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:: Answers to the frequently asked questions::

We have tried to make this F.A.Q as detailed, truthful, and inclusive as possible. Please do read it carefully and do not hesitate to email/call us with any questions that you might have. We are constantly trying to add more information so that you can be fully aware of everything you need to know before making a decision.

01. What qualifications should one have to teach in China?
02. What courses will I be required to teach?
03. What documents should a candidate submit when he/she applies for a position through New Times?
04. What are the teaching conditions in China like?
05. Will I receive any compensation teaching in China and how much?
06. What kind of service does your organization provide for teachers and students from abroad, and global educational organizations?
07. What kind of positions can you recommend?
08. Do schools provide positions all year round?
09. How many foreign teachers do schools in China need every year?
10. Can you recommend teachers who do not hold TEFL or TESOL degrees/certificates?
11. Can you give me a rough estimate of the monthly living expenses in a big city?
12. How to apply for a work-visa?
13. I have never worked overseas before. How will I cope with living in China?
14. What is the exchange rate from RMB to foreign currency?
15. Does New Times charge its teachers for the services provided?
16. Are there any extra activities for the foreigners in summer and winter vacations?
17. How can I apply for a teaching position?
18. Does New Times help teachers acquire work visas?
19. What is the difference between a tourist visa and a work visa?
20. Does New Times help its teachers come to China?
21. What materials should a teacher plan to bring to China?
22. Is the teacher required to follow a certain dress code?
23. What immunization shots should be considered by a teacher who is going to China?
24. Do teachers require a physical examination once they arrive in China?
25. What happens when a new teacher arrives?
26. What available resources are offered to the foreign teacher by their schools?
27. Do teachers have a Chinese teaching assistant?
28. How do teachers arrange their tax payments?
29. Does New Times provide medical coverage?
30. Does New Times provide Chinese language lessons and arrange any cultural events for its teachers?
31. What are the apartments like in the school?




01. What qualifications should one have to teach in China?
The basic qualifications are: being a native speaker of English, having a minimum BA degree and commitment to teaching, loving China and its people. Clear, well-spoken English and a good knowledge of the fundamentals of English grammar. Teaching experience and/or certificate is preferred but not a must. For those interested in a long-term career in ESL teaching, however, it is strongly recommended that teaching qualifications be attained. We can provide TESOL training through our cooperation with IEERA.

02. What courses will I be required to teach?
Most schools require you to teach oral English, but depending on the particular school you are placed in, you may be asked to teach some of the following courses: English & American literature, linguistics, reading, composition, grammar, cultural survey of English-speaking countries, and English for Special Purposes (ESP) such as business English. On a few occasions, there are universities that need teachers to teach more specialized subjects such as accounting or international marketing.

03. What documents should a candidate submit when he/she applies for a position through New Times?
If you are interested joining our program, please provide us with the following:
1). Your resume/CV via email. Please state your marital status and date of birth in your resume.
2). Copy of the first page of your passport with such information as your passport number, expiration date and date of birth.
3). Copy of your highest degree and any teaching certificates you might have.
4). Names and contact information of two references.
5). When you will be available to start teaching and the expected duration of your stay
6). Your preferred location and desired age group.

04. What are the teaching conditions in China like?
Teaching conditions in China vary from school to school, but normally you will be teaching 16 to 20 hours a week. Class sizes vary from 15 in private training centers to 60 in public schools. On average, however, classes will have about 40 students. Normally, you will not be provided with the luxuries of a western classroom, and often the blackboard and a piece of chalk are your only teaching tools, so it is vital that you are a person with a imaginative and creative personality. Although it might seem challenging, the experience is highly rewarding and will give you a different perspective on life.

05. Will I receive any compensation teaching in China and how much?
Starting salaries in our contact schools are between 3,500 and 7,000 RMB/month, but usually between 4,000 and 5,000RMB/month (roughly $525-$700). Private institutes generally pay more than public colleges and universities, but you normally are required to teach more hours as well. In addition you will receive free furnished housing and health care as provided to local teachers. However, this health care is very basic and we would advise you to look into additional health insurance in your native country.

Though little by Western standards, 4,000-5,000RMB a month is an excellent salary considering that the average salary for Chinese citizens in urban areas is around 1,000RMB a month. In any case, things are cheap in China and 2,000 is usually enough to cover your basic expenses.

However, teaching in China is not only about the financial reward, but also for the experience with the country's culture and its people. There are also people who use the opportunity as an investment for their future career.

If you commit to one year of teaching, most schools will reimburse a round-trip ticket and most schools will pay half of a return ticket upon completion of a six-month contract.

06. What kind of service does your organization provide for teachers and students from abroad, and global educational organizations?
Our organization is devoted to posting information on both recruitment of English teachers for Chinese schools and cooperation with foreign educational organizations. Those who are interested in teaching, working, studying or cooperating with schools in China can contact New Times directly. We will keep your information and will contact you as soon as we see a probability for possible cooperation between you and our contact organizations.

We can also be an intermediary between you and the school at any time. The purpose of the service is to assist those who are interested in teaching English in China to locate positions at Chinese colleges/universities and private institutions. Offers will be provided as we have been entrusted by many universities and schools in providing them with experienced and capable foreign teachers. Our services are absolutely free for foreign teachers; we advise on contract issues between the teacher and the schools; provide pick-up service from the airport; and so on. Many of the things we do are not our responsibility, but we do them anyway to insure that you are at ease.

Should you have any problems with your employer, contact us and if it cannot be resolved amicably, you can always return to our main office and we will find you a more suitable position. By using New Times you will have the security of being assured not only a job but a choice of jobs, the knowledge that you will not be left without accommodation and assistance when needed, and have the piece of mind that you will always have a place to turn to in times of need. Very few other agencies in China will provide these kind of services to you.

07. What kind of positions can you recommend?
We can recommend English teachers who are interested in year-long positions, semester-long positions and, through our volunteer program, short-term and summer teaching positions. What makes our service different is that instead of having to make a choice back home, we will give you a range of positions to choose from within a couple of days of your arrival. From our office you will have the chance to talk to the different schools directly and make a more informed and considered decision, all of this with our staff on hand to give any advice or guidance needed.

New Times is different from most other schools and agencies. We do not offer you non-existent jobs or jobs that have been offered to dozens of other applicants. Most schools use different resources in hiring a new teacher. Often when you come through other agencies and schools that will offer jobs, you will find when you arrive that for some reason the position promised to you is no longer available, as that particular school hired another teacher through another agency or by themself.

08. Do schools provide positions all year round?
Most teaching positions start in September and some in February/March (the beginning of the spring semester, depending on the Chinese New Year), so we will have more positions available in August and January/February compared to the rest of the year. The schedule at private institutions is a little more flexible than that of public schools and universities. Most of them accept teachers on an on-going basis. Due to the fact that demand exceeds supply, there are usually a number of positions available at any given moment.

09. How many foreign teachers do schools in China need every year?
As the demand for English teachers is still growing, numbers are always unreliable, but according to some statistics China needs about 100 thousand teachers annually.

10. Can you recommend teachers who do not hold TEFL or TESOL degrees/certificates?
Yes, we can, but for additional information please contact us.

11. Can you give me a rough estimate of the monthly living expenses in a big city?
In big cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the average food cost is much higher than in small to medium size cities. In most cases, you can get away about 1200-1500 yuan for food (cooking yourself or eating at small family or street-side restaurants is fairly cheap). If you eat regularly at western restaurants, that cost can be significantly higher.

12.How to apply for a work-visa?
Once you are offered a position, you may obtain a Z (work) or F (Business) visa from the Chinese embassy/consulate nearest you on the official invitations by the university and the State Bureau of Foreign Experts in Beijing. However, as we ask you to choose a position upon your arrival, we cannot offer you a work or business visa before you come to China. We recommend you using a tourist visa (L) to come to China, so that you do not have to commit to a school until you have visited it. We would not want you stuck in a bad deal. The school will then arrange all the necessary paperwork and will have your visa upgraded to a work or business visa after you sign the contract.

13. I have never worked overseas before. How will I cope with living in China?
Most of our partner schools are well experienced in hosting foreign teachers and will make every effort to assist you in settling in. As long as you keep an open mind, stay as flexible as possible and set out to enjoy your stay you should have the time of your life. In the days that follow your arrival, you will have the opportunity to learn more about what to expect from our staff and other foreign teachers.

One aspect upon arriving is the culture shock. Even though China is looking more and more modern upon first glance, you have to remember that you are in a different country with a significantly different culture. A positive attitude is important. You will have to be careful in traffic, you cannot drink tap water, and don't expect the Chinese food to be the same as in "Restaurant The Great Wall" back home as most of overseas Chinese food is based on the Cantonese kitchen, but heavily to Western taste.

14. What is the exchange rate from RMB to foreign currency?
As this changes from day to day we would like to refer to this site with exchange rates.

15. Does New Times charge its teachers for the services provided?
No, we do not charge for our placement services. Other charges may be incurred (Private Chinese lessons, company sponsored trips, etc)

If there are any charges we will let you know upfront before you arrive in China.

16. Are there any extra activities for the foreigners in summer and winter vacations?
During the winter and summer breaks, we organize English camps for different schools and foreign teachers are welcome to attend these. For more details on these camps, please contact us.

17. How can I apply for a teaching position?
You can e-mail your documentation and information to jobs@teachinchina.cn or fax us at +86 - 311 - 878 10256, or complete the on-line application form with the required details.

18. Does New Times help teachers acquire work visas?
New Times is a recruiting agency and therefore does not sponsor your visa unless you work for New Times. We work like a headhunter/employment agency, so you will not be employed by us, as is the case with so many other agencies, but for the school of your choice. New Times will make sure that your employer will have all of your papers in order.

19. What is the difference between a tourist visa and a work visa?
A tourist visa allows a foreigner to travel to China, but it does not permit a foreigner to work in China. To obtain a work visa, a foreigner has to be sponsored by a Chinese company or organization. Upgrading a tourist visa to a work or business visa is a normal procedure in China.

20. Does New Times help its teachers come to China?
We would ask you to book a ticket to China yourself, but from the moment you arrive at Beijing Capital Airport, we will make sure that your stay will be as memorable and comfortable as possible.

21. What materials should a teacher plan to bring to China?
It is necessary for each teacher to bring two copies of their university diploma, resume, teaching certificate, and 6-8 passport sized photos to be submitted for the medical exam, your work visa, and foreign expert certificate. Though not absolutely necessary, it is a good idea to bring along photos of friends and family, English magazines, and tacky souvenirs from your home country, all of which make good teaching aids. Used or new stamps, coins, postcard etc. are always good for the future student.

Also a phrasebook, a picture dictionary and a guide book are not bad ideas either. As for clothing, Chinese are on average a bit smaller than Western people, so if you wear large sizes it would be wise to bring enough clothing, especially shoes to last you for a year. Larger sizes are available though expensive in Beijing or Shanghai, but rare in other cities.

22. Is the teacher required to follow a certain dress code?
A teacher is required to dress in a professional manner. This does not mean that they have to wear suits, but they should not wear tank tops or sleeveless shirts. Jeans and t-shirts are ok, as long as they are clean and not totally worn out. You are setting an example for your students and China is a bit more conservative than Western countries.

23. What immunization shots should be considered by a teacher who is going to China?
No vaccinations are required, but teachers should contact a health unit in their home country for up to date advice. Hepatitis A and B, DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio), and Typhoid are normally advised, and Japanese Encephalitis is usually recommended as well.

There are also several hospitals and clinics with English speaking doctors in China, who can administer these shots for you, but they will not administer vaccination serums brought to China from another country. You should also remember that it takes some time after the inocculation for most vaccines to become effective.

24. Do teachers require a physical examination once they arrive in China?
A medical exam is required in order to obtain a foreign expert certificate and a work visa, and this is performed in a local hospital. It takes about one hour and the cost is often reimbursed by your school. Two passport photos are needed for the exam.

25. What happens when a new teacher arrives?
An English speaking representative from New Times will meet you at Beijing Capital Airport. Depending on your arrival time, you will be brought either straight to our office in Shijiazhuang by train or, if your arrival is in the afternoon, you will spend the night at our apartment in Beijing for free.

Upon arrival in Shijiazhuang we will arrange accommodation in our own hotel room or our apartment where you can stay for the next couple of days, during which you will be offered a number of teaching positions at various schools throughout the country for you to choose from.

26. What available resources are offered to the foreign teacher by their schools?
Most of our contact schools supply every teacher with textbooks. Moreover, in some schools you will find a cassette player, overhead projector, computer and a projector. Normally, the head office also has computers, with internet access. It is therefore important that you have a creative imagination and use any available teaching resource to your disposal.

27. Do teachers have a Chinese teaching assistant?
This varies from school to school. The rule of thumb is that the older the student, the less likely you will be provided with a teaching assistant. Private schools and kindergardens will in most cases, however, assign a T.A. to help you teach, translate and maintain order.

28. How do teachers arrange their tax payments?
Teachers ought to make their own tax arrangements in their home country, but your school will assist you in filing local income taxes in accordance with tax laws in China. Up till 4800 RMB your income is tax-free.

29. Does New Times provide medical coverage?
NO! Each teacher is usually provided with an average of 500RMB/semester to cover their basic medical needs. They also have access to their school's clinic for most common illnesses. However, this normally only covers basic medication and would not be sufficient in case of hospitalization. We would therefore advice you to purchase additional medical insurance coverage or travel insurance with medical coverage in your home country. New Times can assist you with purchasing private accident insurance (not health insurance) that will cover up to 50,000 RMB/year for a cost of 200RMB/year. We go the extra mile to make sure that your stay is as safe as possible.

30. Does New Times provide Chinese language lessons and arrange any cultural events for its teachers?
No! Chinese lessons should be discussed with your school prior to signing your contract. We can provide you with a basic introduction to the Chinese language upon arrival, and will give you a CD with 30 hours of Chinese lessons in MP3-format to practice in your spare time. This will be provided at no cost to you. New Times can arrange cultural events such as food sampling, day trips to neighboring towns and visits to Chinese temples, parks and gardens. New Times also organizes trips during the Chinese holidays and can arrange courses in martial arts, tai chi, fan dancing, calligraphy, and so on.

31. What are the apartments like in the school?
Most teachers have their own apartment with necessary working and living conditions: bed, furniture, fully equiped kitchen, washing machine, refrigerator, hot shower, TV, DVD player, telephone, in some cases computer with Internet access, etc.), though in some cases you will have to share accommodation with another foreign teacher.



We hope these answers have satisfied most of your questions, but if you have any more questions, feel free to contact us. If you would like to apply, simply refer to our on-line application.

 

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