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Making the move to China-Where to begin?

 
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hip-hop boy78



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 90
Location: Hip-hop land

PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:19 pm    Post subject: Making the move to China-Where to begin? Reply with quote

Hello,

I’m looking into the possibility of teaching in China, although there are a number of factors such as the atrocious pollution, blocked websites, questionable hygiene practices, and paperwork needed for the visa that are pushing me in another direction. However, I’m still somewhat open to teaching there for a year or two if I could find a good job.

I don’t know very much about the current teaching situation in China but will take the time to try and probe a little further over the coming weeks. In the meantime, I’d be grateful if anyone with experience of teaching in China could answer the following questions, and perhaps help me get the ball rolling on whether or not it would be worth it for me to make the move.

I have about 11 years of teaching experience (3 in Japan, and 8 in South Korea), and have taught both young learners (kindergarten, elementary, and middle school students) and adults. I’ve taught in private language institutes, a private university, and a couple of public schools. I’ve taught conversational English, as well as preparatory courses such as TOEFL and TOEIC. I have a BA and an MA in non-teaching related subjects, but no teaching qualification. That being said, what kind of salary would I be realistically able to expect or ask for? Would I be best off looking for work at a private language institute or for a public school? Should I reach out to a few recruiters and see what they might be able to offer me, or contact schools directly? Which recruiters would you recommend from personal experience?

Ideally I’d be looking for a job with not too many contact hours (15-20 per week), decent holiday time, 15,000+rmb per month preferably with accommodation included in a large or medium sized city. Is this achievable?

In Korea I had to submit a certified criminal record check, a certified and apostilled copy of my BA degree (don’t think I needed to certify/apostille my MA), and a health check undertaken in Korea. All documents had to be dated within six months. What paperwork is required to apply for a Z-Visa? Do I need to go through the time-consuming and costly process of certifying my documents all over again? I still have a certified/apostilled copy of my MA, but it’s dated late 2011. Would this still be valid? How long would the whole application process take once I have my documents to hand? And would I need to visit the Chinese Embassy in the UK in person in order to apply for a work visa? Any information here would be greatly appreciated.

I’ve been to China as a tourist twice before (the last time in 2003 and without experiencing any pollution problems) and enjoyed it, but living there would be a completely different experience. I guess I’m trying to figure out whether or not it would be worth the hassle, and whether I’d be able to save money after a year in China, in case I concluded it wasn’t for me and then decided to move on after completing a contract. I’m currently in Europe but not in the UK which is where I’m originally from, if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance for any feedback or recommendations you may be able to give me.
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OhBudPowellWhereArtThou



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 905
Location: Since 2003

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP:

You seem to be asking the forum for two things:

1. How to start the job search.

2. Tell you where to find the job that's right for you.

Considering your experience teaching in other countries, one would think that you possess the skills to know how to find the job yourself.

Search the various recruiter websites and job boards. Use google to find out about the weather in the cities in which you are interested. Send out resumes. It's pretty easy.

The fastest and most certain way of getting yourself in a mess is to rely upon others to do your homework for you. Really. I know a school that actually fits what your stated needs. Would I suggest that you look into it? Nope.

Why not you ask. If it were such a great place, I'd still be there.

Ask the forum about a specific school and you'll probably get better feedback.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 4110
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Bud.
Come on to the forum when you have an offer (pref 2 or 3) which you'd like verified.
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getbehindthemule



Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 247
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:08 am    Post subject: Re: Making the move to China-Where to begin? Reply with quote

hip-hop boy78 wrote:
Hello,

I’m looking into the possibility of teaching in China, although there are a number of factors such as the atrocious pollution, blocked websites, questionable hygiene practices, and paperwork needed for the visa that are pushing me in another direction. However, I’m still somewhat open to teaching there for a year or two if I could find a good job.


Ideally I’d be looking for a job with not too many contact hours (15-20 per week), decent holiday time, 15,000+rmb per month preferably with accommodation included in a large or medium sized city. Is this achievable?
.



I agree with the previous posters but I will add:
Yes, the pollution is astrocious.
If the above is your target, you should aim for the so called 'international' school market. You will be able to achieve your target contact hours and salary (or close to it), in a tier one city at least, with an accomodation provided / allowance on top. Many of these schools follow the public school calander so more than decent holiday time, 3 months +.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 4110
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'no teaching qualification' would be the problem at the international schools I know about.
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getbehindthemule



Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 247
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Non Sequitur wrote:
'no teaching qualification' would be the problem at the international schools I know about.



With his work experience and degree he would be qualified to work in the numerous international (in name only) schools in Shanghai. I'm sure there are loads of them in the other large cites also.
These while not being true international schools, in the sense that the students are mostly (or all) Chinese, do have IB progams in place.
With the changing visa situation I'm unsure whether the OP would need to complete a TEFL cert in addition or not. I did have to do this a few years ago for my job in SH but I think this may have changed and relevant teaching experience (min 2 years) in addition to a degree may now suffice. As for other provinces, I'm unsure, the OP will need to research that himself.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 4110
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An 'international school' of the kind I'm thinking of have several characteristics:
1. Teachers have home country registration and several years classroom experience.
2. Teachers join from their home country education systems and RETURN to them.
3. Pay when accom and travel are included is on a par with home country rates.
4. Mix of local and expat students.
5. International Baccalaureate or similar taught as curriculum so that expat kids have some continuity if they move to another international posting.
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hip-hop boy78



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 90
Location: Hip-hop land

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies.

I'm not looking for someone to hold my hand and/or do all the work for me, just had a few questions I wanted to throw out there and see if anyone could give me some advice on the TEFL market in China, and perhaps make a few recommendations regarding trustworthy recruiters (there's a shit storm of bad recruiters in China, document phishing etc. that I'd like to avoid), and the paperwork requirements in order to qualify for a Z-visa. I'm looking at other destinations as well, so there's a lot of information I need to trawl through.

If anyone can recommend a trustworthy recruiter then by all means please feel free.

Thanks again.
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parnett



Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 173
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just returned home to the States after 6 years in China. I taught at international high schools in both Hangzhou and Wuhan. I have several contacts in Wuhan at both an American and a British international school. Each school will be looking for teachers for the fall semester in September. Wuhan isn't the greatest city to live in, but the pollution isn't so bad and there are lots of foreigners.
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getbehindthemule



Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 247
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hip-hop boy78 wrote:
Thanks for the replies.

I'm not looking for someone to hold my hand and/or do all the work for me, just had a few questions I wanted to throw out there and see if anyone could give me some advice on the TEFL market in China, and perhaps make a few recommendations regarding trustworthy recruiters (there's a shit storm of bad recruiters in China, document phishing etc. that I'd like to avoid), and the paperwork requirements in order to qualify for a Z-visa. I'm looking at other destinations as well, so there's a lot of information I need to trawl through.

If anyone can recommend a trustworthy recruiter then by all means please feel free.

Thanks again.


I got my gig through a recruiter. They were great and even followed up after I had settled into my job to make sure everything had gone to plan. I will PM you (there really isn't a lot of positive info on here) and wish you the best of luck!
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