I’ve put up this page to assuage the concerns of all the those people who email me every week asking for advice about getting a teaching job in Changchun -I hope this is of help! 🙂
In almost 2 years I’ve spent teaching in Changchun, I think I’ve had a hell of a lot more working experience than most; both good and bad. This is written based on personal experience, things that have actually happend to me, and I hope by writing this others will learn not to fall into the same traps that I have encountered!
There are many adverts on the web asking teachers to come to Changchun to teach in their school. Many say things like ‘ No qualifications required’ ‘just a native speaker from UK, US, Australia….’
People that apply for such positions thinking they are going to be good jobs are deluding themselves. They will probably send you to some far-flung outpost in the middle of nowhere, expect you to live in stinking conditions and be lied to. And that’s maybe why these jobs attract the type of people who have no chance of getting a job ‘back-home’ – If you have any credentials you should never apply for such a position.
You must do you research before taking up a positon. Speak with previous teachers, speak with current teachers, get as much information as possible. Get photos of the apartment – both inside and outside – make sure there are no questions left unanswered. Most importantly do not assume anything. Get black and white answers – in writing. Words don’t mean much here.
It’s my opinion that if you don’t want to be messed around/have future problems in Changchun avoid working for any private language school/institute/recruter company.
It’s rather sweeping, but as I have experienced, 95% of the private centres can’t be trusted.
As far as I’m concerned there is only one way to go about doing this. Work for a University on a full-time contract first, then private language centres part-time second. This way if everything falls apart, you still have your day job, your apartment and your visa + correct working documentation. However to do this you (usually) need the minimum requirement of a degree and/or previous teaching experience, and I think most of the Foreign teachers that come here don’t meet these requirements.
If you work full-time for a private language centre you open yourself up to all sorts of grief.
This is why I suggest only ever doing part-time at private language centres, you work, get paid and leave. No contract, no visa problems.Here is a list of places that I know of that are legally employed to hire foreign teachers in Changchun:
Some of the Universities here also have primary and seconday schools attached ot them and so are also able to hire foreigners legally through the Z visa & Foreign Experts Book.
Jilin University 林吉大学
For Your Information- the foreign affairs office never advertises jobs over the internet. There are private companies that offer jobs here – and have contracts at branches of the university – but you are not actually working for the university, merely being hired-out. Avoid such advertisments as the companies involves are ultra shady and illegal.
Changchun University 长春大学
Changchun University of Science and Technology 长春理工大学
Jilin Agricultual University 吉林农业大学
Changchun Taxation College 长春课税学院
Changchun Teacher’s College 长春师范学院
Changchun University of Technology 长春工业大学
Changchun Institute of Technology 长春工业学院
North East Normal University 东北师范大学
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are definitely 100% legal and do have the right to hire foreign experts.
Note that there are many ‘colleges 学院’ of the above institutions, such as 吉林农业发展学院 that despite the name, are seperate from the mother institution, and usually don’t have the right to hire foreign teachers. These colleges are usually private universites and are good places to work, but be aware that they may not be able to hire you legally.
Hundreds of places throughout the city, usually the only requirement being a ‘white face’ – indeed many of the techers in Changchun are from central Asian countries – they speak english badly – but they look white！
I have heard good things about 白大卫 Baidawei and Perfect English, though I have no first-hand experience of this
There are many other universities/colleges/language centres/recruiters in Changchun, however as far as I know they are not legally allowed to hire foreign teachers – that doesn’t mean that they wont say they are legal – but if it all goes wrong (and it probably will!) you will not have a leg to stand on.Believe me, I’ve been there!