When to Apply for Schools in China

Teach abroad in China

A wonderful thing about teaching in China is that there are so many different types of schools that you’re bound to find one that’s perfect for you! Depending on your experience and how quickly you’d like to move abroad, you can apply for teaching positions any time of the year. So if you haven’t started your teach abroad journey yet, you can probably start sooner than you initially thought.

Some questions you should ask yourself:

1. When would I like to move abroad?

2. What am I looking for and which type of school would be the best fit for me?

Luckily, we’re here to help you figure this out! Working with a recruiter will allow you to explain what you’re looking for, and then they can let you know more about what schools will be a good option/when is best to apply.

So, what are the different schools and when is best to apply?

Training schools (private language centers)

Training schools are a great option for those who maybe don’t want to wait for the beginning of the school year. They don’t usually require you to have any previous teaching experience so whether you’re a beginner teacher, or somebody who is experienced but would like to begin ASAP, then these are the schools for you. To apply, you’ll need a BA degree and a TEFL certificate.

When to apply:

With these schools there isn’t usually a set start date, so you can apply any time of the year! We would recommend applying around 3-4 months before the month you’d like to start. This will give you time to prepare your documents for the visa as you will need to have them notarized and authenticated by the Chinese consulate.

Traditional schools

There are a few types of schools that fit into this category. These are kindergartens, public schools, international/private schools, and universities. The requirements for these schools vary from a bachelor’s degree and TEFL certificate, to a bachelor’s degree in education, to a professional teaching license and 2+ years of teaching experience.

When to apply:

These schools are all very competitive! So, the best time to apply is as soon as the roles become available! In China, the school year begins in the Fall (August or September) and then the second semester begins in March after the Chinese New Year. Fall openings will start to become available any time after October of the year before the position starts, so pretty far in advance!

The best thing to do is speak with a recruiter in September/October so that as soon as positions become available for the fall of the next year, your applications can be sent. However, don’t worry if you’re a little late to the game! The biggest recruitment drive for schools in China will be from February-May, so even if you do decide you’d like to start applying for international teaching roles later in the process, there will still be options for you!

Spring positions tend not to become available until October/November and they are less common, so it is important to submit your applications fast!

If you have questions about which school is best for you and when is best to apply to that type of school, contact your placement consultant who will be able to answer any questions you may have!

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