FAQs

General

What countries does Teachola operate in?

We currently have teaching positions all over China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar and Thailand and we’ll be announcing information on upcoming opportunities in other locations later this year.

What type of schools do you work with?

We work with carefully selected partner schools ranging from high end International Schools to Private English Language Academies and public school teaching programmes.

How can I be guaranteed the quality of the schools you work with?

We make a point of visiting every client school that we represent before we make a decision to work with them. This is the same across the board for all of our client schools. This has ensured a very positive experience for all of our teachers whether we place them at an International School in Kuala Lumpur, a Public School in Shanghai or a Private Academy in Beijing!

Does Teachola have positions available all year round?

Yes, we have positions starting every month of the year ranging from beginner ESL teaching roles to Adult teaching roles and ESL Public school roles. We also work with many International Schools across Asia, who tend to hire for February and August intakes every year.

What is the minimum requirement for finding an ESL teaching job through Teachola?

The minimum requirement is a Bachelor Degree from a recognised University in any of the following English-speaking countries – USA, UK, Ireland, UK, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, we cannot represent you if you don’t possess this minimum requirement.

Will Teachola be in contact with me regularly during my teaching contract?

You can take it that we will be in contact with you on a regular basis throughout the full duration of your contract. We are in contact with you through each step of the pre-travel phase and then before you fly out and after you land in your chosen destination.

We will always do our best to have a Teachola representative meet with you after you have settled into your new set up to ensure you are thriving in your new school. Feel free to check out feedback from teachers who have used our services in the past here. View our Teachola Stories.

Can Teachola place myself and two other friends together in the same school or city?

Yes, depending on the details of your applications, this is very possible. For example, we have previously placed married couples together and groups of up to 5 friends together in the same school. If you have friends who are keen to apply, just make mention of this in your initial application and we can talk with you together as a group or separately, whichever is your preference.

Can you recommend a TEFL course provider?

Check out our Courses page, www.teachola.com/courses/ for details of all of the TEFL courses we have on offer. We have been referring our teachers onto these courses now for several years and we have negotiated very competitive prices, ensuring you make a saving while still getting great course content, online tutor support and a globally recognised TEFL certificate. You can find out more about this during our workshop.

What documents will I need for my application?

This varies depending on which country you are going to work in. To get the process started, we will need an up to date CV or Resume which you can upload to our website or simply email directly to us at info@teachola.com. We can then advise you on what else is required and talk you through each of the steps.

Can you provide any tips on how to layout my CV?

Feel free to check out our Teacher Resources  section where you can find lots of tips and advice on how to prepare for an interview, put together a CV and get your visa documents prepared.

Where do you work with schools in SE Asia?

We have built a wide selection of high end partner schools in this exciting region. Currently we have teaching positions available in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam with more locations to be added in the near future. We make a point of visiting every client school that we represent in SE Asia before we make a decision to work with them. This is the same across the board for all of our clients. This has ensured a very positive experience for all of our teachers, whether we place them at an International School in Kuala Lumpur, a Public School in Thailand or a Private Academy in Ho Chi Minh City! For more info on our available positions in SE Asia, just check out our Jobs page, www.teachola.com/find-a-job/ to learn more.

What happens to my application (post interview)?

Once you have had your interview with us, presuming it goes well, we will put together your application, including detailed interview notes, and send your initial application to the client school that we discussed with you during skype. The school will then contact you to discuss potential positions and to set up interview times. Teachola remains heavily involved in your job application every step of the way, so don’t forget to copy us on all written communication and of course assuming you are offered and you accept the position, we will be in regular contact throughout the duration of your contact.

Do you recruit teachers for adult education?

We work with several very established and professional Adult teaching organisations where we have successfully placed many teachers over recent years. The salary and benefits are generally very competitive.

Do you recruit for universities?

Yes, we have university positions each term in different parts of China for those with the right experience and qualifications. These would range from teaching English language skills to freshman students up to specialist subject teaching in areas of business and other specific subjects.

What is the typical salary for an inexperienced ESL teacher?

As each market is very different and salary will also depend on your qualifications and experience, it is difficult to answer this in one go. In terms of opportunities for the beginner teacher, China represents a great opportunity as the salary would be better than in SE Asia and the cost of living is cheaper than in South Korea for example. We have worked with 1000’s of teachers searching for positions in China since 2010 so we know this market very well.

How much will my living costs be in Asia?

This really depends on the individual however you should be able to save a substantial amount each month as long as you are careful with your money. Read through the various articles we have put together over recent years www.teachola.com/myaccount/news-vault. Use our powerful search function to specify the location you’re interested in and you’ll get a great insight into what life is like for a teacher in each place. We also have several interesting articles on saving money in Asia. As cost of living is lower in China than in South Korea for example, you can probably save more there per month based on feedback we have had from our teachers on the ground in China. But ultimately, you can certainly expect to save a decent amount.

Who pays for my flight to Asia?

Generally, you can assume at least a certain percentage of the cost of your flights are covered, unless otherwise stated. You can double check this when you speak with one of our team during your initial skype web cam consultation as it varies depending on different markets across Asia and the type of school.

Will the school arrange a visa for my partner/spouse/dependents too?

This really depends on our partner school. As a rule of thumb, our International School clients will arrange a visa for partner/spouse/dependents, whereas our ESL school clients will generally only arrange a visa for the teacher they are hiring, although there are some exceptions to this, depending on the individual school. If your spouse/partner/dependents is/are accompanying you, you should contact your local Chinese consulate/embassy for the latest visa requirements. Note that these guidelines change regularly, so it’s best to ensure you have up-to-date information.

Can my Criminal Record Check (aka Criminal Background Check or CRC/CBC for short) go out of date?

Yes, your CRC/CBC must be no more than 6 months old (from date of issue) when you apply for the relevant visa through your employer.

If I don’t have my degree certificate, will a transcript of my results suffice?

No, you must have the actual degree certificate (must be in English – if in Latin, it should be translated) prior to applying for the visa. You will need to scan this and email us a copy as part of the process. Our admin team will fill you in on more details after we hear from you.

When the job details specify that return flights are covered, does this mean it is just my flight home?

No; return flights refer to both legs of your journey, i.e. from your place of origin to the country where your new teaching position is and then back to your place of origin once your contract is completed.

International Schools

Which International Schools does Teachola work with?

We work with a wide variety of International Schools across the major cities in China and South-East Asia (Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore). Our client school portfolio is impressive and we have worked with many of these schools now for several years, having visited their campus in person and developed a close working partnership with management teams on the ground for each school.

What are the minimum requirements to be considered for a subject teaching role?

To qualify for high-end teaching roles at international schools, you would need professional teaching qualifications combined with a minimum of 2 years’ teaching experience in your specialist subject area. We also work with several IB and bilingual schools that will consider teachers without professional certification, as long as they have several years of teaching experience along with the relevant major from their university studies. We can discuss this in more detail with you as part of the application process.

Do you hire for Spring term at any of your partner International Schools?

Yes, we place subject teachers and experienced ESL teachers at international schools for the Spring term (usually starting Feb/March of each year), so please do get in contact if you are interested in starting the process.

subject teaching roles do you have available at International Schools?

We have placed teachers from a wide variety of backgrounds to teach their specialist subjects at INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS all over China and SE Asia. Ranging from Early Childhood Development majors to Biology and PE specialists, the list is extensive. Check out our Jobs page, www.teachola.com/find-a-job/ to get an idea of what is available.

How long are the teaching contracts with International Schools?

The majority of teaching contracts with International Schools are 2 years in duration. We do have a selection of contracts for 12 months and some of the more senior roles (department head, Vice Principal, Principal etc) can be for 3 years or longer.

I have a lot of ESL teaching experience - how do I make the jump into an International School?

We work with several high-end private schools, catering for local students, who use one of the recognised international curriculums, e.g. the IB curriculum. We have placed many ESL teachers into roles teaching subjects corresponding to their major of study. The in-house training is excellent and acts as a bridge for teachers who want to upskill and gain a professional teaching qualification at a later date. For example, if your major of study is English Literature and you already have several years of ESL classroom experience, we could help you find a position teaching at one of these high-end schools. Check out our Jobs page, www.teachola.com/find-a-job/ for more details.

Courses

What are the prerequisites for taking Teachola online courses?

Students must be at least 18 years old and there is no upper age limit. If you are a non-native English speaker you should have an excellent command of the language.

How long does it take to complete the course?

Participants usually require 9 to 12 weeks to complete the 120- and 150-hour online course but some have completed in less than 4 weeks. The in-class course is two days in duration completed over a consecutive Saturday and Sunday.

How often will I be able to contact my tutor/trainer?

At any time during your course by email. For any general assistance required, your trainer will respond to you within 48 hours, from Monday – Friday. Assignments require feedback from your tutor and they will respond within 5 days, Monday-Friday, with assignment feedback.

How will I be assessed on the course?

The 120-hour and 150-hour course have a grammar and final test in addition to assignments to be completed throughout the course. Assignments must be submitted to your tutor who will provide feedback and grade your work usually within a period of 5 days. Assignments consist of a range of tasks, for example lesson plans and analysis of classroom management situations.

How do I get started?

Upon receiving payment for your chosen course with Teachola, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to access your course material and commence learning. You can access the material 24/7 from any location, provided you have a stable internet connection

Does the certificate expire?

Certificates do not have an expiration date. You should always keep your certificate stored safely as proof of your TEFL qualification.

China

What documents do I need to submit in order to apply for a visa for China?

You will need to email the following: 2 reference letters (signed and scanned) and scanned copies of your passport, degree certificate, TEFL certificate and CRC. You will also need to bring the originals of all these documents with you to China. Check out China Visa Information www.teachola.com/myaccount/visa-info for more details.

Do I need to pay a deposit towards my rent?

Some of our client schools provide housing that you can move into on arrival, while others provide a monthly stipend towards your rent. In most cities in China, when you move in to a new apartment, you may be required to pay 2-3 months’ rent plus 1 month as a deposit plus an agency fee. In most cases, the school can help out with this and can lend you an interest free loan if required but it helps to have some extra money with you at the start to cover these expenses.

Does the school cover the costs of the visa?

Generally, work visa costs are covered. Initially, you will pay for the visa expenses at your end but keep your receipts and you will then be reimbursed when you arrive in China.

Do I need to have a medical check-up before arriving in China?

You will be required to have a medical check-up before your contract starts. This could be in your home country or upon arrival in China. Some schools will cover the costs of the medical examination and will reimburse you for the cost, so please make sure you keep the receipts and bring these with you.

Is a TEFL course required for teaching in China?

You will need a TEFL certification in order to qualify for a teaching visa in China, however, the number of hours required does vary from province to province. We recommend 120 hours as this would meet requirements across all regions.

Check out our Courses page, www.teachola.com/courses/ for details of all of the TEFL courses we have on offer. We have been referring teachers onto these courses now for several years and we have negotiated very competitive prices, ensuring you make a saving while still getting great course content, online tutor support and a globally recognised TEFL certificate. You can find out more about this during our workshop.

What is the working week like in China?

It is generally a 5-day working week. In the case of public schools, it is usually Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm. With private schools it’s different to what you may be used to in the West but is very much the norm in China. Teachers will have two days per week but may work one day on the weekend and 4 days mid-week, but this can vary. Working hours can vary but the amount of total working hours is usually less than public schools; approximately 25-35 hours, a lot less than the typical set up in other markets like South Korea for example, where you would be expected to teach longer hours.

How many days’ holidays can I expect in China?

For 12-month contracts in private academies/training schools, you will usually get around 10 days holiday plus all Chinese public holidays, which end up being substantial. It can vary and be a little more; it will depend on the contract. In the case of public schools, you will get 1 month paid vacation in January/February in addition to all public holidays. For International School positions, you can expect lengthy summer and winter paid vacation.

Can I teach in China if I cannot speak Chinese Mandarin or Cantonese?

Yes, of course. Many of our client schools are fully aware that you are arriving without any formal language training, and for this reason, to help you, they will usually provide free language classes. In many of our Language Academies, English will be the only language that students are allowed to speak, as this is their sole purpose for being there. Some schools will offer free Mandarin classes a few times per week which will be totally optional but we highly recommend you take advantage of it. It can be very useful to help you get by in day to day living and also looks great on your resume if it is something you intend on pursuing.

In China are schools located in just one city location?

It varies; many of the schools for which we recruit will often have several locations in the same city or in other nearby cities. They will generally be quite central, close to all amenities and transport links such as subway, bus service, etc. For many of our International School clients across China, they will usually just have one large campus in a very good location in the city.

In China, which city is best to teach in?

In the West, most people will have heard of Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen or Guangzhou, which offer a true melting pot of culture and all the hustle and bustle of exciting city life. These days, many teachers are beginning to take notice of other locations which are often located very close to other major cities. In many cases they are incredibly beautiful and historically rich with sprawling lush green areas. They will often have a vibrant young population, with many universities and many expats already living there. These cities have excellent shopping, great food, fantastic outdoor activities and a more laid- back quality of life than the larger cities. Here at Teachola, we have made it easy for you to find out more about out places like Chengdu, Xi’an, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou. Check out www.teachola.com/cities/ for more info on these cities and many more!

What is the cost of living in China?

The cost of living is generally very low in China. In many cases, the cost of your accommodation is covered by the school. In some cases it is not, but your salary will be much higher if that’s the case. You can pay under $400 p/m if you are sharing with another person. Apartments are generally quite spacious. Some excellent food from a street vendor can be as low as $0.50, a good three course meal about $10, a local beer as low as $0.50. Buses or metro rides are under $1. A high-speed rail ticket to a connecting city of several hours duration can be as cheap as US$10 with regular train fares being half that again. You will have enough money for eating, socialising and travelling and can often have a decent amount of money to save each month.

Who will pay for my flight to China?

You will need to book and pay for your flight to China. If it is stated as part of the contract that your flight is paid for by your school, then the cost of your flight will be reimbursed. This can often be in two payments. For example, the first payment will be made after 6 months and the second will be made upon completion of your contract after 12 months. Flights cannot be paid for up-front by the school in the event that teachers are unable to travel at the last minute.

South Korea

Do I submit my original degree certificate as part of my E2 visa application?

No, you are required to submit a notarised, apostilled copy of your degree certificate.

How do I apply for my E2 visa to teach in South Korea?

Visit our Korea Applications page for more details. We have included detailed information for all of the 7 eligible countries (USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand), just look through the dropdown menu for your own country specific information.

How much money should I bring when I come to Korea?

This is down to your own personal preference, but we recommend that you take at least $250 cash with you to cover the first couple of days. You will not be paid until you have worked about 1 month, so you will need to have access to about $500 – $1,000 to support yourself until your first pay-check.

What qualifications do I need to teach English in South Korea?

The basic requirement for teaching English in South Korea is a Bachelors’ degree, but having some teaching experience and a TEFL certificate (or equivalent) will help greatly. Other markets we work in throughout Asia offer a wider variety of teaching options, especially for beginner teachers. You can discuss these options with our placement consultants during our virtual workshop.

Is a TEFL course required for teaching in South Korea?

It is required for public schools (100 hours minimum is necessary), but not for private academies (hagwons). However, we do recommend it is undertaken where possible, given the competitive nature of the Korean market, as these days most applicants have at least a 120-hour TEFL.

Check out our Courses page, www.teachola.com/courses/ for details of all of the TEFL courses we have on offer. We have been referring teachers onto these courses now for several years and we have negotiated very competitive prices, ensuring you make a saving while still getting great course content, online tutor support and a globally recognised TEFL certificate. You can find out more about this during our workshop.

Is it possible to apply with/share accommodation with my partner?

Yes, it is possible, although the best option is usually to look for teaching positions near each other and share accommodation by taking the housing allowance rather than the allocated apartment (which tend to be small). For EPIK public school roles, couples must be married to apply for joint housing but again, a housing allowance can be taken instead.

Can you choose your location for EPIK/public school applications?

You can specify your preferred location on the EPIK application form, but this is at the discretion of the Education Office. It will also depend on places available, so the key is to apply at the start of their application process to maximise the chances of securing a preferred location (as they operate on a first-come, first-served basis).

Can I take short leave during my teaching contract for family commitments (e.g. weddings, etc.)?

This is not feasible during a standard one-year teaching contract; holidays are limited to the stipulated allowance (normally 10 days for hagwons), but of course this can be discussed with your employer and they will make an informed decision.

If I re-apply for an E2 visa, do I need to submit new documents?

You will need a new CRC (apostilled) but you can use your previous degree certificate (i.e. only the CRC has to be renewed).

How long can I stay in the country once my visa has expired?

You should never overstay your visa as it will definitely incur a fine, and may interfere with your ability to get future visas for Korea. These days, the Korean Immigration Authority is giving about 2 weeks after your contract ends during which time you don’t need to be employed.

How many days’ holiday will I get in South Korea?

Standard vacation time for a Korean hagwon (private academy) is 10 days per year. This may seem short but Koreans often only get 5 and sometimes don’t even take them. For public school positions, you will get 22 days’ vacation.

Is it possible to get sick leave and compassionate leave from your job?

Sick leave is generally frowned upon in Korea unless you need medical attention. Most employers provide a few days of paid sick leave. Employers will generally give you a week for the bereavement of a close family member as you will probably need to return to your home country.

How easy is it to set up a bank account, transfer money home and apply for a credit card?

You will need to be in possession of your Alien Registration Card before you can set up a bank account. Once that is done, you may also set up a bank transfer to your home country. Money remitted must not exceed your monthly salary. It may be difficult to apply for a credit card as a foreigner but it is possible. Samsung, Hyundai and KEB all provide a service for foreign nationals.

How do I get set up with a cell/mobile phone in South Korea?

You won’t be able to sign up for a phone plan in Korea until you have an Alien Registration Card. You’ll also generally need a Korean credit card unless you buy the phone outright. Also, there aren’t any ’Pay as you go’ options. It can be a frustrating experience. The best thing is to have a Korean co-teacher sign up for the plan and have the money come out of your bank account, or try to find one of the very few outlets that cater to foreigners. You won’t find them by looking on the high-street; search for them online.