Read 8575 times

Making the jump to China HELP
« on: October 27, 2017, 10:32:36 am »
Hi all,

I've had some great advice in the past off you guys on the subject of China.
I'm looking to leave Korea at the end of February.

I've been looking over the teaching options in China and after a lot of time on Daves ESL cafe, and I haven't been impressed by any job offers yet. Most have been after school language schools like wall street and disney.

What I'm really looking for is a public school or private school (not hagwon actual private school) situation.
I believe I'm a good teacher and I have a few years under my belt at public schools here in Korea amongst other things. Does anyone know any good reliable recruiters or spaces to look for jobs in? Perhaps Daves is the best?
 Thanks so much.


Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 10:56:03 am »
I used the Western recruiter "Teach ESL China" who were awesome and got me an interview with a couple recruitment agencies in Shenzhen. I ended up interviewing and going with SDE (Seadragon Education) and I am currently happy in my public primary job. A lot of the SDE teachers I've met have experience in Korea as well before coming here.


  • meldrew
  • Veteran

    • 110

    • December 14, 2014, 10:50:41 pm
    • China
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2017, 11:02:12 am »
The public school scene is very different compared to Korea. You can't fall in to a similar EPIK/GEPIK programme. The 'best' options are universities and there are a lot of positions.

You are looking at the right time because most of January and February the universities are typically closed. You need to have the position sorted out between now and end of December.

Do you have at least 2 years teaching experience? Do you have some kind of TESOL certificate?

Dave's is not the best for jobs in China.

So, what offers are you looking for? Your expectations regarding the remuneration package is key. The money is rarely even close to what you can earn in Korea but the holistically you can  earn more, save more and have more fun.

EDIT: Another issue is the date you end in February. Most FAOs expect you to do the paperwork from your home country. The start of next semester is March 5th however 'late' arrival is a surprisingly normal part of recruitment here, to the frustration of the faculty that needs to cover.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 11:06:54 am by meldrew »


Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 11:40:04 am »
The public school scene is very different compared to Korea. You can't fall in to a similar EPIK/GEPIK programme. The 'best' options are universities and there are a lot of positions.

You are looking at the right time because most of January and February the universities are typically closed. You need to have the position sorted out between now and end of December.

Do you have at least 2 years teaching experience? Do you have some kind of TESOL certificate?

Dave's is not the best for jobs in China.

So, what offers are you looking for? Your expectations regarding the remuneration package is key. The money is rarely even close to what you can earn in Korea but the holistically you can  earn more, save more and have more fun.

EDIT: Another issue is the date you end in February. Most FAOs expect you to do the paperwork from your home country. The start of next semester is March 5th however 'late' arrival is a surprisingly normal part of recruitment here, to the frustration of the faculty that needs to cover.

Thanks for the info.
Yes I have about three years experience. I知 well aware of the differences, I知 just trying my best to avoid a bad hagwon style system. My current contract will finish at the end of Feb and I have about 15 day痴 vacation I can take at the end. That might not leave much time for paperwork so hopefully there will be workaround.

What I知 really looking for is a decent teaching gig and above entry level pay. I know this値l be less initially than most jobs here. Also I知 primarily interested in Shanghai as I have friends there.


  • kobayashi
  • Expert Waygook

    • 988

    • August 18, 2016, 11:14:47 am
    • Nibiru
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 12:44:43 pm »
if you want to go the public school route, this is the email of the guy who helps with/does recruitment for Shenzhen public schools: barry.kirkwood81@gmail.com

it was 3 years ago that i last contacted that guy (decided not to stay in Korea at that time, so never really followed through on moving to China), so he may have moved on, but worth giving it a try anyway if Shenzhen appeals to you.


Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 01:18:57 pm »
The paperwork required to teach English in China is much more strict these days (but still not as strict as Korea) You will need a notarized degree and police check from your country, and also it needs to be "authenticated" by the Chinese embassy in your jurisdiction. You also need a TEFL and 2 letters of recommendation with ink signatures. It's a pain in the ass to organize all this from Korea, so I advise you to get started on it as early as possible.

https://www.totalesl.com/total-esl-scams?id=220576
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/av4pvj/the-chinese-esl-industrial-complex-shady-working-conditions-abound-for-foreign-english-teachers-in-china-127

When searching for jobs, be careful of scams. A lot of job offers on Daves are just people posing as recruiters phishing for your personal information, which they sell to other companies or use to set up credit cards in your name. Never send a photocopy of your passport or other personal information to a recruiter until you're sure they're legitimate. Same goes for schools that contact you. Check out these websites for more info.


Lastly,once you recieved an offer, always make sure to Google the name of your school for reviews. Check Glassdoor, too. Good luck


  • meldrew
  • Veteran

    • 110

    • December 14, 2014, 10:50:41 pm
    • China
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2017, 01:28:36 am »
Your first move in to China, like any other country can be hit or miss. Shanghai will be expensive.

I know it is illegal but you teachers having a 2nd job is very common here, especially those that work in a city (it doesn't have to be a major city) and have university hours. The route most take is to try and get a university job in a city and then do privates/academy on top.

With BA, 2+ years and TEFL certificate you're still bottom rung here, really. (Sounds harsher than it is supposed to sound)

Here's some generalisations:

University job: Pay 6,000 - 9,000pm starting. Usually about 10-20 periods a week. Usually a day off during the week. Usually 4 months off (possibly only 2 months of which is paid.. 10 month contracts are standard but not the only option.

Public school job: I have seen jobs advertising pay of 8,000 - 20,000pm could be 20-30 periods, usually 40 hour week. Holidays paid. 10 month contracts usually.

Training Centres (hagwons): 12 month contracts, usually 40 hour week. I've seen 12,000 - to 20,000pm pay.

It is pretty easy to double your pay by finding part time work in a training centre. They don't go driving around for privates. Many go in to class with a lesson plan provided by the school. I would always recommend a university job over the others in China.

Two agencies I would recommend:

China Connection     http://www.teachenglishinchina.com/    They post their latest jobs on Dave's. I went with these guys for my latest job; very professional and really easy to communicate with.

Angelina's               http://cafe.anesl.com/joblist.aspx   I haven't used this agency but they have a huge list of jobs, I do check it regularly.

If my next job is in China, I'll be going through one of these.

Good luck!


Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 07:54:45 am »
Thanks for this, I really appreciate it! Great sources.


Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2017, 10:08:07 am »
Check out my youtube channel  roy on youtube and I post about my experiences in China.  Any questions then feel free to ask.

Roy.

No thanks, already saw your fake online dating video.
Anyone looking for actual  info on living in China should check out ADVChina on youtube. But that's not the topic of this thread.


Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 10:51:23 am »
If it's your first time to China I also highly recommend SDE and Shenzhen if you want to work in public schools (and not have too many hours like you'd get at a training centre). With SDE, I taught at high school mostly however I did cover teachers at primary and middle schools (my school was Meilin Middle School which was more like a high school).
I've tried to live in quieter/smaller cities and it didn't work for me however in Shenzhen and Guangzhou (I later worked at a college here) I was happy. Shenzhen/Guangdong is very wet/hot for 7-8 months of the year (if you hate Korean summers reconsider); an upside is Hong Kong is also very close. I went to Shenzhen with only a tourist/business visa directly from Korea in late 2013 (I got the visa in HK, later on I got my Z visa); for 2018 I think the entry requirements are much stricter into mainland China (best to enter with a Z visa which may require you to fly home or perhaps there's a courier service of some kind to transport documents).

I didn't mind teaching at college/uni if you want to teach adults (I worked at a company called Australian Higher Education Network); they paid me on time and I got my winter holidays (they have colleges around various parts of China including Guangdong). I was also able to do a little discreet side work (along with getting free accommodation and flights reimbursed). If I ever return to China I'd probably teach at a college or public school; I tried to work for a place called World English in Zhangjiagang and I hated it (transparent windows into classrooms, 'demo' classes for a public audience and generally just more work involved and a lot of quick thinking as well however the area was also nowhere near as interesting as Guangzhou or Shenzhen for me).


  • fishead
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1138

    • April 23, 2010, 07:58:05 am
    • Yangju Korea
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2018, 01:14:48 pm »
I came to China after working for EPIK. I can tell you first hand that if you are looking for something similar to EPIK you will be very disappointed with China. Not that China is bad but more that China overall is simply not ready for an EPIK like program. I remember the early days of EPIK when it was highly disorganised and not as professional as it is now. There are lots of jobs that would loosely fit the profile of pre- 2009 EPIK.

I also met lots of people who were coming to China and had never experienced Korea let alone EPIK and they were fully satified with their situations. Here are a few things to know if you are leaving EPIK for China.

There is really no real team teaching. If you do find a real team teaching gig you are in the minority. In that way it is similar to early Epik when there was no team teaching.

Don't expect state of the art technology. More like state of the Fart technology. This goes from public schools right up to high End International schools.


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 4229

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2018, 02:45:39 pm »
I came to China after working for EPIK. I can tell you first hand that if you are looking for something similar to EPIK you will be very disappointed with China. Not that China is bad but more that China overall is simply not ready for an EPIK like program. I remember the early days of EPIK when it was highly disorganised and not as professional as it is now. There are lots of jobs that would loosely fit the profile of pre- 2009 EPIK.

I also met lots of people who were coming to China and had never experienced Korea let alone EPIK and they were fully satified with their situations. Here are a few things to know if you are leaving EPIK for China.

There is really no real team teaching. If you do find a real team teaching gig you are in the minority. In that way it is similar to early Epik when there was no team teaching.

Don't expect state of the art technology. More like state of the Fart technology. This goes from public schools right up to high End International schools.

Classrooms have computers and tv screens there?


  • kengreen
  • Expert Waygook

    • 656

    • July 03, 2013, 11:30:02 am
    • South Korea
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2018, 04:46:18 pm »
I really enjoy China. Plus lots of the jobs actually pay more than Korea. Don't be afraid to take the plunge.


  • meldrew
  • Veteran

    • 110

    • December 14, 2014, 10:50:41 pm
    • China
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2018, 08:31:41 pm »
I have an interactive white board, projector and a computer built in to my podiums at a public university.

I'm very happy in China. I was thinking about heading back to Korea recently.... realised that would most likely be a mistake, financially and in lifestyle. I may still leave China at the end of this semester but it'll only be for a position providing a significantly better overall package.


  • meldrew
  • Veteran

    • 110

    • December 14, 2014, 10:50:41 pm
    • China
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2018, 11:12:03 pm »


Salaries are low there.  But cost of living cheap and provided housing still make it possible to save in a uni job?  Sounds like a sweet package if it were.

I earn less than I did in Korea but I save more (about 1.1 million won a month) for doing 30 weeks work a year and on average 14 teaching periods per week. I've also got a PT job which adds another 300k won a month but that goes straight into Paypal which is my holiday fund. My PT job is online editing so I can do it at home in my underwear while listening to a podcast 1-2 hours a day.

I could earn much more too if I really wanted by doing private lessons or summer and winter camps. There's a plethora of options and they pay well. I couldn't take up these options over the last couple of years because I was doing my MA full time distance learning. Now, I've got that out the way... going to dabble in PT work.

22 weeks paid holiday a year compared to 2 weeks. 14 hours compared to 40 hours (25 teaching periods). Sunshine all year round. I'm happy with it.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 11:14:27 pm by meldrew »


Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2018, 12:31:38 am »
I came to China after working for EPIK. I can tell you first hand that if you are looking for something similar to EPIK you will be very disappointed with China. Not that China is bad but more that China overall is simply not ready for an EPIK like program. I remember the early days of EPIK when it was highly disorganised and not as professional as it is now. There are lots of jobs that would loosely fit the profile of pre- 2009 EPIK.

I also met lots of people who were coming to China and had never experienced Korea let alone EPIK and they were fully satified with their situations. Here are a few things to know if you are leaving EPIK for China.

There is really no real team teaching. If you do find a real team teaching gig you are in the minority. In that way it is similar to early Epik when there was no team teaching.

Don't expect state of the art technology. More like state of the Fart technology. This goes from public schools right up to high End International schools.


Sounds like heaven,  I don't know why anyone would want a dysfunctional program like EPIK at all.
As far as I can tell, EPIK ruined public school positions in Korea.

I suppose I will get a lot of flak for posting this, but c'est la vie.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 12:33:32 am by some waygug-in »


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 4229

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2018, 07:51:34 am »


Salaries are low there.  But cost of living cheap and provided housing still make it possible to save in a uni job?  Sounds like a sweet package if it were.

I earn less than I did in Korea but I save more (about 1.1 million won a month) for doing 30 weeks work a year and on average 14 teaching periods per week. I've also got a PT job which adds another 300k won a month but that goes straight into Paypal which is my holiday fund. My PT job is online editing so I can do it at home in my underwear while listening to a podcast 1-2 hours a day.

I could earn much more too if I really wanted by doing private lessons or summer and winter camps. There's a plethora of options and they pay well. I couldn't take up these options over the last couple of years because I was doing my MA full time distance learning. Now, I've got that out the way... going to dabble in PT work.

22 weeks paid holiday a year compared to 2 weeks. 14 hours compared to 40 hours (25 teaching periods). Sunshine all year round. I'm happy with it.

Sounds nice like you're living in a good part of China.  Not much pollution then.  Is it really difficult to send money home from there?  I hear you have to use western union and have a trustworthy relative on the other side?


  • meldrew
  • Veteran

    • 110

    • December 14, 2014, 10:50:41 pm
    • China
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2018, 01:43:52 pm »
I've lucked out with my job and location, for sure. Sometimes I think I must be crazy to be looking elsewhere.

Yeah, sending money home can be problematic in China, but not always.

Western Union is an option (there are a lot of them around) but fees are high and there's limits. I'm not sure if those limits are provincial in China or just for the international destination or both.. but some American colleagues, sending money home to different states, had different limits from one another. One was as low as 400 USD if I remember correctly.

Paypal is a roundabout way of sending money home, but again... charges. I've used it a few times.

Going to a bank with a local person is the easiest way if you trust them. You put the money in their account and they send it from their account to where ever it is you're sending it. It's the cheapest way and I did this regularly for about 3 years.

Another option is withdrawing large sums on arrival back home at the airport. Previously my Chinese bank card worked in the UK. The last time it didn't with the exception being at the airport. I withdrew 700 quid. I could have probably withdrawn more but I didn't try. The cost of withdrawing at the airport ATM seemed to be better than W.U or Paypal charges.


  • meldrew
  • Veteran

    • 110

    • December 14, 2014, 10:50:41 pm
    • China
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2018, 04:28:52 pm »
I think the person that could only send 400 USD was sending it to Arizona from Guangdong. I don't know if it was a daily limit or weekly. But there are a lot of limits in place when it comes to money. Western Union is NOT worth using on a daily basis though.

If you had to send home a certain amount EVERY month, ask the FAO for a student to help you go to the bank and get them to send it. Until you find a local person that you trust, it would be the best way to do it.


  • Mister Tim
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1806

    • September 08, 2013, 10:33:54 am
    • SK
Re: Making the jump to China HELP
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2018, 11:56:29 am »
I had been lead to believe that it was impossible for non-residents to wire money home internationally, but doing a bit of digging it seems that might not be the case. I've found a couple sites talking about how it's possible to wire money internationally, depending on who you bank with, as long as you have the right information and go to the bank to do it in person.

Here's one: http://www.goayc.org/blog/2017/5/23/how-to-send-money-home-from-your-chinese-bank-account

They do mention daily limits, and though a limit would be potentially frustrating, it'd be better than the "impossible" I previously thought it was.

This says the limit is $500 a day for foreigners:

https://www.travelchinacheaper.com/how-to-send-money-to-from-china

Have any of you working in China looked in to that? The ability to send money home really is one of the main reasons I haven't looked too closely into jobs in China, because I'm not super keen on having to rely on a Chinese "friend" to do it for me.