Perfect Students International


Language - Mandarin is the standard language and other languages are not common. In all cities there are places where westerners congregate; participants will have no trouble finding others who speak their native language. Most necessary services are offered in both English and Mandarin.

Housing - The housing in China can seem very basic to visiting westerners. In cities, most people live in small high-rise apartments that vary significantly in quality and, in most cases, heating and cooling are limited. Teacher Assistants will live in schools where accommodation is basic, but good by Chinese standards.

Transport - In China, modern and reliable airlines offer many inexpensive city-to-city flights. Trains are are an inexpensive form of transport, even when travelling first class. Taxis are reasonably priced and have meters.

Money - The local currency is the Remimbi (RMB, also called the Yuan) and is only valid in China. The RMB has a fixed exchange with the US dollar of around 8:1 and can be accessed by ATMs in many locations.

Safety - China is a safe country with a low crime rate; however, as is the case in any unfamiliar environment, there is a need to be careful against the usual 'rip offs' for food, drink, taxis, and counterfeit money. Like most large cities, it is wise to avoid certain areas; generally it is safe to walk the streets of China's cities at night.

Medical and Health Care - Although the medical facilities in China's international hospitals are excellent, Many medicines common to Western countries are still unavailable in China.. While medical costs are relatively low, medical insurance is strongly advised. In addition, care needs to be taken with the water, which should be boiled before use. While living in China, participants will find that its people have many traditional forms of medicine, the most notable being acupuncture.

Food - Chinese food varies greatly between provinces. Generally food is served fresh, but is very different from western foods in preparation and presentation. Vegetables and rice are common, fresh fruit is limited, and milk is not widely available. Breakfast is particularly different, with congee (a savoury rice soup) being a very popular option. Ingredients are seasonal and therefore the menu in some areas is limited in variety. Food is an important part of Chinese culture - chopsticks are used and tea is usually served with each meal. Western-style food can be purchased, although it is expensive and not of the quality one might expect.

Customs - Chinese people remain curious about westerners and are usually very friendly and helpful. In general, they are also much less direct than westerners and go out of their way not to offend people. It is important to the culture to maintain "face"- not be embarrassed. The culture and standards of dress remain conservative. Religion is not an important part of daily life to most people in China. China has been a communist country for a long time, and its influence is still evident, especially in the Chinese regard for authority.

Accommodation - Western-style, furnished, shared teachers' accommodation (bedding/linen provided), with common living area, on the school grounds. This is the typical standard but may vary from school to school. China is a developing nation, and at times, the accommodation will be basic by Western standards. Work & Travel China staff inspect all accommodations, but cannot guarantee that yours will not change without notice. Most accommodations have cooking facilities.

Allowance - A tax-free allowance, in the amount is deposited monthly directly into participants' bank accounts. In addition, a bonus is paid on completion of the program. The monthly allowance is the typical salary paid to a Chinese teacher and, while it allows for some additional spending, is not a high salary. In particular, Western items may seem expensive on this salary level.

Travel -The school employing the participant will pay for his or her transportation to the school following the training and orientation, as well as between job postings. This will be completed by the most suitable means and may include air travel, train or bus, depending on the distance.

Medical Services - Basic medical services are available through the schools' infirmaries. If necessary, serious illnesses can be treated at the participant's expense in the local hospitals. Medical insurance is highly recommended.

Emergency Contacts - Each school will have a bilingual emergency contact for who can help participants with any day-to-day issues. In addition, Work & Travel China offers 24-hour emergency contact based in Beijing to assist with major concerns.

Power Supply - Electrical outlets vary between provinces, with most using a 220v system similar to Australia. Adapators are readily available as required.

Mobile Phones - Mobile phones are very common in China and are on a prepaid system. Work & Travel China can arrange telephones for participants.

Bank Accounts - ATM machines are very common and take international credit cards (VISA) and some debit cards. Work & Travel China will help participants open local bank accounts to make accessing their money easier.

Internet Access - Internet access is provided by the schools. Although in China Internet access is widespread, it is still relatively slow. There a very few Internet cafes and viruses are very common.