So it’s official now, I went through all the paper work and trouble to get a working visa here in China, and now my contract at BIGC (Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication) is in effect, I’m collecting checks, and all that jazz.
The amount of work it takes to get a working visa is insane.
1) 2 years teaching experience, CV, Valid Visa and Passport, 2nd Form of I.D., and your original college diploma
2) A initial letter of inquest must be done at the Foreign Expert Bureau to see if you are allowed to teach in China. This takes a month.
3) Once cleared, you then must sign 4 copies of your contract and receive an invite from the college you will be teaching at.
4) Once completed you must then receive 2 more letters of recommendation from the afore mentioned foreign experts bureau. This takes another month.
5) Now you must complete a immigration physical exam, this takes 2 weeks to get back.
6) Now you must go to Hong Kong to receive a one entry work visa that is valid for 30 days.
7) Once back in China, you have to register with the local Police station so that they know your current living address (actually this is the second time you should do this because once you enter with a tourist visa, and you’re not staying in a hotel you need to do this)
8) No go back to the foreign experts bureau and show them what you’ve done and they give you a slip of paper.
9) Now you must go to a Immigration and foreign travel Police Station, a large place devoted just to incoming and outgoing residents of China. All people need permission from the country to do either, whether or not your visa says you can do so. Once here, they’ll tell you that you’ve done most of everything wrong, that you wasted your time, that they have the only say so on who actually gets this work visa or not, and they will make decisions that seem irrational and run contrary to what everyone else has told you. You will realize that China is heavily bureaucratic but completely disorganized. Eventually things will work out, and 2 weeks later you can pick up your final work visa.
10) You then have 1 hour to find your local police station and register there with your final work visa living permite. Now you are done.
11) Did I mention almost all these places, save the local police station, wanted at least 2 photos of your truly And on top of that, Haoyue had to get a visa to go to Hong Kong with me- so the final number of stops would actually be 15 places to visit just to get a work visa.
I didn’t want to post all this before as to not jinx myself. You are not supposed to come to China on a tourist visa then switch to a work visa. Furthermore, because of incompetence everything was delayed for weeks, and because of Holidays the trip to Hong Kong was heavily delayed. Therefore, my contract started without me having completed all of these steps, a big no no. So, luckily I get my paid vacation this semester and I’ve been enjoying the time off.
Classes start back up on the 25th of February, so stay tuned to see some of my syllabi I’ll post online.
For the meantime, I was kind enough to volunteer my time and teach so volunteer classes. I had a lot of fun with all of the classes, the students were really warm hearted and we had a good time. I like to keep things casual, but be serious in class- and I think this worked out well. Here is a picture of my Public Speech class and myself.
It’s a pretty different teaching experience. Notice how everybody is wearing coats- well it’s winter of course, but we are inside AND THERE IS NO HEAT!!! There is, but you don’t feel it. LOL, so we have class in coats.
The school in general is right up my alley, that’s why I’m very happy to teach there. The school focuses on graphic communication, so art, graphic design, 3-D animation, photography, and web design are some of the areas you can focus on. Although they don’t have a film program, I will be teaching a basic level English Language film class.
It’s a second level college in Beijing, but they do have a graduate program and I’m sure they are going to be growing exponentially because, well everything in China does.
Here are my classes from 2013:
Yeah, we watched Donnie Darko!
I also taught a writing class. They were great, most of the time writing is much harder to teach.