Frequently Asked Questions and Answers


Q: Where in China are your placement locations?

A: Most of our placements were in Shanghai (90%), Beijing (5%), Zhengzhou (5%) (capital of Henan Province). We don’t have placements in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Return to Question Index

Q: What are my chances of getting the teaching position? How often are applications to the program rejected?

A: If you meet all the application qualifications stated in our program application procedures, your application will most likely be accepted. We don’t have limits on the number of teachers we accept. We accept applicants based on qualifications and our Chinese host schools’ needs. Rejection can occur if an applicant doesn’t speak fluently in native English, or has a speech problem, or if the applicant does not pass the physical examination. Return to Question Index

Q: I will be graduating from a University in middle May this year, will I still be able to apply to the program and be accepted for the fall placement this year?

A: Yes. You can apply before your graduation to start the application process if you expect to obtain your bachelor degree in May (about 3 months before departure for China). A bachelor degree is a must for the teaching position to be approved by the State Bureau of Foreign Expert in China. Return to Question Index

Q: When would I be notified of my acceptance?

A: We normally review an application as soon as an application is complete. Phone interview may be arranged if we think it’s needed. An applicants is notified of his/her acceptance within one or two weeks after the application is completed. Return to Question Index

Q: Does the program help/arrange for work permits/visas? Are visa fees and the medical examination cost covered by the program fee?

A: We handle all the employment authorization and visa paper work for our teachers before departure to China. The program fee does not cover visa fee, which is $140 in 2013 charged by the Chinese Embassy. About 70% of our Chinese host schools reimburse our teachers for their visa fee and medical examination cost if the medical exam is done in China. Return to Question Index

Q: Could you tell me more about the “free medical care?” Who provides it, what does it cover and how is it administered?

A: The Chinese host school usually purchase health insurance for their foreign teachers or provide health care policy as the Chinese faculty does. The policy varies from school to school. Normally the individual pays 20% of the medical bills and the school/insurance pays 80% of the medical bills. Many Chinese schools have their own medical clinic on campus where foreign teachers can get treatment for free for minor health problems. Return to Question Index

Q: The website says that a round trip airfare is included as a benefit. Is a round trip plane ticket from the United States to China covered by the program costs or by the Chinese institution? Do most teachers receive round trip?

A: The Chinese host schools pay for the airfare. Very few schools pay for airfare upfront. The majority of the schools may pay a flat fee between $1300 – $1600 USD or reimburse your actual cost of the economic class airfare when you complete your 10-month teaching contract. Return to Question Index

Q: Are there limits on the amount of Yuan that can be converted to dollars per month? Is there a limit to the amount that can be taken out of the country?

A: Usually at least 70% of the monthly salary can be changed to $US by policy. There is no limit to the amount that can be taken out of the country if the earnings are from legal jobs. Return to Question Index

Q: What are the average monthly expenses for an English teacher? Will I be able to save money to do some light traveling.

A: The average monthly expense is about 2500 yuan. It varies from city to city. Most of our teachers can save enough from their salary to do some travel in and outside of the country during the school break and holidays. You are able to live comfortably on the salary as your host school provides free accommodations to you. Your major expenses will only include food (some host schools also provide free meals during work days), daily necessities, local transportation and holiday travels. Return to Question Index

Q: Is it possible to be accepted for Spring placement and miss the August Orientation in Shanghai?

A: Only those applicants with TOESL/TEFL training or teaching license or with living experience in China are accepted for the spring/February placement without being required to attend the orientation program. This is for the participant’s benefit as experience has shown us that without prior teaching and living in China experience, this acclamation process is critical to the participant’s success in making the cultural transition. Spring placement is limited and can not be guaranteed. If the spring placement is not available, the participant will be placed for the following fall placement with the full program fee. Return to Question Index

Q: Can the on-line TEFL training and the certificate be used upon my return to the United States for teaching purposes in the public school system?

A: The certificate you will receive upon completion of the on-line TEFL training program is a “Teach in China TEFL Certificate”. It can be helpful for ESL and other teaching jobs, but it’s not the TEFL certificate required for the U.S. public school system. Return to Question Index

Q: How much teaching experience do I need? I have only had some tutoring experience.

A: Teaching experience is preferable, but not mandatory. Return to Question Index

Q: Would there be other Americans working in the school?

A: Yes, most of the schools hire more than three teachers from our program. Return to Question Index

Q: How are the accommodations? Will I have a roommate?

A: Most schools have other foreign teachers living in the same building on campus. In most schools, foreign teachers have their own apt/studio with a private bathroom and kitchen; in others, foreign teachers share a common kitchen on the floor. No teacher shares a bedroom with another teacher unless it is a couple situation. Return to Question Index

Q: Is there a list of past teachers that I would be able to talk to?

A: Please understand that in order not to overload our program participants with large number of questions, we only give contact information to accepted applicants. Many of our past participants have Facebook, Linked In and other social network accounts. You can easily find our program alumni by searching “Appalachians Abroad Teach in China” on Google.  Return to Question Index

Q: In case of acceptance and placement, does your organization assist with deferment of student loans?

A: Normally, we contact the lending agency with a letter certifying that you are participating in a teaching program in China. We explain your level of salary and your affiliation with an educational institution in China. We can not guarantee loan deferment from your loan agency, but in the past, the majority of our teachers were approved for loan deferment by their loan agencies, especially if the loan was through the US government loan agencies. You must also follow up with your loan agency to inquire if there are other forms such as financial hardship form you need to complete to meet the loan deferment requirement. Return to Question Index

Q: Would the students be children, young adult or older?

A: We have placements for schools of all levels, including K-12, vocational schools, colleges and universities. Return to Question Index

Q: Do we get to choose or at least indicate where we would like to be placed?

A: Teaching placement is a two-way process. The Chinese host school will choose the teachers who meet their needs and we also let you review several schools’ information before you choose your school. You can indicate where you would like to be placed either during the phone interview or on your online application. If you are accepted, you will be given two or three choices of schools according to your preferred location and preferred student age. Return to Question Index

Q: Could my spouse/friend and I be placed together?

A: Yes, if you request to be placed together either on your application or during the phone interview. Return to Question Index

Q: I read that the position is for ten months. If I went in August, can I be insured that I would be done by the following June/July?

A: Yes. The teaching contract for fall placement usually starts between August 20th and September 1st and ends between June 30th and July 10th of the next year. Return to Question Index

Q: I know the apartment is paid/provided for by the Chinese host schools. Are utilities also paid?

A: With most schools, if the utility usage is within the basic amount, utilities are paid by the school. Some schools will ask the teachers to pay the utility amount that exceeds the basic amount. Return to Question Index

Q: Do most schools provide private apartments to teachers or might they be shared apartments?

A: Mostly, it’s a private studio or one bedroom apartment for each teacher. No teacher would need to share an apartment with another teacher unless it’s a couple situation. Return to Question Index

Q: I have a 3 year diploma from a Community College, and am planning to get a TESOL certificate in the near future. Would this qualify me to apply for the program?

A: Unfortunately, a bachelor degree is a MUST and is required by the Chinese Foreign Expert Bureau to obtain a teaching visa in China. Some other Teach in China programs that offer summer teaching program may take applicants without the bachelor degree, especially if you will get a TESOL certificate. Return to Question Index

Q: Will I need to pay U.S. federal and state taxes with the income earned in China?

A: Normally, our teachers income from non US source in China is taxed in China by the Chinese government and is not taxable in US. However, each individual has a different situation and we are not able to generalize an answer to this question. Please refer to the IRS official website on “Foreign Earned Income” and “International Taxpayer” category for accurate information to determine your own tax situation. Return to Question Index

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