What do I need to do when I move to China?

When coming to China you will have a handful of important things you will need to take with you to make sure your transition is as smooth as possible. In this page, we look to answer the key questions we are asked by international teachers to give you a good insight into some of the things you may need to prepare. we look at the legal requirements, things you need to pack, items your need as soon as you arrive, and other useful items that will make your life transitioning into becoming an international teacher that little bit easier.

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Understand the VISA requirements

The first question we will explore is understanding the visa requirements. There are prerequisites by the Chinese government for international teachers to work legally In China as a teacher. From obtaining a bachelor’s degree and going through the legal process, to have a teaching qualification, there is a lot involved. However, this is not a complicated process. We have put together a thorough guide that can best position you to apply with confidence that you will be employed legally and be properly registered within your locality upon arrival. The Z-VISA is just a tool to allow you to apply for your work and residence permit when you arrive in China.

Sanshui International Languages School (8)

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What should I pack for teaching in China?

When packing to come to China, you may want to bring a lot of home comforts. We suggest trying to pack just what you need, to allow you to have lighter and cheaper travel. It is important to consider that Chinese living is not too different from yours. You will be easily able to access comfy duvets, pillows, kettles, toasters and other things you would expect to have in your home. If you are a big fan of biscuits or tea brands, we suggest packing plenty. Whilst you will be able to access local Chinese tea, sometimes there is nothing better than drinking your home brew. Try going to Taobao and using the other apps we recommend downloading before you arrive, to understand what’s available in China for you to buy, so you can prioritise the most essential items. Make sure as well to unlock your phone so you can get a Chinese SIM.

When you arrive in China, you will not have a Chinese SIM card or access to a Chinese bank account. This will take a while to organise as you need to have the school you are going to teach at help you organise the necessary documentation, so you can apply. Therefore, we at HiredinChina recommend either bringing your home debit card with you to use at an ATM or bringing cash with you. The amount you will need depends on which city you will be teaching in. By buying through Taobao, you need a debit card.  

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What clothes should I bring to teach in China?

For clothes, what you ultimately bring all depends on where will be teaching in China. From teaching in Guangzhou and Shenzhen that will feel like summer most of the year to many international teachers, or teaching in Harbin, famous for its ice festivals, you will need to do some research before determining suitable clothing options. One thing we can recommend, however, is bringing trainers (especially if you are a kindergarten teacher). Being a teacher is a very active career, from which you will be moving around a lot, so a great pair of trainers are highly recommended. Remember, if you are going to somewhere that is hot, and you are fairer in skin tone, be sure to pack sunscreen, as this may be difficult to come by in shops, but will be accessible online.

City information – Hangzhou

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Your FAQs

We’ve put together a Resources Page to answer your most frequent questions. From Saving Money, to Getting Your Z-VISA, we have gone into detail there.

Your school will apply for your VISA for you to work directly for them. We’ll be with you every step of the journey. We’ve created our own VISA Support Page. Remember, the VISA you’re applying for is a Z-VISA.

You will have a minimum of a one-year contract, that will be full-time. You can save a lot of money teaching in China, and we’ve put together more information for you to read.

When you are directly employed by the school, they will offer you insurance. This means private level care. Be sure to check your contract for sick days.

You will have to go through your bank to legitimately send money home. To do this, follow the steps they give you. Your school will help support you and will be able to translate anything you need.

That is fantastic news! Not speaking Chinese is great for your students, as you will be able to immerse them in English more. We’ve also put together an Essential Mandarin Guide, and Benefits For Learning Mandarin when you’re exploring.