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Frequently Asked Questions

Below please find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Working Worldwide Program.

Do you need to be a U.S. citizen to participate in Working Worldwide?

In order for our partner schools in China to secure work visas for our teachers they must be native speakers of English or have developed near-native proficiency in English AND hold a passport from a country where English is widely considered a dominant language. While nearly all of the placements made through the program have been for English teachers (some of whom have come from countries other than the U.S., such as India, Trinidad and the Philippines) we have had a couple of teachers from other countries teach their native language that are also taught at our partner schools (such as Japanese, Russian and Spanish).

What is the application and placement process?

Please visit our How to Apply page for detailed instructions on the application. Working Worldwide places participants in 3 cities in China (Guilin, Chongqing, and Shijiazhuang) and in the capital of Kosovo, Prishtina. Maintaining such a variety of relationships allows for diverse placement options for program participants. Applicants are asked to consider the level of students they prefer to teach (middle school, high school or college), desired size of city of placement, and proximity to other program participants. Applicants sharing more details about their goals in participating in the program allows program staff to determine which placement is most appropriate for each applicant. While individual participants' preferences guide the placement process, the needs of the entire group of teachers as well as those of our partner schools are also taken into consideration. Those applicants with previous teaching, tutoring, mentoring, or other educational leadership experience will be given placement priority.

What is the timeline for the entire program from application to departure?

Click here to see the Program Calendar.  Additionally, please be aware that the TEFL Training does begin in April, prior to the end of the semester in order to accomplish the 120-hour training by June 1. Please check the TEFL Training Calendar to ensure that you are able to attend ALL sessions.

What are the program fees and what do they cover?

The program fee for 2018-2019 is:

China: $1,995

Kosovo: $1,450 (omits fees for document processing and in-country orientation)

This fee includes:

  • Placement and negotiation of participants' teaching contracts
  • Ongoing in-country and Drake-based support throughout the placement process and program year.
  • Fees involved with document processing for Chinese work permits
  • 120-hour Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Training. The training will be a combination of online, on-campus, and practical instruction hours that will begin in May. This fulfills not only the Chinese government's requirement for Foreign Experts (English teachers), but will also serve you in other countries should you wish to continue teaching.
  • A four - to five-day orientation in Guilin in August prior to the beginning of your teaching assignment hosted by the Chinese Language Institute.  The orientation includes basic Chinese language instruction, an orientation to the culture and history of China, experiential learning exercises, and a home-stay to help teachers adjust to living in China. Orientation will provide accommodations, group outings, breakfast and lunch during the orientation, as well as transportation to your placement location.
  • ISIC Card
  • Enrollment in the US Embassy's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

Are there additional expenses I would need to prepare for before leaving the U.S.?

There are some additional expenses participants should plan to cover prior to receiving their first paycheck, following their first month of employment. There is also a slight variation in which of the post-arrival expenses are reimbursed by partners schools, and a range of how much participants spend on household and daily expenses.

Apart from the program fee, participants should be prepared to cover the following expenses prior to departure:

  • Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations Background Check--$15
  • Passport, if needed—$110
  • Visa—$140
  • One-way airline ticket to China/Kosovo—Approx. $1,000 (reimbursed by school of employment)
  • Medical exams, pre- and post-departure—$50
  • Vaccinations, if needed—Approx. $100
  • Residency permit—$80 (may be reimbursed by school)
  • Excess baggage fee—$50 (may be reimbursed by school)
  • Initial household expenses—Approximately $250
  • First month’s daily expenses—Approximately $250

Total—Approximately $2,000

Does the program staff make my visa and travel arrangements?

Program participants are provided all necessary materials required to apply for their entry visas as well as instruction on the application during the program training and they themselves work with the Program Coordinator to apply for their visas.  Program participants are then responsible for arranging their own travel to the specified location once a visa has been secured.

What are the terms of my employment?

China

In return for teaching an average of 14-16 hours per week, program teachers will receive:

  • A salary of 4,000-5,000 RMB per month (approximately $575-$725)

  • Private, furnished housing

  • Emergency medical insurance

  • Reimbursement for airfare to and from China

  • An additional travel allowance of 1,100 RMB (approximately $160)
  • 4-6 week paid vacation between semesters

 

Kosovo

In return for  approximately 30 hours a week of work, KRCT can offer:

  • 500 Euro monthly living stipend
  • Increased level of insurance through ISIC (Drake program)

What type of accommodations are provided?

China

Program participants are provided individual housing by their host institution as part of their compensation. While the quality of accommodations vary slightly between institutions, all housing includes private bathrooms, telephone, and television. Accommodations are comparable to those provided to foreign students or university faculty.

What kind of health or medical insurance is provided?

China

Partner institutions provide emergency medical coverage for program participants and often do not cover expenses associated with routine illness.  Since specific terms of the medical coverage provided by our partner institutions varies slightly, Teach in China purchases on behalf of participants the International Student Identity Card for major medical emergency coverage. 

Partner institutions will provide an insurance policy to program participants. Program applicants are asked to provide information about special medical needs during the application process so that proper arrangements can be made with partner institutions to ensure medical care can be correctly administered in case of an emergency.

Will I be able to travel?

China

Program participants who teach for a year at a partner institution are provided a stipend (approximately $160) for travel during the interim Spring Festival break between semesters (mid-January to mid-February) and teachers are often allowed to travel during national holidays in October and May.

How safe is it to work and live in China and Kosovo?

China

While crime rates in China are very low, and most foreigners report feeling physically very safe, depending on your location it is not uncommon for foreigners to be the target of pickpockets and other petty criminals when out in public (especially at tourists sites and markets). While some program participants live within the grounds of their host institutions, which are enclosed and guarded, or in dormitories or apartments that have additional guards, others are provided apartments outside of the school grounds. Much care is taken on behalf of the Foreign Affairs Offices of partner institutions to protect the safety of foreign teachers.
 
For more information on safety in China, see the Department of State’s Consular Information Sheet on P.R. China.

 

Kosovo

Though Kosovo has been an area of conflict in recent memory, it has since become a safe and stable country. The capital city, Pristina, maintains low crime rates, though petty theft is reported. As in any major city, foreigners are encouraged to exercise caution when out at night. 

For more information on safety in Kosovo, see the Departmen of State's Consular Information Sheet on Kosovo.

If I am graduating with students loans, will I be able to afford payments while in China?

All federally-guaranteed loans can be paid back on an income-based scale. Given the amount of compensation received through the Teach in China program, participants can most often either qualify for very low or no monthly payments, or apply to receive an economic hardship deferment from their lending institutions. This allows graduates to defer paying their student loans until after they return from the Teach in China program but applicants are encouraged to check the terms of their loan agreements and call their lending institutions to ensure they can receive such a payment schedule or deferment. Such deferment is rarely given for private loans.

Find more information about loan repayment options at the Federal Student Aid webpage.

Do I have to pay taxes on my earnings abroad?

Please visit the IRS website for more information.

Who do I contact with more questions?

If you have further questions or would like clarification about information found here, please email workingworldwide@drake.edu or call Drake International at (515) 271-2084.

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