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◎About applying

When can I apply?

Since we have a very large network of cooperative schools in China that operate throughout the year, teachers are welcome to arrive at any time, though the peak times are late summer and the beginning on January.


What is the application process like?

1) Email your resume and passport photo to to foreignerhr@sina.com. Upon receipt of these, we will contact you and may request additional information and/or documents. A telephone/Skype interview may be conducted (if necessary).

2) Upon deeming you an adequante applicant, we will forward an employment contract for review.

3) The visa process. Prospective teachers are required to contact the local Chinese Embassy or Consulate where they reside to apply for the relevant visa type (we will advise you on this). Once the documents are accepted by the embassy, applicants are then encouraged to make the necessary travel preparations (vaccinations, airfare, etc.) We will walk you through the entire visa process.

4) Upon arriving to Beijing, ForeignerHR will arrange airport pick up and complimentary accommodation in Beijing.

5) Orientation. We will arrange for school placement and training. You will have a Chinese assistant walk you through the comprehsive transition protocol to make sure that you can live and work independently.

6) Upon school placement, if both parties are satisfied, we will arrange for you to move to your full time apartment nearby your school. Most of our apartments are withing walking distance of schools

7) HAVE FUN!! The goal is for you to working within one week of arrival in China.


What are the requirements for applying to this job?

1) You must be 18 years of age upon the final decision to come to China and commit for six months at a minimum 

2) Have a clean criminal record

3) Healthy, outgoing, and unafraid of speaking publicly/in front of a classroom

4) Must love spending time with children and have a positive attitude.


Do I have to speak Chinese to teach English to children.

No, all of our staff speak good conversational English and schools want the children to be immersed in English. We provide free Chinese lessons.


What is the visa process? 

If you are a native English speaker, have a BA degree and have two years of teaching experience, you can come into China with a Z visa. You need to mail us your original non-criminal record, the copy of your passport, BA degree and teaching reference letters and a health check. We will apply for the working permit and the Z visa invitation letter from the government and mail you the documents, you can bring the documents to the local Chinese embassy to apply the Z visa.


If you do not meet the above requirements, you can first come to China with a tourist visa or business visa, depending on your nationality and will advise on all required documents and procceses. After you come to China and pass the probationary period, you will receive the Z work visa


If you are from the UK, you can use this website http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk/eng/visa/  or http://www.visaforchina.org/LON_EN/ 


If you are from the US, you can use this website http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/zgqz/ ) You can also contact an agency to help you, like this one http://www.abriggs.com/ 




◎About the school and the job

What are the schools like? What is the working schedule? How many teaching hours per week?

All of our schools are in central locations of Beijing, with a modern and friendly working environment.


There are four types of schools. 

1) Early childhood center, the students are 5 months to 5 years old. The schedule is Wednesday-Sunday 9AM to 6PM

2) Kindergarten (the most popular). The students are 3-5 years old. The schedule is Monday-Friday 8AM to 5PM with at least a 2 hour lunch break and free meals.

3) Language training centers for children; the students are 4-12 years old. The schedule is Wednesday-Sunday. Wednesday-Friday 1pm to 9pm. Saturday-Sunday 10AM to 7PM.

4) Language training centers for adults; Wednesday-Sunday. Wednesday- Friday 1pm to 9pm. Saturday-Sunday 10am to 7pm. 

All positions do not exceed more than 40 working hours/week, and no more than 25 teaching hours/week. 


What is the training like?

Our training is one-one and comprehensive. We will show you some other teachers videos and then give you some materials, show you different activities and ask you to perform, then give you some practical suggestions. We may also take you to the school to watch other teachers’ classes. Depending on your previous experiences, the training can range from a few hours to a week. 


Are there any paid vacations? Are there summer and winter holidays? Can I ask for leaves other than the legal holidays?

All the Chinese legal holidays are paid. There are in total about 20 days a year, such as New Year Holiday, Spring Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day, Labor Holiday, Dragon Holiday, Mid-Autumn holiday, National Holiday. Christmas is not a Chinese legal holiday. The dates of the holidays depend on the Chinese lunar calendar, so every year is slightly different. In China, we have the holiday switch shift system, for example New Year Holiday has only one paid leave, but we will have three days off in row, but we have to make up the two days in the previous week and in the following week. So you have to follow the school’s requirement on the holiday switch shift. 

Most of our schools do not have summer and winter holidays. However, some kindergartens may have ten days off during the winter time after the Spring Festival. The Spring Festivals will be paid, other days will not be paid.

Yes, you can ask for days off other than the legal holidays, just let us know one week in advance and you can get unpaid personal leaves.


◎About the housing and the salary


What is the housing like?

All of our apartments are in good locations of Beijing. Usually they are two or three bedrooms apartments. ESL teachers will have single bedrooms, with shared kitchen, bathroom and living room. The apartment will be furnished with air conditioner, refrigerator, WIFI, western shower and toilet, bed, desk, closet and other necessary things for living. However, ESL teachers shall provide their own beddings and personal things like towel, etc. 

See some photos of our current foreign teachers apartment>>


What is the salary like? Are there any other benefits? Is there insurance?

Yuan is the Chinese currency, also called RMB. 6.2 Yuan is about 1 USD. We pay 6000-9000 Yuan/month for the ESL teachers depends on the teachers’ qualifications and the nationality. We provide free accommodation for the teachers. If the teachers do not need free accommodation. We will give the teachers 3000 Yuan as the housing allowance and we will assist you to find an apartment and sign the lease, etc. Usually foreigner standard one bedroom apartment is about 4000 Yuan/month. Two bedrooms apartment is about 5500 Yuan/month. 

Besides the salary we give the teachers 6000 Yuan as the airfare reimbursement and TESOL/TEFL certificate for free if you finish one year contract with us. 

In China the insurance system is different from foreign countries, its very easy and cheap to buy medicines in China, if you are sick we will take you to buy the medicine in the pharmacy, usually its about 20-30 Yuan, very cheap. Usually if the teachers are really sick they will go back home to get well, so the health insurance is not really necessary, hence most of the schools and us do not provide that. 


◎About preparing for coming

What should I bring to China? Is there any dress code?

The most important things are passport with the valid visa, the ORIGINAL Non criminal record, the ORIGINAL BA degree if you have, the ORIGINAL TEFL/TESOL certificate if you have, the ORIGINAL working reference letters if you have, credit bank card, some two inch photos. 

Electronics, such as laptops, and cell phones. If you are planning on bringing your own phone, please remember to unlock it before you come so it isn’t tied to your home network and unusable. You can find out online how to do this. Also, most American phones do not work with the Chinese SIM network, so Americans should play it safe and just wait until you come to China to buy a phone. You can find a really cheap one for only 200RMB. The plugs in China are three diagonal pronged, with some standard two prong plugs and use 220V, instead of 110 like the US. Other than your laptop, which has a power converter on it, it is advised to not bring other electronics as they might short circuit, especially things like curling irons and hair dryers, which can all be found here, relatively cheap.

There are four seasons in Beijing. You shall pack different seasons clothes and shoes. Clothes are very easy to come by in China. Not only are most sizes and styles available, but also can be found relatively cheap (especially in comparison to western counterparts). One thing to consider however is shoes, mostly for men with US sizes about 12. Large shoes are harder to find in China and you should bring a couple pairs with you. 

Since beddings are quite big and heavy, most of the teachers buy them when they arrive in China, its about 200 Yuan in total for all the beddings.

Bring normal toiletry items such as shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. Body care products are often suspected to be in short supply in China; however, there are no shortages of shampoo, toothpaste, conditioner, shaving cream or razors. One thing however, that you should bring with you, is a supply of deodorant, as it is hard to find and there are not many options.

Medicine is not extremely scarce, but it is wise to bring some with you, especially if you know you easily fall prey to certain illness. Ibuprofen is hard to find and I would also suggest some sort of upset stomach relieving medicine along the lines of Pepto Bismol, Immodium.

There is no special dress code, but we need the teachers to wear comfortable shoes and not too tight or sexy clothes. Because the teachers need to interact with the kids, so wearing sneakers and shirt with normal long pants are strongly recommended. 


How much should I bring? What expenses do I have?

We recommend bringing around 1000USD in cash that you can exchange to RMB at the airport upon your arrival. Or put it in your credit card so you can draw it out at the airport from the ATM in RMB. We do not charge the teachers any money, but keep in mind that you will not be getting paid until after your 1st full month teaching. 

You need to pay your health check up, own food, transportation, beddings, SIM card, electricity, water, internet, gas. Health check up is 650 Yuan. Meal is 20-30 Yuan each time. Subway card has 20 Yuan deposit which can be refunded if you leave Beijing and each journey is about 5 Yuan. Beddings are about 200 Yuan in total. SIM card is about 100 Yuan. Electricity, water, internet and gas which are about 200 Yuan/month in total. However the total amount of your monthly expenses is directly related to your spending habits, and also depends on how you budget your money. There is no set level as to how much your living expenses will be because it fluctuates according to your lifestyle. We know some single people who live on about $300 USD a month and others who push it easily over $1000 USD per month. It depends on how thrifty you are and how often you go out. $600 USD is pretty reasonable for a single person. This allows for dinners, drinks, nights out, movies, small weekend trips, etc.


◎About living in China

Will I get a Chinese bank account? How does it work? How to wire money back home?

After you are placed in the school, we will help you to get a Chinese bank account with ICBC or CCB bank. These two banks are the biggest banks in China. It will cost you 10 Yuan for the annual fee, which is not refunded. You can get the bank card right away, it doesn’t matter which visa you have. And we will transfer your salary to that bank account. You only need to bring the passport in order to open the bank account. Most of the banks open everyday. The ATM is 24 hours, but if you draw out the money from the ATM that doesn’t belongs to your bank, the bank will charge you 2 Yuan for each withdraw.

You can wire the bank through Western Union or Money Gram or wire the money to the foreign bank card. We will help you to do that whenever you need. However, Many times unexpected bills or expenses come up in your home country after leaving. In order to prepare for these instances, we recommend leaving some signed blank checks with a trustworthy family member/friend. If you don’t like this option, you can also think about having a signer (called power of attorney) added to your account (a parent, sibling, trusted individual) to help you manage your affairs at home. Try to make sure that as many of your money matters are in order before leaving for one year. Typically it is much easier to deal with these things in person than trying to do them over the phone or through family members. Make sure you have set up online access to your bank accounts at home. Double check to make sure you know your login name and password. If you are going to be making consistent payments to things like a credit card, student loans, or other loans, try to set up it up so that you can make your payments online from your bank at home.


When will I get paid and how can I get the money?

We pay the teachers on the 25th of the next month and we will transfer to your bank account directly. We calculate the natural month working days. For example if you start to work from Jan 1st, then you will get Jan 1st to Jan 31st’s salary on Feb 25th and Feb 1st to Feb 28th on March 25th, etc. If you start to work on Jan 15th, then you will get Jan 15th to Jan 31st’s salary on Feb 25th and Feb 1st to Feb 28th on March 25th, etc. If its not a full month, the salary will be prorated. Considering the teachers will leave China when they finish the contract, so the very last month’s you will get almost two months’ salary. For example your contract is from Jan 1st to Dec 31st, then on Dec 25th you will get the salary for Nov and on Dec 31st you will get the salary for the whole Dec. 


How does the airport pick up work?

If you arrive between Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, we will have assistant to meet you at the airport and take you to the temporary apartment. The assistant will write your name on the paper and wait for you at the exit. Before you come you need to send us a clear, recent photo, so the assistant can find you easily. 

If you arrive not between Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm you can take a taxi to come to our temporary apartment, which we will give you the address and the direction. Beijing International airport has very clear direction for the taxi parking place, you can follow it and go to wait for the formal taxi to come. Remember don’t take black taxi who calls you when you come out of the airport. 

The taxi fee is about 100 Yuan. You need to pay for the taxi fee first and we will reimburse your taxi fee after one month.


How is the temporary apartment? How long do I live in the temporary apartment?

The temporary apartment is nearby our office, in ChaoYang district, near ShuangQiao subway station. You can live for free and use the utilities for free. 

You will live in the temporary apartment for four or five days until you are placed and your long term apartment is arranged.


What is the food like in China? Is it fortune cookies and sushi everywhere?

Food is extremely diverse in China. Not just the local food which each region has its own flair, but in the major cities, many western restaurants exist. As for fortune cookies, they are an American invention and you won’t find them in China. Sushi is growing in popularity in China, but is originally a Japanese dish, not Chinese. Chinese main dishes include kung pow chicken, egg and fried tomato and hot pot. 


Is China safe to live in? Should I read anything before coming to China?

China’s major cities are no more unsafe than the major cities in the west. Most apartment complexes are gated and police are a constant presence. There are plenty of great books on China. Whenever traveling to a new country, it is always handy to purchase the Lonely Planet guide. If you are looking for something more novel-based, you might try China Road, by Rob Gifford.


How can I learn Chinese? How much English is spoken in China?

There are many different ways to learn Chinese in China, depending on your preferences. Most commonly, teachers choose to find a personal tutor, which can run about 30-100RMB (10RMB = 1 pound, 6RMB=1 dollar) for 1 hour.  

English is not spoken as much in China as it is in South America or Europe. However, that doesn’t mean you need to speak Chinese to survive in China.  Most people will understand simple phrases and you can usually get your meaning across with some hand gestures and patience. There are also many restaurants with English or picture menus and most major businesses will have a token employee who can speak English. 


What are some big cultural difference between China and the west?

Any time you are coming to a new country, you must expect that things will be different. Before discussing any specific issues, it is best to say that teachers who do best in China are those people that can take a step back from each new situation no matter how bad or different it might seem and relax and try to work through it. 

Here are a few things that teachers find to be different in China, however this list is not exhaustive:

Often schedule changes or additions are made last minute (this is because it is seen as a loss of face to say something will happen and then cancel, so people often wait until the last minute)

When eating at a restaurant with friends, it is seen as a great thing to pay the bill, so often Chinese people will fight to pay. If you want to pay, you need to really insist.

Also in restaurants, tipping is not allowed in most restaurants. This is because it is seen as you telling them that they need more money than they are already paid. 

Foreigners are still a novelty in China. As a result, many people have a hard time hiding their curiosity, which might manifest itself in staring at you, asking you to take a photo with them or something as nice as everyone saying hello to you. 

Toddlers under the age of 2 often wear clothing that has a split opening in the crotch. Commonly called “split pants”, these allow children to quickly potty train, however, often in public places.

Toilet paper is not common in most public restrooms and is not flushed down the toilet (it is put in the waste bin), so always carry some with you.


What should I avoid in China?

Like most places around the world, China is a really friendly open place. However, there are certain people who prey on this openness and we hope you can keep your guard up. In particular there are two areas you should display extreme caution. Any time you go to a very tourist heavy or western heavy area, you will meet lots of people who can speak English, offer to help you, accompany you and tell you they would be happy just to be able to practice their English. Most often they will suggest going to a tea house or an art gallery to experience and show you more Chinese culture. Once at the tea house or art gallery, you will be charged an exorbitant amount of money from 1,000 to 10,000 RMB for your tea or entry fee.  A general rule of thumb is to not add anyone to your party once you are out. This way you can avoid any unpleasant situations as the police are not very helpful in these situations.  The second area to avoid is so called “Black Taxis” or taxis without meters. Make sure to look for real taxis and don’t go with people who just offer a ride for a set price.


Teaching materials

We prepared many curriculums for our teachers. Here are just a part of the materials you can download and prepare before you arrive China. After you come we can give you more materials and Teaching materials for teaching children