respectable job, and become married and have children by the age of 24 – 26. It seems as though their entire life has been mapped out for them already, so they’re under enormous pressure to do well. In most cases on tests if they don’t score 100%, than they consider that a failure.
A normal Chinese student is expected to attended school, not only on weekdays, but weekends as well. On top of that any spare time that they have will be filled with homework and extra curriculum activities like playing the piano, violin, and learning English. It’s important to know this as this is what the students you’ll be teaching will be exposed to. With this in mind, since the children don’t have much time to be that, a child. Whenever you play a game in class they usually quite enjoy it. This means that there is a lot of genuine excitement and positive emotion in class.
| How To Get A Job Teaching English In China |
What’s It Like Living In China?
If you’d like a detailed guide and analysis of what it’s like living in China than we’ve got you sorted with our guide – What’s It Like Living in China – Living Abroad Series. The guide covers a wide array of topics to – what it’s like living in a communist country, housing and accommodation in China, the language barrier, visas, transport, pollution, being a foreigner in China, cultural differences, along with any tips we have to offer.
If you’d like a month by month guide of our personal thoughts on living in China you can check out our ongoing series – ‘This Is Our Life’. The series provides more of a personal look at teaching English in China, along with our how we’ve found living in China.
Cost of Living in China
Living in China is considerably cheaper than most Western countries. For most foreigners coming to China is not only a great opportunity to learn more about another country, but also a chance to save a little money. If you’d like a detailed analysis of the cost of living in China, which includes a grocery sample please read our article – The Cost Of Living In China: An Expats Guide
Where We Teach English in China
The center of Yangzhou
Lexi and I are currently teaching English at Shane English in Yangzhou. Yangzhou (pronounced young joe) is in the Jiangsu Province, around an 1 hour bus ride from Nanjing and a 2 hour train ride from Shanghai. Yangzhou is a mid sized Chinese town with a population of just over 2 million, along with a history which spans over 2500 years.
The Five Pavilion Bridge at Slender West Lake in Yangzhou
The people of Yangzhou are quite nice and very curious and interested in meeting foreigners. Yangzhou is constantly growing and getting larger and larger. Popular sights to see in Yangzhou is Dongguan Street, a part of town which contains old style Chinese buildings which have been kept in extremely good condition, while Slender West Lake which is home to Yangzhou’s most iconic image – The Five Pavilion Bridge. Interestingly Yangzhou is also the home of where traditional fried rice was born.
Temperature wise Yangzhou can vary. In summer it usually sits around 28 – 32 °C, with there being a bit of humidity in the air. For this time of year I’d strongly recommend investing in an e-bike as when you’re moving around the city the winds created when you’re riding are quite soothing. In winter can get a little cold, so you’ll need to bring some warm clothing. In the coldest months of winter in December and January the temperature will be around -5 to 0 °C. It does snow in Yangzhou occasionally.
Videos Based on Yangzhou, China
About Shane English Yangzhou
The entrance to the DT location
Shane English is a private English learning center which places an emphasis on the classroom being an immersive English environment. Shane English Yangzhou is owned by Demi (Chinese), with the academic manager being Josh (American). Both are quite nice and very understanding.
Shane English Yangzhou has two locations, head office (HO) which is on the west side of Yangzhou, while other location which opened just recently, and is a brand new school and on the south side of Yangzhou – Downtown (DT). Lexi teaches at HO, while Steve teaches at the south location – Dongguan. It’s about a 15 -20 minute taxi ride from one location to the other.
The Foreign Teachers, the owner – Demi (front center in white), and some of the Chinese TA’s
The TA’s from the DT location
When teaching you’ll be given a course guide and materials for every age level. This makes teaching a lot easier as a lot of other English schools don’t supply teaching materials. On top of that each class has a Chinese Teachers Assistant (TA) who can translate concepts from English to Chinese and generally help discipline the children. Even though the TA is available to translate every word, since the idea behind the class is to be an English environment, it’s best not to rely on the TA to explain things too much.
Karen will be the one to show you the ropes around Yangzhou, China
To make living in China a little easier the school helps you organize a Chinese phone or sim in needed, a bank card, finding an apartment, and will even show you around town a little. If you happen to get into a spot of bother, or simply need any sort of help the school has employed Karen to be the Welfare Officer who can help you with any of your needs. This makes settling into your new life in China all that much easier, especially if you don’t speak Chinese.
Salary of Teaching At Shane English Yangzhou
And A Normal Working Week
A classroom from the DT location
On average a salary is around $2,000 USD a month which also includes an accommodation allowance with you being contracted to work 1 year. Additionally if you finish your contract the school will fully reimburse the cost of your flights and reward you with an end of contract bonus.
The pay is all sent to a Chinese bank account which has been set up in your name, and will be paid monthly in Chinese Renminbi (RMB). The school is very consistent for payment and has never been late or withdrawn payment, which is something which can happen in some English schools not only in China but around the world.
The salary does vary depending on which city you do choose to teach in. Generally speaking you get paid slightly more when teaching in Beijing and Shanghai, however the costs of living and accommodation is also higher, so the opportunity to save money is lost in a bigger city. When choosing a city in China you need to decide what your main reason for coming to the country is. If you want to save money, I’d recommend staying away from the large cities as the costs of living is what’s going to burn a hole in your pocket. We chose to stay in Yangzhou for that exact reason of being able to save a bit of money.
For Shane English in Yangzhou you will be contracted to work 28 hours for the week, however we normally teeter around 23 – 25 hours. Each Shane English is managed differently. In Yangzhou your working week will be from Wednesday to Sunday, with there being 2 days off scheduled each week – Monday and Tuesday. The busiest time of the week is Saturday and Sunday as that’s when the students are away from school, with you needing to work a 9 – 5 like day. You’re given paid holidays and sick leave as well. The biggest holiday break you’ll receive is during Spring Festival which will be around 10 – 12 days in late January to early February. Even though Christmas isn’t celebrated in China, you’re given the day off, along with New Years Day.
For a Saturday and Sunday schedule you’ll have 4 classes each day. A normal weekend schedule will look like this:
- 8:00 am – Arrive at school 30 minutes prior
- 8:30 – 10:10 am – First class of the day
- 10:10 – 10:20 am – 10 minute break
- 10:20 am – 12:00 pm – 2nd class of the day
- 12:00 – 1:30 pm – Lunch break
- 1:30 -3:10 pm – 3rd class of the day
- 3:10 – 3:40 pm – 30 minute break
- 3:40 – 5:20 pm – 4th class of the day
- 5:20 pm – Finish
Since you’ll be working all day Saturday and Sunday, that will take up around 65% of your required working hours. The rest of your teaching time on Wednesday and Friday will be spread out with an outside location, a teachers meeting, and Wechat. Wechat is a Chinese messenger app, with this you’ll need to correct students pronunciation in the office from a tablet. It’s very easy and doesn’t require much work or thought.
How To Apply To Teach English in China
A presentation as the students move from one English level to the next
The best way to apply for a teaching position is to send us an email at email@example.com. We’ll forward our email to our boss. Shane English Yangzhou is accepting all reasonable applications, so please don’t be shy. Teaching English in Yangzhou, China is a great way to save, meet new people, try different foods, and maybe meet that significant other. However the best part is that you’ll have the opportunity to travel and live in China, a part of the world which will be ignored by a large group of your friends. A completely unique and authentic experience.
How To Get A Job Teaching English In China
How To Get A Job Teaching English In China
If you enjoyed our article – How To Get A Job Teaching English In China please leave us comment below. Have you been to China, and would you stay for an entire year to teach English? Or conversely have you taught English in China or abroad and how did you find the experience.