I can’t speak Chinese. Is that a problem?
You can definitely teach English in China without knowing how to speak Chinese. In the classroom, the students will expect to be in a fully-immersive English environment so the language barrier won’t be an issue here. If you are interested in learning Chinese (and who wouldn’t be!), we offer a Mandarin crash-course during the Orientation Week, and most schools will help you find a teacher for ongoing lessons.
Where in China do you place teachers and in what schools?
We recruit for primary, middle and high schools and universities in Hunan province.
What kind of salary will I be earning?
Schools offer a competitive salary that provides a good standard of living in China, particularly in a province like Hunan where the cost of living is much lower than tier 1 cities like Beijing and Shanghai. It’s possible to live comfortably, travel during the holidays and still save a large portion of your salary to take home with you after your year of teaching (depending on your spending habits:) ).
Who pays for my flight?
You pay up-front for your flight and the school will reimburse you afterwards. Typically, you will be paid half of your ticket fare at the end of your first semester, and half after the second.
How do I open a bank account in China?
Your school will assign a liaison (who will often be a local teacher) to you who will accompany you to open a bank account in your first few weeks in China.
What is my daily ATM limit for withdrawing money?
The daily ATM limit is around 3,000 RMB. All major credit/debit cards used in Ireland and the UK are accepted in China, however, do inform your bank of your plans to travel if you plan to use your domestic cards abroad.
What kind of accommodation will I have? Who pays for it?
As part of your contract, the school will provide a standard apartment on or near the campus, including a sitting room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Utility bills (gas, water, electricity) will also be covered by the school.
How long is my contract?
Your contract with the school will normally be for two semesters, September to July, including paid holidays around halfway through.
What are my working hours?
Foreign teachers in China normally teach a maximum of 20 hours per week, sometimes as little as 10 hours. Time is also spent lesson planning, but generally there is ample free time during the week for Chinese learning and exploring.
Can I do my medical check in China?
Yes, we can arrange this during the Orientation Week. We will arrange transport to take you to a designated hospital in Changsha (Hunan’s capital city) for the medical exam. You will receive your health report/certificate on the same day, and the medical test fee is around 500RMB (around €65/£57)
Will I need to get any vaccinations before coming to China?
There are no formal requirements in relation to vaccinations and inoculations when traveling to China. However, we suggest you discuss this with your local doctor prior to travelling. It’s generally a good idea to get boosters for all your previous jabs, as well as Hepatitis. And while doctors tend to err on the side of caution, urban China is definitely not a malaria zone.
Will I be entitled to paid holidays?
There are a huge amount of national holidays in China, where the schools shut and most people are off work. Specifically, there’s Qing Ming Festival in early spring, Dragon Boat Festival in late spring, Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day in October (so-called Golden Week), as well as Chinese New Year, where teachers are typically off for anything between 2-5 weeks. Your school will be able to fill you in on their specific calendar and holiday policy.