If you have deiced to explore the China option for your next teaching adventure, I'd like to offer you these tips which I found at http://www.ChinaForeignTeachersUnion.org and I think they will help eliminate your unpleasant surprises in the middle kingdom:
1. Do not under any circumstances agree to work without a Z visa (work visa) which should be obtained BEFORE you buy your airplane ticket and AFTER you receive an original signed contract from your direct employer - not the agent/recruiter.
2. Avoid agents and recruiters like the plague. Unfortunately they post 95% of the internet ads you see so if you must use one, be sure they complete and return this form BEFORE you give them any personal data.
http://www.englishpost.com/data/attachm ... nzhiir.jpg
3. Never accept the first salary offer made to you, and before you negotiate any contract in China be sure to visit and read http://www.ChinaScamBusters.com so you don't cheat yourself out of thousands of dollars.
4. Know who you will be working for! Do not take the word of agents and recruiters that your new China employer is reputable. See if they are listed on the white list or the blacklist. If they are on either list it is because other China FTs put them there.
http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.or ... s-esl.html
5. If you have asthma or need the creature comforts of home - stay home. The air pollution of China's big cities (Beijing & Shanghai) has become dangerous in recent years.
6. Do not attempt to bring pets to China. They will have to be quarantined for 90 days and about a third of all pets will die while quarantined. Plus you will gave to pay $25 a day for the quarantine period.
7. Bring an open mind and a positive attitude to China, or stay home. The Chinese lifestyle and culture are extremely unique and if you cannot adapt to local customs you will be frustrated and miserable.
8. Learn some basic Chinese before you arrive and getting what you want and need will become a lot easier with just a 500 word survival vocabulary.
9. Don't believe anything you were promised verbally or in an email. If it is not specifically in your contract you will not receive it, whether it be money, days off, working hours, etc.
10. Sign no contract that is not specific and in English. Items to be included are working location, work days and hours, salary, taxes, teaching assistants, paid overtime, holidays, scheduling changes, and that invitation and release letters shall be provided for free by the school. You might want to take a look at this link before signing any contract in China to make sure you are not being exploited:
http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.co ... tract.html
Be sure the school principal signs, seals, dates every page of your contract you you have an original hard copy in your possession and never ever surrender your passport to any school or recruiter/agent.
These 10 tips will keep you 99% safe from teacher abuse and the other 1% is common sense which you should gave gotten from your parents long ago. Welcome to China and may all your memories be good ones. Good luck!