Frequently Asked Questions

Thinking about teaching in China with ERRC? Then you probably have a lot of questions. Although this may not address all of your concerns, it should be the starting point in your search for answers.



What is ERRC's history?
What are ERRC's Teaching Program?
How do I become an ERRC Field Partner?
What support does ERRC provide to its field partner?
What kind of living conditions can I expect?
Is it possible to bring my family?
Do I need to know the Chinese language?
Does China welcome Chinese Americans and Chinese Canadians to serve in China?
What are my financial obligations?
What does the Chinese School year look like?


WHAT IS ERRC'S HISTORY?

Educational Resources and Referrals-China(ERRC) is a non-profit organization incorporated by Mrs. Martha Chan in April 1986 in Berkeley , California . Our founding board includes Chinese-Americans, In June 1995, the Canadian branch of ERRC was founded. In 1994, ERRC received “Registration Certificate for Overseas organization Introducing Foreign Experts,” issued by the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA). In 1996, the affiliated organization, China Academic Consortium (CAC), was formed. Since 1987 ERRC has placed over 200 Americans/Canadians to teach in key universities in major cities throughout China .

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WHAT ARE ERRC'S TEACHING PROGRAMS

English-Teaching Program
Subject Area: TESOL

Minimal Qualification:
Bachelor's Degree +
TESOL certification*
Extra teaching experience is preferable) OR
Experience teaching foreign students

Class Size: 25-45

Student Level: Undergraduate, Master's Degree, Doctoral Degree

Commitment Length: At least one year

ERRC's English-Teaching program provides opportunities for Christian teachers to conduct courses in written, English. All students will already have studied English for several years, but. Textbooks will be available, as well.

* ERRC recommends the Azura Pacific University, Biola, or Wheaton College summer TESOL programs. There are also certification programs online.


University Teaching Program
Subject Area: Wide-ranging; everything from Shakespeare to Computer Science

Minimal Qualification: Master's Degree in chosen field + working or teaching experience in chosen field

Class Size: 25-45

Student Level: Junior, Senior, Master's Candidate, Doctoral Candidate

Commitment Length: 3 months-1 year or more

The focus of each class is mainly language-oriented, allowing students to grow accustomed to working in their field in an English setting while still experiencing a uniquely foreign perspective on their subject.

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HOW DO I BECOME AN ERRC FIELD PARTNER

Step 1: Request an application packet
Step 2: Complete and return application forms, resume, and reference materials, + $50 application fee.
Step 3: Participate in a phone interview with ERRC staff
Step 4: Your application and references will be reviewed
Step 5: You will receive notification if accepted
Step 6: Set a budget and begin raising support
Step 7: Provide requested documents so that we begin the placement process
Step 8: Read orientation materials
Step 9: Finish personal preparation (medical, insurance, etc.)
Step 10: Attend orientation with other ERRC teachers and then depart

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WHAT SUPPORT DOES ERRC PROVIDE TO ITS FIELD PARTNERS?

As part of its commitment to its Field Partners, ERRC's home office staff provideS the following tangible demonstrations of support:

1. Placement. ERRC will seek to match a candidate's qualifications with the most suitable position in China .

2. Negotiation of Contract. Once the candidate is accepted by an institution in China , ERRC will negotiate the best possible terms.

3. Financial Support Service. Provide counseling for budget planning, support raising and the establishment of financial accountability, providing the opportunity for teaching related expenses, supplies, language school, etc. to be supported through tax deductible gifts, and providing tax deductible receipts to donors, in addition to keeping track of their donations.

4. Provide Fund Raising Reading Material, Guidance for Fund Raising, and provide resources for the Field Partner's mail facilitator.

5. Obtaining Work Permit /formal invitation from the host institute for Field Partners.

6. Visa Processing. ERRC will process proper visas through the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco prior to departure.

7. Provide Pre-Departure Reading Materials/Resource List. Once accepted, ERRC will send helpful orientation manual and reading material lists to assist in preparation for the China experience.

8 Provide a Two-Week Pre-Departure Orientation. The ERRC orientation will cover various aspects such as teaching techniques for a Chinese classroom, development of a community spirit, cross-cultural issues, elementary language learning, Chinese history and worldview, the role of Western Christians in China , etc.

9. Provide International Travel Support. ERRC will provide basic travel arrangements from Field Partners home to the host institute at the lowest possible rates.

10. Provide a Group Insurance Program (IMG) and other international supplement insurance for overseas coverage at reasonable cost.

11. Provide Pastoral Visits in China . ERRC staff counselors will visit once each semester to provide encouragement, advice and negotiation about matters related to the Field Partners.

12. Maintain Constant Communication with the Field Partners in the Field by reports, e-mail and phone calls.

13. Act as an Intermediary with Chinese School Administrators on behalf of Field Partners to work out contractual problems (e.g., job description, salary, visa issues), logistical problems (e.g., housing), or to provide third party mediation with the school administrations, which is a cultural necessity for achieving goals when there are differences of opinion or the risk of “losing face.”

14. Serve as a Resource for the Field Partner's Home Church .

15. Provide TESL Curriculum Guide and Resources.

16. Provide Spiritual Reading for the Field Partner.

17. Conduct Mid-Year Retreat to provide fellowship, spiritual renewal, physical rest, and refreshment.

18. Support by Regular Prayer .

19. Provide Debriefing and Evaluation at the end of the term.

20. Provide Christian Literature in Chinese and Local Chinese Church and Christian Bookstore Information.

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WHAT KIND OF LIVING CONDITIONS CAN I EXPECT?

Each host institution will always provide its very best in terms of housing, but teachers cannot expect the same level of comfort they are used to in America. Standard accommodations usually include the following: furnished apartment with a private bathroom (some with hot water on demand, others with hot water intermittently), telephone, TV, kitchen, and linens. Each institution will also provide a monthly stipend which is quite sufficient in China, as well as a modest travel allowance and limited medical coverage. In the case of year-long commitments, the host institution will provide reimbursement for international airfare.

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IS IT POSSIBLE TO BRING MY FAMILY?

Taking children to China can be complicated, though there are numerous foreign families in China. Only large cities have international schools, and these are usually expensive, so most Western children study part-time in a Chinese school and part-time at home. If young children are taken to China, ERRC will take special care to locating positions where medical services are reliable.

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DO I NEED TO KNOW THE CHINESE LANGUAGE?

ERRC encourages its teachers and professionals to learn Mandarin by hiring tutors or taking courses while serving in China. It makes communication easier and sets a good example for the students. However, since the top priority of ERRC field partners is to fulfill their teaching responsibility, the expectations of language learning should be realistic.

Field Partners involved in ERRC's long-term program (minimum 4 years in China) are required by ERRC to study Mandarin for one or two full years in either China or Taiwan at ERRC-approved institutions.

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DOES CHINA WELCOME CHINESE AMERICANS AND CHINESE CANADIANS TO SERVE IN CHINA?

YES! Most Chinese universities and colleges warmly welcome Chinese Americans and Chinese Canadians to teach in China because of their common ancestry. Since ERRC's president, Mrs. Martha Chan, is a Chinese American who was born in Taiwan, ERRC has a special burden to challenge Americans and Canadians of Chinese ancestry to serve in China.

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WHAT ARE MY FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS?

Since host institutions provide room and board, as well as a monthly stipend, financial obligations are very low. Each teacher must raise funds to cover a partnership fund, as well as airfare. After this, though, budgets are individually-determined and depend largely on each person's needs in terms of relocation expenses, personal effects, and other miscellany. Budgets can be as low as $3,000 and as high as $25,000.

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WHAT DOES THE CHINESE SCHOOL YEAR LOOK LIKE?

The Fall term in China runs from September to January. The Spring term runs from February to late June or early July. There is a six-week break between each semester, but the dates for the winter break varies depending on when the Spring Festival. In addition, each semester has a one-week national holiday (National Day and May Day).

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