Who is Eligible?
All those who:
- have a bachelor’s or advanced degree
- are available for a full year
- are flexible and patient
- are willing to go where accepted by a Chinese university
- are under sixty-five years of age
- are in good health
- are free from heavy financial obligations
- are active Church members in good standing
- do not have dependents who would accompany them to China
- Note: Chinese-language skills are not required for placement.
What to Expect
To see a comprehensive step-by-step guide of what you can expect from application to end of service, click here.
Learn more about the China Teachers Program in the video below.
The Kennedy Center provides an intensive two-week workshop the first two weeks of August at BYU-Provo before leaving for an assignment in China. Each teacher is required to attend. The workshop focuses on teaching in China, the culture and history of China, survival Chinese language, and adaptation skills. The workshop is taught by experienced BYU faculty, program administrators, and former program participants.
Travel expenses are provided by the Kennedy Center or Chinese host institution. Teachers travel, following standard Church travel policy, using the most direct route at the lowest fare. Teachers may choose other flight options; however, they will be required to pay the difference in cost. Extra trips are at the teacher’s expense.
During their stay, the host university will provide teachers a modest monthly salary designed to cover basic food and living expenses. Most teachers “break even” with income and expenses. Although there are many benefits associated with the program, teaching in China is not a teaching in China is not a moneymaking proposition.
Health and Medical Care
All teachers are covered by the Chinese national health program. Basic medical care is available free or at a minimal cost through this coverage. In addition, we require teachers to maintain their own personal health insurance. Senior Service Medical Plan (SSMP) insurance may be purchased from Deseret Mutual Benefit Association (DMBA) through the China Teachers Program.
Kennedy Center Support
Kennedy Center staff support teachers through the two-week, pre-departure workshop, by answering personal correspondence via e-mail, by visiting the teachers in the fall, and by hosting a mid-year conference and workshop in Hong Kong. Although we make every effort to be of assistance, teachers need to be capable of working independently.
Chinese universities provide modest, but adequate, housing for foreign teachers. Most apartments include a bedroom, a sitting area, a Western-style bathroom, and limited kitchen facilities. Generally, your residence will be near the university; often the apartment is on campus, where a cafeteria is usually available.
Most teachers are assigned to teach English, including teaching writing, literature, conversation, and other topics. Increasingly, a teacher will be asked to consult or teach his or her professional specialty, such as law, medicine, history, etc. The university where you will be assigned, and your position at that university, will be determined by the Chinese university based on your academic qualifications and teaching experience, and on the university needs.
Your assignment, which is negotiated individually with the university, includes teaching classes (approximately fourteen to sixteen hours per week), and may include judging debates and speech contests, giving presentations on American culture, advising the English Club, and conducting conversation practice sessions.
The Kennedy Center has drafted a document called “Conditions of Placement” that we circulate to the universities. This document covers the rights and responsibilities of both parties while working as a teacher in China.
What is an Assignment?
Teaching in China is an academic service activity. The typical assignment is for one academic year that runs from September through July. Our teachers represent BYU; they are NOT missionaries and must not represent themselves as such or participate in any form of proselyting.
How Assignments Are Made
- Application period 1 September to 1 February. Early submission is strongly encouraged. Deputy directors are in China and unavailable during October and November.
- Applicants return completed application to the Kennedy Center for qualifications screening.
- All applicants are interviewed either at BYU or via a conference call.
- CTP matches an applicant’s qualifications with a Chinese university’s needs and nominates applicants to the universities around the first of March.
- When the nominees are accepted, the Chinese university informs them in writing and sends them a tentative contract.
- The nominees e-mail the signed contract to the university and mails the completed Chinese physical exam form to the CTP office. (take lab reports, EKG, and x-rays to China with you)
- The Chinese university then prepares and forwards to the Kennedy Center the paperwork necessary to obtain a Z visa (a letter of invitation and a Work Permit). CTP acts as a broker in helping the nominees to obtain their visas. Individuals are responsible for costs associated with obtaining documents and visas.
- The nominees will eventually sign an official contract, but it may not be done until they are in China.
- All teaching decisions and assignments are made by the Chinese universities—CTP has no part in this process.
- All applicants who have been accepted to teach by a Chinese university must attend the two-week August workshop at the Kennedy Center from which they depart to China shortly thereafter.
- Usually, there are many more good applicants than there are teaching positions.
Todd and Sherae Forsyth
China Teachers Program