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teaching English in south china schools

Travel Forums Asia teaching English in south china schools

1. Posted by biankagary (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

My partner and I wish to teach English to chinese students and would like a list of schools in South China. Can anybody help us please. We are fed up with agencies trying to rip us off and wanting us to go through them to get a job in a school. Surely if we can get our own health insurance and visa and flight then the schools can help us make arrangements for accommodation if we are working for them.

please thank you.

2. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 769 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I don't know which agencies you have tried but I have never found that problem of being ripped off. I found my job in S Korea through an agency and they didn't take a penny of my money. The school will pay an agent to find them a teacher. Going through an agent is far easier, but never pay an agent to do it, there are loads of agencies that the school pays to find teachers. I'm kind of confused as to why an agent would try to rip you off.

3. Posted by merlin_sg (Budding Member 20 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hey, I am not in the education business but I travel regularly to Guangdong province which is one of the southern region of China. are you refering to this region ? The major cities include Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Shantou etc.

Bwiian is lucky not to meet any problems, but my 5 years dealing with the people there, i get ripped all the time.

Anyway if you need help, just beep me, when are you guys travelling ?

4. Posted by biankagary (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Merlin-sq

Thanks for your reply. When we are travelling really depends on when we can get work and in which region. It may be easier to get work in Korea I do'nt know but we were really wanting to work in a South Chinese school.

We are native English speakers and I have my Tefl certificate but we are quite happy to take on the schools training if they prefer us to teach in their way.

If you have any leads for Chinese schools for us and also where we can get accommodation that would be a great help.

We would like to start workiing in a school as soon as possible either, shanghai, bejing, or any big city in the South.


5. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 415 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

There are lots of places that advertise online for teachers. Dave's ESL Cafe: has a China job board. You can contact the schools directly, and they will help you get a visa. No agent required.

The safest schools to work for are universities or other public schools. They pay little, only about 4,000-6,000 yuan/month plus free accommodation and return flight, but you only teach about 16 hours a week, and you get 12-14 weeks of paid holiday every year, which gives you plenty of time for travel around China or to nearby countries. They won't screw you, usually, since they aren't motivated by profit. A native speaker with a B.A./B.S. and TEFL should have no problem getting a job at a Chinese university.

Private schools pay more, but are also more likely to cheat you. So, be careful.

Good luck!

6. Posted by Jamebb (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

This info is sort of tangential to your question, but I think it's important to know nonetheless.

If you want to work legally in China , you can't just get a working visa yourself. The school needs to issue a letter of invitation. To get a letter of invitation, you need to provide documentation for the following (at the very least): that you are at least 24 (although this is not a hard and fast rule), have a 4 year diploma, 2 years teaching experience (proof via resume), and you need 1-2 recommendations.

I would advise having your Z visa in hand before you leave your home country, or you can be setting yourself up for a long and irritating process, which may or may not end with you getting your visa. Some schools will ask you to come to on a tourist visa and tell you that they will arrange for a working visa when you arrive. However once you arrive, the school gives you the runaround and you may wind up stuck there working illegally. The rules for getting a visa differ from province to province and in some cases from municipality to municipality. In addition the Chinese government doesn't make it very easy to find out what the rules are for Z visa issuance. Sometimes you can only have your visa issued in your home country (so if you are already on Chinese soil you have to go back to get a visa). Sometimes (if you are already in China) you can go to Hong Kong and get your visa issued there. Sometimes you can get a visa in weeks, sometimes it can take months.

If you come to China with the promise of a visa and don't get one but decide to stay anyway, you will have to make "border runs", the frequency of which will be determined by the duration of stay limit on your visa. It can be very costly and time consuming to do this especially if you are not near a border.

If you are willing to take the risk of coming to China without a visa, make sure you do your due diligence before committing to a school. Do as much research as possible, e.g. check blacklists, ask to speak with current and former foreign teachers, etc. If something doesn't feel right, don't discount your instincts if something seems fishy, because it will suck to be stuck at a bad school in a foreign country. Even if everything seems kosher with the school before you arrive, make sure you either have enough funds to live on without working for sometime.

Coming back around to your question, there are tons esl teaching sites online with job postings. Dave's esl cafe was mentioned above and gets a good number of postings. also seems to have a lot of postings that come directly from schools and not from recruiters.

Most job postings I've come across provide free accommodation or give the option of a housing allowance as part of the employment package.

Rereading my post I guess I come across as a bit doom and gloom. But don't despair. There are good, reputable schools out there. Working and traveling in China is a great adventure. You can have a great experience here, meeting people and immersing yourself in a different culture. But there are bad experiences to be had, so you should be cautious and be as certain as possible that you aren't setting yourself up one.
Best of luck though.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Jan-2011, at 03:35 by Jamebb ]

Post 7 was removed by a moderator