Here are some of our most Frequently Asked Questions!

HOSPITALITY INTERNSHIPS IN CHINA

What is my hotel accommodation like?

Our partner hotels will provide interns with food and accommodation. Some hotel may provide a room in the staff quarter, with two interns of the same gender sharing. Some others may offer a twin guest room for two interns to share, while others may rent a furnished apartment in a residential area close enough to the hotel.
No matter which type, we always have a thorough check before hand, to make sure it’s clean and safe and up to our standard.

What are the costs of this programme?

The initial cost is the GBP 200 registration fee onto our programme, so we could start making arrangement for your interview, your visa documents and the entire trip. This amount is the only fee towards us.

After arrival, when you enroll into the Mandarin course, you will pay directly to the university the tuition and the accommodation. Then the government fees such as medical checkup, which is required for any foreigners who will stay in China for longer than 6 months. The visa fee, to change from the initial visa you get at home country, into the visa lasting for the rest of your stay. The total for the tuition, accommodation at university and the government fee is around GBP 1500.

By the time you start the hotel internship, if budgeted well, you don’t have to worry about the cost of living too much since you will start getting the stipend from the hotel on a monthly basis throughout your internship, after both the food and accommodation are taken care of.

In general the monthly stipend ranges from GBP 200 to 300. Since each hotel has a different budget and standard, it really depends on the individual hotel’s benefit package details when finalizing your benefit details.

The general rule is, hotels centrally located, or from a bigger or better brand, or has some special USP, will tend to provide a smaller benefit package, vice versa.

No matter which category, we will always communicate with you 100% information so you have the full picture when considering the offer.

How should I budget for my study part of the programme?

It is generally with very low budget to live on campus. After the tuition fee and accommodation are paid for, the food part is fairly easy with lots of options. An average Chinese meal at one of the several student cafeterias costs around 1 – 2 GBP. There are western options as well with slightly higher cost, around 2 – 4 GBP for a pizza or pasta meal. A bottle of water costs around 0.20 – 0.30 GBP, a Coke around 0.30 – 0.60 GBP.
Public transport is generally cheap. A normal local bus fare is around 0.10-0.20 GBP, a single ticket for metro in Shanghai or Beijing costs 0.30 GBP. The high-speed train between Shanghai and nearby cities costs from 2 – 11 GBP for single trip, running time from 20 minutes to 3 hours.

What’s the dress code for this programme? Do I need to bring my own formal outfit?

For the hotel internship, all the hotels provide work uniforms, which normally would be suits or equivalent. Work shoes will be provided in general. But it’s always a good idea to bring a set of your own, in case the work outfit doesn’t fit you well. Also, through your stay, there will be plenty of high quality lectures or workshops or network events that we recommend to students, and potential employment opportunities as well. You will want to be always prepared for those occasions.

What can I do if I have problems with either the study or the internship?

We assign a personal mentor for each student who signs up with us throughout the stay. From the day you arrive in China, your mentor will be working with you by regularly checking on you through phone calls, emails and face to face feedback sessions.
Our main goals for anyone signing up to our programme are two: 1, Maximise your exposure to the authentic Chinese culture in an enjoyable and professional way. 2, Maximise your access to business trend and employability information in China market as well as international market throughout your stay in the programme. We want you to be better equipped and prepared after this experience with us.

Can I invite my visiting friends and family to stay with me at my accommodation?

No. For student accommodation on campus, according to university policy, each room is registered only under your name and your roommate’s name, no other people would be allowed to stay.
During the hotel internship, it’s all hotels’ company policy that staff accommodation is only provided to staff members, not any visiting parties.
For visiting friends and family, there are plenty budget hotel options in the city your internship is at. Ask us for information about it we will always help you find suitable options for your budget.

Is it easy for me to contact my family and friends back home while I’m in China? What’s the best way to do it? Can I use my Facebook easily?

Yes it is quite easy to get connected to everyone from home, thanks to the internet. You can use pretty much all the social media tools while in China, except for some of them, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you will need to acquire a VPN (Virtual Personal Network) before you can access them. There are a lot of options, some comes free while some with monthly subscription package. No need to do a lot of research on it just yet. Prior to your trip to China we will give you more detailed instructions.

What’s the accommodation on campus like?

You will be sharing with another same gender international student in the international student building. The room is basic yet sufficient, with your own desk, drawers, cupboard, air-conditioned, independent bathroom. On the same floor there are around 20-30 rooms, one kitchen and one laundry room. You will share the electricity bill with your roommate. But in general the bill is very low, unless the air-conditioner is switched on 24-7.

How many hotels do I get to choose from?

Since it’s tailor made matching procedures, i.e. we make recommendations after learning about the preferences from both your side and the hotel side, we always recommend the most suitable option for you. Of course, you get to decide after the interview if you feel happy about this option. We will review it afterwards with you and proceed accordingly.

What level of Mandarin will I reach after studying it for one semester?

The course is a full-time course, with 20 hours per week class time from Monday to Friday. There will be tests and exams in the middle and at the end of the study. It won’t be compulsory to pass the HSK exam (Chinese proficiency test), but on average students should be able to pass HSK 2 (beginner level) without a problem. Some students even managed to pass HSK 3 or 4 (intermediate level) during their one year’s stay in China.

For most students, after one semester’s study, they should be able to hold basic conversations with local people by the time they start at the hotel internship.

How long do I have to wait to get a skype interview after I registered with you?

Normally within 2 weeks, you will be presented with interview chances.

Will I be given detailed guidance in how to arrange my visa, flights and insurance?

Yes, our experienced staff will help you with every step of the way from arranging hotel interviews to the preparations prior to your trip to China.

Will I have holiday time between the study semester and the hotel internship?

No there won’t be any designated ‘holiday time’ between the two parts of the programme. During the semester, there will be some public holidays, so you can plan some sightseeing trips during them and over the weekends.
During your internship there are also public holiday time, as well as 2 days off every week, that you can take advantage of for travel plans. It’s mostly flexible to save up some holiday time or weekend time to make a longer travel, as long as agreed with the supervisor in advance.

Will I be picked up when I arrive at the airport? What happens then?

Yes you will be picked up by our local staff. If you arrive at PVG at Shanghai, our staff will take you from there to take the long-distance bus heading towards the university directly, which takes around 3 hours. Then our staff will help you with the enrollment procedures and help you settle into your accommodation and get familiarized with the campus environment.

ENGLISH TEACHING IN CHINA

What are the requirements of teaching in China for foreingers?

Technically, foreign teachers should be native English speakers, with bachelor’s degree or above, and with minimum two years of language teaching experience.

For those whose degree is in education, English language, or teaching, or who have received teacher’s qualifications at one’s home country before coming to China, or who have had a TEFL or TESOL or TESL certificates, the two years of language teaching experience is not a must.

What countries are considered native English-speaking countries?

As of July 2018, these following countries and regions are recognised as native English-speaking areas for the Chinese visa purposes.

Ascension, Australia, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Canada, Falkland Islands (ie, Malvinas Islands), Gibraltar, Guernsey, Guyana (formerly British Guiana), Ireland , Isle of Man (British Irish Territory), Jersey, New Zealand, Pitcairn Islands, Singapore, South Africa, Cyprus, Akrotiri and Dikelia’s British Territories, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, United Kingdom, United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, British Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Trinidad and Toba Colombia, Turks and Caicos Islands.

How long does it normally take to start the teaching job in China?

After the initial enquiry and we have received your personal documents, given that you have already got your TEFL/TESOL certificate, it takes around 8-10 weeks before you arrive in China to join your employer school.

Do I have to get a TEFL/TESOL certificate?

Yes, to apply for the correct work visa, your TEFL/TESOL certificate will be one of the necessary documents. But if at the point of application, you have had teaching qualification at your home country already, and it can be verified by the reference letter, then you may not need a TEFL/TESOL certificate.

What visa will I be given? How do I get it? e study or the internship?

You will be needing a work permit to come to China for the teaching job. We will guide you throughout the entire process, and provide tailored guidance as per the requirements of your employer school.

 

There are two sides of the paperwork preparation for your visa for China – your side from your home country, and your employer side in China.

 

On your side, the 3 key steps that need to be taken care of at your home country are:

  1. Original documents gathering– your bachelor’s certificate, police check and TEFL certificate/ reference letter.
  2. Notarisation – get these 3 documents notarized by a notary or lawyer. Following that, the documents are sent to the relevant State/Foreign Office.
  3. Authentication – get the notarised documents to your nearest Chinese Embassy for the final authentication stage.

 

Once complete, you then email scans of these documents to your employer school in China, and they will apply for your work permit. 3- 4 weeks later, the work permit will be issued electronically and emailed to you.

 

You can then use this work permit paperwork to apply for a z visa at your nearest Chinese embassy/consulate/visa centre. All original authenticated documents will be needed when you travel to China.

Do I need to do a medical check in my home country?

Some of the employer schools will request a medical check from your home country before giving you the offer, or before you arrive in China. If it’s the case for you, you can just get a basic note from your GP stating that you are in good health to do the job in China.  Most likely, after you arrive in China, within 30 days, you will be required to take a medical check-up by the local authority, as part of the procedures of the completion of the visa process locally.

Will I be provided the medical insurance while I’m in China?

Your employer school will most likely provide a basic medical insurance for you, which means when you are sick during work at the city they will take you to the local hospital and you will be treated. But, it is strongly recommended a comprehensive insurance is purchased, since that may give you access to a western clinic or hospital while you are in China, and your personal belongings may be covered, and your travel time in China etc.

Will the accommodation be provided to me by my employer school?

The accommodation will be provided by the employer school in various forms. Some of them will provide the accommodation to you, with safe and modern facilities and an easy access to work. Some others might provide you with accommodation allowance, so you get to choose the accommodation that you like. If this is the case, upon your arrival, a few hotel nights will be provided to you and a staff will assist you in viewing apartments and you normally can find a place you like with the right budget within a week.

Do I get any holiday time in my contract?

Yes. If you teach in a public school, you will get the summer and winter holidays, while the summer one is around the whole months of July and August, and the winter one is shorter, about 5 weeks around Chinese New Year time. If you teach in a private school or language centre, you normally get at least 2 weeks holiday for some sightseeing and relaxing time. No matter what institution you teach in, you will be entitled to the 11 days of public holidays.

How much do I have to pay WeDiscover to get me a teaching job in China?

Throughout the whole process, we only charge a £200 registration fee to candidates towards us. Besides that, there is a £300 deposit, for the candidates who successfully received the offer from an employer school in China. This deposit will be returned to you in full amount, after the completion of 90 days after the start of the contract. If for justifiable reasons the candidate chooses to terminate the contract with the employer school, a replacement school will be arranged within 2 weeks. Upon the completion of the first 90 days, the deposit will be returned.

What do I need to pay for before arriving in China?

Before arriving in China, you should pay for the document notarisation and authentication fees, the visa, the medical check-up if needed, insurance, and the flight into China. Most schools will arrange to refund the international flight fee, at various stage of the contract. Some of them will even refund part of the document fee. But it depends on the individual employers and it should be checked and confirmed before the contract signing.

Would I be collected when I arrive in China? What happens after that?

Yes someone will meet you at the airport and help you transfer to the school. You will be taken to the school directly, and an orientation will be followed. During it, you will be shown the surroundings of your accommodation, or the hotel you are staying for the time being. There will be a staff to help you settle down and get familiar with the city and the school.

Whom should I talk to if I have issues with work or I have other enquires in China?

WeDiscover staff is always available throughout your contract in China, either by email, or phone call or in person. With our many years of experience we make sure we give our best possible help to every candidate.

What’s the living cost like in China? Would I be able to save up when I’m in China?

The living cost in first tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai can be very different from other cities. if even smaller cities, the cost of living would be verylow. For example, if rent an one bedroom modern but modest apartment in downtown Shanghai, it may cost you at least £600. But put the same apartment in Changzhou, which is 2 hours away by train, it only costs around £150. The cost of food is a lot cheaper in China in general. A one person’s simple meal in Shanghai costs about  £2-3, while in cities like Changzhou £1-2.

It depends on individual’s lifestyle how much you can save up every month, but in general, most people can save at least one third of the salary, if not half of it.

Is China safe?

Yes. China is a very safe country to live in and to travel around as a foreigner. The schools you will be teaching in are all located in good areas in that city with easy access. Of course like any other place in the world, petty crimes like pickpockets will also be found in China, so just use common sense and watch your bags when you are travelling in busy areas. Also be aware that as a foreigner, you do stand out when you are in China, so you might get lots of stares, friendly but curious. The best strategy is a big smile!

STUDY PROGRAMS IN THE UK

How far in advance do I have to sign up?

As early as possible is always good. Some spots are first come first served so you will want to book early to make sure you definitely can get a place and start preparing for it early. Different programs have different schedules and rules, but normally the latest you will need at least 6 weeks to arrange visa, flight, insurance and everything.

What age do I have to be to sign up?

It depends on the individual programs, some of them are designed for younger age such as 8 -12, while some others require to be 16 years old or above. One general policy is, by law, anyone under 16 to attend a program alone, special arrangement will need to be arranged, such as airport pickups with a named person, and other logistics requirements.

How long is the program?

Some programs can be as short as one week, while other summer programs normally are about 2 weeks. Some other language courses can be very flexible, open all year round and can be extended by weeks for as long as you want.

What accommodation can I choose from?

There are normally three types to choose from. One is residence, including shared room with one other person, or single room. Second is the homestay, that you will have your own room in a safe and comfortable local family, so you get lots of interactions with the host family. Another option is a hotel room, which is no difference to any other hotel setup, but of course it’s the most expensive option.

How do I arrange my meals?

If meals are included in the package, some programs arrange for breakfast and dinner to be taken at the residence or nearby, while the lunch is normally at the school or near the place for the activity of the day.

Is it safe?

Yes safety of the students is always the top priority. All the programs are carefully chosen and inspected and proved by previous students.

Do I have to buy insurance?

It’s recommended to buy your own travel insurance prior to the trip, even though all the schools and program providers will buy emergency insurance for participants.

Do I get a certificate at the end?

Yes you will get a certificate upon completion of the programs.

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