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Recommended time of Departure

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Adrift43, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Adrift43

    Adrift43 New commenter

    Hello everyone,

    Myself and my wife recently were offered jobs working for the same school in Hangzhou China, right now as we approach the 6 month window before our current jobs end and our application for a Chinese visa begins, an often overlooked but important question arises, how long should we wait between finishing our UK jobs and hoping on a plane to start our new China jobs? My wife stops working on the 23rd of may and myself on the 31st of May, our position in China starts on July 1st. Personally I'd like to get out there as soon as possible, but there is the question of our property. We currently own a 3 bedroom semi-detached townhouse and are looking to lease it out. We're going to get rid of our various appliances but obviously will want to keep them up to near the date of leaving. Our new job provides a fully furnished 3 bedroom apartment so lugging white goods over doesn't really make any sense.

    I was wondering if anyone on this forum has experience with moving overseas initially and if they could suggest how much time we'll actually need once we've finished our current jobs, before heading over. We do intend to pack away/sell most of our possessions over the next 6 months. By the time quitting time comes around we should be down to just our fridges, dishwasher, washing machine, couch, bed, other huge things.

    If anyone could suggest a great way of getting rid of such things, that'd be really helpful too! Most of our furniture is charity shop stuff thus we're quite happy to part with it quickly.
  2. lottee1000

    lottee1000 Occasional commenter

    Freecycle is good for getting rid of things locally, and people will come and pick it up from you. Or is it worth leaving in the house for renters?
    In terms of moving to China, I'm very last minute and and enjoy my holidays, so frequently arrive the day before school starts, so probably best not to take my advice! Equally, going too early may be an issue as all existing staff will be on holiday and so you may find settling in difficult in your own. Also find out when the school accommodation is available from, there may be other staff iliving in it until mid June.
  3. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    My current school (not in China) pays us all to arrive 2 weeks in advance. I arrived close to 3 weeks in advance (to sort out accommodation), which was 2 weeks after my end of contract. It was hectic, but two weeks was enough for between end of UK contract to my departure.

    However, I did a lot on advance. I managed to get rid of a lot of things by offering them up on a list at work - teachers moving into the area for September appreciated it and a few colleagues had recently bought houses or had children who had just moved.

    Also, check your local charities. Some pick up large items for free.
  4. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    I had two weeks between finishingfmy job and us flying out to Taiwan. In that time I had to pack up the flat, get rid of things we didn't need and store the rest. We arrived 3 days before the other people and found our new apartment quite quickly. We were in before classes started. It would have been nice to be there a little earlier to get to grips with where things were and find our feet but we did ok in the end. I definitely wouldn't arrive a month early or anything like that. Mostly because everyone from the school will be on holiday and no one will be around to meet you and help you get settled.
  5. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    When we moved to China, we were given information about the earliest we should arrive. It was to do with several factors, including visa dates, staff availability to settle newcomers and availability of accommodation. I don’t think we received this information until February time. Maybe check with your school.
  6. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Most schools in China I know want new staff to arrive 2 weeks before the school opens its doors to students.

    The first week should include a medical for your visa application.

    The school will be expecting staff to arrive mid August so will not be processing your Z visa till July. The Z visa is only valid for 30 days till your work visa is approved and only allows you to enter the country 1 time.

    Schools like to keep all staff works visa on the same date to make it easier to process all visa's in one go.

    So I would email the school and ask them what is the expected due date of your arrival, they are the only ones that can tell you.
  7. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Arriving too early isn't recommended. You'll be alone rather than treated like royalty in your first weeks, and when everyone else arrives, you'll be stuck with a list of activities that are no longer novel or valuable. Or, would have been so much more valuable in your first days.
    As for selling up, best to get started. Organize, prioritize, cull. Lots to give away, lots to sell. It takes time.
  8. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    It's amazing how long it takes to sort through stuff.
    Also, it's a good idea to start scanning resources that you think you might need in the first term/making sure you have digital copies of everything.
  9. mummalea

    mummalea New commenter

    StrangePanda makes a great point - be aware that in China, also, you won't have the same online access to social media platforms etc. So make absolutely sure your external hard drive complements your cloud connectivity...if they'll give you a laptop there that will access the cloud (?). If you can wiggle their schemes of work and get some resources sorted, it will help when the inevitable techie SNAFUs present themselves. Good luck!
  10. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    We ebayed and gumtreed a load of stuff before moving out. We also used Magpie to sell CDs and DVDs we didn't want anymore. Loads still went to charity shops and family members. There's still a few things in our attic: we're very lucky with our tenants.

    As you don't have to worry about finding accommodation, I wouldn't rush yourselves. We arrived in Spain about 16 days before school started, but then we still needed to find somewhere to live and arrange things like bank accounts, a Spanish mobile and stuff like that. You might want to do a few touristy things before school starts, otherwise I agree with gulfgolf - you'll just feel isolated without anything much to do...
  11. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Not only most schools in China, but most schools in general, will/should have an orientation period before term starts and the HR department should tell you when to arrive and how you will be met at the airport and taken to your accommodation. If you want to arrive earlier, which can be a good idea, you may find yourself a bit more on your own as other posters have suggested.
  12. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Depending on country, it’s not even possible to arrive too early, as your visa dates will be tied to your contract dates.
  13. Adrift43

    Adrift43 New commenter

    Thank you for all of the responses! I've decided to email the HR at my new school asking if they can tell me when they are expecting me and my wife to arrive! We do want to do a lot of touristy things before we start up work (Shanghai Disneyland!) so arriving a bit early and having no one else around wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, I imagine.
    Ne11y likes this.
  14. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    When you have a partner with you, even if you're early, it's not so bad because you have each other. It's nice to be a tourist for a bit. There will probably be a limit to how early they'll let you start your visa (my school was 1 week pre-contract) sounds like you have a plan!

    Good luck!
  15. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    When you arrive in China, you need to register with the police within 24 hours. Usually, this is something the school would do for you if you arrive with everyone else. Since you are thinking of coming earlier, check if someone from HR can help you during the summer holidays.

    Then you have 30 days to apply for the residence permit. Before you get this, you need to get the medical done. At my school, we were all booked to have it done two days or so after arriving and then they sorted the permits.

    Basically 30 days is your rule, if you really want to come earlier, then I suggest maybe 2 weeks earlier or so.

    On a side note - don't expect Shanghai Disney to be empty! If you have any Shanghai related questions, feel free to send me a conversation.
  16. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    Did you get any clarification from the school?
  17. Adrift43

    Adrift43 New commenter

    They are recommending middle of July now, which is a bit of a problem as we both put in our notice for the end of May so now we will go 2 months with no income, I guess we could go earlier and treat it as a holiday.
  18. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    Why did you put in your notice to finish so early?
  19. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I don't quite get the connection between your arrival and when your salary starts. Surely your salary starts only once you start working, which is typically stated in your contract, and also typically somewhere between Aug 1 and Sep 1, though other options exist.
  20. Adrift43

    Adrift43 New commenter

    I put it in on the 31st of May because the contract states that my job starts on the 1st of July. I figured a month gap to get everything sorted in the UK and some weeks to settle in, in China was a good idea! Plus the 31st of May is the last day of term at my current school. My current school resumes on the 4th of June, so I would have had to leave halfway through the final term. 31st of May seemed like the fairest thing to do.

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