Travel, Teach, Live in China

How to Teach English in China With No Degree
By:Lane Cummings

It's difficult, though not impossible, to teach English in China without a degree. While English language teachers are in high demand in China, the Chinese government thought that it could regulate the quality of instruction coming into the country by only granting work visas to teachers who have college degrees. While some teachers get around this by teaching with a student or tourist visa, such a process is risky and illegal. The good news is that the manner in which these rules are applied vary throughout China. The school has more clout than you, the foreigner, does. The key is to make yourself appear like a more desirable candidate so that the school will find a way to get you the proper visa.

Make yourself a desirable candidate for employment. Increase the amount of teaching experience that you have: tutor kids in English, work as a teacher's assistant, or teach at an after-school program.

Get a "Teaching English as a Foreegn Language" (TEFL) certificate or a "Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages" (TESOL) certificate. Schools that might feel uncomfortable hiring someone with no degree, might be more likely to offer you a job if you are TEFL or TESOL certified.

Visit the website www.eslbase.com/schools/china. This website will give you a fairly comprehensive list of schools in China. Decide where you'd like to teach: selecting schools in remote areas of China may be a good idea, since these schools may be more desperate for English teachers.

Email schools a resume and cover letter. Explain that you don't have a degree but that you do have teaching experiences and a TEFL or TESOL ceritficate.

Lower your hourly wages. If you find you're still getting a lot of rejection, tell schools they can pay you less. This should cause some job offers to come your way.


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