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Job offer in China - help

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by lpbray, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. lpbray

    lpbray New commenter

    Dear all,

    In the last 2 days I have been offered a job teaching in Shenzhen. I posted my CV and statements online in December, before the Corona Virus and pandemic was declared.

    The school have assured me that they will assist with the visa process and that the school will be open and ready to start in August. My concern is will I be able to get there?

    I am looking for some advice as to whether I will even be able to travel to HK in July? Is anyone else in this situation? I'm starting to worry that this may not be the right time to go and teach abroad however I had my heart set on it since having the interviews, the school sounds amazing, the package, work/life balance etc.. but am I being hasty?

    Any advice would be really appreciated.

    Thanks you
    lianaanthony likes this.
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    My advice, ipbray, is to read the TES Conversation that has been sent to you by a smelly old hippopotamus, who just happens to have taught in Shenzhen for five years.
    lpbray likes this.
  3. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    No one can give you any advice as there is no one on here that has any knowledge of when the borders will be opened. They are merely just guessing.
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, yes, it is true that the decision will be made by the Chinese authorities, not by a wrinkled old hippo. However, my friends in Shenzhen tell me that life is slowly returning to normal and so it does seem quite likely that schools will re-open by the end of August. If people are coming and going in and out of Wuhan, then the re-opening of the borders for international travel is probably going to happen, sooner or later.
    rhenium1963 and lpbray like this.
  5. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    If the school are assuring you that they want you there in August, and are ready to invest time and money in the visa process, it sounds like you would be ok to continue along that road. Nobody knows yet what the travel situation will be like in the summer, so nobody can promise you'll be able to travel. But you sound very excited about moving abroad, and it would be a shame to postpone it unless you have to.

    I imagine international schools will be finding it difficult to recruit new staff for the coming academic year, as many people will be thinking it's not the right time to be moving abroad or changing jobs. Your school have hired you because they need a new teacher, and they will want to keep you. If travel restrictions mean you can't get out there in July, I think they will wait for you... and after all, if you can't travel then nobody else can either, so what other options do they have?!
    hannahmgw and rhenium1963 like this.
  6. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Bottom line if you are employed in a UK state school at the moment and you have not resigned then don't do that before May 31st. Nobody has the faintest idea when China will re-open, so don't shoot yourself in the foot and leave yourself out of employment unless you can afford to for a potentially extended period of time,
    edwardkariuki and Duraz like this.
  7. lpbray

    lpbray New commenter

    Did that work?
  8. lpbray

    lpbray New commenter

    Hi Kartoshka - yes the head emailed me last night and assured me that once the contract is signed I will be paid even if there is a delayed start date which was hugely reassuring.

    I was planning on handing my notice in on May 31st anyway just to be cautious.

    On another note my other concern is leaving without saying goodbye to the staff and students. If the lockdown is extended then I'll be leaving in July. Do you think schools will reopen this term or next? I'd hate to leave without saying goodbye properly to all.
    skitty123456 likes this.
  9. NineInchSails

    NineInchSails New commenter

    I just accepted a job in China last week. For personal reasons I had to take this year off and was looking back in December/January with no bites from schools I was really interested in. I decided to stay in my home country and get a (non-teaching) job here and as corona got bigger and bigger I believed that was the right decision. However, just as I was to start a job here everything shut down and that offer is on hold indefinitely. Because I was overseas before this year, and never actually started that new job I am not receiving any government support (Canada) at the current time and things are getting very tight. So about 3 weeks ago when Chinese schools started emailing me for interviews I decided I was in no position to turn down opportunities and went ahead with a few of them. One turned out to sound like what I was generally looking for (always some compromises, though). I didn't really have anything to lose by accepting the offer, so I took it.

    I've lived and worked in China before, so I actually know the process and have many of the documents ready to go and we've even started some of what we can. Even though it's a different city, I've visited it before and feel comfortable with the idea of living there. It's just the status of issuing visas that worries me, as everything is on hold now. Like the OP's new school, mine has assured me that even if things are delayed I would be employed and paid starting in August. I'm not sure how much I trust that, though. I'm not going to depend on it should this visa freeze last through the summer. So we sit and wait.

    A couple of jobs I had applied to and was in the process of interviewing/testing for before things went to hell just contacted me in the last couple of days and told me I'm on the list for the position depending on how the economy and their businesses make out of this pandemic. So we sit and wait for that as well.
    rhenium1963 likes this.
  10. shazzamac

    shazzamac New commenter

    Be aware, getting INTO China is the difficulty. Currently impossible.
    You will probably have to do some sort of quarantine. Check if this is in your apartment or a hotel, or govt facility. And check who will pick up the check for that! Look out for an app you may need to complete 14 days before flying...apparently if you don't, you'll be denied boarding.
    Getting to HK won't help you get to Shenzhen. I know someone who waited out his 14 days quarantine in HK and still can't cross to Shenzhen. Having to give up and go back to US.
    Not quite 1 country!
  11. kunlang2011

    kunlang2011 New commenter

    Foreigners on visa are not allowed to enter in China now, and I do not see any sing that this ban will be lifted soon. Wait unit at least July to see if there is any change.
  12. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I do not see how a school can offer a contract now "in good faith" as there is no indication of when or if foreigners will be allowed into the country.

    There will of course be a paragraph in the contract saying it will only be valid once a work visa had been issued, so read the small print.

    A very mixed picture on recruitment going on in Shanghai schools, some have simply stopped, others are continuing to advertise but are having no applicants and others are continuing as normal. Schools that have a poor record of staff treatment and numerous reviews on the I $ R seem to be suffering the most with current recruiting and rightly so.

    Before signing the dotted line on a contract make sure you clarify what the situation is if China remains in lockdown in August?
  13. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    A Ford Anglia school in GZ reopened today - just seniors I hear but I will put up more news as it comes in. Is this a turning point?
  14. phoenix-xx

    phoenix-xx New commenter

    Welcome news but not particularly significant. Senior year groups in international schools in other provinces (e.g. TIanjin, Jiangsu, Zhejiang) have already been open for at least a week. Each province in on a different timetable.

    Local schools in Shanghai have opened today for the equivalents of Y10 and Y13. Has anyone had a confirmed opening date for a proper international school in Shanghai?
  15. Jason_Bourne_

    Jason_Bourne_ Established commenter

    No school in China can give you any assurances about borders being open by August. Schools can assist you all they want with helping you to a visa but as a foreigner you are currently not allowed in China. Furthermore, the Chinese visa centers are closed in the UK, so you have no chance of getting into China at the moment. Schools are simply providing assurances to ensure they have enough teachers when/if borders are reopened.
  16. shazzamac

    shazzamac New commenter

    G10 and 12 tomorrow.
    G9 and 11 next week
    G4 and up, May 18.
    As long as your school meets covid requirements and inspection.
    Same for local and international schools. I know coz I'm in an international school that is opening!
    lpbray likes this.
  17. lpbray

    lpbray New commenter

    The headteacher advised they had their inspections and passed around 2 weeks ago. They have also assured that the contract stands including pay even if there is a delayed start date so that is good news at least.
  18. nikki2482

    nikki2482 New commenter

    Not to scare you but the exact same thing has just happened to me. I signed a contract for April, just before they booked flights the head confirmed I would be paid even if I couldn't fly. We went into lockdown 2 weeks after that. Their response- a new contract for July.
  19. Jason_Bourne_

    Jason_Bourne_ Established commenter

    How did the new contract differ from the contract that you signed in April?
  20. smith_jack823

    smith_jack823 New commenter

    Hey Ipbray,

    I'm in the same position as yourself! I also have a job offer in Shenzen for this coming August. I'd love to know if we'll be going to the same school. I have similar concerns as you and will be following this thread, but give me a message if you'd like to talk more to someone in the same boat :)

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