1) How far will my apartment be from the school?
We always aim for your home to be close to your branch as we realistically can. Nobody likes a long commute!
2) Now that I have applied, who can I contact if I have any questions?
You can contact our HR Assistant Barbara at any time. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
3) What will I need to pack for China?
There are plenty of Western malls and shops here, such as H&M, Zara, Pull & Bear, and Sephora etc. Those moving to Shenzhen will find it easier to buy Western products, Xiamen also has slightly more Western shops than Fuzhou and Changle.
These shops will accommodate for Western sizes and products. The weather is extremely hot in the summer, but a little cooler in the winter (moderate if you’re Canadian or Scottish!), so you would need to bring clothes for both winter and summer seasons.
Upon your arrival at your new apartment there will be towels, bedding, toilet paper, toothpaste and one adapter plug extension for each teacher.
While there are a couple of Western book stores in Fuzhou and Xiamen (none in Changle), the choice is limited, although teachers always hold book swaps so you should never be short of reading material, but it is something to bear in mind. Shenzhen will find more of a variety.
For women, bikinis are limited (although swimming costumes are plenty), so if you cannot order online due to your body size, it would be good to bring plenty with you.
It would also be a good idea to bring mosquito spray that has DEET in it, as the sprays here don’t so might not be as effective. However, you can also find this on Taobao.
Taoabo is an online store that is extremely cheap and what most of our teachers use to buy everything under the sun, from clothes to skin products to food! So don’t fret too much!
4) What vaccinations will I need for China?
You will need Hepatitis A as a precaution. Additionally, if you are entering China from a country where yellow fever is endemic, you may require a yellow fever certificate. For more information, do check the vaccination requirements for China here.
5) Do I need a VPN in China?
Yes you will. We recommend Express VPN, Astrill VPN, or Vypr VPN. The majority of our international teachers have Express VPN. While you can get a VPN while in China, it is much easier to get one before you arrive.
6) How much tax will I pay as a teacher in China?
Please read more here for information on tax brackets in China.
7) Will China be a culture shock?
Initially, most probably! Fuzhou & Changle give you a taste of real China with delicious, authentic cuisine and the quite limited English. But there are also Western shops, malls, English cinema’s and plenty of friendly locals to help you out! However, Shenzhen and to a lesser extent Xiamen, will have a more international feel with English more commonly spoken.
We have written an article here as a ‘how to’ guide to survive China!
8) I’m a first time teacher and I’m nervous about teaching, is there anything I can do to prepare?
Our teacher Courtney from the UK has written a blog post about her first week at York, which you can take a look at here.
All the preparation you need would have been done in your TEFL/CELTA. We give extensive training for the first two weeks with week one being you observing classes, and week two of you team teaching with an experienced teacher (for the classes you will be taking as your own). You will also have workshops with your senior teachers, and teacher development plan meetings with your academic coordinator. Don’t fret, if you are open to learning you’ll do great!
10) How much extra work is summer and winter course?
You teach one extra class during your weekdays, and one extra class on a Tuesday (5 Tuesdays out of the 6). You will be paid extra if you are teaching your extra classes on the morning schedule, and everyone is granted 9 days paid holiday at the end of August as extra compensation for your time.
11) Do I have to do any promotions at York?
We only hold promotions 4 times a year and they are entirely voluntary even though we really do appreciate your help! And if they are outside of working hours, you’ll be paid overtime.
12) Are there any extra hours I will be required to do?
We run two free 20 minute lessons at the local kindergarten schools, and one 40 minutes class at the local primary schools, where we rotate teachers on to do. This means you may participate in two already planned, 20 minute lessons at a local school, or one 40 minute already planned lesson, approximately once a month, sometimes less than that. They are actually a lot of fun and a great chance to see what Chinese schools are like!