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F
requently Asked Questions


Foreign Oral English Teachers at Tian'anmen Square

Pick up Foreign Expert at the capital airpart

Interviewed by Beijing TV

1. Why do schools recruit foreign experts through our agency?
2. How to apply positions in China through Angelina's ESL Cafe?
3. What's the basic qualifications one should acquire to apply teaching positions in China?
4. Is it true that schools might reduce the salary for the foreign teachers hired through our agency because they will pay us commision?
5. Advice for applicants who wish to teach in China
6. What is the best time to travel to China?
7. What about school systems in China?
8. Laws and regulations governing foreigners in China?
9. Chinese laws on drugs, alcohol and prescription medicine?
10. What are all the different kinds of visas in China?
11. Are living accommodations convenient to the workplace?
12. Are special additional certifications required? Do I need to present them for a teaching position?
13. Is registration or certifications as a teacher necessay? Does it cost anything?
14. What non-teaching duties are expected?
15. What is the school, college and institution calendar?
16. Is home leave granted, paid or unpaid, and is it with or without travel expenses?
17. Will there be a job description?
18. Is the cost of international round-trip air fare included in the contract?
19. What guide sets salary standards for foreign teacher or expert?
20. When will salary be paid? In what currency? What is official exchange rate?
21. Do I have to pay Taxes?
22. Can I live on my salary? (Living in China page)
23. What about sick leave pay maternity leave and pay?
24. Can I bring my funiture?
25. Do I need a physical exam?
26. What about accident, health and hospital insurance?
27. Do employers supply living accommodations? What is supplied?
28. How do I get a visa, work permit and travel permission to work in China? (Consulate in your country)

 


1. 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 Top

2. 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 numberㄛTEFL 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 Top

3. 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. >>>Back Top

4.

Is it true that schools might reduce the salary for the foreign teachers hired through our agency because they will pay us commision?

Of 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 Top

5. 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 SH881 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 Here.
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6. 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. >>>Back Top

7. What about school systems in China?

Category Length Credential
Kindergarten 3 years  
Elementary 6 years Diploma
Junior High 3 years Diploma
Senior High 3 years Diploma
College 2-3years Diploma
University 4 years Bachelor's Degree
Graduate Master 2-3years Master's Degree
Graduate PhD 3-4years PhD Degree

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8. Laws and regulations governing foreigners in China?
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 officer. >>>Back Top

9. 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 China.
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 Top

10. 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 fined.
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 USD/day.
*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 Top

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 每 not the teacher), it is the institution*s responsibility to see that transportation and safety are addressed. >>>Back Top

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 Top

13. 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 Top

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 每 not necessarily the teacher's students 每 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 Top

15. 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 Top

16. Is home leave granted, paid or unpaid, and is it with or without travel expenses?
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 Top

17. 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 school.
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. >>>Back Top

18. 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 purposes. >>>Back Top

19. 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 每 3,300 每 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 每 4,600 每 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 每 6,000 每 professors, associate professors of institutions of higher education, senior lecturers of the Commonwealth countries, and professionals with corresponding titles and business levels.
*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 duties. >>>Back Top

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 Top

21. 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. >>>Back Top

22. 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 periods. >>>Back Top

23. 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 每 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. >>>Back Top

24. 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. >>>Back Top

25. 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 hospital stamp.
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 Top

26. 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 Top

27. 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 living. >>>Back Top

28. 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




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