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Teach English overseas

 

Frequently Asked Questions

background image About Aclipse and Employers

  1. What kind of support can I expect from Aclipse and the Chinese employer?
  2. Are the employers that Aclipse works with stable?
  3. I do not have any teaching experience. Will that put me at a disadvantage?
  4. I’m thinking of enrolling in a TESL/CELTA course. Will that help?
  5. I don’t speak Chinese. Will I be able to communicate with the students in the classroom when I teach in China?
  6. Do employers offer free language classes?
  7. Can I experience this opportunity with a friend or partner?
  8. Can I bring dependents?
  9. Can I state a preference for a particular city location?
  10. Do employers have a dress code?
  11. Am I allowed to work other part-time jobs to supplement my income?
  12. What does the National Health Insurance plan cover?

background image Teaching Questions

  1. What resources are provided for teachers who teach English in China?
  2. What are we expected to teach?
  3. Are there any after-school activities that teachers need to participate in?

background image Visa Requirements

  1. What are the visa requirements to teach English in China?
  2. Who pays for my visa and required visa documents?
  3. How much does a work visa cost
  4. Where is my closest Chinese consulate/embassy?
  5. I do not feel comfortable submitting my original degree to China for the visa process. Is it absolutely necessary?

background image Money Matters

  1. How often am I paid, and how is my salary deposited?
  2. Are tax rates very high in China?
  3. What are some monthly expenses that I will have to budget for?
  4. What is the cost of living in China?
  5. How much can I expect to save?
  6. Is it possible to send money home?
  7. Can I use my debit card overseas?
  8. Can I bring my Visa/Mastercard/AMEX card with me?
  9. What are my start-up costs?
  10. When is my airfare reimbursed?
  11. I can’t afford to purchase my ticket upfront, is it possible to ask the school for a loan?

background image Miscellaneous

  1. Does my apartment have Internet access?
  2. Are any furnishings provided in my apartment?
  3. How far is my apartment from the school?
  4. Does the school pay for my commuting costs to work?
  5. I am not interested in leaving to teach English abroad right away. When should I begin the hiring process?
  6. Can I bring my pet with me?
  7. Can I have friends/relatives visit me and stay at my apartment?
  8. I will be traveling overseas alone. Is it possible to connect with other teachers before going overseas?
  9. How many Chinese National Holidays are there in a year?

background image About Aclipse and Employers

Q1: What kind of support can I expect from Aclipse and the Chinese employer?
A:
Even after you’re matched with a teaching position, Aclipse will continue to support you through the Z-visa process, departure, and arrival into China, and throughout your stay. We send individual arrival plans and newsletters regarding “Life in China” tips and so on. Teachers will also have assistance getting to their apartments, completing the medical check, opening a bank account, and registering as a resident of China.
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Q2: Are the employers that Aclipse works with stable?
A:
Yes
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Q3: I do not have any teaching experience. Will that put me at a disadvantage?
A:
No prior teaching experience is necessary to teach English abroad. All employers will provide training programs, which are completed in China. You will receive additional teaching support from other teachers in your school and from your Chinese co-teacher.
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Q4: I’m thinking of enrolling in a TESL/CELTA course. Will that help?
A:
Only certain programs (100+ hours of study) will qualify teachers to receive extra salary. It is not a requirement of the job to have a TESL/CELTA certificate, but it certainly can’t hurt.
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Q5: I don’t speak Chinese. Will I be able to communicate with the students in the classroom when I teach in China?
A:
Yes. Students are studying in an English-only environment, so when you are teaching English in China, you will only speak English during lessons. Students do not speak Chinese in the classroom.
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Q6: Do employers offer free language classes?
A:
While you are teaching a foreign language, you may want to learn one yourself. Language classes for the country in which you reside will be made available to you through your Aclipse school.
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Q7: Can I experience this opportunity with a friend or partner?
A:
Yes. Your friend or partner should apply separately and will need to gain acceptance to our job placement program. For friends, we will place them in a separate apartment but will try to find a position in the same city. For partners, we will place you in the same apartment, but we cannot guarantee assignments at the same school.
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Q8: Can I bring dependents?
A:
We accept applications and interview candidates with dependents, but these candidates should know that we cannot offer additional assistance for dependents. Unfortunately, benefits are for employees only. Therefore, people bringing dependents like children, spouses, or partners will need to find their own accommodations, secure visas for these dependents, pay for their flight, and secure schooling for any children. International schools can be very expensive. If you are bringing dependents, you will need to be placed in a city like Beijing or Shanghai, where it is easier to find apartments, schools, and support networks. Some employers do not accept applications from people with dependents so we will advise you on which employers do and do not.
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Q9: Can I state a preference for a particular city location?
A:
Absolutely! Let us know what your preference is, and we’ll do our best to match you with a school in that area. Just keep in mind that placements are ultimately based on the needs of the schools and the availability of teaching positions.

Regardless of your interest, the diversity of China should allow you to find a city to meet your needs.
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Q10: Do employers have a dress code?
A:
In general, the rule is “smart, casual.” You will need to cover up any visible tattoos or piercings (other than ears). Most employers in China also discourage unusual hairstyles or hair colors, and prefer a tasteful appearance, so no miniskirts.
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Q11: Am I allowed to work other part-time jobs to supplement my income?
A:
No. Z-visas are sponsored by your employer. Your contract will state that employees are prohibited from securing outside employment.
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Q12: What does the National Health Insurance plan cover?
A:
Medical attention and prescription medication at a fraction of the regular cost.
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background image Teaching Questions

Q1: What resources are provided for teachers who teach English in China?
A:
We have our own textbook series for Young Learners, Business, and General English Classes. This series builds progressively on the past learning principles and is geared for beginning through to intermediate learners.

Advanced and test-preparation courses use recognized published course material. Whatever the academic needs, we have the scholastic material you need to help your students develop their English.

In addition, each school has well-equipped classrooms which generally include:

  • Computer labs
  • Bright student lounges
  • Teacher-preparation areas

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Q2: What are we expected to teach?
A:
Lesson plans are based on the curriculum. During training, teachers will learn how to teach the material. Teachers are encouraged to use their own creativity and individual teaching styles to engage students in the lesson material/content.
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Q3: Are there any after-school activities that teachers need to participate in?
A:
Yes, for public-school positions, teachers will occasionally be asked to participate in mandatory activities outside of regular school hours. This is included in the teaching contract, and anything in excess of the required teaching hours, or outside regular school hours, will be paid at designated overtime rates.
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background image Visa Requirements

Q1: What are the visa requirements to teach English in China?
A:
In general, you will be required to obtain a “Z” visa in your home country before coming to China. A Z-visa is issued to a foreigner who comes to China to work long-term. It must be applied for outside of China and is specific to the school and region. It is valid for one year. To comply with government regulations, you must have a health check in order to obtain a work permit and alien employment certificate from the Labor Bureau.

You will then be issued a residence permit and another Z-visa by the Public Security Bureau. Aclipse will walk you through each step of the process.
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Q2: Who pays for my visa and required visa documents?
A:
We pay for your initial application documents and provide reimbursement for the costs of your Z-visa.
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Q3: How much does a work visa cost
A:
For United States citizens, the cost is $130 USD.
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Q4: Where is my closest Chinese consulate/embassy?
A:
Please refer to the following website: http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/t84229.htm
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Q5: I do not feel comfortable submitting my original degree to China for the visa process. Is it absolutely necessary?
A:
Yes, but you will only be asked for your original diploma once you have accepted a job offer. Your degree will be returned to you during your training week.
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background image Money Matters

Q1: How often am I paid, and how is my salary deposited?
A:
Salary is paid once a month and will be directly deposited into a Bank of China account.
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Q2: Are tax rates very high in China?
A:
Different tax rates are levied on various categories of personal income. Progressive tax rates on income start at 5%.
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Q3: What are some monthly expenses that I will have to budget for?
A:
Utilities, transportation to and from work, and daily living expenses.
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Q4: What is the cost of living in China?
A:
Currency converter: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
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Q5: How much can I expect to save?
A:
Depending on your personal financial habits, you can expect to save anywhere from 10% to 50% of your salary (or more). In general, if you live in a major city like Beijing, your cost of living will be higher. Smaller cities and rural areas tend to have a lower cost of living, so it is easier to save money. On average, teachers save about $1,000/month.
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Q6: Is it possible to send money home?
A:
Several options are available: bank-to-bank transfers, through the post office, and third-party agencies (e.g., Western Union).
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Q7: Can I use my debit card overseas?
A:
Check the back of your debit card for Plus or Cirrus symbols. International ATMs overseas will accept cards with these symbols. You will want to check the symbols above the ATM before using. Also many Chinese ATMS require a six-digit pin number, so you may have to put two zeros at the beginning of your pin.
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Q8: Can I bring my Visa/Mastercard/AMEX card with me?
A:
Yes. Please remember to contact your bank prior to your departure to inform them you will be traveling overseas. If you do not inform your bank, then it’s possible they will freeze your card to protect you from fraudulent charges.
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Q9: What are my start-up costs?
A:
Your initial few weeks in China will require some up-front cash. Many landlords require a deposit plus two months rent in advance. You may also incur cell phone and living expenses before you receive your first month’s salary. It is recommended that you bring at least one month's salary to help fund your apartment and living start-up costs in China. Aclipse understands that you will incur start-up costs and has prepared an 8,000 RMB loan to help offset some of your initial costs. This loan repayment will be taken out of your salary over a three-month period. In addition, Aclipse will provide accommodation in a hotel for the first two weeks while you participate in orientation and teacher training. There is also a Welcome Pack which includes meal, transportation, and phone cards.
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Q10: When is my airfare reimbursed?
A:
Generally, a teacher buys a return ticket valid for one year. Half of the flight cost will be reimbursed on completion of probation. The remaining amount (up to pre-approved amounts) will be refunded on completion of the contract.
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Q11: I can’t afford to purchase my ticket upfront, is it possible to ask the school for a loan?
A:
Unfortunately, employers do not reimburse airfare tickets, and they cannot front you money for your plane ticket.
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background image Miscellaneous

Q1: Does my apartment have Internet access?
A:
No, but it is possible to set up Internet access in your apartment. China is becoming increasingly wired. Once you have registered as a resident, you are able to sign up for an Internet service provider of your choice.
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Q2: Are any furnishings provided in my apartment?
A:
Typically you will get a semi-furnished apartment with a bed, gas stove, fridge, washing machine (no dryer), TV, table, and chair, plus a western-style bathroom. Western-style bathrooms generally have a shower but not a full bathtub.
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Q3: How far is my apartment from the school?
A:
Apartments are typically within 10–15 minutes traveling distance from the school (either by bus, subway, or walking).
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Q4: Does the school pay for my commuting costs to work?
A:
You are responsible for your transportation costs.
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Q5: I am not interested in leaving to teach English abroad right away. When should I begin the hiring process?
A:
In general, we should receive applications about three months prior to when applicants are interested in leaving for China. For recent graduates who are awaiting conferral of their diplomas, it is possible to go through the hiring process and receive an offer from the employer (offer contingent on receiving the diploma) for positions available up to six months into the future.
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Q6: Can I bring my pet with me?
A:
While a pet (cats/dogs) can be brought into China with a 30-day quarantine and appropriate vaccination paperwork, it is often difficult to find pet-friendly apartments.
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Q7: Can I have friends/relatives visit me and stay at my apartment?
A:
Yes. Short-term guests are allowed. Please remember that apartment walls are not as thick as in western countries, and teachers and their guests need to be respectful of their Chinese neighbors.
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Q8 I will be traveling overseas alone. Is it possible to connect with other teachers before going overseas?
A:
Yes. One of the benefits of working with Aclipse is the support we offer our candidates throughout the process. Teachers have the opportunity to purchase tickets through our travel agent, who tries to coordinate departures and arrivals with other teachers. We also arrange and send out an email list of all teachers who are departing at the same time. In addition, you will meet people in training, as all teachers beginning their teach English abroad experience at the same time will have training together in a centralized location.
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Q9: How many Chinese National Holidays are there in a year?
A:
The following is a list of holidays in: 2009
1 Jan. New Year 
26-28 Jan. Spring Festival, Chinese New Year
1-3 May Labor Day
1-3 Oct. National Day

Note:
In addition to the above, other holidays may be observed locally, and certain groups have official Public Holidays on the following dates:
8 Mar. International Women’s Day
4 May National Youth Day
23 May Tibet Liberation Day
1 Jun. International Children’s Day
1 Aug. Army Day

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