How to prepare for the trip to China as an ESL teacher?

After 2 months for the work visa process, now you are ready to go.


Psychologically, you must have 2 feelings:

1. Exciting to explore the new world

2. Anxiety for thousands of reasons


This article will give you a technical guide for the checklist to travel to China as an ESL teacher.

Let's start straight forward!


1. Inform your family

Not only saying goodbye.


Your family will worry about you a lot, especially when they are watching all the bad news about China from TV and newspaper.


You may worry about "How can I successfully find an apartment?" "Where to find good wine in China?", but the worry of your parents might be in a level "Will someone kidnaps my daughter?" or "Will my son be arrested as a foreigner in a communist country?"


Aye, every country in this world has its own propaganda to show its own citizens the other countries are dangerous and we are always get involved in political stuff even we don't want to. And the propaganda becomes more serious when it's about the West and China. Some Chinese parents even buy body armors for their children studying in the US after they watch the gunshot news.


So you need to make sure you have at least 1 communication App available to always keep in touch with your family, no matter skype, messenger, email or Snapchat. To let your family know that you arrived safely and share pictures of your daily life here.


Also, our agency WOOK Talent will be your emergency contact, please share our email or phone number with your family. Sometimes, when your phone is out of battery, or you are having problems with VPN which makes your family can't catch you in time, they can always email us, and we will contact your school to make sure everything is ok with you.


Now you are leaving your family, going to a new world without the support from the family. When you return back to your hometown the next time, you would feel you have grown up a lot with the new version of the world. This song is for you: << Goodbye Moonmen>> from Rick and Morty.




2. Send the flight ticket information to your school

For arranging the airport pick up for you at the right time and the right terminal of the airport.

Some schools will prepare your name panel and flowers for you like this:

Some schools, especially big brands like Bear Learning, will arrange a driver for you and will send you the driver information photo. And the driver will hold a panel of your name and wait for you at the airport:

If it's WOOK Talent who picks you up at the airport, you will benefit the professional tour guide of Shanghai city during the road trip from the airport to the hotel.

Also, you might be taken a photo with our big logo flag like this:




3. Get VPN installed on your laptop and phone

Youtube/Facebook are banned in China, but it's not illegal to use them in China, over 10% of Chinese use VPN to get access to Youtube/Facebook websites.

Our team will send you an email with the specifications.




4. Bring all the original documents with you

The paperwork is not ending yet, we will need to apply for the work permit card and residence permit after you arrive in China.

Make sure you bring your original degree, TEFL, non-criminal record plus their legalizations with you while taking the flight.

If your school is located in Beijing and you have already sent all of your legalization documents to Beijing before you get the work visa, just need to bring the original certifications with you.




5. Prepare some money before you get your first paycheck

Just like moving to a new city in your home country, you need to prepare at least 350 GBP or 500 USD for your first month in China before you get your first month's paycheck, especially when you are going to the first-tier cities like Beijing or Shanghai.


Most of the schools will do a prepayment once you arrive, you could use the prepayment from the school to rent the apartment for the first month. 350 GBP or 500 USD is good for the food, sim card, new pillow, new bed sheet for getting settled done for the first month.


You could change GBP/USD to RMB in advance, it's also convenient to change GBP/USD into RMB after you arrive in China.


If you are not a fan of cash, you could also draw RMB from your Brtish or American bank card in a local ATM machine, the commission will be relatively higher. Don't forget to call your bank to inform them you are going abroad, some banks may block your account for the "abnormal activity" which may cause a big problem later.




6. Prepare a bottle of deodorant

You may find it quite interesting.... because generically Chinese don't need deodorant, and it might be hard to find deodorant in a local supermarket.


Because it's liquid, you need to do the consignment for it while taking the flight.


But don't worry, when you get used to Taobao later, you can buy it easily online.




7. Prepare melatonin and an earphone for your flight

12 hours' flight! It might be the longest flight you have ever take in your life!

Melatonin and earphone can give you a good sleep on the flight.


For music who help you sleep.

I suggest the album of <<Max Richter - Sleep II>>



8. Don't bring too much stuff in your luggage

Since you are going to the world factory.

2 or 3 weeks later, you may get addicted to Taobao.com

Where you can buy a 50 inches 4K TV with 100 USD, free delivery to your apartment within 24 hours. The same product might be sold on Amazon with 700 USD, 30 days delivery with another 100 USD delivery fee.


9. Download the BING translator on your phone.

Even a big percentage of Chinese speak good English, but the translator APP will be necessary for some scenarios.


Google translator might be better, but what if your VPN doesn't work so well?

BING is not banned in China, and also quite practical.

Here is the link for BING translator on Google Play

Here is the link for BING translator on Apple Store



Hope you have a good trip!

And please remember, no matter which city you are going to, no matter what happens, WOOK Talent is always your backup, we will be responsible for your relocation from the beginning to the end.



By WOOK Talent

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