How to Work in China as a Non-Native English Teacher After the Pandemic
Hello everybody, Liza here and I'm super happy to welcome you to this ITTT live session. It's a bit of an unusual time to meet because my sessions are usually on Tuesdays and today is Saturday. Anyway, I'm super happy that you could make it. Today's session is going to be slightly different because we are going to talk with my good friend about teaching in China. I know that many people are interested in this topic, so stay tuned because in a moment he will join me to talk about working in China and stuff like that. If you guys have any questions, feel free to ask them via the comment section. As for the timing for today, we are going to talk for around 60 minutes. I hope that we will be able to discuss all of the main points and then have a short Q&A session after.
Watch the live session here
I can see that more people are joining us. So today's topic is devoted to working in China as a non-native English speaker. My friend is just about to join me to discuss it, but just before that let me know guys where you are from and what stage of your teaching career you are at.
Hello guys, good morning. It's actually early here, it's about 9:00 a.m. What about you, what time zone are you in? I am in Yekaterinburg, Russia as many of you might know because we've been meeting since last year and we have got to know each other pretty well. My friend is located in Tianjin, China and he has been teaching there since 2015 so he's pretty experienced in all things related to China and teaching as well. So stay tuned if you have any questions on the topic of China. Let's ask my friend to come in and he'll introduce himself.
So hi Eugene nice to see you, it’s been a long time. Let's see what the first question is. So when did you first come to China and how did you get a job there?
I flew in in 2015, so it's been six years since I landed in China. I spent a couple of weeks in Beijing, the capital of China, and I got a couple of job offers from there. But I found Beijing a little overwhelming, it's a massive city of 20 million people so it was a little too much. I got a second job offer from a little town in the province of Tianjin which is called Eco-City. It's a project developed by Singapore and China to be a green place. I love the atmosphere there. I had some friends in China prior to getting here, I actually had my brother working in China before I landed, so that's how I got my first job. It was word of mouth, I got my job by referral.
So you see it actually depends on your networking, it is easier to get a job if you have friends here. If you have a chance to get a contract directly with a school, bypassing the agents or any third party that would be the ideal scenario for sure. Right now I'm referring a lot of my friends, they constantly contact me asking if I know anyone who has an opening. We have created a community where as teachers we help each other, trying to avoid agents, that's what we do.
That's awesome. So who are the agents and why are they so bad?
I'm not here to judge and I want to be as nice as possible, but they're not my friends and they are often not the nicest people. I can appreciate what they do, we're all out there to make some money, but I guess there are ethical ways to make money and unethical ways to make money. I will put them in a box where they're trying to make money by walking all over your face, all over your head, they have no moral obligations.
So what's their part of the job process? Say you are going to be a teacher, what are they going to do for you?
They are in contact with different institutions like kindergartens, high schools, training centers. So they contact the school or the school contacts them asking for a teacher. The agent says, okay I'll find you a teacher, I'll take care of your documents, I'll take care of the visas and you will pay the salary to me. So the agent gets the salary of the teacher. The school pays the agent then the agent pays the teacher. That's how most of the agents operate.
Is it easier for teachers, especially for non-native teachers, to get to China through an agency?
A hundred percent yes. It's easy to get a job through an agency, that's why a lot of people choose to go through the agents because the application process to get the proper legitimate visa it's not easy. There is a stack of documents that you have to submit online, you have to verify documents and hands down the agents do a great job taking care of the documents. That's what they do, that's why they are so pricey at the end of the day. If you're a first-time visitor to China, if you have no experience in how to deal with the documents and the immigration process, agents do help.
Okay, so that's good to know. Here's where we move on to the next question. What are the requirements to get a work visa and all other documents to get into China legally?
I like that you say legally. We're not going to discuss the ways to get here illegally. So let's talk about the legal process. China is huge, there are many different provinces and the fact is that every province has its own regulations and rules when it comes to hiring foreigners. For example, the province of Beijing will have this regulation, while the province of Tianjin where I'm at right now, they will have some other regulations. The general rule is that you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree, it doesn't have to be in languages, it can be economics or anything. Also, you need at least two years of experience in the field of teaching and a teaching certificate such as TEFL with 120 hours plus on it.
China is well known for changing the immigration laws. They have the party gathering I think three times a year and immigration laws get updated all the time. For example, a couple of years ago having a bachelor’s degree and two years of experience was enough to apply for a visa, but now a TEFL certificate is a must-have. You cannot apply legally for a job if you don't have all that.
Right, so that's super important to know because many people want to go to China without any experience, without any education, and they still expect that they are going to get a lot of money and not do that much.
I'll be honest, that was the case let's say five years ago when I first got here. You were able to get to China at the age of 19 without a degree, without any experience, without any TEFL certificates, just speaking in decent English because the demand was there. The demand was there pretty much for any foreign nationality to be in the classroom in front of the kids delivering the class. That was the case five years ago. But every year gradually they filter the stream of foreigners that flows into China by making the rules more strict.
So we're talking about legal stuff, as I said before you need a degree, a TEFL and experience and if anyone says otherwise they're lying to you. If somebody says, hey no worries we'll hook you up, it will not be legal. My advice is if you need to know what the requirements are go to the government website, that's the only resource you need to have in order to get the full picture. I think we will have some links later on for that. I think we will do that after the session in the comments to this video on Facebook and YouTube. We will get all the links because as we said all the provinces in China have different rules.
I'll give you an example. Just last week I was in this group chat and these two individuals are having an argument. One individual is saying it's impossible to get a visa to teach in China, another individual is saying well I'm in China and I'm on the work visa right now. Then the other one is saying well I'm in China also but I cannot get one, it's against the law. Then I look at their resumes and profiles and I realize that one is from Shanghai and the other is from Chiang Chong. So they are both right, the one is saying that it's impossible to get a teaching visa in Shanghai which is correct, you cannot do that. The other is from Harbin and she can get the visa. So that's what I'm trying to explain.
Are you talking about non-native speakers or native speakers?
I'm talking about everyone. It actually doesn't depend on your origin, native speakers and non-native speakers have equal rights one hundred percent.
Okay, that's interesting to know. Before we move any further is it right that schools can specify that they only hire native speakers on their website?
That is right. The province where you're applying for a job will have it on the government website. For example, it might say if you want to obtain an English teaching position you have to be a native speaker from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the UK, the US. That's the case a lot. In many provinces in order to become an English teacher let's say in early childhood education, so I'm talking about kindergarten or primary school, maybe it's not a requirement right now. You have to go to the government website and you have to read into that. But, yes work visas are possible for non-native speakers a hundred percent. I'm on one right now. That's the most important point I believe because many people still can't find a solution on how to get to China just because they are a non-native speaker or they don't hold those passports from native speaking countries. But it's actually not like that, so as I said before do your research.
I'm sorry I'm bad with geography, I'm not sure how many provinces are in China but there are many and each province will have its own regulations. In some provinces like Beijing for example, it will be challenging to get a work visa for a non-native speaker. But again, it will be challenging to get a visa that will say English teacher, it doesn't mean that you cannot get a visa that will say teacher. That's a difference too right?
That's right, so guys the number one rule about going to China is do your research before you apply for jobs. Make sure you go to the government websites and check all of the requirements related to the provinces you are considering because there are a lot of them and if you choose the biggest ones like Shanghai or Beijing it can be challenging.
That's correct. For example, if you're dealing with an agent and they say, hey don't worry we'll get your visa no problem in two weeks. You want to ask your agent, can I please see some proof, can I please see some government articles to support what you are saying. Can you please send me some links. If the agent ends up sending you some articles from WeChat that are blurry and from 2015, ignore that, you have to let that person go. They just want to make money or if they're saying, oh I can't find this article right now but I'll send that to you tomorrow, I have to double check it with my friend, if you're hearing any of that noise you don't want to be a part of this.
If you still want to go to China and you ignore the rules, you don't get a work visa and you find yourself in China illegally, what might happen?
Well, they have a range of penalties for working in China illegally or being in China illegally. It goes anywhere from a fine, I think you pay 500 rmb per day for overstaying your visa, to deportation or even incarceration. They can lock you up for 30 days in a Chinese jail.
Let's move on to the next question which is pretty close to the first one. As a non-native speaker what were some obstacles you faced during your first year in China? Actually not just the first year, at any time.
I can't recall any teaching wise. When I got my job everyone knew that I'm not a native speaker, so I didn't try to say listen I know this, I've been there, I have this diploma, I have all of that. I was pretty honest about my experience, about my resume, so I didn't have to prove that I was a native speaker or non-native. I think the only obstacle, not even an obstacle but it gets a little dicey, is when you come to communicate with parents. Unfortunately a lot of parents are not as educated as we wish they were and they have this presumption that an English teacher needs to be from America or Canada, which is far from the truth. Because as non-native speakers we have learned English from the age of seven maybe or eight or six, going from abc, so we know how English works. We know the challenges that a child might experience while learning the language. There have even been studies done by a respected body saying that non-native speakers are actually better at introducing language to a child at the first stage. So other than talking to the parents it doesn't really exist.
As far as I remember some schools try to make you lie about your origin, is that right?
Oh that's right, please don't do that, please don't do that again. Let's say the school tells you you’ve got a job and you start on Monday, but when you get approached by the parents please make sure you tell them that your name is John and you're from Kentucky. So don't do that, be honest. My advice is to be honest in China, they don't like lies, they can see right through you. Avoid lying because lying is something that they have no tolerance for and sooner or later it will come up. Because there's a lot of educated Chinese and if you tell them hey I’m from Watson in the US, they might ask what street you lived on, it just doesn't make any sense. Be proud of where you come from, be proud of your nationality and prove that you are a hard worker. Show them the results of your work, that's what you have to do. The most important thing is to prove that you are educated, not that you are a native speaker.
Moving on to the next point. How did you prove that your English was good because that's actually what parents and schools look for. Not necessarily a native speaker, but a person who can speak well and whose pronunciation is neutral.
Let's say you got a job at a kindergarten or primary school. Once you have that job with a one year contract work hard. You know what I mean, you show up early, leave late, make sure the parents see that, make sure directors see that. Provide extra resources for the parents, work hard and show that you care at the end of the day. You have to prove to a child that you're a good teacher. The best proof that you're a good teacher is the child coming home and saying hey mommy you know teacher Eugene, I love that teacher he's great we're having fun. Then the child says some words or sentences that's the proof right there. This is the best approach probably and this is the kind of attitude that every non-native and native speaker should have because in my experience I have met so many native speakers who just came into a classroom doing some stupid things like singing twinkle twinkle little star during the day but because they were native they were judged slightly different.
The problem is that China overlooked this and they let native speakers in without having to have a degree. A few years back if you had a blue passport from let's say the U.S or Canada you are welcome, but nobody asked, hey have you been involved in education, have you taught at all? No one asked those questions so when the teacher shows up in the classroom they have no clue about classroom management. The classes are terrible and the kids understand nothing so make no progress. The parents can see that. I understand that John is from the States but my child learns nothing. Now Chinese parents and Chinese schools understand that being from a native speaking country is not enough, you need to be an educator, you need to have had some training.
Just a quick remark, if you are a native speaker don't think we just blame you for that. The point is everyone must be educated and experienced in the field because it's just not enough to be from somewhere, it's also about your qualifications and experience. There are also people from non-native countries that are just as embarrassing. I guess what I'm trying to say is that in China they do value formal education before you enter the classroom. You need that training regardless of where you come from.
I just want to say that there are many people watching from different places around the world like Pakistan, Illinois, California, and Haiti. It's so cool to know that we are global. Thank you guys for coming to this session, we appreciate it and we hope that this live stream is going to be valuable and you'll find it helpful.
As for myself and Eugene, we are in different places right now. I'm in Russia and Eugene is in China and if you have just joined us we are talking about China and all stuff related to it. Eugene has been working there since 2015, so if you're interested in this country and in working there just stay with us and you'll find out everything you need to know.
Right, let's move on to the next question. I believe that we've already discussed how Chinese companies understand your qualifications, but let's just quickly talk about salaries.
What is the approximate salary range in China?
I’ve seen salaries anywhere from 5,000 rmb per month up to 50,000. The range is wild. Salaries always vary all over the world, so what does it depend on?
So again we could go back to the conversation we had about agents. When you're working for an agent the chances are you're only getting maybe half of what you should be getting. I said before, working through an agency the agent generally ends up collecting your money first and then they pay you a percentage. For example, the agent gets 100% of your paycheck and then decides that you deserve 60%, that's what's happening. So again, I try to work directly with schools with no agent so you get direct paychecks. If you're working directly with a school, let's say the first year you should be getting anywhere from $2,500 U.S, so that's anywhere from 15,000 to 17,000 rmb per month, that should be your bottom line. If it's less than that I would reconsider.
Okay, thank you so that's also important to know. What about benefits, are there any benefits provided by employers?
Again it depends on the school. You can negotiate the benefits or sometimes it will be in your contract. In my case, I get a round trip airfare paid once a year. They cover $1,500 so I can get that reimbursed. I also get paid vacation and medical care.
So does it mean that your employer is interested in you staying there longer?
Absolutely, yes. Chinese parents do not like it when a school changes teachers, they want consistency. They want to make sure that their child goes to school and has the same teacher for years and years ideally. Because as we said before, if a child gets used to a teacher and then for some reason the teacher ends up leaving, that child needs to adjust to a new accent and a new attitude, nobody wants that. So definitely, the employer is trying to make sure that teachers stay. It's actually also about building trust and a relationship. One year is not enough to do that in many cases.
Okay, thank you and what's next. Let's get to the interesting topic of the pandemic. So did the situation change compared with the time before the pandemic?
Yeah, things have changed for sure, it's been quite a journey. It depends what you want to know. A lot of things have changed obviously, like the way we teach and the amount of teachers in the school. What do you want to know?
For example, when the pandemic started did you stay there or did you go back to Russia?
Actually I went to Thailand for 10 days and I'm on the beach having some beers and I hear the news about the pandemic happening. I thought for a minute and decided to cancel my hotel and I flew back to China on the second day, so I cancelled my entire trip. A couple of weeks later they shut down the borders and a lot of my friends ended up staying all over the world, they couldn’t make it back. So for almost five months I was the only teacher in my school. We used to have nine foreign teachers, but for almost five months it was just me. We were obviously online teaching so my house became like a studio, with microphones and lights and cameras, it was a different experience for sure.
What about those who couldn't come back?
Well they're still not here, the school just stopped the contracts with them. What happened was that everyone was supposed to be back by the end of February 2020 and although the school is not open everyone is still getting paid. The school encouraged them to send a video to show that they were outside of China, but everyone was getting paid. Then when China realized that the borders won't be open anytime soon it kind of doesn't make sense to keep waiting for these teachers to come back. So they just stopped paying them and the contracts were cancelled. The employer actually acted really professional and tried to get everyone to come back but many didn’t listen and it was too late.
My school's been around for almost 17 years and we have 12 campuses across China, so it's a good school. They do take care of their teachers and as I said there were four months in a row where they were paying full salaries to teachers who weren't even here. I'm not saying that was the norm though. Let's go back to the agent scenario and the agent says, sorry no work, bye. That's right, I had teachers who had zero money, they couldn't go back home, they were making zero income, they were suffering. That was really sad. I'm talking about teachers who are married and have kids. It was exactly the same situation for both native and non-native teachers, it doesn't matter, we all live under the same sun.
The next question is, what is the demand right now? Before the pandemic it was very high and just about anybody could find a job there, but what about now?
The demand has been high for years and it is still there. Training centers, high schools, kindergartens, they are all crying out for teachers, they desperately need new teachers but the problem is the educational sector, the government, and the immigration office are not necessarily on the same page in terms of how many people to let in. What are the regulations for letting people in in times of a pandemic? That is what makes it a little bit challenging because right now the government has issued the documents saying that if you want to reapply, if you want to get a work visa, the first thing you need to do is get a vaccine. A Chinese vaccine only. So if you decide to go to China and you want to apply for Chinese documents you will need to have had a Chinese vaccine. I'm in China and if I want to go see my parents in Russia, if I want to be hosting my friends in Canada, if I want to fly back having the residence permit and the work visa and let's say I forget to get myself vaccinated, that’s it, there's no way around it, it’s bye, bye Eugene.
If there is a law the law enforcement take care of it, we abide by that law. This is the way they regulate everything and China actually functions effectively like this. Since last February I have been catching up constantly with friends in the US, in Russia, in Ukraine, Canada, and Europe and I'm just following how the countries deal with the pandemic and what are the rules in terms of quarantining and stuff like that. China has impressed me a lot with real advanced strategies in order to fight it. A lot of people will argue that there is no privacy because of your WeChat and all those thousands of cameras, well you know what, I'm okay with that. I'm not breaking laws, I don't mind if my face is on a thousand cameras at the same time, it's pretty safe here.
The last question I would like to ask you is, what are the best ways to find jobs in China?
There are government websites, private websites, WeChat groups, WeChat is huge in China, so pretty much that's your social media platform where jobs get posted, where people exchange news. Linkedin will also be a great way to find a job because it is a legitimate source. I mean if you find a job on Linkedin you can trace the contacts and see where the job is coming from. I would suggest that you do your research. For example, you feel like flying into Nanjing or wherever so you go online and find a list of kindergartens, primary schools, universities, and go to their websites and they will have an email you can use to contact them. Try that, I mean do some work because everyone else is looking for a job fair where they can just show up with their resume and have five job offers right away.
If you want to find a solid position the best approach would be to create your perfect resume, write a cover letter and then send it directly to managers at particular schools. Try to get as close as possible to the school itself, bypassing any third parties because you have to understand that if you're dealing with agents they're getting stacks of resumes from all over the world, especially now when no one is flying. They are just waiting for the borders to open up, they’ve already packed their suitcase, they're good to go, it's all over the world right now. So you want to bypass that. If you find the school that you want to be involved with, try to find the community of teachers who work in that city. Just say hey, I'm not currently there but is anyone working there, do you guys have any connections with the management? Start there.
By the way, on our website teflcourse.net we have a job section where job offers are posted constantly. They are mostly posted by direct employers, but sometimes some of the job offers are from agencies. Make sure you go to the website and check out that job section. Right now you guys can see this QR code somewhere in the right corner of my screen. If you scan it with your cell phone you can get directly to the ITTT website where you will get a 30% discount off any ITTT TEFL course. I just want to send the direct links there as well, so you can see it in the comment section right now. So if you want to see the job section on our website, just follow this link and you will find everything you need.
I just wanted to add something. Back to the agents thing. I used to deal with two types of agents and the most common is when the agent decides to take care of you and then pretty much you sign a contract with the agent for a year then you sign another contract with the school for a year. The agent ends up collecting your salary, so that's one type of agent. There's another type of agent that's not very common but it’s the one you want to have in case you want to go with an agent. Some agents collect a one-time fee. For example, the agent might say, hey you know what Liza are you looking for a job? Yes I am. Well there is a job so what's going to happen is I'll hook you up with that job but I will need let's say 50% of your salary equivalent.
Let's say you're applying for a job that pays 20,000 a month and the agent says I'll get you the job, I'll help you with the documents, but I will need a one-time payment of 10,000 rmb. Once you get that job that is sent from your first salary. It might be 50%, it might be 100%, or it might be 30%, it depends on the agent. But it's a one-time thing, once you pay that money there is no further obligation to the agent. That's the agent you want to have, that's normal practice. It might sound like 100% of your salary is a lot but it happens only once. The agent did the job right and then you will never see him again. So if you're dealing with an agent, asks about the conditions because different agents have different conditions. Are you going to be with me for a year or do I just have to pay you once?
All right, thank you and let's just move on to the Q&A section. This is where you guys can ask Eugene any questions you have, so make sure you type them into the chat box right now. I can see several questions there so let's address this one. Can this person apply for jobs in China?
As I said, when you see a job description it's the job’s minimum experience required. You can send a letter and say my name is this I do not have that experience but I have this qualification, would you consider me. You need to be honest, because every employer is looking for the ideal candidate. They might want to have someone with a masters with five years experience, but they know that the reality is it's never the case. Every employer is flexible. What I'm trying to say is if you don’t meet the requirements listed on the website or job description still contact the employer and ask about flexibility.
From your point of view what's the best type of resume they want to see? Is it experience that they want to see?
Yeah, anything related to the position. If you read job descriptions you can try to get some of that job description in your resume before applying. You just need to make sure that your resume follows the requirements from the job description. One question might be are you good with kids, can you sing songs? In this example you don't want to write, I've been doing some plumbing for the last couple years, I'm a great plumber. They want any kind of relevant experience, so stay close to the job description. But as I said before, don't lie and be realistic.
So how does the interview process work in China?
It depends on the company. When I got here I had a three-stage interview. I had two phone calls, the first was a quick chat with someone from HR. Then two days later I had another. In this day and age it would most likely be a Zoom or WeChat or some kind of conference call. If you pass one stage you go to another. You should also be ready to record a one-minute self-intro video and if you can you should record a demo class, maybe five minutes where they can see you interacting with kids, that helps. If you say my name is Eugene and I've been working with kids for 10 years, words don't matter as much. Instead of wasting your time I have a video handy, I'll send it right to you.
If you don't have this experience working with kids what would be the best way to approach the job application process?
That was me right there five years ago. When I came to China I was a translator by trade. I'm a Russian English translator and I flew to China from Canada and what I said was, listen I have never worked with kids but my job was to translate so my job was to make people understand each other and I believe that I can make it happen in the classroom. So I just showed up full of enthusiasm and said you know what, I think I love kids, I don't have much experience at the moment but give me a chance. I guess show them that you have some passion for the industry.
Did you get any training, any specific courses or whatever?
Since I landed in China I have finished five different courses all about child communication. I'm constantly trying to look for something new.
By the way, Eugene is also our alumnus as he finished the 120-hour TEFL course.
I did, it was three years ago I think, something like that. Again, it's super important for the visa application. If you guys want to get a work visa you will need that. I can tell you a little story about that. The reason I needed that certificate was because I did already have one that I did online years ago but the immigration bureau wouldn't accept it. They said we need a paper, something that we can hold in our hands, so the one I had online simply didn't work. So I ended up working with these guys, ITTT, and then I got a certificate and that's what I submitted to the application center in Beijing and it worked no problem.
I just want to quickly show you what our certificate looks like. It actually has a special number, this number is super important for the job application process because employers and embassies will probably want to check if it's valid. Some people make a fake copy using pictures from the internet, so for the sake of avoiding that they can check our certificates on our website.
Let me tell you something about fake copies. Six or seven years ago if you wanted to get a work visa for China you could just get hold of a printer and a computer and you could all of a sudden have a master’s degree from New Zealand. Or maybe you're a doctor from Kentucky or whatever, anything worked. But now it’s a bit different. Every application is online, so you're submitting your documents online and if you decide to submit something fake then it is very risky as the times have changed. The immigration officers they do the job of cops, they take care of that and make sure you have the legit documents. Don't play games with the Chinese government.
Here is the next question. What are the questions asked in the interview, did you get any specific questions?
They want to know if you're the right fit for the job because they're really concerned whether you will be able to work with kids. Are you patient, do you know how to play with them, do you know how to calm them down, do you know how to solve problems, do you know how to make sure that your classroom is safe? You have to understand that the industry here has one major concern when it comes to early childhood education and that is safety. When parents send their kids to a training center or to grade one or two kindergarten they want to make sure the child is safe, so they do ask a lot of questions about that. You should be prepared to tell them a story about your previous experience with kids.
What's the age of the kids you've been working with?
Since I've been here I have taught from toddlers of two years to eight, nine, and ten. I did kindergarten, I did primary school, I did middle school. My primary job right now is in kindergarten, so I'm teaching five and six year-olds. I also do grade one and grade two on a part-time basis. I also did some training for Air China, it was like a temporary thing. So we taught flight attendants and stewards. It's actually possible to work with adults here as well, not only with kids. You can work with oil and gas companies, the airlines have a big demand.
What about online opportunities, are there any online teaching jobs in China available for people who actually stay somewhere else?
There is but I think this market is a bit overcrowded because right now there are not too many in-class teachers working. The market was overcrowded before the pandemic as well because you have a lot of part-time teachers from across the globe. I had some friends from the States doing that at night time. I had some friends from Italy doing that and to be honest with you I'm not really interested in online teaching. I didn't do a lot of research but from what I heard the wages are not that great, but I'm sure there's still opportunities out there.
Before this session we had a lot of other live sessions related to online teaching and that's actually my huge interest. I created many videos related to teaching online and if you're interested you'd better check out the previous videos because there are actually a lot of opportunities to get this experience.
If you guys don't have any further questions for Eugene we will probably wrap up this session because it's been one hour already and I think that we are all pretty busy. That was super interesting to chat with you, thanks a lot Eugene and once again if you guys have any further questions there is actually an option to address your questions in this chat box. I'll go back to them later and we can actually create a blog post with some other questions related to China and working there. Feel free to ask.
We'll certainly be willing to help for sure because I've been here for years and I know there's a lot of misinformation out there. People can easily get confused, is that true, is that not true? So if you have any questions we'll try to help as much as we can. There is one last question I would like to address. So as for the differences between an online TEFL certificate and an in-class TEFL certificate, there is actually no major difference because you get the same amount of training. If your certificate has this 120 hour thing that's enough and the certificate actually doesn't state that you took it online. You just prove with this certificate that you finished that training and you have it, that's all.
I think the answer she's looking for is you want to have a hard copy right? If you finish the course you want to have a hard copy in your hands that you can take to the immigration office. Well, it doesn't matter where you spend your hours as long as you have the paper itself in your hand. I know that many providers don't issue a hard copy right now, but you always get one with ITTT. I had a friend who decided to obtain one of those online certificates and when it came to getting the actual paper the company said they had gone green so you have to download it yourself. There's the link, download it for free and then it goes right to the Chinese immigration office. He wanted to extend his visa and he's trying to say that the guy told me to go green but they didn't understand that at all. Going green is actually a great strategy and I believe that TEFL providers save a lot of money avoiding issuing those hard paper certificates, but that's something that is just not applicable to some job markets like China. Maybe it's okay in Korea or Japan, but in China you need to have the paper as they love to stamp documents.
Thanks a lot for this huge interview, it's been fun. And guys thanks so much for coming to this session. In some places it's still early morning and somewhere it's late at night, so thanks a lot for spending this hour with us and I hope to see you again next time. Just to remind you that I go live every Tuesday, today was a bit different. Have a good day and if you still have any further questions feel free to ask them in the comments to this video and I'll go back to them later and try to address every single question. See you next time, bye.
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