2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Discussion about jobs in Asia inc. Middle East

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serendip
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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by serendip » 13 Feb 2015, 11:49

Thank you.

DavidPR
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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by DavidPR » 16 Mar 2015, 21:32

Can someone please clarify what 2 years working experience means? Is that expressly 2 years teaching experience or any kind of gainful, professional employment? I have heard both, and I'm pretty desperate to find out.
Thank you!

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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by Norman » 21 Mar 2015, 01:10

It is supposed to mean 2 years teaching experience, but in five years teaching in China, nobody ever bothered to check my experience. These days they are so desperate for teachers, not many people are being turned away so long as you have a real diploma and Z visa. For more insight visit http://chinascamwatch.org

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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by matt123 » 03 Apr 2015, 13:54

Norman wrote:It is supposed to mean 2 years teaching experience, but in five years teaching in China, nobody ever bothered to check my experience. These days they are so desperate for teachers, not many people are being turned away so long as you have a real diploma and Z visa. For more insight visit http://chinascamwatch.org
Did you put the experience on your resume though? I'm a new graduate (age 21) so I have no professional post-grad work experience yet, but I do have a BA(honours) in English Language and CELTA certification. Could I still get employed? I want to avoid the scams but will a legitimate employer want to see post-graduate employment? I've worked as a retail assistant throughout the past 3 years at university but I'm assuming this doesn't constitute real "2 years previous work experience".

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John V55
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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by John V55 » 04 Apr 2015, 04:08

‘Retail experience’ is not professional teaching experience and would probably do more harm than good on a resume. How about ‘Retail consultant’? Manual employment is looked down on throughout Asia. By 'experience', it's meant teaching experience.

It’s true that China is desperate for teachers, preferably with experience, but the ones getting scammed are usually the ones without. I can assure you my qualifications were gone over with a fine tooth comb in China (State school) and it’s usually the private language mills that grab anyone – and where the scams come from.

The way to get experience is by volunteering with the larger more reputable companies for a year or two and get the TEFL cert’ as part of the package, specifically in countries like Thailand and China. They have training courses for new teachers and don’t throw you in at the deep end. It gets you the experience, builds up your resume and is a taster of teaching life. I’ve written a few articles online about lesson planning, Asian resume preparation and daily TEFL life if you’re still interested.

John, currently in Northern China since 2011 and Thailand previously.
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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by matt123 » 05 Apr 2015, 03:30

John V55 wrote:‘Retail experience’ is not professional teaching experience and would probably do more harm than good on a resume. How about ‘Retail consultant’? Manual employment is looked down on throughout Asia. By 'experience', it's meant teaching experience.

It’s true that China is desperate for teachers, preferably with experience, but the ones getting scammed are usually the ones without. I can assure you my qualifications were gone over with a fine tooth comb in China (State school) and it’s usually the private language mills that grab anyone – and where the scams come from.

The way to get experience is by volunteering with the larger more reputable companies for a year or two and get the TEFL cert’ as part of the package, specifically in countries like Thailand and China. They have training courses for new teachers and don’t throw you in at the deep end. It gets you the experience, builds up your resume and is a taster of teaching life. I’ve written a few articles online about lesson planning, Asian resume preparation and daily TEFL life if you’re still interested.

John, currently in Northern China since 2011 and Thailand previously.
Thanks for the response, most of what you're saying agrees with my own research. Its a mandatory requisite for a visa to have 2 years post-grad experience according to the employment bureau, although the government websites I've consulted don't specify that this has to be in teaching. Nonetheless, I can't possibly have that until 24, so it seems the employers have to either utilize guanxi and call in some favors to attain a z-visa, and get someone to vouch for previous work experience (this seems to be fairly standard practice), or else ask you to work on an illegal visa, which, as you say, obviously leaves you vulnerable to scams, and is something I would not be willing to do.

As for volunteering, I wouldn't be interested in doing so, as I want to go into paid professional employment immediately. If I was willing to waste another 2 years, I'd stay in the UK and get my teaching qualification here in 1 year and get employed at a UK school. I saw this as a quicker route to paid employment to build my resume and see the world while I'm at it.

I've since found that South Korea and Taiwan have no mandatory previous teaching experience requirements for a work visa, and teachers are in high demand, and as such I'll be going there to Taiwan in January instead. Once I've been there for a year or two and gained the experience I'll consider China, or perhaps Japan or the middle east if I'm lucky.

Thanks for the advice, I could certainly use some advice in actual classroom teaching, as although useful I don't think my TEFL course has completely prepared me for what to expect when I get there, so I'll be sure to check those articles out.

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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by John V55 » 05 Apr 2015, 10:41

You’re welcome. I’d just like to add that wanting to jump into a profession immediately doesn’t really work that way. You don’t just sort of get in there and perform, if you get my meaning. Once that’s apparent to the school and it will be in about ten minutes, the salary will reflect that. The scams out there usually involve the less experienced and although you will get paid, in China it would be at the bottom end monthly 4 to 5k ¥ level. Don’t rush it, you’re 22? I wish! I’ve just turned 60 and I’m hanging on till I can retire at 66 on my UK pension and savings in Thailand.

If there’s one thing I’d advise to the younger potential teacher, it’s this: Get your PGCE. With experience, it will boost your salary no end, rather than just a TEFL. (Nearly every Middle Eastern country requires a PGCE).

I’d appreciate some feedback on the articles if you have time? :)
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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by Ashrielka » 22 Apr 2015, 18:13

Hello! Can someone tell me if there is a legal way to receive Z visa without work experience? I have 2 bachelor degrees, one of which is in teaching, but i don't have experience besides two months of practice at local school. I don't mind to work with a low salary, but only if it will be legal. Even if I will be a work in some rural area it will be fine for me to begin with.
So, is it possible for me to get a contract with accomodation, airfare and Z visa included? And if I can what is the best way to do it? Thank you in advance.

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John V55
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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by John V55 » 22 Apr 2015, 22:33

Experience is a requirement of the employer, not a condition for a visa. If the employer accepts you there’s no problem, but the majority require experience, with a TEFL certificate. Your biggest problems will be a lack of experience and being a non-native speaker. Thailand would be your ideal choice as a starter to gain experience, but if you are non-white, your chances would fall to very low anywhere in Asia.

Put your resume on recruitment sites and see what responses you get. SeriousTeachers and Daveseslcafe (both international) and Ajarn (Thailand).
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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by kizil » 23 Apr 2015, 23:35

There is (and always will be) a great deal of confusion regarding "official requirements" for employment in China. In China, for better or worse, it is in no way a cultural norm to enforce the law uniformly, and exceptions to official "requirements" are the rule. SAFEA's requirements of a four-year degree, two years of subsequent work experience in the teaching field, and no criminal background have been in place for quite some time, but different jurisdictions have very different approaches to complying. I got my first teaching jobs in China (at public schools) before I completed my BA degree (I wrote and signed a letter for the PSB in one case assuring them that I had "equivalent knowledge" of my field), and was given FEC and Z Visa. However, places like Beijing, Qingdao, etc. were off-limits for me at that time.

So to be clear, you can certainly find work in China without teaching experience, and even without a degree (though you will be scraping the bottom of the barrel in the latter case). What determines your legal status is not whether you meet SAFEA's requirements, but whether your documents are in order, i.e. whether you have the proper Z visa. In other words, you are still teaching legally if your employer bends the rules to employ you, and for employers to do this is the norm if the city/province they are located in does not have its own protocol in place to enforce them.

Mostly what not having a degree and/or experience means in the China EFL job market is that you will a) get paid a lot less, and b) be turned down outright by many employers (based on their own requirements, not on anything official), and c) will find many of the nicest cities off-limits entirely, unless you want to work under the table.
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John V55
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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by John V55 » 24 Apr 2015, 01:20

Yes, it’s all open to interpretation and of course and little ‘red envelopes’ changing hands under the table. The bottom line though, is what can you reasonably expect to be offered if you have no experience and minus the standard expected qualifications? What would people expect to be offered in their own countries and so the scams, low salaries and uncertainty simply reflects expecting something that someone is under qualified for.

Times change (2011 – to present) and in my neck of the woods, (Inner Mongolia), a lack of a degree and experience means schools wouldn’t touch you and the only options are the private language mills. A look around reputable recruiting sites like Serious Teachers will detail what is required.

Take a look at the China board.
http://www.seriousteachers.com/index/0/41/0

China has been cracking down now for several years and it’s continuing
http://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=C ... +teachers+

The days of ‘white face wanted’ are coming to an end and replaced by requirements. Anything less than standard requirements is extreme risk taking.
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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by Ashrielka » 24 Apr 2015, 12:08

Thank you for your replies. I guess I better start looking now for a best position I can find in China. In my country, even while I have a degree in teaching, without experience I can only expect something like 1000-2000 RMB without any accomodation. Basically working for food and experience. So why not gain experience in China on much better terms?
Can someone also say to me what the right order in getting a job in China? I meen I heard a lot of scammers that steal your passport data, personal information, etc. How all of this document exchanging between me and school works in short?
By the way I'm sorry if I pick a wrong topic to ask all those questions. So if I did - just ignore them.

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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by John V55 » 24 Apr 2015, 14:09

Put your resume on, or apply for jobs on Serious Teachers.com
If someone wants you they’ll ask for a photocopy of your passport, degree(s) and usually your skype name for an online interview. All being well, they will then send you a contract to sign, which you’ll scan and email back to them.
Next will come a ‘letter of invitation’, which you will then use with all your documents, a medical and a criminal record check to apply for a ‘Z’ visa at the Chinese Embassy in your own country. This visa will allow you entry into China and the company have about 30 days from the day you arrive to convert this to a ‘Foreign Expert Certificate’ (FEC - Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and having got that, to apply to the Public Security Bureau (PSB - immigration), for a residency visa. It can be a long drawn out and bureaucratic process.

It is a process – you don’t get a ‘Z’ visa without a Chinese Embassy having checked all your documents. You don’t get a FEC without a ‘Z’ visa and you won’t get a residency visa without a FEC.

When you scan your passport with MS word, watermark it with ‘COPY’ before converting to .png or .pdf. Do the same with images and degrees. Take the original documents with you to China.
There is no point giving out your Date of Birth on a resume. The year of birth and age should be enough and no phone numbers, just an email. Example:
http://independent.academia.edu/JohnV7/CurriculumVitae

You should be reimbursed for all the expenses incurred in applying for the ‘Z’ visa and make sure it says so in your contract.

OK, let’s be blunt. If you can only get a pittance as a teacher in your country, you’re not from the west. That makes you a non-native speaker. If you’re also African (?), your chances of employment are minimal. Otherwise, you should be looking at around 4, 000 RMB as a starter, with free accommodation, food and utilities.
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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by Ashrielka » 24 Apr 2015, 14:50

Ok. Now I know how all of this works. I'll put my resume and start learning at least basic chinese for daily needs.
I'm from Ukraine and 1500 RMB it's usual pay in peaceful part of Ukraine. In my region, where I leave now, people didn't receive payments(wage) from november. So even 4000 RMB is a solid for me. As white person almost without accent I guess i will find something.
Thanks again to you.

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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by John V55 » 24 Apr 2015, 22:27

The Ukraine, OK you’ve just increased your chances. May I suggest that you further increase your chances by writing a couple of articles and publishing them on somewhere like academia.edu and be sure to include a link on your resume? (Get them proof read first for native speaking grammar). Get your SEO resume online in as many places as you can where Google bots and others will find it and showcase your skills and abilities on Linkedin. Try to make up for not being a native speaker by other means and emphasise an oversized professional photo if you’re photogenic.

Also try Thailand, (ajarn.com) and although it might take longer you will get something in the end. Once in and as your reputation increases, your performance will take prominence and you’ll get employment by word of mouth based on experience. It’s just that initially it all takes time and patience. Good luck.
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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by allard02 » 12 Oct 2015, 09:40

I want to avoid the scams but will a legitimate employer want to see post-graduate employment? I've worked as a retail assistant throughout the past 3 years at university but I'm assuming this doesn't constitute real 2 years previous work experience.

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Re: 2015 Foreign Teacher Requirements & Qualifications

Unread post by John V55 » 16 Oct 2015, 03:49

@ allard02

No, experience is teaching. Try to keep your resume topic focused. For example, a retail assistant becomes people skills and experience in working with cultural differences. The recruiters will be more interested in that you have a degree and experience, rather than what you did back in wherever you’re from. Look at my CV link on this thread as a starter. If at all possible, try to get work in a school, not a language center. Sit in and watch other teachers, you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Get yourself a TEFL if you haven’t already done so.
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