Why do schools recruit foreign experts through our agency?
Generally speaking, the Foreign Affairs Office in charge of foreign
expert recruitment in most schools has a team of only two to three
persons. Foreign experts’ recruitment is only part of their daily
work. Since those few well-known schools have many applicants,
the FAO officers can hardly give timely response to each question.
On the other hand, to attract more applicants, most ordinary schools
would like to co-operate with us in order to choose a more suitable
foreign expert. Therefore, each year over 400 schools recruit
over 1200 foreign teachers through our agency. >>>Back
How to apply positions in China through Angelina's ESL Cafe?
First, please visit our website Jobs
Page You could pick the schools' ID (No more than
5) based on location, type and salary. Then you are kindly suggested
to submit all your documents [resume (word format), copies of
degrees, passport and general photos(JPG format), Tel or Fax number，TEFL
certificate, Reference letters in you have], ,and please also
let us know if you have any additional or particular terms to
bargain with the schools. Please notice that all your documents
will be timely forwarded to the schools you preferred. The school
will make a decision whether to hire you or not based on your
documents. We guarantee that all your documents will not be revealed
to the third party. If the school accepts your application, we
will inform you timely and provide you with the school's website,
the contact information like Email and telephone of the person
in charge. After making a final decision with further communication
with the school, you are expected to fax or scan the signed contract
to us. We together with the school will assist you in obtaining
a work visa to China. If your application to the schools you preferred
fails, you may apply other schools through us or consider the
positions we recommend to you. >>>Back
What's the basic qualifications one should acquire to apply teaching
positions in China?
The basic qualifications required by most schools include: English
native speakers, Bachelor degree holders, aged between 20 and
60. Some applicants from European countries with teaching experience
or TEFL/TESOL certificates may also be considered by some schools.
it true that schools might reduce the salary for the foreign teachers
hired through our agency because they will pay us commision?
course NO. The commision and salary for foreign teachers come
from different project channels. After your arrival, you will
notice that your salary is in the same amount with other foreign
teachers with similar background. The school only pays a very
small amount of fee for our service. And we will endow part of
the fee to poor Chinese students. >>>Back
Advice for applicants who wish to teach in China
Many applicants might notice a well-known kindergarten position
in Shanghai (school's ID: SH881)
offer a payment of 24,000rmb/m ($3000/m). Indeed, all the information
published on Angelina's ESL Cafe is authentic and credible. Yet
has strict requirements on its applicants. Therefore, each month
there are more or less 300 applicants competing for a single position.
Hence, we suggest you to pay more attention on the general requirements
about applicants' qualification. If somehow you feel below the
requirement, you are kindly advised to apply other positions.
To view more advices, Click
What is the best time to travel to China?
Given the vastness of China, its seasons and climates vary depending
on when and where you visit. The months of April and October are
usually good times to visit. China is uniformly warmed, humid,
and rainy in the summer. In contrast, winter weather can vary
considerably from city to city. Beijing, for example is very cold
in the winter, with afternoon highs averaging only 34 degrees
F. The best times to visit Beijing are in the early fall and late
spring, especially May and September, with April and October almost
as pleasant. Humidity, however, can be high from June to September.
What about school systems in China?
8. Laws and regulations governing foreigners
The Chinese government is strict concerning adherence to its laws
and regulations. If a foreign teacher breaks the Chinese laws,
they are subject to Chinese punishment, incarceration, and/or
deportation, depending on the infraction. In most cases, embassies
are powerless to help the teacher in trouble other than notify
family and act as consultant. Breaking Chinese regulations can
be as small as not having your Residency Permit in a timely manner
(fine is involved) to being involved in a traffic accident where
the blame is put on the foreigner (large fines, possible incarceration,
probably deportation depending on the circumstances). The foreign
teachers should realize that any infraction in their own country
is probably an infraction in China.
Foreigners should not participate in any political gatherings
and should be aware that underground churches are monitored. Participation
can be perceived as breaking the law and arrest can follow. Proselytizing
is also not allowed, in or out of the classroom.
If a teacher of Chinese background enters China using only an
ID card, they are treated as a Chinese citizen in cases of breaking
the law. The embassies have no jurisdiction over that person,
even if a citizen of another nation.
If there are questions concerning specific regulations, these
should be discussed with the school/institution foreign affairs
Chinese laws on drugs, alcohol and prescription medicine?
As stated, foreign teachers should bring in their own prescription
drugs sufficient for the entire stay. Western medications are
not readily available in China beyond commonly used drugs, and
those are available through major hospitals in major cities. Foreigners
are often surprised to find that some drugs that would be prescription
in their own country are readily available over the counter in
Alcohol is readily available in China. Beer is a common beverage
and most regions have their own specialty beer. Also available
is "bai jiu," a particularly potent drink made from
rice or sorghum. This is often served at banquets and meals. Foreigners
should pay attention to how much they are drinking, since the
alcohol content is normally higher than western liquors. If a
person drinks too much, they can be arrested for being drunk and
disorderly. This would mean incarceration for a period of time
or a fine. >>>Back
What are all the different kinds of visas in China?
"Z" Working Visa allows a person to reside and work
in China on a letter of invitation from a school and province
for the duration of the contract plus 30 days of travel following
the end of the contract. This has been a standard visa used for
foreign teachers and experts. The dates on the visa are only good
for entry into China within a 90-day period of time and not beyond.
The document that verifies your living and working limits in China
is the Residency Permit issued to you by the Public Security Bureau
(PSB) governing your school’s location. By government regulation,
you must be registered with your local PSB within 30 days of your
arrival in China or you will be illegal. If the school does not
register you and it is their fault, they are normally heavily
Your Residency Permit identifies you by photo, name, and personal
details. When you are registered at PSB, the date of your registration
and the date that you will be expected to leave China are written
into this card. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU CHECK THE ENDING DATE!
The ending date should reflect the 30 travel days you have available
for personal travel following the ending date of your contract.
If it does not, you must ask your foreign affairs officer to have
the date changed. If you do not check, and the 30 extra days are
not there, and you decide to travel, you will be stopped an any
hotel and told you are illegal and have about 24 hours to leave
the country. If you remain in the country, you will be illegal
and subject to deportation if caught, and/or heavily fined as
an "overstay." The fine is normally 500 Yuan RMB per
day of overstay.
"Z" visas are normally single entry visas. If you wish
to travel outside of China during your contracted time, you MUST
obtain a re-entry stamp from PSB. This is normally done through
your school. There may be a cost.
When leaving China, you must give over your Residency Permit at
Immigration and your original visa becomes invalid. If it is discovered
that you are an "overstay," that is where you will pay
any fines. This has happened to past teachers. When leaving, you
must present your passport and your valid Residency Permit. If
your Residency Permit is lost or you do not have it, you will
most probably be charged 500 Yuan RMB for each day of overstay
commencing with when your entry visa expired. 500 Yuan RMB = $60
*Be reminded that "Z" visas cannot be changed into tourist/visitor
visas while you are in China. To change your visa, or obtain a
visitor visa, you must leave China to get it and then re-enter.
Hong Kong is the nearest location for that service. Any hotel
travel agent in Hong Kong can help you. You cannot work in China
on an "L" visa
"F" Visas: Certain municipalities (Guangzhou, Shanghai,
Beijing, certain east coastal areas) are able to hire teachers
on a 6-month "F" visa and still take care of the residency
side of the regulations by issuing a Temporary Residency Permit
and Temporary Foreign Expert Card. "F" visas can be
multiple entry visas, but are governed by the Letter of Invitation
issued from the Provincial Foreign Affairs Office on behalf of
your school. If you remain in China teaching at the same institution
beyond the 6 months, your visa can be changed to a "Z"
visa by your school. At that time, you will be given a permanent
Residency Permit to validate the newly obtained "Z"
visa. You will also need a full medical examination.
*Be reminded: An "F" visa can be changed into a "Z"
visa, but this must be done through your school and further documentation
at the PSB. Note what is described above. >>>Back
11. Are living accommodations convenient
to the workplace?
As part of the agreement, institutions provide free accommodation
to the foreign teachers. Lodging varies from guesthouse room,
similar to a standard hotel, to a complete apartment with sitting
room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen area. Much depends on the
school facilities and what they are able to provide for the teacher.
Normally, the teacher receives an apartment setting. At some schools,
teachers share a living space but have separate bedrooms. In all
cases, there is “private” space for the foreign teacher.
Most institutions offer lodging on the campus. In some cases,
the lodging is not on the campus and the institutions are required
to provide transportation in those cases. Type of transportation
(or stipend) depends on distance from the campus.
In a few instances, institutions allow teachers to live off-campus
and they are willing to pay a lodging stipend to help cover rental
costs. The stipend might not cover all costs, but will help to
defray costs. The teacher then can choose his/her own accommodations.
If lodged in campus housing provided by the institution, the lodging
is furnished. In some cases there is service attendant service
during the week; in other cases, the teacher does their own cleaning.
If a teacher lives off campus, they are responsible for furnishing
their own area. Normally, if teachers elect to cook for themselves,
they are responsible for purchasing their own pots, pans, and
other equipment. Sometimes, previous teachers will leave such
items behind for others to use.
Rental costs vary according to city, region, and circumstance
and cannot be quoted here as a "norm." Most institutions
will not allow their teachers to live off campus, since the institution
is responsible for the teacher’s health and safety and has no
control over those areas if the teacher is not present at the
institution. If the teacher lives a distance from the institution
(as arranged by the institution – not the teacher), it is the
institution’s responsibility to see that transportation and safety
are addressed. >>>Back
12. Are special additional certifications
required? Do I need to present them for a teaching position?
Nothing additional is required, although certificates showing
proficiency in teaching, especially English as a foreign language,
are highly desired by the host institution and often will lead
to a higher salary. >>>Back
Is registration or certifications as a teacher necessay? Does
it cost anything?
That information is part of the application process and copies
of degrees and the schools will request certificates as proof
for your China file of your training and background.
In some cases, schools are so anxious to have an English speaker
as a teacher that they will overlook items necessary for the teacher’s
file. Be aware that a legal school/institution should have on
file the teacher’s documentation proving their legality to be
a teacher in China. Otherwise, the foreign teacher can be caught
earning money illegally. >>>Back
14. What non-teaching duties are expected?
In many institutions, foreign teachers are expected to keep scheduled
office hours. These are woven into the teaching schedule. Further,
teachers are often expected to participate in "English Corner,"
an informal gathering of students – not necessarily the teacher's
students – to practice English in an unstructured way. In some
institutions, teachers are expected to give a public lecture on
some specific subject once or twice a semester. At times, teachers
are asked to provide taped voices for exams or editing for materials
for Chinese English teachers. Sometimes, teachers are asked to
have their photo taken for publicity purposes and this might extend
to radio or TV interviews. Some teachers have been invited to
participate in movies as extras. >>>Back
What is the school, college and institution calendar?
The academic year in China normally begins on September 1 of each
year. In the case of some private schools, the academic year will
begin earlier. The length of the first semester varies because
the Lunar Calendar governs the year. The long winter break can
occur anywhere from mid-January on into mid-February depending
on the dates of the Chinese Lunar New Year/Spring Festival. Normally,
institutions end their semester 2 weeks prior to Spring Festival
eve and resume for the second semester 2 weeks following Spring
Festival day. Length of the second semester is adjusted accordingly;
most institutions end between July 1 and July 15 with some ending
sooner. Note that it is often difficult to learn exact beginning
and ending dates to semesters in an academic year. They simply
are not public knowledge until the time approaches.
Length of contract depends on the teacher and can be for one semester
or for two semesters…or longer. Many schools have summer programs
and wish the foreign teacher to stay for those. The norm, however,
is for a ten-month contract that is flexible to the dates as described
above. Further note that although a contract may state that the
teacher will be paid by the month for the contract length, some
institutions will pro-rate the salary according to the days taught
if the semester ends early. This is a detail that should be clarified
prior to signing a contract so there are no surprises.
A ten-month contract will allow for various paid holidays, including
October 1-8 (National Day Holiday), May 1-8 (Labor Day Holiday);
approximately 4 weeks during the Winter Spring Festival Holiday;
approximately 4 weeks during the summer holiday if a teacher is
continuing on at a school for the following academic semester/year.
Most institutions will pay the salary for the long winter or summer
break, although some will pro-rate the salary or not pay for those
times. This should be clarified prior to signing any contract.
Technically, the foreign teacher should be paid for the contracted
dates, including holidays; beginning date to ending date as stated
on the contract. >>>Back
Is home leave granted, paid or unpaid, and is it with or without
Local leave is normally not granted. Schools/institutions sometimes
allow a teacher to travel during the teaching time, but this is
highly unusual and the circumstances would need to be extreme.
The host institution does not normally tolerate unauthorized absence
from duties. Teachers are bound to the teaching schedule and enjoy
the same holiday breaks as everyone else. >>>Back
Will there be a job description?
Normally, a school will outline a position and the conditions
of employment. That outline includes employment's ID and location
of the school, minimum qualification for the teacher (BA, MA),
subjects to be taught, numbers of classroom contact hours, monthly
salary, any additional benefits, accommodation, medical care particulars,
allowable holidays, and other information pertinent to the specific
Number of contact hours varies with 16- 20 being the norm. Some
institutions require more and salary is normally adjusted to accommodate
the extra teaching hours. If asked to teach beyond the contracted
number of hours, the teacher is paid at a stated rate per hour,
as stipulated by the institution. Numbers of teaching hours are
stated in the contract.
Regulations state that foreign teachers can reside in China for
only 5 years on teaching contracts before needing to leave China
for at least 2 years before returning to teach.
Is the cost of international round-trip air fare
included in the contract?
This varies among the institutions. Many will provide reimbursement
for a round-trip international economy air ticket at the completion
of one academic year. Others will provide reimbursement for one-half
of the international air ticket at the end of one academic year.
Some institutions provide one-half of the international air ticket
at the completion of one contracted semester. Normally, the terms
are written into the contract.Reimbursement is in Chinese Yuan
RMB and is not considered as part of the salary for conversion
What guide sets salary standards for foreign teacher or expert?
Following are the guides as stated by the Chinese government:
*Category 1: RMB 2,200 – 3,300 – teachers having a bachelor's
degree and over two years of work experience, or middle school
teachers with over three years of teaching experience.
*Category 2: RMB 3,300 – 4,600 – assistant professors or lecturers
of institutions of higher education, or middle school teachers
with over five years of teaching experience, and professionals
with corresponding titles and business levels.
*Category 3: RMB 4,600 – 6,000 – professors, associate professors
of institutions of higher education, senior lecturers of the Commonwealth
countries, and professionals with corresponding titles and business
*Crucial talents badly needed in China and difficult to recruit
may be employed with high salary.
NOTE: There are the established guidelines and allow room for
negotiation. In reality, many schools will offer higher salaries
to entice the foreign teacher. However, a higher salary from a
school often means more contracted teaching hours or other specified
20. When will salary be paid? In what
currency? What is official exchange rate?
Salaries vary from institution to institution and region to region.
They also vary among public schools and private schools. Salaries
are dependent on the teacher’s education and background experience.
The base salary for a foreign teacher in China is 2,200 Yuan RMB.
However, most institutions pay much more than that and salaries
can range from 3,000 Yuan RMB to as high as 7,000 Yuan RMB, depending
on the teacher qualifications and the teaching demands. These
are determined by the host institution and can be negotiated by
the teacher if there is a question. Any salary earned above 4,000
Yuan RMB is subject to a 10% tax.
Salaries are paid in cash in Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB). Normally,
salaries are paid by the 5th day of the month and are paid for
the month worked. This means that an incoming teacher might not
receive their first salary payment until the beginning of the
second month of teaching. However, some schools will pay one months
ahead as a courtesy, realizing the teacher has nothing for the
first month. NOTE: A teacher is allowed to exchange up to 70%
of their salary for foreign currency, normally United States Dollars
(USD). Current exchange rate is: $1USD = 8RMB. >>>Back
Do I have to pay Taxes?
Foreign teachers/workers in China are subject to a 10% tax on
anything earned above 4,000 Yuan RMB per month. In many cases,
the host institution will absorb this cost as a benefit to the
teacher. There are no other taxes levied on the foreign teacher.
Can I live on my salary? (Living in China page)
The cost of living varies according to region and city. It is
higher in the major cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou
than in other medium or smaller cities. Normally, what a person
earns in salary is sufficient to the needs and cost of living
of the area/city. The foreign teacher normally earns a higher
salary than their Chinese teaching counterparts. If prudent, teachers
can save enough of their salary to travel during the vacation
What about sick leave pay maternity leave and pay?
A foreign teacher is allowed up to 30 sick leave days with the
verification of a doctor. In some cases, if the illness is lengthy,
the teacher receives a pro-rated salary for that time. The institution
has the right to terminate employment if a teacher is not able
to resume a normal working schedule after 30 days of sick leave.
If a teacher is diagnosed with an illness that cannot be cured
within a short period of time, arrangements are made to return
that teacher to their home nation as soon as possible.
Inquiring Minds Wish to Know – 2003
Institutions provide medical services to the teacher up to approximately
1,000 Yuan RMB ($120 USD) during a contracted period of time.
In some cases, an institution will pay only 80% of medical expenses.
Medical care is normally sought at the institution’s clinic or
designated hospital. If a teacher wishes to go elsewhere, they
must bear the medical costs themselves.There are no provisions
for maternity pay. The same medical information holds as for illness.
Can I bring my funiture?
Personal items can be shipped into the country. Depending on the
items, there may be a duty/tax assigned through Customs. Because
most teachers come into China for a 10-month stay, they do not
“import” furniture or items. A person can purchase almost anything
in China. If a person purchases an antique or a piece of registered
art, they must have a certificate authenticating the piece and
the purchase to produce when going through Customs at exit. A
person cannot export items for re-sale elsewhere, since that constitutes
a business and the person would need to have a business license
to do so. Many times, if a purchase is made at an art center,
the center will package the item and ship it. This takes care
of Customs difficulties. Much depends on the size of the purchase.
Do I need a physical exam?
Anyone coming to China to teach is required to have a full medical
examination in order to meet the guidelines for working in China.
This includes test results recorded on an "official"
Chinese health form, chest x-ray, ECG, blood tests, Hepatitis
and Syphilis test, and HIV/AIDS test. If the medical is done in
the home country, all original results must be brought into China
and presented to the host institution. These complete your file
for the Public Security Bureau, allowing you to receive a Residency
Permit. If the medical is not done in the home country, it must
be performed in China after arrival at the host institution. Without
a medical exam, a person cannot live and work in China. The medical
form should be stamped with an official physician, clinic, or
A teacher should be current with vaccinations and any other injections
deemed necessary to international travel as advised by the physician.
Unless teaching for a period of time in the extreme southern part
of China, people do not need to worry about malaria or other tropical
diseases. It is wise to have a vaccination certificate (WHO) listing
your inoculations and dates of injections in case they are needed
for any reason. >>>Back
What about accident, health and hospital insurance?
The foreign teachers should bring any long-term medications with
them, since many western medicines are not available in China.
Supply should be sufficient to cover the length of stay plus one
month. A person cannot count on renewing a prescription in China.
However, it is a good idea to have a copy of the original prescription
with your documents so that in the case of emergency, people will
know what medications your are taking for what condition.
It is highly recommended that anyone traveling to China carry
their own health insurance from their home nation. In China, insurance
cards are not recognized and the person must pay for everything
in cash, get receipts, and then take up reimbursement questions
with their insurance company.
It is wise to bring an extra pair of glasses and/or contact lenses
when coming to China. One should remember that the air quality
in China is often poor and this affects those who wear contact
lenses. It is recommended that the person also bring the glasses/contact
lens prescription and specifications for replacement purposes,
if necessary. >>>Back
Do employers supply living accommodations? What is supplied?
Free accommodation is provided for the foreign teacher. The lodging
is ready to be used by the teacher upon arrival. This is a responsibility
of the host institution. See previous sections for full details.
In some cases, there is service attendant care on a regular basis.
In most cases, the teachers care for their own living space. Teachers
are not taxed on accommodations. Lodging is the responsibility
of the institution.
Teachers will need to provide small items as needed to function
in the lodging space. This can include pots and pans, kitchen
utensils, or anything the teacher feels is necessary.
Lodging comes furnished with enough furniture to allow for comfortable
How do I get a visa, work permit and travel permission to work
in China? (Consulate in your country)
To live and work in China long-term (up to one year or more),
the teacher should enter China on a "Z" work visa. The
"Z" visa requires a Letter of Invitation from the host
institution stating that you will be working for them and will
be their responsibility while in China. "F" visas, with
a Letter of Invitation, are acceptable for a one-semester (6-month)
stay. >>>Back Top
Team of Angelina's ESL Cafe-Foreign Affair Office