Who is ERRC?
ERRC (Education Resources and Referrals – China) is a 501c3 publically supported not-for-profit organization whose participants are all professing Christians. ERRC has a 27-year history of sending dedicated Christian teachers to some of China’s most prestigious universities. More recently, ERRC teachers have gone to some of China’s top grammar, middle, and high secondary schools.
With almost 20% of the world’s population, China has become a major player in the global community. Although China has undergone many significant changes, there is one social and cultural tradition that has endured — educated people (known in China as “intellectuals”) are the most respected and influential group in China. Because of their Confucian tradition, the Chinese value knowledge and learning, and this is why ERRC offers educational services.
What is the vision of ERRC?
ERRC’s vision is to touch the heart and soul of China by inspiring, educating, and equipping its future leaders. Our teachers are intentional about helping to provide a quality learning experience in the classroom and making a difference in the lives of their students.
How long do assignments with ERRC last?
ERRC’s Vision Trip and Chinese Worldview Today Seminar last 2 weeks. Our summer teaching programs last from 3-6 weeks, and business teaching in China lasts 1-3 months. If you teach in China during the school year, assignments are one semester (4 months) or one academic year (10 months). If you want to stay in China longer, you can renew your contract and return with ERRC.
ERRC’S SHORT-TERM PROGRAMS
How can I get an overview of what God is doing in China?
Each year, ERRC hosts a 2-week “Vision Trip” in order for participants to catch a vision of what God is doing in China. During the trip, you will visit the campuses of several top universities and encourage and pray with many ERRC teachers on the field. During this time, you will also visit many of the famous historical sites such as the Great Wall, and worship with a thousand Chinese nationals at an English-speaking service in a large 3-self church.
How can I learn more about China?
Each summer, ERRC hosts a “Chinese Worldview Seminar.” During this 2-week period in July, participants have the unique opportunity to learn from American and Chinese experts in Beijing and Xian, covering such topics as Chinese religions, philosophy, and history. You will also have an opportunity to visit many historical sites.
What are the requirements for summer teaching?
In the summer, we serve many different types of students, from middle school summer camps to graduate students. We accept college student interns, conversation partners, professional teachers, and college professors. We will match you with an opening that fits your experience and education level.
How much will it cost for these programs?
The cost for our “Short-Term” Programs is between $1500-$2500, plus international airfare. If you are interested in pursuing any of these opportunities, please check with the ERRC office for details regarding dates and costs.
ERRC’S SCHOOL YEAR PROGRAM
What schools does ERRC serve?
For over 27 years, ERRC has been placing teachers on the top university campuses in China. Teachers can commit for a semester, an entire academic year, or even longer. Some ERRC teachers have been teaching in China for over 10 years.
Traditionally, ERRC has focused upon placing teachers in China’s top universities, however, because of ERRC’s reputation, K-12 administrators have been requesting that we send teachers for their grammar, middle, and high schools. This is a wonderful opportunity for those teachers who have a passion for teaching younger students.
What is the Chinese school year 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).
What are the minimum requirements?
Most importantly, you must be a professing Christian and have a vital and consistent walk with Christ. You must have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in any subject, and have some teaching experience. A teaching credential is not required. In some cases, we may recommend you complete at TESOL certificate to help with your placement.
Will I need a valid passport and visa?
Yes, you will need both. After your application has been processed and you are accepted by ERRC, your resume will be “presented” to the university where you will be placed, and then they will return your “acceptance” letter to our office. Along with your passport, we will use this letter of acceptance to process your visa.
When will I leave for China?
Different universities have slightly different semester starting times. For the fall semester, our teachers normally leave for China during the last week in August or the first week in September. For the spring semester, teachers normally leave in early February.
Where will I live?
The school will provide you with your own apartment consisting of a living room, dining area, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom (with a western toilet). Your apartment will be furnished and linens are provided. In many cases, your apartment will have been used previously by another ERRC teacher, who will leave essential items for you like cooking pots and pans and dinnerware.
Will I be isolated?
No, you will be living in an apartment close to other ERRC teachers, usually in the same building. We value teams, and you will be placed in a university with experienced ERRC teachers who will help you get settled and prepared for living and working in China.
Will I be paid for my teaching assignment?
Yes, as a member of the foreign faculty, you will be paid by the university. It won’t be much (maybe $800 per month), but with your furnished apartment provided by the university, it is plenty of money to live in China with some savings. Many assignments also reimburse airfare costs if you commit to teaching a full year in China.
What will I be teaching?
ERRC specializes in placing teachers of many subjects, so we will review your resume and find a placement for you that suits your qualifications.
How will I prepare for my teaching assignment?
A few schools in China will provide you with a syllabus or curriculum that you are required to use. But, it is much more common for you to be afforded a good deal of flexibility and creativity in how you structure your courses. ERRC has a curriculum consultant to help you prepare, and other ERRC teachers readily share materials with new teachers.
What are my financial obligations?
Since host institutions provide housing and a stipend (as well as international airfare for most year-long contracts), financial obligations are very low. Each teacher must raise funds to cover a partnership fund and visa costs. After this, budgets are individually determined and depend largely on each person’s needs. ERRC also requires that all teachers have medical insurance, so many teachers raise support for this expense. Budgets can be as low as $3000 and as high as $25,000.
What other costs should I plan for?
In addition to the Partnership Fund, ERRC will help you plan for other costs you may encounter, including overseas medical insurance, visa fee, overweight luggage, physical exam, immunizations and your round trip plane fare (most universities will reimburse plane fare for those who complete two semesters).
Will I need to raise support?
Even if you are independently wealthy, we encourage all of our Field Partners to raise up a team of prayer and financial supporters. This is one of the most humbling experiences as you prepare for your assignment in China, but at the same time, it is a way for those who love you and believe in Christ’s work in you to invest in a way that will make a difference in the lives of others. We will provide you will fund-raising materials, and offer feedback on your fundraising letter.
STARTING THE PROCESS
I’m interested! What is my first step?
The first step toward teaching in China is to talk with one of our staff so we can get to know you. In order for us to give you the best information about which openings might suit you, we suggest you send a resume or CV by email. After speaking to you and receiving your resume, we will send you application materials.
What is the application process like?
You application contains a number of questions that you will need to respond to. You will also be sending several reference letters to others who know you well and who can candidly provide input regarding your suitability for teaching in China with ERRC. All of these materials will be returned to ERRC for processing and evaluation, along with an application fee. School year teachers will also complete a psychological assessment to help us determine your suitability for teaching in China.
How does ERRC partner with its teachers?
ERRC will secure you a placement in China and negotiate a contract. Once your placement is complete, we will help you attain a work permit and process your visa. We provide you with reading materials and orientation before departure, and ongoing communication (including pastoral visits) in the field. In the case of any issues, ERRC will act as an intermediary to bring conflicts to a fair resolution. Additionally, we will help you raise support by providing you with guidance and processing your donations. We will help you with practical matters, like international medical insurance and travel arrangements. Additionally, we will provide you with teaching resources, spiritual reading, and information about where to get Christian resources in China. Each year, we hold a midyear retreat to provide fellowship, spiritual renewal, physical rest and refreshment. We will pray for you and serve as a resource for your home church. When you return home, we will provide you with debriefing and evaluation.
LIVING IN CHINA
How do I practice my faith in China?
You are free to practice your faith openly in China. Foreigners can attend an international fellowship, and both foreigners and Chinese nationals can attend a three-self church for worship. You will also have fellowship with other ERRC teachers. It is not permitted to proselytize in China, but you may answer student questions about your faith.
Do I need to speak Mandarin?
Because your students will be “required” to speak only English in your classes, you will not need to speak Mandarin to survive in China. We will provide some “basic” Mandarin lessons during orientation, and if you have time, you can learn more after you arrive.
What is it like to shop in China?
You will be teaching in one of China’s major cities, and you will have access to a variety of grocery and clothing stores. China has come a long way to insure the safety of their food products, including meat products, vegetables, and canned goods. Many of the larger grocery stores have a “western” section where you can find many of your favorite items!
How can I stay in contact with home?
Because of the internet, it is easier than ever to stay in touch with your family and sending team. You will be able to use email, instant messaging, Skype and/or cell phones to make contact with loved ones. Many of our teachers also have a newsletter facilitator for quarterly newsletters.
Is there air pollution?
Just as you have heard on the news, there is air pollution in almost all Chinese cities. However, there are many clear and pleasant days where there is virtually none. There are some precautions that you can take to limit the effects of the pollution. If you have a respiratory condition, we encourage you to speak with your doctor before travel to China.
What immunizations do I need before travelling to China?
The CDC recommends that you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip abroad, including travel to China. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. They also suggest a Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccination. If you have time, you can optionally also get the Hepatitis B vaccine.
What is medical care like in China?
Because you will be placed in a major city in China, there are Western-style hospitals and clinics in case of illness. Even though health emergencies are uncommon for ERRC teachers, we require that you have medical insurance as well as evacuation coverage, to give you the option to return home for care in case of a major medical concern.
What if I have more questions?
Simply call or contact our office, and we will be able to get you the answers you need.