Some of the FAQs covered in the book.
Where do they have teaching positions?
Many companies have positions all over the world while others specialize in a specific location. The start-up company that I worked for, only had positions in Tianjin, while the other companies had opportunities all over China.
How many teaching positions?
Some locations only need one teacher while others have multiple positions at the same location. They may have a couple of locations close to each other and you might have to teach a couple days at on school then spend a couple of days at another school.
Are you expected to teach classes other than English?
When I was being interviewed, at one of the universities in Tianjin, I was asked about teaching a non-English class. You may not be expected to teach anything other than English … but you may be asked if you can!
How close is housing to the job?
It’s entirely a matter of luck! When I worked at WITTY there were four other teachers and their apartment was about thirty minutes from work. It took me about twenty-five minutes to walk from my place … and only about ten minutes by bike, both were sometimes faster than a car.
Do they provide transportation to and from the job?
It is not uncommon for companies to provide transportation to and from work. When I was asked to teach at a school on the other side of Tianjin for a day they sent a car to take me there. I had to leave early, and one of the other teachers took a taxi back with me. There were several other occasions where a private school sent a car to pick me up and take me back again.
How much would a taxi cost?
Taxis are inexpensive and abundant in most cities. They are nice for short rides of just a few miles or many miles. The furthest I took a taxi was about 40 miles. It cost over hundred and fifty Yen or about 23 dollars, to get from the school to our homes and the trip lasted nearly an hour.
Is riding the bus an option?
Yes, of course. Bus routes and timetables are something you should get details on during orientation at your new school. Many of the major cities have extensive bus routes. The buses can be crowded during peak traffic times, and frequently they two buses on the same route running on the same time schedule.
Do the buses run on time?
I only rode a bus a few times and they arrived within a few minutes of the scheduled time. If you have to rely on the bus I would allow extra time, depending on traffic.
How is the housing set up?
This would depend on the school or agency providing the accommodation and can vary. You may have your own room or you may be expected to share a room with one or more teachers. I knew several teachers who lived in the same apartment complex with two bunk beds in each of the two bedrooms.
What kind of housing arrangements do they have if you bring a spouse and/or children?
Obviously, taking your spouse and children to a foreign country requires much more forethought and planning than going alone. It is important to ask if they are accustomed to hiring teachers with families. Be sure to make contact with other teachers who have been through the process before you. They can offer tips and advice that you might not have considered. Being unhappy and alone is a bad situation to be in, but feeling responsible for making your nearest and dearest unhappy or far worse!