Why many foreigners do not get ESL jobs in China?


As I mentioned before, China is a big country. If you can speak good English, you can always get an ESL job in China. However, there are still many foreigners who could not get ESL jobs for themselves. Why?

Today, I’ll state several reasons according to my experience.

First, the expectation of ESL teachers coming to China is much higher than the reality.

As the highly demand of ESL teachers in China is keeping increasing, some agencies use higher salary to attract ESL teachers to apply for jobs there. Therefore, most ESL teachers think that they can get offers with a higher salary.  ESL jobs with higher salary exist in China, but they all have higher requirements including specific bachelor degree, direct working experience or teaching certificate.  However, when ESL teachers are attracted by the higher salary jobs, they only want to get an offer with higher salary but could not realize that they are not qualified for that offer.  If an ESL teacher could not realize how much he/she can earn in China and wants to have a job paying much more than it is, then he/she is really hard to get an ESL job in China.

Since I’m working for an agency, I’ll tell you that everyone here wants to get a higher payment job for ESL teacher, but there are qualifications here, we can only get a higher payment for you in your ability.

Second, some foreigners prefer that the schools pay their air tickets and visa fee ahead.

According to my working experience, there is no school that pays air tickets and visa fee ahead. Why? The schools will be concerned that the ESL teacher won’t come. Therefore, the schools will reimburse air tickets and visa fee according to their contract. Some school will reimburse after three months, some six months and some at the end of the contract.  I understand, there are some foreigners who don’t have money and also want to come to China to teach. Therefore, they hope to find some schools who will buy tickets and pay everything that make them teach in China. However, this is very tough and almost impossible for my personal information.  So please get some money from your family or friends, the schools that you sign through my company will definitely reimburse the air tickets to you if it’s in the contract.

Third, one-year contract is too long for some foreigners.

It’s usually one-year contract in China if you take an ESL job in China. Some foreigners will prefer to have a short-term contract such as three month or six month. However, there are only one-year contract in China.  Actually, there are also short-term or part time jobs contract here in China.  The schools will look for ESL teachers locally not for ESL teachers who are aboard.  Generally, there is no contract for short-term, it’s just the same as part-time job in China. If you couldn’t commit one-year contract, then just to be honest with the school. The school may consider offering you a job with ten-month contract. Just don’t break off the contract for the time issue!

Fourth, non-native ESL teachers are tougher to get ESL jobs than before. 

Since more and more native English speakers are coming to China to seek ESL jobs, all the schools prefer to hire native English speaker ESL teachers. The ESL jobs open for non-native speakers are less than before, especially in big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai.  However, there are still many jobs open to non-native speakers who can speak good English without strong accent. Since the ESL jobs market becomes tougher for non-native English speaker ESL teachers, they have to lower their expectation than before. Then, they can still get good jobs. My suggestion is that they can look for jobs in tier two or three cities and not require a salary as much as native speakers.  And also when non-native English speaker ESL teachers apply for a job, they would better provide a teaching video with their resume, which can help them get ESL jobs sooner.  The reason is that the school may be concerned that the non-native English speaker could not speak good English. If non-native English speaker ESL teacher provides a teaching video, then the school can watch the video first to decide whether they may give you an opportunity to have an interview.

Fifth, communication is very important when you’re applying for an ESL job.

For my working experience, most competitive ESL jobs are filled very quickly. Therefore, you have to get ready for the job. In my company, we’ll collect your documents and requirements of ESL jobs that you’re looking for. Then, we’ll match your requirements with our job opens and send your documents to the schools of matched jobs. Then, when we get the offers of interview, we’ll send those job descriptions to you and you can decide which schools you want to interview with. Then, we arrange interviews for you and the schools. At last and very important part, please shorten your considering time! Generally, the schools would like to have your decision in two-three days and one week is the longest. If you spend too much time, then the job may go to others. Therefore, getting to know the ESL job that you want to take is really important, it’s including the location, students’ age and salary.  And the most important part is that to keep in touch with your agency and let them know your though and concern, they can help you discuss with the school behalf of your benefits.  If you don’t like the job, the agency can also arrange other interviews for you. Therefore, don’t hesitate to contact with the agency if you have any questions or concerns.

In conclusion, it’s easy to get an ESL job in China, if you can find a reliable agency.  The reliable agency will make you know everything you’re supposed to know before and when you’re applying for an ESL job. Sunrise is one of the most reliable agencies in China. We’re always standing on your side. Come on and talk with us, then you know what you should do!