Best places for Black people to learn Chinese/最好的地方学习普通话

Just because you are open minded and culturally open, doesn’t mean that the world may be culturally open minded about you.

 

 

 

  1. Singapore

Average salary is $53,000

Singapore is wonderful generally tolerant society, however it is very small.

2. Hong Kong

3. Yiwu

4. Wuhan

 

Mandarin accents

Beijing accent- strong er sound

 

Southern Chinese – sh sounds like s

Add “a”

cha sounds like ca

Shen sounds like sen

 

Best movies to learn Chinese

 

10 Awful Things about China

  1. Pollution – Breathing the air in some cities in China is equivalent to smoking three packs of cigarettes a day.

2. Corrupt

3. Racist -China is one of the most racist countries you’ll ever see in all your days. But it is in a different type of way. Whites are favored in China in so many ways whether its getting teaching jobs they get just because of their skin color, “window jobs”, Being allowed to go to clubs for free, people become and befriend you, and women throw themselves on you. Whereas if you are Black, well you know……..

4. Rude & Poor Hygiene

Chinese touritst-master

Most Chinese toilets look like this

 

5. Animal Cruelty

6. Disregard for human life –

In China many people try and kill the pedestrians they hit, even if they are children. Because it is cheaper for them to pay compensation for them if they are dead then rather than if they are alive.

7. Lack of Freedom –

google, facebook, youtube, twitter, instagram, are not allowed in China.

Petitioners+in+black+jail

8. Outlandish claims for islands

9. Dishonest and Counterfeit

 

10. Oppressive Workplace culture – In China employers have total control over their employees. They can whip them or force them to engage in humiliating punishments for things such as not meeting their sales targets

 

Isn’t it no wonder that China is said to suffer from the worst brain drain in the world: 7 out of 10 students who enroll overseas never move back to live in China.

 

Portraits of China – Africa

Nan Hua Temple – South Africa

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What China gets from Africa

  1. Raw Materials like – Oil, Iron, Copper
  2. They love the stable weather, vast open land, and the ability to start their own businesses.

What Africa Gets From China

  1. Infrastructure Development

 

Here are some examples of Chinese Infrastructure Projects

  1. Modderfontein South Africa. $7 billion

Modderfontein_City_Gauteng_Shanghai_Zendai_955020214

new city

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2. Lamu Port $24 billion

Wide angle of construction activities on Port

Lamu-port-map

3. Kilamba, Angola  $3.5 billion

angola_social_housing_project_kilamba_kiaxi_phase_1_5

kilamba-kiaxi

4. Brazzaville airport

brazza airportuntitled

5. Pan African Games stadium complex $500 million

african_games_04

DCIM100MEDIA
DCIM100MEDIA

8288718-12970697

6. Addis Ababa Metro   $475 million

Light_Rail_Engine

7. Africa Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa  $200 billion

african_union_headquarters

8. State Commercial Standard Bank Ethiopia

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9. Ethiopia to Sudan highway –

Highway-Link-between-Ethiopia-and-Sudan-01

10. Abidjan Stadium  60,000 Capacity stadium for Ivory Coast

Proposed-Stadium-for-Ivory-Coast

11. Mbini Bridge Equatorial Guinea (Worlds 25th longest suspension bridge)

RioWele

12. Two Rivers  Shopping Mall, Nairobi, Kenya

$587 million dollars

12. Thika highwayin Kenya

thika-superhighway-in-nairobi.

13. Great Wall Apartments Nairobi, Kenya

great-wall-apartments-nairobi

14. National Theatre, Accra, Ghana

Countries in Africa with the most Chinese people

  1. South Africa 500,000
  2. Angola 400,000
  3. Zambia 100,000
  4. Madagascar 100,000
  5. Nigeria 100,000
  6. Ethiopia 60,000
  7. Ghana 60,000
  8. Namibia 40,000
  9. Mauritius 40,000
  10. Kenya 30,000

 

 

http://www.focac.org/eng/

 

http://china-africa-reporting.co.za

 

http://www.chinaafricarealstory.com/

 

 

http://www.chinaafricaproject.com/

 

 

 

Why learning Chinese is a waste of time.

 

The whole learning Chinese thing is just a gimmick and fad.

 

  1. Time is not worth it 5 years. You could qualify to be a lawyer, you could learn many computer coding languages, you could get your phd,
  2. China does not need you
  3. You may cross the linguistic divide, but not the cultural
  4. Why would anyone give you a job when there are so many Chinese people that speak English way better, and will have a more easier time establishing connections.  You will face an uphill competition with Chinese people or Asians.
  5. Be prepared to see an 80% reduction in salary.
  6. How much money are you really going to get from it?
  7. Most people quit

 

If you still want to learn Chinese despite all this. Please learn another skill emphasis on another skill.

 

 

Best Chinese Construction Projects in Africa & Portraits of China Africa

The Ming Dynasty voyages of Chineseadmiral Zheng He and his fleet, which rounded the coast of Somalia and followed the coast down to the Mozambique Channel. The goal of those expeditions was to spreadChinese culture and signal Chinese strength. Zheng brought gifts and granted titles from the Ming emperor to the local rulers, with the aim of establishing a large number oftributary states.[3] In October 1415, Chinese explorer and admiral Zheng He reached the eastern coast of Africa and sent the first of two giraffes as gifts to the Chinese YongleEmperor.[14]

There are some other accounts that mention Chinese ships sinking near Lamu Island inKenya in 1415. Survivors are said to have settled in the island and married local women.[15][16]

Archaeologists have found Chinese porcelains made during the Tang dynasty(618-907) in Kenyan villages; however, these were believed to have been brought over byZheng He during his 15th century ocean voyages.[17] On Lamu Island off the Kenyan coast, local oral tradition maintains that 20 shipwrecked Chinese sailors, possibly part of Zheng’s fleet, washed up on shore there hundreds of years ago. Given permission to settle by local tribes after having killed a dangerous python, they converted to Islamand married local women. Now, they are believed to have just six descendants left there; in 2002, DNA tests conducted on one of the women confirmed that she was of Chinese descent. Her daughter, Mwamaka Sharifu, later received a PRC government scholarship to study traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in China.[18][19][20]

National Geographic also published an article by Frank Viviano in July 2005, he visited Pate Island during the time he stayed on Lamu, ceramic fragments had been found around Lamu which the administrative officer of the local Swahili history museum claimed were of Chinese origin, specifically from Zheng He‘s voyage to east Africa. The eyes of the Pate people resembled Chinese and Famao and Wei were some of the names among them which were speculated to be of Chinese origin. Their ancestors were said to be from indigenous women who intermarried with Chinese Ming sailors when they were shipwrecked. Two places on Pate were called “Old Shanga”, and “New Shanga”, which the Chinese sailors had named. A local guide who claimed descent from the Chinese showed Frank a graveyard made out of coral on the island, indicating that they were the graves of the Chinese sailors, which the author described as “virtually identical”, to Chinese Ming dynasty tombs, complete with “half-moon domes” and “terraced entries”.[21]

According to Melanie Yap and Daniel Leong Man in their book “Colour, Confusions and Concessions: the History of Chinese in South Africa”, Chu Ssu-pen, a Chinese mapmaker, in 1320 had southern Africa drawn on one of his maps. Ceramics found in Zimbabwe and South Africa dated back to Song dynastyChina. Some tribes to Cape Town’s north claimed descent from Chinese sailors during the 13th century, their physical appearance is similar to Chinese with paler skin and a Mandarin sounding tonal language. Their name for themselves is “abandoned people”, Awatwa in their language.[22]

China has helped Africa develop hundreds of programmes including the establishment of textile factories, hydroelectric power stations, gymnasiums, hospitals and schools. Among the most well known is the Tazara railway between Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Kapiri Mposhi, Zambia, which was completed in July 1976 after six years of labour by more than 50,000 Chinese workers, at a total cost of about 1bn yuan (£95m). What Africa has seen in the Chinese workers is a spirit of diligence and sacrifice.

 Self interested investments, mostly for natural resources like minerals and oil, have brought huge infrastructure improvements to many African countries, building roads and railways; expanding financial services; and providing important revenues to struggling governments.

A comprehensive Chinese-assisted treatment campaign has apparently eliminated malaria from the Comorian island of Moheli(population 36,000) — and shows worldwide potential

The Chinese are paving roads, building new schools, new mosques, new government buildings, a new airport, a center to facilitate tourism to the country and even new homes — for politicians.

  1. Modderfontein South Africa. $7 billion

Modderfontein_City_Gauteng_Shanghai_Zendai_955020214

new city

Modderfontein-development-South-Africa

modderfontein-new-_635725868

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articles-Zikhang_Dai_and_Nomvula_Mokonyane_619323730

2. Lamu Port $24 billion

Wide angle of construction activities on Port

Lamu-port-map

3.  China has completed a 750 km electric rail way connecting Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, to the Red Sea state Djibouti. The cost of the railway is $3.6 billion

addis-abbaba-train-300x192addis-ababa-hjj1475987423476_aspr_1_662_w640_h385_e400

3. Kilamba, Angola  $3.5 billion

angola_social_housing_project_kilamba_kiaxi_phase_1_5

kilamba-kiaxi

4. Brazzaville airport

brazza airport

untitled

5. Pan African Games stadium complex $500 million

african_games_04

DCIM100MEDIA
DCIM100MEDIA

8288718-12970697

6. Addis Ababa Metro   $475 million

Light_Rail_Engine

7. Africa Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa  $200 billion

african_union_headquarters

8. State Commercial Standard Bank Ethiopia

22263914249_5d6c991706_b

22438183842_c02b42bb06_b

9. Ethiopia to Sudan highway –

Highway-Link-between-Ethiopia-and-Sudan-01

10. Abidjan Stadium  60,000 Capacity stadium for Ivory Coast

Proposed-Stadium-for-Ivory-Coast

11. Mbini Bridge Equatorial Guinea (Worlds 25th longest suspension bridge)

RioWele

12. Two Rivers  Shopping Mall, Nairobi, Kenya

$587 million dollars

12. Thika highway Continue reading

20 facts about China you may be shocked to know

China is rather exotic and sometimes it’s almost impossible to understand Chinese people. Maybe these 20 facts will help you understand the country better.

1. Rich people in China can hire body doubles to serve their prison sentence.

It’s a common practice in China. There is even such a saying “America has the rule of law, China has the rule of people”.

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2. China has recently overtook the US as the world’s largest economy.

However it is only related to the purchasing power of the country.

1

3. 29% of San Francisco’s air pollution comes from China.

The country has serious smog and air pollution problems and shares them with the world.

3

4. China has more English speakers than the United States.

It’s rather disturbing and helps to realize what an enormous amount of people live in China!

4

5. A soup quite popular in China is made entirely out of eatable birds nests.

The delicacy is rather popular throughout Asia. Would you dare try it?

6. In China there is a website that lets you rent a girlfriend for as low as $31 for a week!

Already moving to China? Don’t hurry up that much, because…

7. … If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Population growth is one of the scariest stuff about China.

8. Recently, there was a man in China who burned a hole through his stomach because he enjoyed a too hot and spicy soup.

Doctors were amazed to find a hole in his stomach wall. That guy was totally in love with notoriously spicy mala soup.

9. China is building MASSIVE cities just to keep builders busy and generate growth. The result are ghost metropolis.

Is the crash eventually inevitable?

9

10. A teenager in China once sold his kidney to buy an iPad.

What would happen with the boy if his new precious toy gets stolen soon after its purchase?

10

11. A man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing and eating the last Indochinese tiger in China.

He claimed that he could not specify the animal and killed it for self-defence.

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12. Let this one be more pleasant. The beauty of Yangshuo, China, as seen from a hot air balloon.

This place is called to be one of the most beautiful on Earth.

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13. China is said to suffer from the worst brain drain in the world: 7 out of 10 students who enroll overseas never move back to live in China.

The top country where they prefer to reside is the US.

13

14. Brad Pitt can never visit China, because of him acting the movie “Seven Years in Tibet.”

As well as actor David Thewlis and director of the movie Jean-Jacques Annaud.

14

15. The longest traffic jam in China was 10 days and 60 miles long.

Drivers moving from Beijing to Mongolia stuck for almost 11 days in August 2010.

15

16. By 2025, China will have 10 New York-sized cities.

Meanwhile the Chinese population will grow for additional 350 million people.

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17. China owns all the giant pandas in the world, any panda outside of China is being leased.

Even those cubs being just born instantly belong to China.

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18. In China, a man sued his wife for being ugly and won.

That woman had had a plastic surgery for $100,000 before she met her husband who later could not understand why their children appeared to be so ugly.  On the picture above is the whole family.

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19. In China, it is acceptable to walk into an IKEA store to relax and take a nap.

No other people of the world deserve rest as much as the Chinese ones!

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20. Because China is one of the suicide capitals of the world, they employ body fishers – People who are hired to drag dead bodies out of rivers.

Probably a sufficient percent of those self-murderers are body fishers themselves…

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China Became Africa’s Largest Export Destination In 2012

Already Africa’s single biggest trading partner, China is set to become the continent’s largest export destination in 2012 according to South African based Standard Bank.

The milestone would mark a significant turnaround since 2008, the bank says, when exports to China stood at half of those to the US.

In a research note, Standard Bank’s Beijing based economist Jeremy Stevens writes that “despite becoming marginally more expensive, China has managed to grow exports to Africa rapidly.”

The estimate is the latest sign of deepening ties between the two regions, and Mr Stevens goes on to say that “Chinese and African businesses are now more comfortable transacting with one another. Looking forward, China is well-positioned to participate in Africa’s next phase of development.”

China has been at the forefront of reshaping the continents external relations in recent years, and Mr Stevens notes that its “foresighted engagement with Africa back at the start of the past decade was a master stroke, allowing Beijing to steal a march on Africa’s other partnerships.”

Bilateral trade volumes now exceed $160bn per year, or almost a fifth of the continent’s overall trade – a 28 percent increase from 2011. Imports from China stood at $73bn in 2011, up more than 23 percent on 2010, while Africa’s importance to overall Chinese trade is also increasing. The region now accounts for 3.8 percent of exports, up from 2 percent in 2002. The rapid growth in trade between the two regions is putting pressure on more established partners such as the EU and the US to strengthen their commercial ties with Africa.

Rapidly growing economic activity has gone hand in hand with political engagement. High profile visits by Chinese officials have become common place in Africa since 2000, including President Hu Jintao and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

China has also begun making its mark as an emerging donor. In January a new $200m African Union headquarters was commissioned in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Funded entirely by China, the opening ceremony was attended by Jia Qinling, the country’s most senior political adviser, who told those in attendance that “the towering complex speaks volumes about our friendship to the African people, and testifies to our strong resolve to support African development.”

The relationship has however not been without controversy, and China regularly finds itself the subject of allegations that it undermines human rights and governance in its dealings with African governments.

China’s focus on securing access to natural resources has also been the source of debate, with critics arguing that its interests do not represent a long term strategy and differ little from exploitative relationships that have done little to support development on the continent in the past. Fuels, ores and metals account for almost 90 percent of all Chinese imports from Africa.

In some resource exporting countries, notably Zambia, China’s role has become a contentious issue in recent years. Having invested heavily in Zambia’s copper industry relations have been strained amid allegations of mistreatment of Zambian workers by Chinese foremen; tension that has resulted in several deaths in recent years.

Despite such cases, China’s role in Africa is likely to deepen significantly in the coming years. It is estimated that more than one million Chinese citizens now live on the continent, and a change of leadership in China later this year is not expected to result in a change of policy.

Standard Bank’s Mr Stevens argues that “China’s commodity demand is structural and will be longstanding. In addition, Africa’s demand for infrastructure and China’s differential approach to financing creates markets for Chinese exports; commercial opportunities for its [state owned enterprises] and employment opportunities for Chinese people.

Allafrica.com

China Training African Workforce to Partner with Chinese Businesses

With China continuing its wave of investments in Africa, Chinese companies are working to train more high-level professionals in the region, as a lack of qualified talent has become a roadblock for the budding business relationship between China and Africa.

A report by People’s Daily in China revealed that 31 students from Angola had completed bachelor’s degree programs in July from Changsha University of Science and Technology in Hunan. Those same students will integrate into current plans to improve Angola’s infrastructure alongside Chinese corporations.

China Road & Bridge Corp. sponsored each of the students’ tuition and living expenses during their five-year study, as well as 112 others from Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo.

Xiao Jinquan, a senior partner at Dacheng Law Offices, says that the firm is in talks with several universities and companies to sponsor new training programs for African professionals.

“After finishing the training program, students will have the language ability, business and legal knowledge and experience to deal with Chinese companies,” Xiao said during the Second China-Africa People’s Forum earlier this month. “They will become the backbone of Chinese-African business.”

“During our work there, we deeply felt the urgent need for high-level business talent in Africa, which has been an obstacle for Chinese companies to invest in Africa,” Xiao added.

Only recent graduates or seniors from African universities will be accepted as applicants for Dacheng’s program, which will last between 12 and 18 months. The $15,700 in fees for each student will be covered by the firm.

In June, Chinese investments in Africa reached the $45 billion mark, making the need for capable African professionals a pressing concern for China. Of the 2,000 companies operating with Africa, 85 percent of their work force is comprised of local employees. Last year trade between China and Africa came to $166.3 billion.

Is Teaching English in China Worthwhile?

With the current state of the world economy as it is, more and more people unable to find jobs at home, and wanting to experience life abroad, are looking to countries like China for work. In terms of entry modes, teaching English in China is a viable option, often requiring little more than the ability to speak English. On the downside, an industry with low entry barriers attracts its fair share of competitors and also makes teachers more vulnerable to exploitation. Adding to these “dangers” faced by English teachers is the recent move to downgrade the importance of English scores in the Gaokao exam. Is English teaching still worthwhile in China?

English teacher, defined

Not all English teaching jobs are created equal and remuneration and working conditions vary wildly. Language centers, pre-school education, public schools or universities employ the majority of foreigners and previously the ability to speak fluent English was considered adequate qualification. The bar has been raised in recent times however and now there are age limits, academic requirements (a bachelor degree), work experience requirements (at least 2 years), teaching qualifications (TESOL or TEFL certificate) and country-of-origin requirements (from a country of native speakers). Schools with adequate levels of guanxi (connections) have been known to circumvent these though. However, competition for inexperienced teachers ensures salaries in this category remain low, though teachers in language centers can earn more depending on the number or hours worked. On the other end of the spectrum, career English teachers enjoy full expat terms in international schools or as overseas examination specialists (e.g. GCE “A” Levels or SAT teachers).

Teaching English in China
Source: SurfaceWarriors

Are English teachers in danger of no longer being wanted?

Outside of a classroom, most Chinese rarely if ever use English in their lifetime. Yet there is still a seemingly insatiable demand for English teachers as a controversial ruling by the Education Ministry mandates English majors to undergo instruction by native speakers during their course of study.

All this could change, though, as Beijing has recently made known intentions to reduce the weightage of English scores in the Gaokao. The official reason was to reduce pressure on students, which makes sense considering most students have no use for English after leaving school and never completely master the language. Not only do the new rulings de-emphasize English in the Gaokao, but they also propose reducing the number of hours spent on English (called “foreign language”), including children waiting till the third year of elementary school to begin learning the language.

However, thanks to the growing number of Chinese who are able to send their children to overseas schools to study, this does not mark the beginning of the end for English teachers. In fact, Beijing’s efforts to de-emphasize the importance of English is likely to be met with skepticism or indifference in this group and may conversely cement demand for alternative providers; think private schools and private tutoring. Language schools are quick to cater to candidates for overseas examinations and even public schools have opened international departments. Young adults harboring dreams of working for a Multinational or finding a foreign partner also seek out private language schools. Even in public schools, English may not necessarily decrease in importance, especially if top universities formulate internal English examinations as an additional admission hurdle.

In it for the paycheck or the experience?

On the supply side, teaching English in China for the most part has few entrance barriers. Foreign teachers are mostly employed as practice targets to “provide an English-speaking environment.” This requires little more than an ability to converse in English, though looking “foreign” and possessing charisma goes a long way in an industry governed by student feedback and economics. Oversupply puts a downward pressure on salaries especially in places where inhabitants have to contend with inflation at the same time. The pay may seem decent by local standards, especially if housing and travel benefits are thrown in. And in fact, it is, for those able and willing to live as a local (i.e. without “luxuries” like cheese). For those from a country whose currency is stronger than the RMB, savings would be out of the question.

Of course, not all English teachers are here for the money. China is still as an exotic destination and English teaching as a “working holiday” allows for a more in-depth travel and cultural experience. A country as vast as China offers experiences as varied as the bright lights of big cities or the scenery of the laid-back countryside. So there’s something for everyone, from fresh graduates seeking to spice up their resumes to mid-career switchers after a different experience. So goes the spiel on overseas teaching recruitment websites. Teaching schedules are seldom onerous, with delivery usually taking precedence over lesson prep. Teachers usually have adequate time on their hands for extensive sight-seeing and hard-partying, if they so desire.

However, teaching in China does have its dark side. Working in China, like every other country, requires the right visa and enforcement is getting more stringent, ostensibly because of “security” concerns and “misbehaving” foreigners. In addition, teachers require a Foreign Expert Certificate. All this sounds straightforward enough, but papers have not been granted for anything from not having a degree to poor health. Other concerns pertain to life in China in general – an issue to those concerned about food and environmental safety. “Hardship” allowances are available to a lucky few Expats but rarely to teachers, bar maybe those in international schools.

Making it more worthwhile

All in all, having goals other than money would make teaching in China more worthwhile. Other than that, here are a few tips to increase your chances of a pain-free teaching experience in China.

  • Ensure you have the right visa and a Foreign Expert’s Certificate – sounds like common sense but some foreigners are simply too trusting, too desperate to wait for the right papers, or think they will get away with it. When discussing the contract with the school, make sure they provide you with the visa and cover the costs of it; if they won’t really consider finding a different school!
  • Check if you have to perform “office hours” – that could really affect your pay-per-hour
  • Google your potential employer – this can be very helpful if it is a major language centre
  • Bump up on non-verbal communication – learn to recognize signs of frustration or boredom as some institutions rely heavily on “customer” feedback

If you can think of other tips to making English teaching a smoother process add them in the comment section below.

Most Common English Teaching Job Scams in China: What to Avoid

Teaching English in China can be a great way to experience the country while gaining experience in a field that’s expanding rapidly. It can be tempting to jump at the first offer when you start applying for jobs online from the familiarity of your home country. We give you some tips to avoid the scams that more than one unfortunate soul has been prey to over the years.

As in many parts of Asia, the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (‘TEFL’) business in China is, in many instances, just that – a business. According to the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) – the Chinese body that regulates the hiring of foreign teachers – prospective teachers must hold a Bachelor’s degree and have at least two years’ teaching experience. In order to be legal, schools offering TEFL courses must be licensed by the SAFEA. Unfortunately though, many schools register as companies, bypassing the expensive process of obtaining a license, and leaving their foreign employees unprotected by the relevant laws. These schools are most often language training centers. The other major options for would-be TEFL teachers are public universities (often a better bet than private universities) and primary and secondary schools. Both universities and schools are often a safer bet than training centers.

Both universities and schools are often a safer bet than training centers.

Most Common English Teaching Job Scams in China: What to Avoid
Photo: Sam Haldane

Recruiters

Unscrupulous recruiters look for unsuspecting newcomers to scam them out of an initial ‘deposit’ or ‘recruitment fee’. Avoid ads with titles like ‘Teach English in China – No Degree Required’, or ‘Weekend TEFL Certification’.  In addition, the website China Business Central urges all applicants to teaching jobs in China to “avoid recruiters who cannot produce verifiable identification and a SAIC [State Administration for Industry and Commerce] business license that vouches for their authenticity”. Reputable recruiters will be happy to provide you with the relevant documents; never agree to pay an up-front recruitment fee or provide a passport scan without proof that the recruiter is licensed.

Open communication

For would-be teachers with a Bachelor’s degree and at least two years’ (read: twenty-four months’) teaching experience, finding a teaching job in China is relatively uncomplicated. Websites like tefl.com offer hundreds of positions to prospective teachers, updating their databases daily or even hourly. Going through a recruiter is thus unnecessary for candidates with some job experience and common sense. Always request contact information for at least two TEFL teachers who currently work for or have worked for the school you are applying to; hearing their perspective will help you get a sense of what the working conditions will actually be like, rather than the rosy portrait painted in the job posting. The willingness of the school or recruiter to provide you with this information will in itself be an indicator of whether or not the position is a trustworthy prospect. In this same vein, this tip from long-time China resident Gregory Mavrides comes in handy: “Ask to see recent photos of the same apartment you will be placed in upon arrival (not one “just like it”). The quality of the housing provided by the school is the single strongest predicator of how foreign teachers are regarded and how you will be treated by that school throughout the duration of your contract”.

Identity theft

A more serious scam is the issue of identity theft, with many cases being reported over the years. After doing some research, what emerges is that identity theft is almost always carried out at the hands of bogus recruiters. These recruiters collect teachers’ personal information from passport scans, resumes posted online, and visa copies, and sell it on to identity thieves at a hefty price.

The Visa issue

If you’ve worked as an English teacher in China, it’s highly probable that you’ve met one or a few other teachers who were working illegally on a tourist (‘L’) visa. Though this practice has continued throughout the years and many so-called reputable language centers continue to recruit teachers from abroad and bring them into China on a tourist visa, the authorities are cracking down on it. Regular sweeps are carried out in schools, with a heavy fine (of up to 20,000 RMB) for the illegal teacher being the best-case scenario, and deportation the worst. In some cases, the police will confiscate your passport while investigating the case, leaving you stranded in China at the mercy of the authorities. We strongly recommend candidates avoid recruiters and/or schools who offer to fly them into China on a tourist visa – if nothing else, teachers are in most cases required to pay for the requisite trip to Hong Kong to obtain a work visa out of pocket. Make sure your potential employer recognizes the importance of securing a work (‘Z’) visa for you before entering the country to begin working.

If your potential employer is willing to secure a work visa for you before you begin working, you will have a chance to look at the contract before accepting the position. Make sure the contract is signed and chopped, and that the English version is acceptable to you – don’t be afraid to ask for clarification, and keep an original signed copy for yourself.

When in doubt, trust your gut. Contacting current and former employees of your potential employer will give you a clearer picture of working conditions. Do your homework: run a search on any potential school with the keywords ‘scam’, ‘complaints’ or ‘issues’. Arm yourself with information and make sure you pick a reputable school that will respect you as an employee and stick to the terms of your contract. If you use common sense and ask the right questions, teaching English in China can be a breeze.