Most Frequent Questions Prospective Foreign Teachers Ask
1.How do I get a visa to come to Hwa Nan to teach?
The first step is to complete and send the application for teaching along with a resume and copies of diplomas to Hwa Nan Women's College. You can do this by e-mail which you will find at the end of this website. To be able to teach at Hwa Nan Women’s College, you have to apply for a work visa (Z visa). Once receiving your physical exam record, passport information, and resume, the FAO will then submit all the required documents to the Provincial Education Department. It usually takes 2- 3 weeks to receive the formal visa notice from the Provincial Foreign Affairs Office. Once you have the visa notice, you need to schedule a trip to any Chinese embassy to apply for your Z work visa. The visa trip is at your own expense. The cost varies depending upon which transportation you choose. Once you get the Z visa, within 30 days the FAO staff will apply for your foreign expert certificate. For this you must have your own medical insurance (either buy medical insurance in China or submit proof of your overseas medical insurance). After that, the FAO staff will go with you to the local visa office to apply for your residence permit. The residence permit is good for you to stay in China for one year, and you can leave and re-enter China anytime during that year.
The F visa is for teaching for a short time. Please apply for at least a 90 day visa with multiple entries. At least three months teaching is required. If you would like to stay longer, an extension is workable. Please ask the FAO staff for details. For F visa, a physical exam in China is not required. However, it is better to bring records of your own recent physical exam to make sure you are in good health while you are teaching in China.
Regardless of your chosen method, you will need to complete a visa application (get it off the Internet, from your local tour agency, or the Chinese Consulate). Accompanying the application must be the letter of invitation, 2 passport pictures, visa fee, and your passport.
2. What clothes should I bring? Can I buy personal items in Fuzhou?
1) There is no snow in the winter in Fuzhou but the temperature can drop to 38 degrees F or 8 degrees C. Summers are very hot and humid. Spring and fall weather is just about perfect except for rain. A down jacket/coat is good for the winter – January, February, March. Summer clothes are worn during August, September, October, May, and June. Most people are informally dressed for teaching. It depends on you. You will see a variation of running shoes, long pants, sweatshirts, jeans to skirts, blouses, stockings for women and shirts, no ties for men.
2) There are several huge stores (Wal-Mart, TESCO and METRO) as well as some local supermarkets here where you can buy any item you want except deodorant and dental floss. Unless you have special needs, these stores can supply you with any personal item you need.
3. Will the college meet me at the airport when I arrive?
Yes. The FAO staff always meets newcomers at Changle International Airport that is 50 minutes away from Hwa Nan. Newcomers must inform the FAO about arrival date, time and airline.
4. Must I bring my own linens?
No, the FAO supplies new white sheets, pillows, blankets, and a warm quilt for the winter. They even have towels, large and small, if you do not want to bring your own. Or you can buy towels here if you wish.
5. What is the Foreign Teachers' House like?
The International Faculty Building is a four-story structure. There are storage facilities and a fully equipped kitchen for Foreign Teachers. There is a recreation / fitness center (ping pong table mahjong table, treadmill, bicycle, and a multi exercise machine with weights). There is a dining room where Foreign Teachers are served meals by our own cook, a laundry center where a woman is on duty every day to do your wash, a pleasure library (over 400 novels), and a teacher resource center (over 600 books ranging from Business English, short stories, speaking/listening and reading material, songs, drama, poetry, grammar, literature, paper/pencil games, and an encyclopedia set).
6. What are our accommodations like?
Each teacher has a suite of rooms which consist of a living room, bedroom and bathroom. A couch, chairs, end tables, lamps, TV, bookcase and a small table make up the living room. In the bedroom there is an oversized single bed (couples have a queen or king sized bed), bookcase, desk, and a closet. The modern bathroom has a shower, western toilet, mirror/medicine chest and a sink/cabinet. All rooms are equipped with a private phone, air-conditioning/heating plus free Internet access. All teachers pay a nominal fee for the use of the phone. Phone cards are easily purchased for overseas calls.
7. What is the teaching schedule like?
Each class lasts one hour and 30 minutes. Foreign Teachers usually teach Speaking courses. Foreign Teachers teach 18 hours per week. Mid-term and final exam schedules are set by you. The Department must know your schedule and will provide monitors if requested. First year students have military exercises during September. All students begin classes by late August or beginning of September. Third year students leave for the second semester for practical work experience and return in June for graduation which is the third Wednesday in June. In essence, 3rd year teachers can go home by the end of December. The college operates on two semesters with a four week break between. The dates of the semester break vary slightly each year depending on the Lunar New Year (usually mid-January to mid-February).
8. What teaching facilities are provided by Hwa Nan?
Each class group has its own classroom either with arm desk chairs or in lectures hall you will find long stationary tables with chairs for students. The black chalk board is large, there is a audio/visual console and a large movie screen that retracts when unused, many overhead fans, and numerous windows looking out to the mountains and a small lake. There are no bulletin boards.
9. What is the student's English level? What do they do with their English once they graduate?
There is no formal testing done to determine the level of English proficiency of our students. Because all students have learned English in high school, their reading and writing is usually better than their speaking and listening skills. Grammar is deficient. Generally, it could be said that the level of English ranges from 3rd grade to 10th grade. Students who come from the countryside or village are less proficient than those from the city. When the students graduate from Hwa Nan, those who are skilled in English either go on to receive their BA degree or find jobs in foreign companies using English to interpret, translate, talk to English speaking foreigners on the phone.
10. What teaching materials should I bring?
With the plethora of teaching materials left here by former foreign teachers, it is hard to think that you would need to bring anything with you. Due to the turnover of foreign teachers, a specific curriculum can not be easily followed. However, upon request, the teaching objectives for the subject and class you will be teaching can be sent to you. The objectives are more succinct and to the point.
11. What about the mail service? Can I send boxes to myself?
Mail service is good. Envelopes sent by regular mail usually take about 10 days to reach their destination. Yes, you can send boxes to yourself and the FAO will hold them for you until you arrive. The FAO will pickup your regular mail / packages / boxes from the post office. The address of the college is as follows:
Fujian Hwa Nan Women's College, Qishan Campus, FAONo.66, Xue Fu Nan Road, Shang Jie TownMin Hou County, Fuzhou, Fujian 350108P.R of China
12. What airline should I use to get to Fuzhou?
If you make airline reservations with a Chinese Travel Agent or through the Internet, it is easy to get your round trip (open ended if desired and allowed by airline) tickets directly to Fuzhou by entering China either through Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, or Hong Kong. Chinese Travel Agency can provide domestic China airline tickets. Always ask to make sure.
13. Is it difficult to change foreign currency?
No, the Bank of China has the facility to change foreign currency as well as traveler's checks. You can also get local currency using your Master or Visa card. When you want to change money ask the FAO about this, they will always help you. Each teaching month, each foreign teacher receives a stipend of 4,500 yuan to 5,000 from the college. The currency in China is the yuan [also referred to as RMB (Renminbi)].
14. When do I sign a contract to teach at Hwa Nan Women's College?
Once the school accepts your application, you will be asked to sign a contract for the Provincial Education Department. It is a government formality.