China University Teaching -- With a Four-year Degree

by Clair Lasater
(Shandong Jiaotong University, P. R. China)

I did not plan this. Ostensibly, I muddled into it. But surely, I feel, the Lord worked it. I'm now in year eight of teaching college and university in the Peoples Republic of China.

I've taught at Hainan University, Ling Ling University (now the Hunan University of Science and Engineering), Shunde Polytechnic, Peizheng College, and others (although a four year degree does it, I do have a Ph.D).

Allow me to summarize just how to begin this C. V. enhancing career of teaching spoken English overseas at universities in China.

1. Get a passport. (Easy to do.)
2. Find colleges or universities that appeal to you, and apply to the foreign affairs offices, or international offices, at those schools. Their e-mail addresses can be found on each school's site. If you want to save time try (this site contains a list of about one hundred colleges and universities, along with direct contact e-mail addresses).
3. After you receive a letter of invitation from a school you like, take it to the closest Chinese consulate or embassy. They will affix a visa into your passport. This visa allows you to enter China (There will be a small fee to pay at the consulate or embassy).
4. Catch a non-stop jet into Shanghai or Beijing. Take bus, train, or air, to your school (Many schools will pick you up at the airport and drive you to campus).

Here's what you can expect to experience at a Chinese public university: You'll get a salary -- usually 4,500 to 5,000 yuan each month. You’ll have a private, unshared apartment. Teaching hours per week will be 16-18 per week. There will be no office hours. You will teach in English, therefore the schools won't expect you to know Chinese.

Clair Lasater has taught English at the Beijing Youth Political College; and as professor, at Zhangjiajie College of Jishou University, Ling Ling University -- (now the Hunan University of Science and Engineering), Shunde Polytechnic College, Maoming University, and Hainan University. He lectures, currently, at Shandong Jiaotong University.

Comments for China University Teaching -- With a Four-year Degree

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Jan 28, 2012
Public vs Private Universities in China
by: Mark (Admin)

Thanks for the article Clair. I have a few questions about teaching in universities in China.

Do you have any experience of private universities in China? How do they compare with the public universities in terms of hours, salary, and the types of students?

I'm curious about why you took a PhD? I'm guessing it's in a TESOL related area? Is having a PhD useful when looking for work in China?

Jan 28, 2012
Teaching at universities in China
by: Mark (Admin)

To clarify my last question. Is a PhD useful when looking for teaching jobs in universities in China? In Taiwan now, most universities ask for a PhD in TESOL/applied linguistics or in English literature. Is it moving in the same direction in China?

Jan 28, 2012
To answer Mark's questions.
by: Clair

Hello Mark,
To answer your questions the best I can:
1. I've worked for two private colleges here.
Both paid a bit more. Other than that, the
experience was very much the same as at a
public university. All is quite low-key here at every college or university.
2. A Ph. D. quite often will get you 500 yuan
more than an M. A.; an M. A. 500 yuan more a
month than a B. A. or B. S.
My Ph. D. is Christian.
3. China seems to me, to not be moving toward
a need for a Ph. D. The P. R. C. has so many
universities and colleges.
I feel the P. R. China system better, in
that the hiring is very much more relaxed and
truly immediate. Almost always, there is no
paperwork to speak of.

Apr 16, 2015
Guiding info
by: Forrest M. Sullivan

I really wanted to send a small word to say thanks to you for the fantastic points you are writing on this site.

Sep 03, 2017
Thank you, Forrest.
by: Clair Lasater

Hello Forrest,

Thank you for that kind observation. I
apologize that it did not occur to me, before
now to thank you,


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