Sino-Canada School
#1 Liannan Road Fenhu Economic Development Zone
Wujiang, Jiangsu China 215211
Tel: +86-0512-6326-2262
E-mail: info@sinocanada.ca

What happens when I arrive in China?

When you arrive at Pudong Airport in Shanghai, check through customs, get your baggage, and exit into the main area of the terminal, where you will be greeted by a sign with your name on it. 

If for some reason you do not see the sign, wait near the exit until the school representative finds you.

One of the BC Program secretaries will meet you at the airport and take you to the Zsplashes Hotel on the Sino-Canada School campus. A member of the administration team will be there to greet you and get you settled. 

At first, you will stay in a hotel room equipped with all the basic amenities.  There will be drinking water, a fridge, and a kettle in the room.  On campus there is a corner store and a few restaurants to get some food until a trip into town can be arranged.

The first four days of work are an orientation for new and returning teachers.  The majority of the time is for teachers to get acquainted with the staff, systems, and expectations of the school. 

As well, some time is dedicated to familiarizing you with the town, going grocery shopping, and acquiring a SIM card. The final day of the orientation is used for class preparation. 

What documentation do I need to bring?

You should bring copies of your degrees, university transcripts, plus teaching certificates. 

You will need these to get your "Foreign Experts Certificate" which allows you to be employed as a teacher here in China.

What medical shots/ vaccinations should I get?

Although there are no mandatory vaccinations or shots necessary for China it is advisable that prospective teachers or tourists get the necessary shots (Hepatitis is the minimum). 

It is strongly advised that teachers visit their doctor before coming to China to get a thorough medical check up. 

Once you are here, and begin employment you will have to get a Chinese medical check in order to obtain your working visa. 

The school will look after all costs associated with your Chinese medical check up and the cost associated with getting your visa

Do I need a visa to enter China?

Teachers who come to China must get a Z visa, the visa required to be able to work here.  You can get your Z visa
through the Chinese Consulates in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, or the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa.
Before applying for your Z visa you will need some documents from the school.  Once you have signed your
contract, the documents you require will be sent to you by courier.

Make sure that your passport is up to date, has at least 6 blank pages, and at least a year remaining before
expiration.  Although the passport can be easily updated in China through the Canadian Consulate, doing so can
create a number of problems associated with your visa status.

Please keep all receipts from your visa as you will need these in order to be reimbursed by the school.

Once you arrive, the support staff at Sino-Canada will begin acquiring a residency permit for you. As a requirement
for residency, each teacher must undergo a medical check at the Travel Clinic in Wujiang. The test will include a
chest x-ray, ultra-sound, hearing and vision tests, and blood tests. This is a modern clinic which often provides
medical checks for Westerners arriving in China. It should be noted that anyone with HIV or sexually transmitted
diseases will not be admitted to China.

Your residency permit and long stay visa will be processed upon your arrival in China.  Your resident visa is placed
in your passport.  You will need to show your passport any time you travel in China by air or train and when you
stay in a hotel.

What money do they use and how will I be paid?

The local Chinese currency is called Ren Min Bi or simply RMB. It is often called “Kuai” or more formally Yuan. 
There are many banks in China.

It is sometimes difficult to arrange to transfer foreign currency out of China. 

Your contracts states you will be paid in RMB and be deposited into the Bank of China Account here in China .

Incidentally, you can use your Bank of China card with the “Union Pay” logo on it in any CIBC ATM in Canada  

Chinese tax laws are such that the first 4000RMB are non-taxable. Income tax in China is about 15-20%, 

If you are a resident of Canada (have not claimed non-residency) you can deduct the Chinese tax paid from the
Canadian tax paid  so the overall amount will not be greater than the total amount of Canadian Tax you would have
paid had you received the salary in Canada.

Can I bank in China?

It is very easy to open a bank account in China and the account can be a source of convenience.

The RMB amount The school will open a bank account at the Bank of China for direct deposit of your monthly
salary. 

Bank of China debit cards are ‘Union Pay’ which is accepted in most countries. 

You can use your Bank of China debit card at ATMs around the world for easy access to local currency.

Will I be able to contact Canada easily from the school?

The entire Sino-Canada campus has broadband Internet. 

The hotel and apartments on campus have LAN lines into each room. 

The BC program building has wifi throughout. 

For those wishing to live off campus, high speed Internet is readily available.

Each teacher will be issued a laptop computer for their use while they are under contract to the school. 

Additionally, international calling plans are available through all the cell service providers. 

What is the cost of living compared to Canada?

The cost of living in Luxu is much lower than Shanghai and many cities in Canada. 

Accommodation ranges in price depending on location and the number of bedrooms.  Apartments on campus are
priced at 1200 RMB/month for a 1 bedroom, and 1800 RMB/month for a 2 bedroom.  In town, a 2 bedroom
apartment averages 2400 RMB/month. 

All apartments come furnished and require occupants to pay monthly for gas, electric, water and internet (off
campus only).

There are a variety of options for buying food.  Your preferences will dictate how much you spend on groceries. 
Locally grown fruit and vegetables can be purchased at markets in town inexpensively.  Imported items are available
in Shanghai or online.  These items cost the same or more than in Canada.

There are a variety of restaurants in Luxu.  The cost of a meal can range from 6 RMB to 100 RMB (a very big, social
meal).  Shanghai has a large range of options and prices. 

Most western restaurants cost the same or more than their equivalent in Canada.  Of course, there are cheaper,
often more delicious, local alternatives in the city too.

What are the teacher’s apartments like?

The apartments are located on the Sino-Canada campus about a five-minute walk from the BC program building. 
They are two-story apartments situated alongside Lake Dianshan, away from the noise of traffic and people.

The living area and kitchen are on the main floor, and the bedroom and washroom are upstairs. 

The apartments on campus are furnished with the following: dishes, cutlery, cooking utensils, toaster oven, coffee
maker, microwave, fridge, chesterfield, computer desk and chair, king size bed and bedding, wardrobe, and night
table. 

The apartments are heated and cooled with wall-mounted electric heaters/air conditioners.  There is a heater in the
main living area and in each bedroom.  The kitchen is equipped with one gas element, a single basin sink, and a
water dispenser. 

The bathroom has a stand up shower, 50L hot water tank, a western toilet, and a washing machine.

Apartments in the town of Luxu may or may not come furnished. Landlords will negotiate individual rental
agreements with tenants.

What clothes should I bring?

Since we have a range of weather, it’s best to pack for all seasons. 

The expectation for work attire is business casual. 

Classrooms are equipped with heater/ac units. However, there is no heating or cooling in the hallways or the gymnasium.

What happens if I need to talk to the Canadian Embassy or Consulate?

Canada's embassy is located in Beijing.

Canada has four consulates with a full range of services located in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Chongqing, and
Shanghai.

All teachers should register with the Canadian Consulate so that in the event of serious injury or death while
traveling the next of kin can be notified.

You may register online or by going to the Canadian Consulate.

If I don’t talk Chinese how will I be understood?

Generally speaking, most hotels three stars and greater, travel agencies, major airports, and train stations have
employees that can speak English.

Shopkeepers and restaurants in major tourist areas will speak and understand enough English to help you get by.

Translation apps are very useful and can allow you to have an entire conversation with someone who doesn’t speak
English. 

Communication is not usually a problem when accompanied by a smile.

What is the climate and air quality like?

The climate of Shanghai is similar to Vancouver. 

Summers are very hot and very humid with an average temperature of 28-33 degrees. 

Winters are typically cold and dry with average temperatures between 0-6 degrees.  However, in the past few years,
winters have become increasingly wet.

Shanghai suffers from pollution and there are days when air quality is a concern.  When checking the air quality
index (AQI), the closest measurement location to the school is in the town of Qingpu.  Qingpu is about half way
between Luxu and Shanghai. 

The AQI measurement there is usually within +/- 30 point range of Shanghai’s AQI score.

What are the dental and medical facilities like?

Teachers have a health plan that covers medical care in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

There are many Western clinics and hospitals, as well as Chinese hospitals with Western departments in Shanghai and Suzhou, which provide medical care to Canadian standards.

When travelling outside of China, it is strongly recommended that teachers buy third party coverage. Teachers have emergency dental coverage up to 5000 RMB which does not cover cosmetic work or cleanings. 

There are a number of very good dentists in Shanghai and Suzhou who provide excellent service in modern facilities for a lower cost than clinics in Canada.   .