ISAC Program Q&A

Before You Apply

International School Alliance of China or ISAC is a government certified recruitment firm. We work with universities, public schools and education bureaus in China to hire foreign language teachers to work in China.

Through the ISAC teaching programs, teachers around the world are invited to teach at one of our partner universities for 6 months or longer.

What we do:

  1. Recruit foreign teachers for ISAC partner universities and schools
  2. Conduct preliminary screening
  3. Put teachers to direct conversation with interested schools
  4. Provide assistance/direction including visa application, medical check, airport pick up, resident permit application, settle in etc;
  5. Organize activities including orientation, field trip, food tour, Chinese lessons etc.

What we don’t do:

  1. ISAC does not work with the private sector which includes training schools or language centers: ISAC receives funds from government budget, thus we only work with fully-public and semi-public institutions.
  2. As a trusted recruiter, ISAC does NOT decide teacher’s salary; your employer (a.k.a the school) does. Your salary and benefits is NOT affected wherther you are introduced by ISAC or not;
  3. Contract signing: foreign teachers will sign employment contract with your host school, not with ISAC

The ISAC Teach in China Program is a program that ISAC works with our partner  universities and schools to hire qualified foreign teachers to work in China. Our programs include:

  • University Teaching Program
  • Hangzhou Program
  • National Teaching Program
  1. ISAC is certified by SAFEA (State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs);
  2. ISAC is recognized by our partners including Hangzhou Education Bureau and top universities like Fudan University, Zhejiang University etc;
  3. Your application is sent directly to the hiring office of each university/school you are interested in after your first round interview;
  4. Good package which include salary, accommodation, vacation pay, travel allowance etc.;
  5. Airport pickup at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport or Shanghai Pudong International Airport;

You are hired by the school. That means you will sign your contract with your host school. ISAC is only responsible for taking in C.Vs, screening and conducting the first round interview.

We only provide the following types of jobs:
1, Language Instructor (English, Spanish, French, Russian, Korean, Japanese etc.)
2, Subject Instructor (Mechanical Engineering, Software, Computer Science, Math, Music, Medicine etc)

  1. Submit an application to ISAC;
  2. C.V. screening and a 15-20 mins first round interview with ISAC;
  3. Interview with interested school or schools;
  4. Receive job offer and original contract for visa application purpose;
  5. Apply for work visa (Z visa) at a Chinese Embassy; arrange a flight to China;
  6. Fly to China and attend ISAC Orientation before the semester starts
  7. Start work

*Note that for Hangzhou Program applicants, ISAC conduct the final interview on behalf of Hangzhou Education Bureau, and reach a decision based on your performance.

ISAC programs generally start in September and February of each year for the following 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. School: your ISAC experience (with positive reference from your school) is decisive if you want to apply for a  position at a prestigious university ( e.g. Fudan University);
2. Role: Move from a general teaching position to a managerial role;
3. City: Move from a smaller city to a larger city

For example: Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics (JUFE) is in Nanchang, which is a more in-land city. 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.

There is no fee on teachers during the whole application process. The only fee you need to pay for is the authentication fees of your degree and background check, and the visa application fee paid to the Chinese embassy.

During your first round interview, you will be asked for a self-introduction and some generic questions about your experience, degree etc. The second interview you will face more specific questions which may include classroom management, teaching methods etc.

You will also have time to ask questions you may have on ISAC and the school. It’s advised to prepare your questions beforehand. For any specific questions regarding accommodation, cost of living, size of classroom etc, please have them ready at the second interview with the school.

For each intake we recruit about 20-30 new foreign teachers; new teachers will be able to meet up with each other during the orientation before each term starts. The next orientation will be held in Aug, 2019 in Hangzhou.

 

Application

No, you can not get a work visa without a university degree. Honestly, you do not wish to work illegally in China. It’s not worth the risk.

Yes, new graduates make a good part of our foreign teachers team. As a new graduate, you still need to meet the general requirements to be eligible to work in China.

According to the Chinese work visa regulation, foreign language teachers can only teach their mother language to obtain a work 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 are made when you have obtained a Bachelor’s degree or higher from a native speaking country. For example if you have a diploma from a Japanese university, you will be eligible for Japanese-teaching in China though you don’t hold Japanese citizenship. If you do not have a degree like that, please consider only teaching the official language of your home country

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 degree in the education field.

For some universities in a smaller university or college, the requirements are lower. That means if you only have one year of teaching experience or TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate, you will still be considered. Please double check with your interviewer during your first round 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.

Honestly it all depends. We provide as much information as you need to make a fully-informed decision.

For example, Nanchang University, a very good university in China and the best in Jiangxi Province, but it is lesser known to the foreigners because Nanchang is not Shanghai (about 3 hours by high speed rail). If you are looking more on academics and students quality, NCU is definitely better than many colleges in Beijing and Shanghai. But the city is less international, less westernized. If you choose NCU, then you should expect a less westernized but still convenient life in Nanchang. (Nanchang is the capital of Jiangxi Province, a city with 5.5 million people, 2 subway lines and 3 more to come, but still it is an inland city and has fewer foreigners)

For primary and secondary schools, you need to work from Mon-Fri. For most university positions, you will work about 3-4 days a week.

Yes, but only upon satisfactory feedback from your current employer.

Yes, but the cost needs to be covered by the teacher. 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 be teaching at the same school or university.

Other Questions

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 our 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. We have various activities for ISAC teachers to participate for each semester. Activities include field trips, group meet-ups etc. Remember that whenever you visit Hangzhou, please let us know. 🙂

Yes as long as you have a satisfactory feedback from your host school.

Most positions are for 10~12 months. 6 month is the minimum length, and pleasse note that 6 month positions are very limited.

1. Sign a contract directly with your employer, not with 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: 6,000-10,000/month;
  • Primary, Middle & High: 12,000-14,000/month;
  • Subject Teachers: 14,000-18,000/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 provided depending on which city you are in. (RMB 1000 for tier 3 cities and RMB 3000 for tie 1 cities like Beijing and Shanghai)

Visa Document

Please refer to work visa page

No, you don’t have to, but it is advised you have them ready or at least apply for them while applying for a position with us.

Admittedly teachers who have the documents (criminal backgroud check and diploma authentication) ready have advantages over those who do not, especially when a semester is going to an end. That’s partly because schools think foreign teachers who have them ready are more willing and dedicated to work in China than those do not (which sometimes may not be true). Plus it excludes the possibilites of delays and uncertainty.

Unfortunately you are not able to. China has a more strict regulations on age limit now than a few years ago.