Teachers open the doors. Students enter by themselves. --Chinese Proverb
Many of us look for an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. Still others look for an alternative to the traditional post-graduate employment path. Teach English in China with GeoVisions, and weave those opportunities into the fabric of your daily life. GeoVisions offers paid teaching positions for university graduates or current classroom teachers looking to share their language and culture while immersing themselves in new communities around the world.
China is an amazing place to teach English and explore a culture that is really just opening its doors to the world! Being paid to teach English in China is a rewarding experience that requires patience and open mindedness. You are placed in the middle of the world’s oldest civilization; a cultural experience very different from your own. The sights and variety of experiences in China are nearly as vast the the country itself.
Experience China’s traditional festivals, start your mornings with tai chi lessons, devour exotic cuisine, travel through ancient landscapes all the while building your resume of full time teaching.
Native English speakers from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK or US. You also need the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree.
2018 Intake Dates For Teach English in China
The academic year begins in September and runs through December. The second semester runs February through July.
For public schools and universities:
August 31. (Deadline to process your visa is June 1, 2018)
For private training schools:
Arrive at anytime. You will travel to China after your visa is issued. The same requirements and benefits apply for private training schools.
Placing Teachers In China Since 2008
Our first group of teachers to teach English in China was in September 2008. Now in our 10th year in China, we have seen the program grow from that first small group to hundreds of teachers annually, teaching not only in China, but Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, and Costa Rica.
Most teachers want to know where they will be teaching before they fly thousands of miles to Asia.
No different from your home country, it would feel a bit “odd” to apply for a teaching job and not find out where you will be teaching, how large the school is, to see photos and other critical information to make sure you have made the right decision. You will have the opportunity to choose your location and schools from several options based on your skills.
GeoVisions places over 500 teachers from 35 countries in the United States each year. They choose their locations in a similar process.
Application deadlines and visas
100% guaranteed teaching placement after approval of your application.
Visa requirements have changed recently in China. You need to make your application and submit your materials around 90-days before your intake date to make sure there are no visa issues that would change your arrival date.
Orientation and Salary
In-country orientation is included and normally conducted by the host school.
Earn a monthly salary between 6,000 CNY and 12,000 CNY (dependent on location, teaching experience, degree, etc.). That’s twice what a local Chinese teacher earns each month. Our placements range from Kindergarten to University teaching positions.
TESOL and/or TEFL Training
Beneficial but not required. Having a certificate may increase your monthly salary by 2,000 CNY.
- Yes! Think about traveling with a friend or two. While we may not be able to place you in the same town or school, with enough time we can get you close! Plus you have weekends to travel together.
- Academic year.
Earn between 6,000 to 12,000 CNY per month. Receive furnished housing on top of your salary. Stay an academic year and receive reimbursement for all of your airfare up to 8,000 CNY.
The fee you pay to teach in China goes to our 501(c)(3) non-profit company, The GeoVisions Foundation. The program donation for this experience covers our costs of local screening of potential host schools in China; assisting you with the process of compiling the documents you will need to collect for a guaranteed job and the correct visa; and assistance in China during your entire stay to make sure what you have agreed to is what really happens. This provides you a great deal of security and a social base to grow and enjoy your time in China. If you are from the US, the fee also includes your travel and medical insurance.
We provide 24/7 emergency service, manned by real people. You are supported from the moment you contact us to the time you return … and beyond, through our active Alumni Community. Be sure to speak to your tax preparer to see if any of these fees (and even moving costs) can be deducted as a charitable donation.
How does the application process work?
- To apply, you must complete the online application.
- Once your application has been submitted, your Operations Coordinator will provide you with a list of documents required for the program. All documents can be attached and uploaded with your supplemental application.
- We will then submit your completed application to our China office for approval.
- Within 2 weeks, you’ll know if you’re accepted to the program. You will receive an acceptance letter and we will provide you with more information regarding placements, visas, and training schedules.
- Next we send you a list of available placements. Rank each school and/or location in order of preference. Our team will work hard to secure your top choice by sending your application to each school for review.
- After being accepted by a school, your placement will be confirmed and reserved. If you change your mind about your placement and want to relocate, you are free to discuss this with our team at the orientation.
- Fill out the visa forms and submit the required documents. Visa regulations have changed recently in China, taking more time to receive a visa. GeoVisions and our office in China will help make sure you have the required documentation for a successful and timely visa process.
What documents are required to apply?
- Your completed online application.
- A copy of your passport identification page.
- 3 references, their relationship to you and their contact information.
- Copy of your degree, transcripts, or a letter of expected completion if you haven’t graduated.
- Criminal Record Check.
- Any certificates related to teaching (ex: TEFL/TESOL, First Aid, Teaching Certification, etc)
- A photo of you, dressed professionally, smiling and with a white background.
Am I eligible to apply?
You are eligible to apply if you meet the following requirements:
- You must be a native English speaker.
- BA/BS degree in any field.
- Age 21 to 55
- Citizen of US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand.
Do I need to have TEFL/TESOL certification?
TEFL/TESOL certification is not required to teach in China. A TEFL/TESOL certificate will make your application much more competitive, and you could receive around 2,000 CNY more per month with a certificate.
Will there be orientation when I arrive in China?
Yes! Your host school with provide orientation.
Are flights included and booked for me?
No, flights are not included in the fee, and you are responsible for arranging your own flights/transportation to China. If you stay one academic semester, you will receive around 4,000 CNY towards your flight and if you stay one academic year in the same school, you could receive up to 8,000 CNY towards your flight to China.
Is housing included?
Yes! In addition to a great salary and benefits, your host school will provide a furnished apartment. All you have to do is take care of the utilities.
Can I bring my children?
If agreed upon at the outset, partners, spouses and children can come with you. Basically this is done when 2 of you are teaching at the same school or nearby schools. If this is not agreed upon before you leave your home country, the answer is no.
Can I bring pets?
Will I sign a contract?
Yes, you will be required to sign a contract once you are hired. Upon arrival, you will sign the formal, hard copy of the contract of employment. This contract will include your salary.
What is the length of a contract?
The length of your initial contract is a full academic placement. Teachers are welcome to extend their contract for additional semesters.
Why Is There A Placement Fee?
Over the years we have met teachers who have had horrible experiences when they think they are going into a fantastic overseas teaching job only to find out they are not going to a real school, but a corporate school and not a true International school. They have been caught in a signed contract without having visited the school or met the administrators. Where do they turn without a support team who’s only job is to look out for you?
At GeoVisions, we have pre-screened the school and the position and in most cases, we have placed teachers at that school before. We make sure you’re being paid the highest salary possible. We provide a formal orientation. You will learn survival Mandarin. We help you with your visa, your formal documents and we make sure your new school is ready to receive you. In fact, if your placement doesn’t work out, we work to move you to another school or another part of China.
Will Schools Hire Teachers That Are Age 50 Or Older?
Most schools do not impose age restrictions, but there may be a subtle age bias towards younger teachers.
Some Fun Cultural Differences
By being aware of some of the cultural differences you lessen the impact of culture shock and you make your life considerably easier. Here is a list of some of the more overt cultural differences of Western culture in relation to Chinese culture:
Food etiquette in China is different from other cultures. Watch what they do. You will be amazed. Slurping and reaching for food is totally acceptable as is removing food from one’s mouth and putting it on the table. Note that playing with chopsticks and making faces at the food (no matter how disgusted you might be) is not acceptable. Showing this emotion is considered a loss of face. Also note that going “dutch” is seen as unfriendly. If you offer to pay for everyone’s meal it will develop your relationship with him or her or them, even though they may not let you actually pay.
We might as well address the one thing you HAVE to get used to. People. And lots of them. If you choose to travel or go out you will be exposed to crowds. On public holidays the masses of people will become readily apparent as you shop with 1.5 billion Chinese. Don’t expect people to wait in line. There is very little sense of personal space.
Visiting a Person’s House
If you are invited to a Chinese person’s house, which will happen, always take a gift of fruit or flowers. A pre-made basket of fruit costs about $5.00. A bag of oranges or a bunch of flowers only costs a couple of Dollars.
Red flowers are good to take. White flowers are only used at funerals. Indian candy smoked salmon as a “gift from home” always goes over really well. Learn more about the food culture and symbolism in China in the Food in China section.
Smoking is seen as a masculine activity and very few think of it as a health threat or as offensive. Often people will smoke in restaurants with little or no regard for smoking or non-smoking sections. Chinese men constantly offer cigarettes and alcohol to other men. The type of cigarettes a person smokes establishes a class system. To decline an offer of a cigarette or alcohol say gently, “Wo bu hui. Xie xie.”
Today, attitudes towards tipping are changing in China. Although the practice is not officially recognized, tips are now frequently offered to and accepted by travel guides, tour bus drivers, porters and waiters in top-class hotels and restaurants. However, tipping is still not expected in most restaurants and hotels. Consumer taxes are included in price tags on goods but big hotels and fine restaurants may include a service charge of 10% or more.
Physical Contact/Holding Hands in Public
Chinese are not big on public displays of affection, you will rarely if ever see couples kissing in public. Shake hands but refrain from hugging, kissing, winking, patting or making physical contact. As a “friend,” you will find that men will hold hands with men and women will hold hands with women and walk on the street. This may be “weird” in the west, but it is a common friendly practice for young people/adults in China. You may even have a friend of the same sex try to hold your hand at some point.
In Western countries one expects to maintain eye contact when we talk with people. This is a norm we consider basic and essential. This is not the case among the Chinese. On the contrary, because of the more authoritarian nature of the Chinese society, steady eye contact is viewed as inappropriate, especially when subordinates talk with their superiors.
Chinese students are not brought up to maintain constant eye contact with their teachers. Eye contact is sometimes viewed as a gesture of challenge or defiance. When people get angry, they tend to maintain steady eye contact. Otherwise, they keep talking looking elsewhere or nonchalant. Also, try to avoid physical content and eye contact with the opposite sex.
Bowing or nodding is the common greeting; however, you may be offered a handshake. Wait for the Chinese to offer their hand first.
Inviting People Home
You are definitely welcome to invite Chinese people to your home. Expect that if you invite them that you will be required to supply everything, just the same as if you invite them to dinner in a restaurant.
Be prepared to be asked your age, or why you are not married or don’t have any children. This is not considered prying but rather friendly and expressing interest in your life.
Chinese Hosts Offering Something
Usually when a Chinese host offers a guest refreshments, if the guest declines, the host will ask again twice. Remember this if you entertain at your place. If someone declines they may really want something so you should really ask a couple more times. It makes it look like you are really concerned with their comfort.
The academic year begins in September and runs through December. The second semester runs February through July. Arrive February 5, 2018 or August 31, 2018 for public schools and universities. If you teach in a private training school, arrive anytime. This is an academic year long program.
You will have a 5-day-work-week with 2 consecutive days off. Most teachers will have classes 10-15 hours/week. (This is 12-20 periods/week. Each period is 45 minutes.)
Orientation is provided by the schools. It will usually occur on the second day after arrival. Orientation is one to two days depending on the school.
Native English speakers with a valid passport from USA, UK, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Canada. You will teach in English.
If you have time, you can likely find Mandarin classes easily. Taking these courses would be at an optional expense that you want to factor into your budget.
You may be able to find a colleague at your school who would trade English lessons for Mandarin lessons … as well as calligraphy and cooking lessons.
21 through age 55 to qualify for the work visa.
GeoVisions places teachers primarily in urban and suburban settings across China. Placements are primarily placed in second-and third-tier cities. GeoVisions places participants in Mandarin-speaking provinces and large cities across China, including but not limited to:
May be reimbursed. Once you receive your school placement you’ll know what the school will provide for airfare. Semester teachers generally qualify for up to 4,000 CNY for airfare and academic year teachers can qualify for up to 8,000 CNY for airfare.
Not Included. Participants should have a Z visa (working visa) before they arrive into China. At this time (September 2017) the Z visa is $140 for US citizens.
Your continued good health and safety during your time abroad is of critical importance to GeoVisions, and to the success of the program.
With the healthcare and insurance laws in the United States, GeoVisions cannot legally provide travel, health and accident insurance on our group plan for any participant who resides outside the US. If that is you, we hope you will still participate with us. We struggle to understand these insurance laws in our country every day.
All teachers who sign a full year contract will be provided medical insurance from their school as a full time teacher.
For US Citizens, whether you teach a semester or an academic year, GeoVisions has arranged extra accident and health insurance services through STA Travel. You will be sent details of the plan appropriate to you before departure. Please read the information about the plan carefully.
If you reside outside the US, please find out if your current health insurance plan covers you when you travel and teach in Thailand. If it does not, you will need to purchase an insurance plan separately if you teach for less than one year. Then, simply send us a scan or photo of your insurance card. It’s that simple. And for the record, we don’t understand or agree with these laws either.
GeoVisions takes your health very seriously. We have specially trained staff on duty 24 hours a day, 7-days a week to assist you wherever you are.
Airport transfer upon arrival is typically reimbursed by the school. Once hired by a school, the details of the pick up or reimbursement are provided.
For the majority of placements, furnished Western-style apartments are included. You will probably be asked to pay the utilities. For a few schools, the salary may be higher and then would not include housing. In this case, assistance from the school would be available to find a suitable accommodation.
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