Before coming to China to be a TEFL teacher, you have a lot things to consider and weigh. This is what most foreigners know. I’m going to talk about taking families and pets to China. This will affect what you should prepare and what a school should do and etc.
Everyone has a family, maybe a wife, one or more children, and some have pets to take care of. Some foreigners don’t want to leave everything in their country and come all the way. That’s a big sacrifice. We all understand that. Honestly, most schools prefer to hire someone without several family members or pet. Since that will make their work more difficult and complicated. Some do accept families, and can help with visa, but you should have all the necessary documents ready, otherwise I’m afraid no schools could help.
Suppose you will come with a pet, you should take it to do a medical check just before you leave for China. Besides, your pet will be quarantined for at least a week, it will depend on which city. For Beijing, it should be more days. You also need to pay for this. Some apartments schools provide don’t allow pets, some don’t care. Therefore, before you come to teach in China as a TEFL teacher, you should let the school or agent know about this and see if they are okay with that. This could avoid some unnecessary trouble, and also saves both our time.
Suppose you will come with your wife or husband and children, you will need to prepare for more documents for the visa and should consider your children’s schooling. Your husband or wife’s visa is easy to get, as long as you have the marriage certificate. You will need to provide your husband’s or wife’s medical check, non-criminal background check, passport copy and your marriage certificate to get a family visa for her or him. What’s more, it’s about your children’s schooling and visa. You need to provide your children’s birth certificates, passport copies, photos. If they are over 18 years old, they will need to do medical check as well. Besides that, if you need your potential employer to help with your children’s schooling, you had better tell schools or agents in advance. Since not every school could help with that. If you want your children to attend an international school, you should have enough money for the tuition fee and other cost. If the international school is what you will work for, they might give a discount, but usually will not provide free schooling. If only general schools are provided to your children, they will have language barrier. In addition, your families will need a bigger house, that costs a lot. If a school don’t have or couldn’t provide a three-bedroom apartment, you will need to pay extra. If a school offers housing allowance only, you will have to prepay for your apartment at least three months plus one month deposit. All these will cost. Therefore, before you decide to be a TEFL teacher in China, you should be sure you have enough money to fly and live in China for the first two or three months and are very clear how to deal with your children’s schooling, find out what is the best for your children and what a school can offer. To be honest, schools prefer someone without families, this is understandable. They don’t have to worry about your families’ safety, and don’t have to spend much time on managing all the foreign teachers’ families. Once they get in trouble or cause some trouble, schools should burden the responsibility. This is why all agents will ask if you have families or pets come along with.
In conclusion, to be a TEFL teacher is not just about getting a z visa, buying a flight, then come. It involves a lot of things, money, families, pets, documents preparation and maybe more things. Everything that you can think of should be taken into consideration. Everything should be told to your agents, so they can check if they can help, to avoid unnecessary inconveniences. At last, hope what I wrote gives you the right direction and makes your job searching easier. Wish you good luck finding a right job in China!