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Great News For Foreign Teachers

Viewed 3269 times 2017-6-12 09:59 |Personal category:Education|System category:News| Foreign

Perhaps I should say, 'Great news for foreign teachers who can tolerate the pain of getting their visa.'

The visa requirements in China for foreigners is becoming intolerable for many. I hear from young teachers or, teachers who have been in China a short time, the nightmare they are facing getting their visas renewed. The new policies don't make much (or any) sense to us, but, you have to follow them if you're going to stay here in China.

Last year almost finished me off as a teacher in China. I'd been here 5 years and in some (certainly not all) provinces, they require you to leave for 6 months after you've been here a half decade. I did it. Nearly didn't come back. In fact, 93% who leave never come back. But, I finally did. It wasn't easy, but, I did it.

First, you MUST be here legally. The tourist visa route, if you're planning to work, isn't worth the risk. I've never done it except just to come back to the country. I've never worked on anything but a Z visa. I wouldn't recommend that route. Not good. Don't do it.

Second, the requirements change week to week. Even person to person depending on who you have to deal with. Most schools don't have a clue about getting a visa, working as a foreign worker, etc., unless they depend on a lot of foreign teachers there to provide their education. The people who are in charge of helping foreigners with visas have likely never traveled abroad and are clueless as to what must be done to get one.

Third, the situation in the USA, that is, the new policies of Trump, have affected the entire world. Trump's travel ban has affected most of the world and their policies. I'm very confident it has affected China as well.

So, what's good about all of this? Well, I often watch job offerings for teachers in various places on the Internet. The fact is, it is harder and harder for schools to get foreign teachers. The demand has actually gone way up. The supply has drastically gone way down. Here in Henan, I've read that the number of foreign teachers is now about 600. 3 years ago, it was 1,600.

Get to the point. Here it is. The pay is changing fast. Schools can't get foreign teachers. Many are desperate for foreign teachers. They are having to offer more money even to the novices who are coming here to teach with no experience. Most of the experienced teachers like me, can't stand 6 months with no pay. Their pay was so low before they left China that they couldn't save enough money to tolerate 6 months without any income. I was lucky. I didn't need the money and easily took a 6 month vacation in the USA. I had a great time. But, most can't do that.

If you can stand the ordeal of the visa process and all of the new requirements, do what you can to renew your visa. It's going to pay off in the future. You're going to have more pay and better working conditions. Just persevere. 

I guess the one thing I've left out of this equation is, you must love teaching. I do. I'm highly passionate about helping Chinese kids. No matter how hard anyone makes it on me, I'm going to stay the course. Chinese children deserve good English education. I'm going to do everything I can to give it to them.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


Recent comments

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