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Al Ed

A little advice please :)

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Al Ed

Hello all, new to the board but having been reading through all the information on here over the last few days. However I'm still curious about a few things.

My girlfriend and I are looking to move to China to teach English for at least a year. We both lived in Japan for a year teaching and loved it but we've got bored back home.

She has a BA in Biology so from what I can understand, she'll have no bother finding a job. I only have a HNC (Higher National Certificate) in photography. Will this be a problem when trying to find a job?

I have taught over a thousand lessons one to one in Japan (on a working holiday visa) so I imagine this would help me a great deal.

Also, we're looking into living in Tianjin as one of my girlfriends colleagues is from there. Good idea?

Finally, is there much demand for couples to teach at University's and Colleges or does it make no difference.

Cheers in advance


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The HNC might be OK at some schools who don't know the intricacies of the UK system. Just having a fancy bit of paper with the college name on it might work. However, my school wouldn't do it. The system here is being tightened up.

If in doubt about your qualifications, do a TEFL course or similar. This will be accepted without any problems and one takes a few weeks to complete. In fact there are even online ones that you can do at home. If you get a TEFL, with your past experience, it's shouldn't be hard to find a school in China who will employ both of you. Last year we had a young American couple at our school who did exactly what you want to do. The man had a degree and the woman had only a TEFL cert.

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Al Ed

Thanks for the info!

I did do a one week intensive TEFL course at my local Uni before I went to Japan so I'm hoping that should be enough.

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I can't comment about Tianjin but from my experience in Beijing, if you want to teach at the university level (esp at a first tier university), you need a BA and some sort of TESOL certification. The competition is fierce in Beijing and the gov't is tightening up.

But anything is possible in China, esp at the 2nd/ 3rd tier universities and colleges.

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A little bit of advice for what it is worth.

1. I very much doubt if any University (Chinese or not) will accept any teacher without a recognised University degree.

2. There is a limited demand for teachers of English in Tianjin, but there is a better chance in TEDA close nearby (Tianjin Development Area)

Try applying to Berlitz Beijing. They take potential native English-speaking teachers and give them training in the Berlitz Methodology, and they have several projects with major corporations in TEDA. But contact them only when you get to China. Then send your CV

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