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Teaching at Chinese Universities - Any information

Hi Everyone,

Im considering working at Jida starting in March, and Im in the process of negotiating a contract... I had some questions because Im not really sure about certain things.

For a one year contract (2 semesters) do Chinese universities normally pay for the winter and summer vacations?

The contract I've been sent doesn't mention the summer one, and says you only get one months pay for the winter one, basically meaning you don't get paid for three weeks.

Also apart from teaching duties there seem to be other things that I have to attend. Does anyone know how many hours these extra duties take up (excluding marking) they mention things like "group teaching activities and others".

Will these extra compulsory activities take up a lot of time?

Finally the completion of one year contract bonus is half a month's salary. This seems to be very little? Or is this normal?

Any information would be really helpful!


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John, Universities can vary quite a bit. Usually, February is your official "Spring Break Winter Holiday". At most universities, you will get paid for January, and you will get paid for February. As for your 2-month summer Holiday, you should get paid in July, then get paid for August, in September. At least, that's the way it works at my university (unless I have a retarded Accounting department, which has paid me for 12 months of the year for the past 5 years).

Extra compulsory activities are things like judging English competitions, English corners, etc. Group teaching activities is something I've never heard of. It could be "teach-the-teachers" type scenarios. This is usually a chance for the under-qualified Chinese English teachers to pick your brains about simple questions that their students asked, to confuse them, or they want to see you teach just to fill the little 'self-improvement' check-box on their self-assessment (self-criticism) forms. Either way, they are usually little BS items that is part of the university teaching protocol. They don't happen very often, and really aren't something you need to concern yourself with. As for the contract bonus, consider yourself lucky to be getting anything.

Personally, if I resign, all I get is one 'attaboy'. Ten attaboys, and I get a 'woohoo!'

Bear in mind in your contract negotiations that most universities and public schools are no longer using the SAFEA contract. If they tell you that they are using the government contract, it is nothing but BS. It may LOOK like the government contract, but that's as far as it goes. Mostly, they are just copying the SAFEA wording because they are too damned lazy to make their own contract (or they haven't a clue how to make their own). Another reason they don't tell you is because a non-government contract gives you some power in negotiations, which they don't like.

As with all contract negotiations, take your time. Don't let them rush you into signing something if you are unsure, or have any questions about what you are signing. I usually tell my uni that my lawyer needs to look it over first.

You usually get paid winter holidays and then up to the end of your contract. The rest of the summer is only paid if you stay on another year.

Thanks for the detailed information Chris, that was really helpful.
Claudia, that seems exactly what the contract they sent me was saying about the holidays, but it was a little unclear, thanks for clearing it up!

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