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Basketball is very popular and common

Les and Cath Teaching Younger Children

Ade showing his pottery skills

English can be Fun!

A Break from Class

Day Out for Older Students

Neal Teaching Class

Zhaoqing University - As seen from the main road

Zhaoqing University Campus shop

Zhaoqing University Cash-point

Zhaoqing University Gymnasium

Zhaoqing University - Number One Lake

Zhaoqing University - Cyber Cafe Number One

Zhaoqing University - All-weather track and Football (Other) Pitch

Zhaoqing University - Foreign Student Accommodation Block

Zhaoqing University - Foreign Student Accommodation - Living Room

Zhaoqing University - Foreign Student Accommodation - Bedroom

Zhaoqing University - Foreign Student Accommodation - Kitchen

Zhaoqing University - Foreign Student Accommodation - Dinette

Zhaoqing University - Outside View

Zhaoqing University - Number 2 Lake

Zhaoqing University - Exchange students on holiday in Hainan Island
Vocational Teaching in China
This page offers general advice for Those considering Teaching in China (September 2008)

Teaching in China can be a wonderfully rewarding experience

Most people enjoy the very best China has to offer. However, there are things you need to be aware of. This page is designed to assist people who are thinking of coming to China as a Vocational Teacher. This will likely be their first time teaching abroad, and also their first visit to China.

What You Need to Know:

It is illegal to work in China without Permission!
As a Foreign Teacher you will need a Z visa

You will need a vocational teaching certificate like TEFL (UK) or TESOL (USA). There are a couple of others also, like the Cambridge version. About the best deal is i-to-i   for TEFL. You only need the basic 40 hour course and can do it all online. Cost was about $150 last time I checked, and they are always offering some kind of sales discount. A close friend has this qualification and did his online in about 8 weeks

The only agency I would ever consider using is called ESL Teachersboard. They are actually an International information centre, and we have had personal contact with them. Virtually everyone else has some sort of con going on somewhere, and will often offer no support in return. This has actually happened to other friends of mine, usually in small ways

Other Options:
Talk to us about what you want to do. We can place you locally in Guangdong Province, and assist via other contacts all over China

Here are the Basic Facts:

1 Teaching contracts are usually 12 months total term
    1 Some available for six months, but often only half airfare paid.
    2 Some of other duration, like a few months, - basically only for teachers living here; or for summer camps
    3 Chinese multi-lingual teaching assistants will be provided as required (Standard)
    4 Year begins end of August, with final exams in early July
    5 You will be expected to prepare lessons yourself (With guidance of course), and you will usually pay for any personal teaching props yourself (Badges or stickers for Kindergarten kids, etc)
2 Hours:
    1 16 to 20 hours per week
        1 Hours worked teaching can be excellent or very awkward (OK in Kindergarten, Primary school, and University usually)
        2 A bad version is teaching 8pm to 10pm 5 nights a week + 4 hours Saturday am and again 4 hours Sunday pm. Be careful here
        3 A good environment will see a structured language teaching program: classes taught during a normal working day (8am to 5pm); probably only 4 days teaching per week , and all week-ends off.
    2 1 month Chinese National Holidays (Approx.)
    3 Main UK holidays also
    4 Remember Chinese do not celebrate Christmas (Although it is very popular), so school terms do not have a UK type 2-week break here. They go straight through to National holiday for Chinese New Year (Usually the beginning of February)
    5 The last month is often paid as a bonus in lieu of teaching = 1 month off
    6 You are most likely to finish a month before this anyway = 2 months off
3 Payment: Between Y 6 K and Y 20 K per month, paid for 11 months + 1 month as bonus
    1 Plan for earning between Y6K and Y8K per month, as the top salaries are long gone, and go to fully qualified or vocational teachers with experience of teaching in China (Usually with a Chinese language to conversation level also)
    2 You can consider this pocket money, as jobs are all fully-found.
    3 You cannot equate this money into UK £'s, as the cost of living here is very different.
        1 I can. Take the monthly remuneration stated in Y (RMB) and add a zero. This is roughly equal to gross annual salary in UK
        2 Average wage for a city centre waitress is around Y800 per month
4 Contracts
    1 Universities will honour any contract
    2 Schools, especially in towns or privately owned may 'Tweak' them slightly
    3 Some bad agencies and employers will rip up a contract, not pay all wages and perks etc. Be careful!
5 Perks and Package:
    1 Return air fare - conditional:
        1 Often paid as lump sum at end of teaching (Month 11)
        2 Some places cap this (Say £400 = you can beat this price for a return air ticket, but difficult). Important you know all the small print here, especially any capped total amount
        3 6 month contract may include only half airfare
        4 A private company or bad agency will keep this money for the Boss, and you get nothing! I have known a bad Boss physically rip up an Australian teachers contract when she complained
        5 When coming to China, you must have a return air ticket, otherwise no visa. That simple!
It can be very difficult to book this length of ticket with an airline, or even a return leg for next year
    2 Accommodation
        1 Free accommodation in modern fully furnished apartment (Bedroom, large lounge/diner, kitchen, bathroom, balcony
        2 Equipment includes everything - pots and pans, bedding, fans, TV and either satellite or cable, free internet connection in lounge. Everything - move straight in and use immediately
        3 Free electricity, gas, water, building maintenance, security, telephone (local mobile usually)
        4 Often the only exception is Air-conditioning charges (Electricity is very expensive in China)
    3 Food.
        1 You will normally be offered free, typical Chinese school meals. These are fine, nutritious, filling, and basic. They will not be remotely like Chinese food as served in UK. You may have a problem with eating this food all of the time? Staff and students eat the same food in the same places, together
    4 Excursions
        1 The better establishments will have cultural excursions which you are encouraged to join
        2 Zhaoqing University has about one dozen foreign teachers on campus, and offers occasional special excursions just for them
    5 Visa
        1 You need a work permit type visa to earn money in China. This is called a Z Visa
        2 Arrange your teaching officially via an official state University or school before you leave your home country. They will arrange for your Z Visa
        3 In practice, this is normally done after you get to China, meaning you come over on a short term Tourist 'L' Visa initially
        4 They will pay for your visa (Reimburse charges)
6 Chinese Language
    1 Being able to speak Chinese is not normally a requirement for Foreign teachers
    2 You will be offered free Chinese language lessons on University campus, and be greatly encouraged to learn
    3 This is Mandarin
        1 In Guangdong you may also elect to learn Cantonese instead; or in Shanghai, Shanghainese; etc
    4 To deal with any officials you need to know Mandarin
    5 Computers. To type Chinese characters using a normal keyboard, you will need to know the English spelling of Mandarin sounds, which is called 'pinyin'. Then you will have to select the right character from dozens, or even hundreds!
7 Peers
    1 Other Foreign teachers are usually from: UK, USA, Canada or Australia
    2 Chinese teaching staff will treat you with great respect, protect newcomers without their knowledge, and many speak English
8 1 -2-1 and Private Teaching
    1 Normally it will not be long before you are asked to take extra private tuition classes. These are usually 2 hour evening classes (8 to 10pm) during weekdays. These are either general English, or cramming month before important exams (Passing English - it is a Core Subject)
    2 Consider teaching individuals at their home, called 'one to one' or '1-2-1'.
    3 Going rate per hour in Foshan is currently in excess of Y200 per hour
    4 Privately owned language schools will also be after you, similar remuneration for teaching a class of diverse ages from the Company approved textbook( s)
9 Consider:
    1 Is the English you are teaching, the equivalent of the Chinese you would necessarily want to learn?
    2 Some people are paying the Private Chinese Education Company 67% of their monthly disposable income - just to have you teaching them English
10 Your Role - You are an Ambassador for the English Language, your Country, and your Culture

Vocational Teaching in China offers a very rare opportunity for Native English speakers to live in a very different culture. It will be a major leap in terms of Personal Development for all who try it. I consider 3 groups of people will benefit most from the experience:

1. Post graduates taking a Gap Year out, and especially those concerned with their future Employability will progress immeasurably. It will be a great marker on your cv
2. 30-somethings who may be stuck in a rut, or just not sure where their lives are headed
3. Early retired people who feel they still have a lot to offer and want to do something interesting and enjoyable

Teaching in China is a highly respected and well paid profession. The cost of living is very low by Western standards, especially for daily necessities; meaning your money goes a very long way

Teaching in China is a life-changing experience that you will love and grow as a person by doing. Given you are not stupid and take note of this and other advice, you will be very safe and happy. Knowing China Expats and similar people are here on the ground for you in China, and can help you if you get stuck, offers you assurance and peace of mind

Why not give it a try?
This information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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