One of the most important questions for applicants is "How much will this all cost?". We want to be completely transparent with our applicants about the associated costs which is why we have broken down the costs associated with the process along with an estimated budget for the entire process below.
The budgeting timeline is broken down for the standard August start date. For applicants intending to go to China during another date the costs and/or timeline may vary from those shown below. The average cost of the entire application process is roughly £1800 (including flights, visa fees, programme fees, first-month living expenses in China, and insurance).
Around 80% of applicants are required to complete a physical medical examination in their home country prior to departure. The type of medical examination required may vary depending on the provincial government regulations of the applicant's school (regulations can vary from region to region in China).
For the majority of our applicants a standard medical examination completed by a local GP will be sufficient. The cost of this through the NHS is FREE, with costs to be incurred privately.
For a few applicants a detailed medical may need to be submitted including x-ray scans. The costs of this can vary anywhere from £80-200. In most cases we will try to avoid placing teachers in these regions unless necessary.
CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK
Applicants are required to undergo a criminal record check by the relevant local police enforcement agency from those countries that they have resided in over the last 12 months.
For applicants in the UK the standard criminal record check is £25 which is sufficient for most regions, with a more detailed check costing around £60. Prices may vary for other countries.
LEGALISATION & AUTHENTICATION
All applicants are required to notarise, legalise, and authenticate application documents. The process for this can be time-consuming as applicants are required to send their documents off to a notary public. We estimate that the cost will be around £290 (£145 per document).
Some of our placement schools such as the Pacican Academy have been known to provide a refund for this fee on the completion of an applicants contract with the school however, we ask that applicants don't expect this and only see it as a nice bonus if that is the case.
Once our applicants have all of the necessary visa documents we will work on submitting their visa application. The cost of the process is £151 (in the UK) and requires that the applicant go to one of the Chinese embassy/consulates located in their home country.
For applicants living in the UK these are based in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh. Applicants that live far away from one of these cities may need to factor in a bit of additional expenses to travel to one of those cities to process their visa application.
REIMBURSED BY SCHOOL ($1000+)
Applicants are required to cover their own expenses for the flight to China. Due to the high peak time of year flight tickets are typically between £450-600 one-way. Applicants will receive a refund for their flights to and from China on completion of their contract by their school. Typically the refund amount is around $1000-1200 and will be stated clearly in the applicants contract that they sign prior to departing for China.
Schools usually don't pay for applicants flights upfront to prevent the possibility of people taking advantage of the system and receiving a free paid holiday. We hope that all applicants can understand why many schools have this requirement.
Around 70% of our applicants are expected to make it for our Beijing summer camp in the middle of August. Accommodation, food, and day-trip excursions to Beijing's most famous sites for the summer camp are all covered by our sponsors. Applicants may wish to bring a little bit of spending money to buy a few snacks/essential items during this time.
FIRST MONTHS RENT
Applicants are expected to receive their first pay cheque from their school at the end of September. This means for the first month applicants are expected to be sufficient on their own money. Depending on the applicants placement city the amount of money necessary to get by will vary.
For the largest cities around £400-500 in spending money will be sufficient, while for smaller cities around £250-300 will be enough. For the majority of our applicants accommodation costs for first month will not be an issue as they will be covered by the applicants placement school (excludes Pacican option for those that explicitly select that option).
For an example of the cheap cost of living we have listed the price of some daily items that can be found in the one of the most expensive cities in China: Shanghai.
Bus single-journey (25p), Subway single-journey (40p), in-expensive restaurant (£2-3), mid-range restaurant (£6-9), western food (£6-12), 2L of coke (£1), a bottle of beer (£1.50), 10km taxi journey (£4)
OTHER THINGS FOR APPLICANTS TO CONSIDER
Applicants travelling to China may wish to get certain vaccinations/top-up shots to protect them for their travelling in China (and nearby countries). On average applicants spend less than £60 on their vaccinations and many applicants receive their vaccinations for FREE under the NHS (applicants from the UK). We recommend that applicants ask their local GP and check government-backed websites for travel & vaccination advice. A few websites we have found to be useful are fit for travel, gov.uk, and travel health pro. Vaccinations are not reimbursed by the school.
A COMPREHENSIVE INSURANCE POLICY
We STRONGLY recommend that applicants take out their own COMPREHENSIVE insurance BEFORE purchasing any travel to China (July/August). Teaching in China takes no responsibility for any applicants that fail to purchase valid insurance. We also don't recommend relying on the insurance that the school may provide as many of these insurances don't provide comprehensive insurance. These days travel insurance can be purchased very easily online with a worldwide travel plan likely to cost anywhere between £200 and £300 for comprehensive coverage. Insurance is not reimbursed by the school.
OUR PROGRAMME FEE
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO 120-HOUR TEFL COURSE AND TWO WEEK BEIJING SUMMER CAMP
To ensure that we can provide a high-quality service throughout the application process we charge a fee of £450. This fee includes the following:
120-hour TEFL course (value of £100)
Two week Beijing summer camp including food and accommodation (value of over £500)
Full application support throughout the visa process
Assistance finding a school in China
The programme fee can be paid in one single or two separate instalments.
£250 - PROGRAMME DEPOSIT
The programme deposit is used to secure an applicants place on the programme (as places are limited each year to ensure quality). The deposit can be paid at any time once an applicant has been accepted from an interview.
£200 - REMAINING FEE
The remaining fee can be paid together with the deposit as a single instalment or as a separate fee at a later date. For those applicants wishing to pay the remaining fee separately it should be paid no later than the 31st of March, or 30 days after the success of an interview (if conducted after the 1st of March).
People that apply together as part of a pair/group will receive a discount on their remaining fee. For a group of two people this discount is £50, while for a group of 3 or more this discount rises to £75 per person.