Frequently Asked Questions
Is China safe?
Yes. China is an incredibly safe place to live and work. Our staff has never raised issues about personal safety and most comment that they feel safer alone in China than they do in Canada. Just watch out for the silent e-scooters when crossing the road!
Is the visa process easy?
The process itself is not difficult. However, most staff do find it stressful. The stress comes from waiting to discover if your application has been approved. However, if you are on top of the paperwork and meet all the qualifications (we will tell you if you don’t) then it is a matter of waiting for the process to unfold. We have never had an application revoked.
How long is the visa process?
If you are a Canadian residing in Canada and you have submitted all your paperwork correctly, the average amount of time is five weeks. It is incumbent upon you to make sure you have all paperwork completed. If you are not a Canadian or you are not residing in Canada at the time you apply, the process may take longer.
How far can I expect to travel to work?
It depends on what location you are at. For example, staff at CQSS have about a half hour trip (they are given free transportation in the morning to the school and taxi-pool on the way home) while staff at other schools live as close as a five-minute walk from their campus. Many staff members purchase e-scooters – they are a great way to get to work and explore your city!
What are the living quarters like?
All staff live in their own one or two-bedroom apartment (unless they choose to cohabitate). Apartments will be cleaned before your arrival. Upon your arrival you and the principal or his/her designate shall inspect the apartment to ensure it is clean and equipped with basic essentials. The apartments are safe and part of a large complex. You will experience Chinese daily life unfolding in front of your very eyes!
Can I save money working in China?
Absolutely. There is no question a teacher teaching in China will save more money than if they were teaching in any Canadian province. How much you save will depend on you. If you hop on a plane and go to Macao every weekend – you won’t save much! However, if you take advantage of traveling in South-East Asia and/or China during your holiday times, you will still be able to save a significant amount of your salary.
Is there support with adjusting to life in China?
Absolutely. Our administrative assistants will help in as many ways as possible as they realize life in a new country can be challenging. Our support staff is experienced in helping make the transition as smooth as possible.
What are the food choices like?
One can find western style groceries in all of our cities. There is an abundance of fruit and vegetable markets. If you crave a ‘taste of home’ there are lots of fast food outlets, pizza joints (some very creative toppings) and Starbucks. The Chinese cuisine is exceptional. Lunches at the schools are incredibly inexpensive.
What is medical/dental coverage like?
Medical and dental coverage is restricted to accident/emergency cases. Some staff, especially those who have pre-existing conditions, opt for private insurance while others, realizing how inexpensive medical/dental service and medication is in China, opt to pay as they go. Please note medical coverage is only valid within China.
Does CSEEC provide staff with technology?
Not really. There are computers for you to use at the school. However, most staff bring their own laptop and phone for home and work purposes.
Are the students proficient in English?
All our students need to pass an English proficiency exam to enter school. The students range inability. Many students enter with limited skills even if they passed the exam. However, the vast majority of our students graduate and are given acceptance to universities in Canada and other English-speaking countries.
Do I have to work on weekends?
Yes, throughout the year (especially in September) you will be required to work on the weekend. However, at the end of the school year, you will have worked about the same amount of days as you would in a British Columbian school.
Do I get paid holidays?
Yes. You get a week off in October for Chinese National Holiday and three weeks off for Chinese New Year. You will also get one-day holidays throughout the year. Unlike Canada these days off are not attached to a weekend.
Are there student discipline issues?
Yes. Our students are human and sometimes make mistakes. Most issues revolve around misuse of technology, cheating, and sleeping in class. Teachers who have taught in Canada and China comment that our students are, for the most part, exceptionally well behaved.
Is there leadership opportunities within CSEEC?
Yes. We encourage staff to take up leadership initiatives and encourage professional growth. It is in the interest of CSEEC to foster potential teachers-in-charge and vice-principals/principals.
What is a signing bonus and a completion bonus?
A signing bonus is given if you decide to rejoin CSEEC for the following year after your initial contract. A completion bonus is given after you have completed the school year.
Is CSEEC a for-profit school?
Yes. We follow the same curriculum, have the same expectations for staff and students, and do not cut corners on student support (our teacher to student ratio tends to be significantly lower than British Columbian schools). Furthermore, all CSEEC schools are inspected annually by the British Columbia Ministry of Education to assure we offer quality education to our students. Our schools pass every year.