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Advice on leaving a teaching post


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I'm seeking advice on behalf of a friend. She recently went to China for a 10 month teaching contract and quickly realised that it wasn't for her. She advised the agency of this and that she wanted to return home as soon as possible.

She's located in a small town 9 hours drive from the airport, and feels dependent upon the agency to get her back to the airport city.

The agency had taken her passport in order to get a temporary resident visa. This has still not been returned. Is this normal?

They are also trying to insist she signs a new agreement with the agency regarding repayment of visa / flight costs. She's prepared to repay this money, but is not happy at being pressured into signing an agreement at this stage.

She's also learnt that the agency has not yet informed the school that she is leaving.

Can anyone advise how much of this is normal in China / options for dealing with a difficult situation.



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There must be some public transport to the city that the airport is in. If she has no Chinese, you would just go to the bus or train station with the characters for the city written on it. There may even be a direct bus to the airport. I'd be surprised if she is actually trapped at the mercy of an agency, although she may feel like it. Also, if she really wants to leave, im sure she could find someone willing to drive her all that way for a fee.

Has she just arrived recently? If so, then yes, the school (or agency) would need her passport to apply for her "residence permit". Assuming this is a legitimate job, it shouldn't be a temporary residence permit. The process can take 2 or 3 weeks normally but it could take more or less time.

The agreement sounds like they just want to cover their backs with regard to getting money bac. I would at least read it before worrying about it to much.

The real problem is her passport is at the PSB (presumably) so she has to wait until its back. I guess the agency would then have her passport. If she didn't want to sign the agreement, she could just say something like... The day you give me my passport back, is the day i'll repay you for visa/flight costs. Make a trade.

Alternatively, she could find out where the passport is. Try and go and get it back herself.

The agency hasn't informed the school because the school will no doubt not be so pleased that the teacher they paid the agency to find is leaving so soon. The agency will likely want to try find a replacement if they can before even telling the school.

Maybe she should join this forum.

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