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range of courses language teachers are asked to teach, many institutions are hiring recent college graduates with no previous teaching experience. Foreign teachers are ordinarily recruited directly by Chinese schools or by local provincial or municipal departments or bureaus of education rather than through higher level administrative organizations. The positions are funded by the hiring institution. Often, the institution does not pay for international airfare to China. It is possible to find work as a foreign teacher after arriving in China. Salaries are usually lower than those of foreign experts, ranging from Y600-1,000 a month. The terms and arrangements are diverse but usually include free housing as well. Rules governing payment and benefits for foreign teachers are important, and people contemplating these programs should examine the sample contract for teachers in Appendix J. If you have been invited to teach in China, be sure to request a contract from your host institution that specifies details of your salary, housing, medical care, vacation time, excess baggage allowance, classroom teaching and office hours, and other requirements.

Individuals wanting to serve as foreign teachers in China may apply to one of the American agencies listed in Appendix H, or directly to the relevant college or university.


Several opportunities are available for employment, particularly in English-language teaching, for accompanying spouses and friends, for whom the same advice applies as cited earlier in this chapter. If application is made through the Foreign Experts Bureau before leaving the United States, inquiries may also be made concerning the availability of work such as training young interpreters, doing editing or proofreading at the Foreign Languages Press, or writing articles for the Xinhua (New China) News Agency, Beijing Review, China Reconstructs, and other English-language publications produced in China.

Many spouses find positions as teachers after arriving in China. Colleges and universities often have positions available, and it is possible to apply directly to them. Other options include teaching language courses to Chinese employees of joint-venture hotels in larger cities, teaching at international schools, or working with foreign firms or international organizations operating in China. If a skill is of use to China's modernization program, such as a knowledge of computers, business, or the stock market, it is likely that, with a little effort, a position may be found. The groundwork should be laid before arrival in China.

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