ISAC Program Q&A
Before You Apply
International School Alliance of China or ISAC is a Chinese higher education alliance. Alliance members include universities, public schools and education bureaus;
Through the ISAC teaching programs, teachers around the world are invited to teach at one of our partner schools or universities for 6 months or more.
What we do：
- Recruit foreign teachers for ISAC alliance schools and universities
- Conduct preliminary screening
- Put teachers to direct conversation with each university/school
- Provide visa assistance, medical check assistance, airport pick up, settle in assis;
- Organize field trip, food tour and other forms of activities
What we don’t do：
- ISAC do not work with private sector including training companies or language centers;
- ISAC is not involved with teacher’s salary negotiation; teachers speak directly with each university or school
- Contract signing: foreign teachers sign employment contract with each university or school
The ISAC Foreign Teacher Programs are a collection of teaching programs including
- Hangzhou Public School Program
- ISAC University Teaching Program
- ISAC National Teaching Program
- Suzhou Industrial Park English Course Delivery Program
- Xiamen Public School Program
- Zhengzhou Bilingual Class Program.
- ISAC only work with public schools, universities and eudcation bureaus in China;
- You talk directly with each individual university/school;
- ISAC experience counts: if you wish to explore different parts of China, the ISAC experience and credit you gained at your previous employer will carry to the next one;
You are hired by the school. That means you will sign your contract with the school. ISAC is only responsible for presenting your application to our alliance schools.
You must have heard stories of foreign teachers signing contracts with recruiting companies and then being placed to a school to work (that’s what many recruiting companies do; believe it or not, they take a portion of your salary. So always be careful if you are signing a contract with a company).
We only provide jobs within an educational institution; positions include
1, Language Instructor (English, Spanish, French, Russian, Korean or Japanese)
2, Subject Instructor (Mechanical, Software, CS etc)
3, School Officer (Communication, Grant, Talent Management officers etc.)
Subject include Music, Math, Science Teacher, PE Teacher, History, Art etc
- Submit an application to ISAC;
- C.V. screening and a 15-20 mins preliminary interview with ISAC;
- From the vacancy list, select a list of positions you are interested in;
- Interview with interested schools; (there might be more than one);
- Receive an offer and an original contract for visa application purposes;
- Apply for a Z work visa at a Chinese Embassy; arrange a flight to China;
- Fly to China and start work
*Note that for Hangzhou Program applicants, ISAC will conduct an interview on behalf of Hangzhou Education Bureau, and reach a decision based on your interview performance.
ISAC programs generally start in September or February of each year for the two school terms
- the Fall term(Sept-Jan) and
- the Spring term(Feb-July)
ISAC also have sporadic openings during a term. You can check updated Job Vacancies and apply.
1. As mentioned, your ISAC experience counts! The experience (with positive feedback from your employer) will be very persuasive for other ISAC schools to make you a job offer with better renumeration than new applicants.
2. Move from a smaller university to a more reputable university.
3. Move from a smaller city to a more international city or, sometimes, the reverse way.
For example: Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics (JUFE) is in Nanchang, which is a more in-land city compared to Hangzhou. After teaching in Nanchang for a year or two, you can apply to Fudan University in Shanghai, a more international city with more foreign population; in the meantime you can expect being better paid than other applicants if you possess a positive feedback and recommendation from JUFE and ISAC.
ISAC get service fees from the universities and schools we partner with by introducing teachers to interview with them. ISAC use the income to maintain our staff size, organize activities and help more our partner universities and schools (some in smaller cities and provinces) hire qualified international teachers.
Yes, new graduates make a good part of our foreign teachers team. As a new graduate, you will need to meet the requirements to be eligible to legally work in China.
According to the Chinese work visa regulation, foreign language teachers can only teach their mother language to obtain a valid working visa. So if you want to teach English, you have to be from an English speaking country. If you want to teach Japanese, you have to be from a Japanese speaking country, i.e. Japan only.
Exception can only be made if you have a Bachelor’s degree or higher from a native language speaking country. For example if you have a diploma from a Japanese university, you will be eligible for teaching Japanese in China. If you do not have one, please consider only teaching the language of your mother tongue.
Most of the university teaching positions require a teaching experience of 2 years or more. However, exceptions are given to those with Master’s degree or those who graduated from a top 200 universities of the world.
For some universities in a smaller university or college, the requirements might be lower. That means if you only have a year of teaching experience or just TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate, you might also be considered. Please double check with your recruiter during your preliminary interview.
That is due to government fund regulations on teacher’s hourly pay. The overall monthly salary for university positions is lower. However the hourly pay for those positions is higher because university teachers have less teaching and few/no office hours. University positions are one of the most popular job types among foreigners in China because of the fairly good amount of working hours and benefits (you could expect a good private apartment during your employment); it is also a good experience to write in your C.V.
Yes. You can. You are able to switch to another school/university under the ISAC programs upon satisfactory performance. Current ISAC teachers have higher priority in terms of being considered for a new job within the ISAC programs.
Yes, but the cost needs to be covered by him/herself. We do have teachers who bring their partners and children. However, it really varies case by case. It is possible especially if your partner will also be teaching at the same school or university.
Yes. You will know which city and which school/university you will be teaching before you accept or deny a job offer.
For many ISAC teachers, your employer may not be in Hangzhou. But as an ISAC teacher, you are still part of the ISAC community even if you are not in Hangzhou. When you visit Hangzhou, we will have our staff to pick you up and be your tour guide. Each month we have activities for ISAC teachers to participate. Activities include field trips, group meet-ups, conversational Mandarin class etc. Remember that whenever you are in Hangzhou, please let ISAC know, we will accommodate your schedule and let you have the best experience in Hangzhou. 🙂
Yes, and with satisfactory performance, your salary climbs along with your experience. Promotion is also a possibility with a good reference from your previous employer under ISAC.
6 month is the minimum length, that only applies to some positions. Most other positions are for 10~12 months.
1. Sign a contract with a school, not a company or an agency.
2. Compare salary. If it goes too high, that could be a scam; if too low, that could be a position where agent takes a portion of your salary.
Common Public School Salary Range:
- University: 7,500-12,000/month;
- Primary, Middle & High: 12,000-16,000/month;
- Subject Teachers: 16,000-20,000/month;
Please note that the range above is a general guide for public sectors in China; It can vary depending on your qualification. (e.g. If you have a Doctoral Degree, then you could expect a better renumeration from a university or academic position)
For most teaching positions, if accommodation is not included, a housing allowance of 1,000-3,000 is usually allocated depending on which city you are in. (RMB 1000 for tier 3 cities and RMB 3000 for tie 1 cities like Beijing and Shanghai)