• General FAQ
  • Teaching
  • Internships
  • Volunteering

General FAQ

How long is the application process?


The first thing is to send a CV & Cover Letter to us for consideration, specifying which program you would like to apply for. You may then be invited to a Skype or telephone interview.  After the initial interview, we will begin narrowing down the placement options in accordance with your stated preferences.

What’s the closing date?


You can make an application at any time. Placements begin all year round on the first of every month.

Is there a salary?

The teaching programs are all paid positions, while for internships most partner companies give a monthly stipend.

So there is no application fee for the teaching program; what's the catch?


Unlike our competitors and all gap-year companies, we do not ask for a specific fee from our applicants. The income we receive is usually from our partnerships with the Provincial Education Authorities, who routinely provide fees to recruiters. This policy is inkeeping with our ethos that the journey out to a job in China should be as economical and hassle-free as possible.

What happens once I’m out in China? What support do you offer?


Applying through Middle Kingdom Group is just the beginning of your journey out East-wards, but we will be with there every step of the way to answer any queries you may have both before departure and during your time in China. What’s more, our extensive network of contacts developed in China itself means there is a team of partners in each of the provinces in which we are active, who will meet you and are available to contact any time.

How do I get a Chinese visa?


Every partner school offers a working visa, which is usually sorted at least a month before departure. The partner school needs to send a Foreign Expert’s invitation letter by mail after the employment is processed, with which you can apply for the visa. It costs around 1000RMB, depending on factors such as the type of visa and your preferred speed of delivery. There are several agencies which assist in the process, such as CITS (the Chinese Government Travel Agency) who will help process the visa and save you the queuing, although it’s also possible to do it directly at a Chinese Embassy to get it sorted in person.

What’s this about a Medical test?


A pre-employment medical check is standard for anyone starting a job in China, even for the Chinese. We will send you the relevant form, and you should get the basic parts signed off by a doctor or nurse in the UK. You’ll be able to deal with the slightly larger items, such as the X-Ray (can be expensive in the UK), during your first week or so in China.

What about insurance?


As is the advice for most travelers, you’re advised to buy some travel insurance cover before you leave for China. Many insurance companies now have packages tailored for those working abroad. In the event of something happening, you would no doubt find it much easier to deal with someone at a British insurer rather than speaking to a Chinese company. If you are really unable to purchase cover (for example, if you’re already out of the country), your school will be able to provide basic medical insurance.

When will I be expected to be in China?


For the teaching programme, the semesters are the same as in the West, and the new term begins at the start of September. However, it would be an ideal start to your year in China to spend a week or so adjusting to the country and perhaps taking in a bit of the country, before going onwards to your teaching location or our Orientation Week. Internships, meanwhile, generally begin year-round at the start of each month.

What if I don’t like my life in China?!


While the term ‘culture shock’ has become something of a cliché, it’s true that almost everyone experiences some degree of it in their first few weeks in a new country. It’s part of being human. Mixed in with the initial trepidation will be a bombardment of the senses in some of the most interesting foods, smells, people and sights you have probably ever seen. While the vast majority of people grow to love it, if you decide it’s not for you then we will always be at hand to address any issues to the best of our ability by telephone, email, skype, or in person with our colleagues on the ground in China.

Is it still hard to use the internet in China?


There is still censorship over some aspects of internet use in China, and accordingly China has its own version of many Western websites. However, most foreigners use various online tools to continue browsing just as they would at home.

Submit Question


Contact Details


Office Address:
No.422, Siming South Road
Xiamen, Fujian Province, China


Teaching FAQ

How long is the application process?


The first thing is to send a CV & Cover Letter to us for consideration, after which you may be invited to a Skype or telephone interview. Then, when your place is confirmed, we advise new teachers to send their supporting documents so the placement school can start processing the employment. The bureaucratic process on the Chinese side will then take a few weeks, after which the school can send an invitation letter in the mail. It is with this letter that you can apply for a working visa in your home country. The length of the whole process varies depending on when exactly you submit your application.

What’s the closing date?


You can make an application at any time. Chinese semesters start in September and in February, but in some circumstances some positions may become available at other points in the year, or midway through each semester. The normal deadline for September positions is 30th June.

How much is the salary?


Salaries vary depending on location. Our entry-level teaching positions in Hunan Province start at 4000yuan per month. This translates to around £400, but that tells only half the story. Teachers in Hunan province often spend the equivalent of £1 a day for all meals. It is no surprise therefore that many come to July having accumulated a healthy amount of savings despite having lived a very comfy life while in China.
Additionally, the exchange rate improves year after year, which translates well for foreigners working in China: just a few years ago it was 15yuan to £1, now it’s dropped to around 10yuan (check out xe.com for changes in rates). This may be set for an even bigger jump if China revalues its currency.

When will the flights be reimbursed? How much will be reimbursed?


For all participants of the main teaching program, return flights to China will be reimbursed by your school in one of two ways: either in two installments, (halfway through the contract and at the end) or added on top of your salary each month, up to 6000yuan in total. This is of course dependent on completion of contract. For the short-term summer program, schools are unable to reimburse flights.

So there is no application fee for the main teaching program; what's the catch?


Unlike our competitors and all gap-year companies, we do not ask for a specific fee from our applicants. The income we receive is from our partnerships with the Provincial Education Authorities, who routinely provide fees to recruiters. This policy is in keeping with our ethos that the journey out to a job in China should be as economical and hassle-free as possible.

What happens once I’m out in China? What support do you offer?


Applying through Middle Kingdom Group is just the beginning of your journey out to the East; we will be with there every step of the way to answer any queries you may have both before departure and during your time in China. What’s more, our extensive network of contacts developed in China itself means there is a team of partners in each of the provinces in which we are active, who will meet you and are available to contact any time. With our senior management mostly based in China themselves, you will likely meet one of them over the course of the year.

I have never taught before; where do I start?


If you’re straight out of university, then the chances are you’ve not taught English before. It’s a good idea to do some research and preparation before leaving, and there are numerous excellent websites for this (check our Links section). There will be a chance to gain some training, insights and practice classes at our annual Orientation Week, which takes place each summer in each of our main provinces. Here you would be able to gain a TEFL certificate while meeting fellow new teachers, getting tips from experienced educators, and trying out your new teaching skills during practice classes and TEFL assessments.

How do I get a Chinese visa?


Every partner school offers a working visa, which is usually sorted at least a month before departure. The partner school needs to send a Foreign Expert’s invitation letter by mail after the employment is processed, with which you can apply for the visa. It costs around 1000yuan, depending on factors such as the type of visa and your preferred speed of delivery. There are several agencies which assist in the process, such as CITS (the Chinese Government Travel Agency) who will help process the visa and save you the queuing, although it’s also possible to do it directly at a Chinese Embassy to get it sorted in person.

What’s this about a medical test?


A pre-employment medical check is standard for anyone starting a job in China, even for the Chinese. We will send you the relevant form, and you should get the basic parts signed off by a doctor or nurse in the UK. It’s usually better to deal with the slightly larger items, such as the X-Ray (can be expensive in The West), during your first week or so in China, or during the Orientation Week.

What about insurance?


As is the advice for most travelers, you’re advised to buy some travel insurance cover before you leave for China. Many insurance companies now have packages tailored for those working abroad. In the event of something happening, you would no doubt find it much easier to deal with an insurer in your home country rather than speaking to a Chinese company. If you are really unable to purchase cover (for example, if you’re already out of the country), most schools do provide basic medical insurance.

When will I be expected to be in China?


The semesters are the same as in the West, and the new term begins at the start of September. However, it would be an ideal start to your year in China to spend a week or so adjusting to the country and perhaps taking in a bit of the country, before going onwards to your teaching location or our Orientation Week.

What if I don’t like my life in China?!


While the term ‘culture shock’ has become something of a cliché, it’s true that almost everyone experiences some degree of it in their first few weeks in a new country. It’s part of being human. The first few weeks in China are a bombardment of the senses with some of the most interesting foods, smells, people and sights you have probably ever seen. While the vast majority of people grow to love it, if you decide it’s not for you then we will always be at hand to address any issues to the best of our ability by telephone, email, Skype, or in person with our colleagues on the ground in China.

What if I want to leave my job?


There are classic stories in the English Teaching online community about foreign teachers ‘doing a runner’ from their job. While most of these are urban myths, problems do occur from time to time. If you are having problems with your job, the first thing to do is speak to your school, then to our Chinese partners, and then speak to us. We will always be at hand to talk things through with you. If after everything you do feel you would like to leave, you would not be eligible to receive your flight reimbursement. Additionally, the school will usually ask for some compensation money (usually around 5000yuan). For this and countless other reasons, it goes without saying that you should give a great deal of thought to your decision to apply to teach in China.

Is it still hard to use the internet in China?

There is still censorship over some aspects of internet use in China, and accordingly China has its own version of many Western websites. However, most foreigners use various online tools to continue browsing just as they would at home.

Submit Question



Internships FAQ


How long is the application process?


After we have received and assessed your CV & cover letter, you will be invited to a Skype or telephone interview. This is a chance both for us to get to know your experience and motivations, and also for you to ask any questions you may have about any aspect. Upon successful interview, we will then get back in touch to further discuss the placement options, and according to your stated industry sector preference we will begin communicating with partner companies on the Chinese side.


Is there a closing date?


Although the busiest time is the summer, we have rolling starting dates at the 1st of every month so you are welcome to make an application at any time. It is crucial to apply at least 4-6 weeks before you plan to begin your placement, in order for there to be enough time for the administrative and visa processes.


Is there a salary?


Most companies can provide a monthly stipend, which, as accommodation is provided through the program, is enough to get by day-to-day during your placement. Some companies provide on-site lunch options, while of course you may be wined and dined on occasion, as is the custom of China’s culture of hospitality.


What is included in the price?


The program includes placement, airport pickup, orientation activities, and our buddy & expat mentor schemes. Depending on the applicant’s individual needs, we also offer accommodation and intensive Chinese classes several times a week.


What happens once I’m out in China? What support do you offer?


Applying through Middle Kingdom Group is just the beginning of your journey out East-wards, but we will be with there every step of the way to answer any queries you may have both before departure and during your time in China. What’s more, our extensive network of contacts developed in China itself means there is a team of partners in each of the provinces in which we are active, who will meet you and are available to contact any time.


How are the partner companies determined and chosen


Being based in Xiamen, we are acutely aware of the situation on the ground. Indeed, the MK internships program itself was originally born out of conversations with several Chinese & foreign companies hoping to expand their international reach, gain insights into Western working culture and mindsets, and participate in an intercultural exchange. We therefore have personal connections with most of the companies involved, which ensures a smooth ad fulfilling placement.


How do I get a Chinese visa?


Every partner company can send out an invitation letter with which you can apply for a business visa. Once the letter has been sent to you, you can then start the visa application process in your home country. There are several agencies which assist in the process, such as CITS (the Chinese Government Travel Agency) who will help process the visa and save you the queuing, although it’s also possible to apply directly at a Chinese Embassy to get it sorted in person. Visas normally cost around 1000yuan-1500yuan, depending on factors such as the length of visa and your preferred speed of delivery.


What about insurance?


As is the advice for most travellers, you’re advised to buy some travel insurance cover before you leave for China. Many insurance companies now have packages tailored for those working abroad. There are also ‘backpacker’ packages which can cover you while in China and also while travelling elsewhere.


When should I arrive in China?

.
Every first-time visitor goes through a process of acclimatization, so it’s recommended to arrive in China around a week before your placement is due to start. This will also give time to get over any difficulties arising from jet-lag.


What if I find it hard to adapt to being in China?


The adaptation process is something everyone must go through and it can last days or weeks. While the term ‘culture shock’ has become something of a cliché, it’s true that almost everyone experiences some degree of it in their first few weeks in a new country. Mixed in with the initial trepidation will be a bombardment of the senses in some of the most interesting foods, smells, people and sights you have probably ever seen. While most people grow to love it, if you decide it’s not for you then we will always be at hand to address any issues to the best of our ability by telephone, email, skype, or in person with our colleagues on the ground in China.


I’d like to know more about the Chinese classes.


We feel that getting a grasp of the Mandarin language is a crucial aspect to making your experience a lasting success- both during the placement and for years to come. In collaboration with Mandarin Fun, an established Chinese school, each participant is offered language classes appropriate to their level, for at least 6 hours per week. Lessons usually take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, but the timings may fluctuate depending on working activity. There is also an option to hold classes at home rather than attending the school itself.


What is the accommodation like?


Through links with letting agents in Xiamen, we accommodate each participant in a private apartment with kitchen, lounge, air conditioning, internet and more, in a good location with convenient transport connections for getting to and from work.


What if my internship placement isn’t going as planned?


With a weekly visit from MK assistants on the ground, we keep in close contact with the progress of your internship to ensure it stays a mutually beneficial experience throughout. You can discuss aspects of Chinese working life with colleagues and your assigned mentor, and any day-to-day issues with your Chinese buddy. If after various consultations the internship is still not going to plan, we can look at placing you at another partner company for the duration.


Is it still hard to use the internet in China?

There is still censorship over some aspects of internet use in China, and accordingly China has its own version of many Western websites. However, most foreigners use various online tools to continue browsing just as they would at home.


Submit Question



Volunteering FAQ


How long is the application process?


The first thing is to send a CV & Cover Letter to us for consideration, after which you may be invited to a Skype or telephone interview. This is a chance both for us to get to know your experience and motivations, and also for you to ask any questions you may have about any aspect. Upon successful interview, we will then get back in touch to further discuss the placement options, and begin communicating with projects on the Chinese side.


Is there a closing date?


Although the busiest time is the summer, we have rolling starting dates at the 1st of every month so you are welcome to make an application at any time.


What is included in the price?


The program includes project placement, airport pickup, orientation activities, basic Chinese classes, and our buddy scheme. There are extra add-ons, such as provision of accommodation or intensive Chinese lessons.


What happens once I’m out in China? What support do you offer?


Applying through Middle Kingdom Group is just the beginning of your journey out East-wards, but we will be with there every step of the way to answer any queries you may have both before departure and during your time in China. What’s more, our extensive network of contacts developed in China itself means there is a team of partners in each of the provinces in which we are active, who will meet you and are available to contact any time.


How are the partner projects determined and chosen


Being based in Xiamen, we are acutely aware of the situation on the ground. Recognized as one of the country’s most forward-thinking and ‘green’ cities, Xiamen therefore has more community projects than the average Chinese city. We have gotten to know each of the partner projects and explored their work first-hand to ascertain where volunteers can fit in and make the most difference.


How do I get a Chinese visa?


Once your place has been confirmed, we can send out an invitation letter with which you can apply for a visiting visa. Once the letter has been sent to you, you can then start the visa application process in your home country. There are several agencies which assist in the process, such as CITS (the Chinese Government Travel Agency) who will help process the visa and save you the queuing, although it’s also possible to apply directly at a Chinese Embassy to get it sorted in person. Visas normally cost around 1000yuan-1500yuan, depending on factors such as the length of visa and your preferred speed of delivery.


What about insurance?


As is the advice for most travellers, you’re advised to buy some travel insurance cover before you leave for China. Many insurance companies now have packages tailored for those working abroad. There are also ‘backpacker’ packages which can cover you while in China and also while travelling elsewhere.


When should I arrive in China?

.
Every first-time visitor goes through a process of acclimatization, so it’s recommended to arrive in China around a week before your placement is due to start. This will also give time to get over any possible difficulties arising from jet-lag.


What if I find it hard to adapt to being in China?


The adaptation process is something everyone must go through and it can last days or weeks. While the term ‘culture shock’ has become something of a cliché, it’s true that almost everyone experiences some degree of it in their first few weeks in a new country. Mixed in with the initial trepidation will be a bombardment of the senses in some of the most interesting foods, smells, people and sights you have probably ever seen. While most people grow to love it, if you decide it’s not for you then we will always be at hand to address any issues to the best of our ability by telephone, email, skype, or in person with our colleagues on the ground in China.


If I choose the accommodation option, what sort of quality can I expect?


Through links with letting agents in Xiamen, we accommodate each participant in a private apartment with kitchen, lounge, air conditioning, internet and more, in a good location with convenient transport connections for getting to and from your project.


What if my placement isn’t going as planned?


With a weekly visit from MK assistants on the ground, we keep in close contact with the progress of your placement to ensure it stays a mutually beneficial experience throughout. You can openly discuss aspects of your placement and Chinese working culture with colleagues, and any day-to-day issues with your Chinese buddy. If after various consultations the placement is still not going to plan, we can look at placing you at another project for the duration.


Is it still hard to use the internet in China?

There is still censorship over some aspects of internet use in China, and accordingly China has its own version of many Western websites. However, most foreigners use various online tools to continue browsing just as they would at home.


Submit Question