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What kind of company are you?

Start Consulting was founded in May 2002. We were approved by SAFEA (State Administration of Foreign Expert Affair) the same year to recruit ESL teachers for the schools in the whole of China. Until now we have helped Chinese schools to employ more than 3000 teachers. Most of our clients are public schools from kindergarten to famous universities. There are also some private language training centers. We only recruit for schools who are able to help foreign teachers to get their work visas. We have a professional, trustworthy and honest team providing continuing services for our applicants and schools.


Why should I find a job through an agent like you?

If this is your first time coming to China, you really don’t know what you will get, so working with a professional and trustworthy agent will save you a lot of time searching on the internet. We will give you professional advice, help you to find the most suitable teaching position, handle your work visa, travel arrangements, airport pick up and also help you to deal with problems that you might encounter when you work at the school. As we bring in a lot of foreign teachers each year, we can also help you to contact your country fellow men in the city where you live.

The most important thing is our service for the teacher applicant is free. We only charge a commission to the school for each teacher we place, not like many other agencies who deduct money from the teachers monthly salary for the work they do for you. Even though we do NOT charge you – the teacher applicant – we provide 100% service to you.


What are the procedures of applying for a teaching position through your company?

There are two ways to get a job through us, one is you apply to the school directly to our clients who have provided their contact details and they will lead you to go through all the procedures.

The other is you apply for a job through us and let us lead you through the whole procedure until a school picks you up in the airport.

To find a job through us, please follow the following steps:

1. Submit your resume and photo. It would be very helpful if you can tell us the following information when you begin the application process:

The time you can start the contract (ie: fall or spring)

Your preference for the age group, location and school type (ie: public school, private training center, or international school)

Your expectation for the salary

Where do you currently live?

2. After we have received your documents, we will start to match a teaching position for you among our vacancies according to your preferences and provide the job details to you. We can provide a few options to you as long as you let us know what you are looking for.

3. If you are seriously interested in one of the offers we provide to you, we will start to collect your passport and diplomas so that we can forward them to the school and discuss your employment with the school. When we provide your documents to a school, please be assured that the school will value our recommendation. This is because our clients really trust us and are happy to work with us as they have been working with us for many years.

Note: when we choose a school for you we are about 80% sure that this school will employ you, this is because we have been working with our school clients for the last ten years, we know what kind of qualifications and background they are looking for.

4. If a school is interested in employing you, an interview will be organized either through skype or going to the office in person.

5. After you have set up a direct contact with the school you will get more accurate information about the school and you’ll be able to make a decision whether or not to take the job. If both parties are satisfied, a contract will be offered.

Note: For some international schools and well paid jobs, a few rounds of interviews will be held before the school makes a decision.

6. After the contract is signed the school will start the process for your work visa application paperwork in the local government. When the paperwork is ready, it will be sent to you. You then use it to apply for a work visa in China.

7. After you receive the work visa application paperwork you can buy an airticket and inform us of your flight details. We will then ask the school to make arrangements for your airport pick up.


What is the best time for me to apply for a job?

For Chinese public schools, the major demand for teachers is on 1st of Sept, which is the start of the new school year. This is also called the fall semester. If you wish to begin teaching in September, the best time to apply for a job is in March, April, May, June and July. During this period of time there are many good teaching positions available.

February is the start of second semester, which is spring semester. The demand from public schools are much less but there are still some openings. The best time to apply for the spring semester jobs is in October, November and December.

Apart from public schools, there are also many language training schools that will need teachers all year round. You can always apply for these positions at any time. However, usually they don’t accept applications earlier than 2-3 months in advance.


What are the different type of schools in China?

1. Public schools take up the majority of schools in China these consist of primary schools, middle schools and high schools. Universities and colleges are public schools.

Public school has Monday to Friday work schedule from 8am to 4pm. Most schools don’t require office hours of their English language teachers. The pay range in a public school is usually between 4500 to 8000 yuan. You will also get 2200 yuan travel allowance, medical insurance provided for free. You get one month paid holiday, airfare reimbursement at the end of the contract and free housing. An assistant teacher is available. Your contract can be extended for 5 years.

2. International school:

International schools are usually public schools but have international cooperative programmes that aim at sending their students to study abroad.

International schools pay very well and also provide great benefits but they usually only consider employing teachers with a very good education background and teaching experience. The basic requirement is bachelor with TESOL and two years teaching experience, some schools will request a teacher certificate.

3. Private language training centers.

Currently, private language training centers are booming. These schools include EF, WEB, Wall Street, New Oriental, Didi Dragon, Shane etc. Most of the schools are for teaching English to children between 3 and 15 years of age. There are also adult English training schools such as WEB. Private language training centers are similar to an after school programme but are not located or affliated with the public schools. They mostly set up their teaching time in the evenings and weekends. The characteristic of private language training centers is they pay more, but have a heavier workload. They have paid holidays too, but usually less than two weeks. These training centers are located in the center of a city. They either pay housing allowance or provide shared accommodation for teachers for free. They also pay for the airfare allowance. They also give an end of contract bonus. If you are a good teacher with management ability, you might have a better chance to get promoted in a private language training school. The salary range for this type of school is between 6500 and 16500.


What is the start time for Chinese schools?

1st of September for autumn semester and February for the spring semester.


What kind of jobs do you have?

We have openings from all the schools, but availability is different in different seasons. For example, if you apply in April then the majority of openings are from public schools, but if you apply in November, jobs are mostly from private language training schools. So the time to apply for a job is quite important if you are only looking for a certain type of job.


What should I do to make sure I can get a job through your company?

The most important thing is to keep in close touch with us. Provide the documents we ask for. Above all, trust us!


What qualifications are required to get a teaching position in China?

According to the Chinese government, new regulations for most schools in China can only employ teachers with bachelor’s degree. Some provinces also require a TESOL certificate. Some schools also require more than two years teaching or working experience.


Is TESOL certificate a must?

For some provinces and cities, yes this is the case.


Can I find a teaching position in China even if I don’t have a degree?

This is quite possible, please write to us and we will tell you more details of the job.


Can you explain the visa process?

After you have signed a contract with a school, the school will begin to help you with your work visa.

According to the Chinese law of employing a foreign teacher, the school will need to get a work permit and a visa letter for you from a provincial government organization for the government agencies to issue the paperwork. These organizations include: provincial education department, foreign experts bureau and foreign affair office.

The school will need the following documents and information from you: Your resume, photo, passport, diplomas and medical report. Some schools also request police clearance (criminal background checks) and reference letters. Also, your physical address, post code, and telephone number are needed. You should also tell the school at which consulate or embassy and country you will be applying for the work visa.

After the school receives these documents from you, they will begin to process a work permit and a visa issuance letter from the government organizations. It will take about 1-4 weeks or less from the start of this proceedure to finalize the paperwork. The two documents will be sent to you by international express. You will use them to apply for a work visa (Z class) in a Chinese embassy or consulate.

Please note:
1. The signed group contract is just used for sponsoring your work visa. The original contract and its appendix will be signed upon your arrival.

2. You will have a full medical examination after you have arrived in China .

3. The contracted school will lead you through medical check, helping you to obtain a resident permit and foreign experts certificate within 30 days after you have entered China .

Important: The work visa is valid for one month only, counted from the day you enter China . It is a single-entry visa, meaning that you cannot use it to re-enter China if you leave during that one-month period. The school that is sponsoring you will help you, within a month of your arrival, to obtain a resident permit. Your resident permit will then be pasted inside your passport. The combination of both documents only — your work visa together with your resident permit — guarantees that you have a legal identity for working in China . The resident permit is valid for the same length of time as your contract period, and it is multiple-entry. The local immigration office will issue your resident permit only upon the request of that school sponsoring your work visa. You will not be able to obtain a resident permit if you hold only the work visa yet attempt to work for another school.


What documents should I provide to the school for the work visa application?

Your resume, photo, passport, diplomas and medical report. Some schools also request police clearance and reference letters. Also your physical address, post code, telephone number are needed, you should also tell the school at which consulate or embassy and country you will apply for the work visa.


How do I apply for a work visa in Chinese embassy or consulate?

Please refer to Chinese embassy’s website to get the most accurate information. You can also ask for local visa agents to provide the service to you.


Can I bring my pets with me when I come to China?

Can I bring my family with me to work in China? What visa do they have?

Yes, your family can come with you. However if you come with children and no one can look after the children, your chances of being employed by a school is much less. If you come with your direct family member such as husband, wife or children they will get the same type of visas and resident permit as you do and it will last for one year and it is multiple entry.

12. What kind of paperwork will my employer get for me when I have arrived in China?

After you have arrived in China, the school will help you go through medical check and obtain a medical certificate for you. They will then get you a foreign expert certificate from the foreign experts bureau and a resident permit from the immigration office. The last two documents are the legal documents for you to stay in China. You can use them to register in a hotel, show to the police etc.

Most schools pay for the expense of processing these documents which is about 600 to 700 yuan, but there are some schools that ask the teachers to pay for the expense.


Can I come with a tourist visa or any other type of visa?

Coming with a tourist visa or other type of visa is not recommended unless a school is certain they can convert your tourist visa or other type of visa into a work visa. Currently, there are only a few cities allowed to convert tourist visa into a work visa. In Hong Kong, most provinces request the applicants to get the work visas in their home countries. So if you come with a tourist visa it is highly possible that you will be asked to go back to your home country and obtain the work visa on your own expense.


How can a school help me to get settled down in the school?

Usually a school will have your apartment prepared before you come. If it is a big public school they will have an orientation meeting for all the foreign teachers after they have arrived. Most schools have assistant teachers for the foreign teachers. These assistant teachers can help you in the classroom, show you around the school and where the supermarket, bus stations are etc. Chinese people are mostly very friendly and helpful. If you need help you can just ask them. They will be glad to help you.


Will the school pick me up in the airport?

Yes. Before you come please let us know your arrival time, date, flight number. We will make sure the school has the information and also inform them again before the date you come so that you can be picked up in the airport without fail. But please remember this, very important: have the school representative’s phone number and our phone number handy so that you can inform us on time if your flight changes. This has happened quite often in past years. Alternatively, make sure you can find the business center in an airport to email us your flight changes so that we can make other arrangements for you.


Will the school pay my international airfare?

Some schools pay direct round trip economy class airfare from your home country to the destination city in China. Most schools pay airfare allowance at the end of the contract between 8000-12000 yuan. Please note Chinese schools don’t pay for the airfare in advance.


What attitude should I take when I have an interview with my potential employers?

Be friendly, positive, active and easy going. It is important to let the school know you come to teach, to bring your English knowledge, western culture and ideas for education to Chinese students, not just for travel or for fun.


What should I bring with me when I come to China?

You can bring your mobile phone with you, then buy a SIM card in China so you can use your phone. You may need to unlock your phone before the SIM card can be used, but many mobile stores can unlock it for you.

If you come to a big city you can have easy access to big supermarkets and stores where you can get nearly everything. Chinese people usually have smaller body structure, so it is not always easy to buy large size clothes and shoes etc.

Different brands of cheese can be found in big supermarket such as Metro, Walmart, Carefour etc but the options are certainly not as rich as that of western countries.

An adaptor might be needed for your laptop, mobile etc


How about internet services in China?

Usually a school will have internet services in the office and internet connection in your apartment, some schools even provide a laptop or a computer for free. Some schools might not provide an internet connection, but can help you to get the services from the local telecom company. Usually the monthly rate for internet services is about 110 yuan (less than 20 dollars) for a 10g speed internet service.

WIFI in China is for free, you can buy a WIFI router in a computer store at a very low price and install it.

Facebook, Twitter are blocked in China, most Chinese people use QQ as the main internet communication software. QQ has English version and can also be easily accessed in western countries.


What should I do if I don’t like the school I work for?

This is always easy to deal with, I hope it doesn’t happen to you but unfortunately, it does happen sometimes. If you do not like a school you can talk with the relevant people such as your assistant teacher, your HR officier or your direct leader about your thoughts and see if things can be changed. Communication is the most important thing. If you have made all the efforts and find you still don’t like the school and decide to leave you should give the school a one month notice and let them have the time to find the teacher to replace you. Although the contract states that should a breach of the contract occur, the school has to right to fine you 500-2000 dollars, if you have good communication with the school, the school won’t fine you and will just let you go. They will also give you a reference letter or contract termination letter so that you can find another employer without any contract complication situation.

The worst thing is you leave without telling the school. A school has the right to cancel your visa, resident permit and put you on the blacklist of SAFEA! If this happens, all the foreign expert bureaus in the whole of China won’t issue you a new work permit. Hence you can’t work in China for a long period of time.

Each year there are foreign teachers who leave without telling the school and go to work for another employer which might pay higher or be located in a better city etc. However according to the regulation of SAFEA, an employer can’t help you get the legal identity to work for his school if you can’t provide a letter of reference or a contract termination letter from your last employer. To work for a school illegally the school faces the risk of being fined 50,000 to 200,000 yuan. You can also be fined and be expelled from the country!


What should I do if the school breaks the contract?

If a school breaks the contract, please communicate with them and see if things can be improved. If not, you can come to us and let us know what the problem is. We will talk with the school. If the school still doesn’t change, you can report to the local foreign experts bureau.


How can I find an apartment in China?

In each city there are many real estate dealers who have apartments available in the area you will live. The school can help you to talk with them and help you to sign the realty contract.


What is the best solution for the cultural shock?

The most difficult time is the first month. You might have health issues. You might not be used to the food. You find difficult to communicate with people. However, after the first month you will start to like the country and the people. To blend in, spend more time with Chinese school teachers - to make friends with them is essential. You came to China to experience a new culture, so try to keep an open mind with things and you will find happiness.


What are the salary levels for chinese schools?

The pay range in chinese schools is from 4500 to 20000 yuan. What salary you can get depands on the type of school you work for, your education background, teaching experience and some other factors. We have all different types of schools. A public school usually pays 4500 to 8000 yuan per month for 14-18 teaching hours per week. A private school usually pays 6500-15000 yuan monthly for 25-30 teaching hours per week. International schools pay 9000-20000 yuan or even more for working in week days from 8am to 4pm, the teaching hours are also from 18-20 per week but they only consider applicants with very good qualifications. The rate of yuan(or RMB) to us$ is 6.1:1.0 No matter what level of salary you are paid it is sufficient for you to lead a comfortable life in China as the cost of living in China is low, for public schools the salary is nearly a net income,they usually provide benefits like round trip international airfare reimbursement or international airfare allowance, free fully furnished apartment,travel allowance, paid utilities medical insurrance etc. To work in a public school you don't have to worry that this school will close because of not enough enrollment, you work in a stable environment. This is why most people prefer to choose public school even if their pay is not the highest.


What kind of transportation system in China?

In big cities public transportation system is usually complete, there are railway stations, airports and long distance bus stations. For the local travel you can take buses, subways and bicyles. In small and middle size cities there are buses and railway stations too. Basically speaking, in China most people use public transportation system more often, if you know how to use it it becomes very convenient!





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