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 longer.

What we do:

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

What we don’t do:

  1. ISAC do not work with the private sector including training companies or language centers;
  2. ISAC is not involved with teacher’s salary negotiation; teachers speak directly with each university or school
  3. 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
  1. Certified by SAFEA (State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs);
  2. Complete salary package: you will speak with your placement school for any employement details including salary, accommodation, vacation pay etc.
  3. Additional service (ISAC teachers only): Airport pickup at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport; Free Food Tour and City Tour; Free Visa Document Translation Service; Employment reference from your placement school at the end of your contract; Commercial Insurance for foreigners in China.

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

We only provide the following types of jobs:
1, Language Instructor (English, Spanish, French, Russian, Korean, Japanese etc.)
2, Subject Instructor (Mechanical, Software, Computer Science, Math, Music etc)
3, School Officer (Communication, Grant, Talent Management officers 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 (might be more than one);
  4. Receive an offer and an original contract for visa application purposes;
  5. Apply for a Z work visa at a Chinese Embassy; arrange a flight to China;
  6. 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 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 is your visa application fee and ducoment authentication fee.

ISAC work with Chinese education bureaus, universities and schools. ISAC’s role is to C.V. screening and conducting the initial interview. The final interview is between teachers and schools. It’s advised to prepare all your questions during your interview with the school.

 

Application

Yes, new graduates make a good part of our foreign teachers team. As a new graduate, you will 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 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 Japanese-teaching in China. If you do not have one, please consider only teaching your home language

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 a year of teaching experience or TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate, you will 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.

Yes. You can, but only upon satisfactory performance with 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 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 goes up along with your experience. Promotion is a possibility with a good reference from your previous employer.

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

1. Sign a contract directly with your employer, but 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)