Travel, Teach, Live in China

How to Teach English in Rural China
By:Yvonne Van Damme

If you are interested in the field of education and also have a thirst for adventure, teaching English in rural China could be a great opportunity for you. There has been a boom in people going to Asia to teach English, particularly China. You can work in a private language school, as a tutor or in a boarding school, among other places. Generally, you will be provided with room and board as well as transportation, in exchange for signing a specific contract. There are always concerns when you are going to live in another country, particularly one in which you don't speak the language. Rural China presents specific challenges--few are likely to speak English.

Take courses that will lead to obtaining a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. This is a very basic requirement for teaching English in rural China. The actual program of study does not really matter. While it is beneficial to have a degree in the education field, just about any degree program will work.

Research websites such as en.chinatefl.com/ for job listings regarding teaching English in rural China. Another website that has many job listings is eslcafe.com/. Also, if you know that you would like to teach at a private school or tutor, query those types of schools or companies directly. Apply for any positions that you feel will fit your qualifications and needs. To apply for the positions, you will need a professional resume and cover letter.

Verify all terms of employment and conditions with your potential employer. Any time that you are considering a job offer, do not accept until you are clear on all aspects of the contract. It is important that you understand all of the terms and conditions before you accept an offer.

Obtain a work visa. This can only be obtained from the Chinese embassy or the consulate. Your employer, the school or company that you will be working for, will have to sponsor you. The work visa that is needed is called the "X" visa. This is the only visa that is accepted for teaching English in China. The requirements for obtaining this visa are a U.S. passport that has been valid for a minimum of six months before the expiration date, $50 U.S., a physical exam including TB and HIV tests, a visa notification issued by your employer, a work permit issued by the Chinese Foreign Expert Bureau and a completed visa application with an additional passport picture.


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