Foreign Teacher Center

FAQs of teaching in China



Q: I don't have an undergraduate degree. Would I be eligible to apply? 
A: Most programs through ABSG Foreign Teacher Center require you to have a completed undergraduate degree from an accredited/recognized university. However, you may qualify for some of our volunteer programs. Please feel free to apply online, and we can review your application to assess whether you are qualified for available opportunities.

Q: Which certifications am I required to have before applying?
A: Each position has its own specific job requirements. Some positions require specific types of certification (i.e. teacher certification/licensing), and some have specific experience requirements. Unless otherwise specified in the job description, the basic requirement is a Bachelor's degree.

Q: If I want to teach in China, what kind of qualifications do I need?
A: Each position has its own requirements. Generally speaking, in order to teach in the UAE, candidates must have a valid teaching license and at least 1-2 years of full-time teaching experience.

Q: Are the requirements listed absolute, or will they make exceptions?
A: The requirements are established by our international partners, and as such are non-negotiable. Any qualifications that are preferred (rather than required) will be noted as such.

Q: What if I am not qualified for any of ABSG Foreign Teacher Center’s current open positions?
A: You are still welcome to create a profile! ABSG Foreign Teacher Center is always adding new positions to the job board, and if something suitable becomes available, we will be able to contact you if we have your application on file.

Q: I am not a native English speaker, but I speak English fluently. Am I still eligible to apply? 
A: Most of our partner schools prefer to hire native English speaking teachers, but there are some schools that accept non-native speaking teachers. If you are a non-native speaker who is fluent in English and you have no accent, then you are still eligible to apply.


Interview Process
Q: When should I apply for positions with ABSG Foreign Teacher Center?
A: Any time. ABSG Foreign Teacher Center recruits for positions throughout the year. The application allows you to indicate when you are available to begin a teaching job overseas.

Q: Can I apply with a friend?
A: Friends can apply together, though may not be placed in the same school. While some schools will accommodate joint applications, we cannot guarantee specific placements. If you would like to apply with a friend, please make note in the “Additional Comments” section on the application page.

Q: Who should I address my cover letter to?
A: For the initial application, a general cover letter will suffice. You can address your cover letter “To Whom It May Concern”. Should we require a more specific cover letter, we will request this from you.

Q: How does the process work?
A: You can find more detailed instructions on our "How to Apply" page.

Q: Do I have to apply to each job separately?
A: We recommend it, but it is not absolutely necessary. Once you have created a profile, you will be considered for all jobs for that match your qualifications and experience. However, applying directly to the jobs that interest you the most will ensure that your application is seen by a placement coordinator.

Q: Can I apply before I’m done my TEFL Course?
A: Yes. Select “TEFL Instructor” as the category that best defines your qualifications. Then, in the “Additional Comments” section, please tell us you are completing your TEFL course, and your expected completion date.

Q: Can I apply before I graduate?
A: If you are applying to positions as a university graduate, you are able to apply before your graduation date. However, please note that in most cases, you will be required to have your university degree in hand in order to obtain your visa. When you apply, make note of your anticipated graduation date on your resume, and your placement coordinator can let you know whether or not this will affect your application.

Q: Once I have submitted my application, am I guaranteed an interview? 
A: Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. For more information on the hiring process, please visit our hiring process page.


Q: Will I be responsible for paying for my own airfare?
A: Whether airfare is included will depend on the school or position to which you are applying. Some schools will provide return airfare a return flight, some provide one-way airfare, and some will ask you to pay for your own flight.

Q: Can I choose which city I will depart from?
A: In general, if it does not significantly increase the cost of the ticket, you can choose your city of departure.

Q: Will someone meet me at the airport?
A: Most schools will arrange for one of their representatives to meet with you at the airport. In the unlikely case that your school cannot meet you at the airport, ABSG Foreign Teacher Center will assist you in making alternative arrangements.


Salary & Benefits
Q: What is an average annual salary for teaching abroad?
A: Salaries vary from school to school, and country to country. It is important to remember that although some countries have a much higher average salary than others, the cost of living in that country is probably higher as well. When you are calculating how much money you will be able to save, make sure you take into account the cost of living. FYI, please check it on FORM: TEACHING ENGLISH IN CHINA

Q: What benefits will I receive?
A: Much like salary, benefits vary greatly from position to position. Many institutions' benefits include some or all of the following: (the details will be listed in the final contract)

•Round-trip airfare
•Paid national holidays
•Overtime at increased pay rate
•Health benefits
•Allowances (relocation, transportation)
•Family benefits (flight, accommodation, health insurance)
•Contract completion bonus


Q: Will I receive any paid vacation or holiday time?
A: In most cases, you will be paid for national holidays that fall within your working schedule. Vacation time varies depending on your employer and the general standards of the country that you are working in. It is important to note that in some countries employees receive much less vacation time than an average North American employee.


Sick Leave
Q: What happens if I get sick and am not able to come to work?
A: Each contract varies regarding sick leave. In most cases, you will need to let your employer know in advance that you are not able to come to work and you may be required to submit a doctor's note.

Q: Will I get paid for sick days?
A: Different schools have different rules. For instance, most schools in Asia will not compensate you for sick days. However, some schools allow you a certain number of sick days per year, while others have a system in place that allows you to work with your colleagues to ensure that your classes are covered.


Q: Do schools offer free accommodation?
A: Many schools provide or subsidize housing, and those that do not will often assist you in finding a suitable place to live.

Q: If the school offers housing, will I be sharing with other teachers?
A: Accommodation benefits differ from school to school and country to country.  For instance:  the majority of our placements include a single furnished apartment.  In other countries, if shared accommodation is provided, it will be shared with other foreign teachers. In this case, you will have your own room, but will share common areas such as the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and laundry facilities.


Medical Insurance
Q: Do I need to purchase health insurance before I leave?
A: When traveling and living overseas, it is always safer to have your own private health insurance plan. We suggest that you purchase a health insurance plan with coverage for the duration of your entire stay. Health benefits are often included in your contract, but we still strongly suggest a private plan.

Q: Am I required to do a general health check before I leave?
A: Most countries will require you to get a health check before you can be issued a visa. Even if you are not required to get one, we strongly suggest that you visit your family practitioner for a general check-up before you leave for your time abroad. Taking into consideration any adventure travels that you may embark on during your time away from teaching, please make sure that you ask about any specific immunizations that you may need.

Q: Why is a medical required and what happens if I fail?
A: A medical is required by law in most countries in order to obtain a working visa for several reasons.

•The first is for the safety of the population. SARS, the Bird Flu, the H1N1 Virus, and the West Nile Virus have brought the reality of global epidemics home.
•The second is because you will most likely be provided with medical insurance, so they simply want to be certain that you are healthy. They do not want you leaving a week after you arrive due to medical problems.

The consequences of failing a medical depend on where you are and why you fail. If your sickness is curable you will probably be allowed to take medication at your own cost, and then retake the medical.

If you have a more serious illness you may not be granted a working visa.


Q: Will local taxes be deducted from my paycheck?
A: Each country has very specific laws governing how foreign workers are taxed. In most countries, local taxes will be deducted from your paycheck and then at the conclusion of your employment, a percentage of your taxes will be refunded to you. The percentage of taxes returned varies widely depending on the country where you are working.

Q: Will I have any other deductions?
A: You may be required to pay for a percentage of your local health insurance and pension plan. The percentage of the deduction will depend on the country that you are working in, but this will be clearly outlined in your contract prior to your departure.


What can I bring with me abroad?
Q: What should I bring?
A: Packing your suitcase can be a daunting task when there are so many things you need to remember to bring with you on your travels abroad. Visit what to pack to ensure you have packed all of the essentials you will need when living abroad, along with general living items and resources for the classroom.

Q: Can I bring my family?
A: You can, of course, bring your family with you overseas, but there are things to consider before you do:

If your contract includes accommodations, it is probably based on the assumption of single occupancy. You should discuss this with your school’s director. Most likely your school will help you and your family find suitable accommodations, even if they will not pay for them. Depending on the school and the country, they may grant you a stipend to put towards rent.
•If your children need to attend school while you are abroad, you should look into the cost and location of schools prior to your departure. The Council of International Schools will give you information about schools in your destination city.
•In most large cities you will be able to enroll your child into a local bilingual day care. You may also be able to hire a nanny when you arrive. Again, these are questions you will want to ask your contact before arriving.
•Generally your spouse will not be able to work legally, unless he/she also obtains a working visa.

Bringing your family overseas with you is a great opportunity for you and your family to see the world. This could be an especially good opportunity for children to learn another language and culture.

Q: Can I bring my pets?
A: You can bring your pets if you like, but there are several things to consider before you make this decision.

•Your pet should be up-to-date with all shots and vaccinations. Research which vaccinations are necessary for the country in which you are considering working.
•In general, and with the exception of certified service dogs, pets will most likely have to travel in the cargo compartment.
•Depending on the country you are going to, your pet might need an import permit (even for transfers). Check the requirements of both the local government and the airline that will be importing your pet.
•Flying with an animal can be very expensive for you and stressful for the pet. Depending on the airline you might not be able to see your pet for the duration of the trip.
•Most countries will require a period of quarantine. In Taiwan your pet will have to stay quarantined for 25 days. In Japan, the quarantine period is 40 days.

Some schools are unwilling to accommodate teachers with pets, especially in the case of a large dog. Be sure to communicate your desire/intention to take your pet with you before signing a contract.

Contact the embassy of the country to which you are traveling and any country you might be transferring in for more information about bringing your pet overseas.

Q: How much luggage can I bring?
A: In general, you can bring two suitcases and a carry-on. Your suitcases will need to be under a certain weight. It is important to keep this in mind because if your luggage is over the allotted weight, you will have to pay an overweight fee. Check with your airline for luggage policies.


Work Visa
Q: What kind of visa will I need for teaching abroad?
A: For most countries, you will need to apply for and obtain a work visa prior to your departure. ABSG Foreign Teacher Center or your employer will assist you in your visa application process.

Q: What does a work visa look like? Is it a card?
A: Work visas vary by country. It can be issued as a card, or a page or stamp affixed to your passport.

Q: How do I apply for a work visa?
A: If you successfully obtain a teaching position with one of our partner schools, ABSG Foreign Teacher Center or your employer will advise and assist you throughout the visa application process.

Q: Who will pay for my work visa?
A: In most cases, teachers are responsible for the costs associated with obtaining a work visa.

Q: How long will it take to get a work visa?
A: This depends on a number of factors – the country where you will be working, the time of year, the type of visa, etc. Your placement coordinator can provide more detailed information during the application process. Visas can take anywhere from a few weeks to more than a month to be processed. For details, go to Visa Process.

Q: Can I work on a student or tourist visa?
A: It is possible to work on a student or tourist visa; however, this practice is illegal.


Pre-Departure Preparations
Q: What is the Pre-Departure Package?
A: Before you start your job abroad, ABSG Foreign Teacher Center will make sure that you are well prepared for the challenge. Country-specific information will also be provided.

Q: Does this service cost anything for teachers?
A: No. This is a free service for teachers.


Cost for Teachers
Q: Does this cost anything for teachers?
A: No. This is a free service for teachers.