Things to do before coming to teach in China


Many people like traveling to new countries, embarking on new careers and learning about new cultures. They want to reach their full potential. Teaching English in China offers the opportunity to experience the thrill of breaking free of your comfort zone. It can combine all three of these while being fanancially sustained too. So what to start with? It seems to be a little overwhelming at first. This checklist will give you some guidance.


  1. Study a TEFL/TESOL Certificate

In order to get a work visa and work legally as an English teacher in China, a 4-year college degree and a TEFL/TESOL are required. Several years ago, the visa policy is not strict. You can even get a work visa without a bachelor degree. But now, it’s different. While it is still possible to work illegally in China, the government has finally started cracking down on this, deporting unregistered teachers. Therefore, I strongly recommend you find a way to work legally because this will not only help you find better positions but will also help you get paid more!You can get a TEFL/TESOL online. 120h is fine. If you are in China, you can study one in Beijing on site. It is fully recognized all over China. Anyway, My advice is to get a TEFL online before you go, so you can command the best jobs when applying.


  1. Learn Some Chinese

Although China has slowly integrated English as part of their educational system, most people still communicate in their own langauges. For the first time you arrive at the airport and train station,speaking Chinese will be helpful in finding ways. You can learn some simple Chinese like how to ask for ways, price and so on.By doing this, you can also break the language barrier and connect well with students. So start learning the basics beforehand and keep on practicing!


  1. Get Necessary Paperwork Ready

When teaching in China legally, the first step is to get a Z Working Visa. Your school will provide a work permit for you to apply for the work visa, but you need to prepare the ncessary documents to get the work permit. Now China requires foreign teachers to authenticate the degree, tesol/tefl and non criminal record in the Chinese embassy in their home countries. It takes long time, so it’s better to work on that a month in advance. You don’t have to do all the documents in person. You can find a local agency to do that for you. It is faster. Sometimes, teachers have found the prefect schools for them, but it finally didn’t work out just because of the paperwork. Teachers can’t wait for any longer without working for several months and schools can’t wait because their classes are about to start soon. What a pity.


  1. Save Enough Money

While traveling to teach English in China is an exciting prospect, you don’t want to live your life from paycheck to paycheck. In the months before you leave, you’ll want to start saving money. There are more expenses than you expected. The documents costs some money. You also need to do medical check. What is the most important, you need to buy your flight to China. Almost schools in China will not take the risk to buy to flight before you come. They will only reimburse it after your arrival. If you’re living in an apartment provided by the school, you won’t have many costs upfront. However if you take the housing allowance,you will need to pay for the rent, deposit along with an agency fee, which is usually half a month’s rent. This can be a HUGE shock.Most Chinese apartments are furnished, but not every apartment has all of the supplies you need: bedding, kitchenware, and other homey items for your apartment can add up. You also need to feed yourself and survivie for the first month or two depending on when your first paycheck goes through!


  1. Download Necessary Apps

Before you head to China, there are a few apps you’ll want to download. Firstly, WeChat will become your life in China. It is used nearly by everyone in China.It’s the most prominent social media. You can join expat groups, and group chats with your coworkers, share documents, transfer money, find a taxi, read blog posts, book plane and train tickets and much more!Next you’ll want to download Pleco, a Chinese dictionary app, as well as Baidu Translate. While you can get around China without speaking Chinese, it will be much easier if you can learn a few survival phrases and translate things on the go.


  1. Buy a VPN

Many popular sites in China are blocked in China. They are not accessible over the standard internet service in your apartment, cafes or at your school. Websites are like Facebook, Youtube,Gmail, Google, basically anything with the word Google. As an expatriate, your way of communication to your friends and family is the internet. That is why it is important for you to get your own VPN.


China is a country that has a lot to offer, and the truth is, nobody ever visits China and leaves without having experienced a sense of awe and wonder. It is a truly beautiful nation. So, prepare your visa and your luggage. China is waiting for you!