Working at SCIS
With over twenty years of rich tradition, SCIS offers a truly unique international experience. The SCIS community is unparalleled, consisting of a diverse mix of outstanding teachers, students, and parents representing over sixty nationalities and thirty-five languages, across six continents. SCIS leverages this unique community to provide a personalized approach to holistic education, ensuring all students have the opportunity to be successful.
Your colleagues are experienced and dedicated teachers from around the English-speaking world. The majority of our teachers have been hired from overseas, and some have been recruited locally from the Shanghai expatriate community. A common theme of our faculty to date has been our flexibility in adapting to the needs of the schools during our continual growth. There has been a positive “can do” spirit, which we strive to maintain even now that we are very well “established.” SCIS hires highly qualified, experienced teachers, who are caring and compassionate. All positions require that applicants be experienced, certified professionals in their field, speak English fluently, be physically fit, and able to pass a criminal background check. Salary and benefit packages are competitive. Please check our website regularly for updates in employment opportunities.
A listing of all our teachers (nationality, genders, etc.) will be made available to you. We will assign “buddies” from our returning teachers to whom you might want to talk about books, resources, curriculum, and so forth.
Visit our faculty page, please click here.
Employment Application Process
SCIS does most of its hiring through:
- University of Northern Iowa (http://www.uni.edu/placement/overseas/)
- The International Educator (http://www.tieonline.com)
- Search Associates (http://www.searchassociates.com/)
- International Schools Services (http://www.iss.edu)
We begin reviewing applications in October and will make appointments prior to the start of the recruiting fairs. We review expressions of interest which may be made via e-mail, and contact appropriate candidates via telephone or video conference.
Thank you for your interest in teaching at SCIS. Our school currently enrolls approximately 2500 students from over 60 different countries on three campuses (two in SCIS-Hongqiao and one in SCIS-Pudong). Our professional faculty numbers more than 270.
Minimum teaching requirements for SCIS include:
- Valid teaching credential or equivalent in subject area from a government institution (four-year degrees required)
- Three years full-time teaching experience in the grade level or subject area of our vacancy
- Familiarity with best practices in education
- Evidence of recent professional growth activities
- Experience and commitment to co-curricular and after school activities
- Experience working in a multi-cultural or international school setting
SCIS prefers not to hire individuals with non-teaching spouses, or families with children who have more than mild learning difficulties.
Teaching Positions Available
If you are interested in employment at SCIS, please send a cover letter of introduction, recent portrait photo and a complete resume to:
Mr. Daniel Eschtruth, Director of Schools
Shanghai Community International School
1161 Hongqiao Road
Shanghai, CHINA 200051
Compensation and Benefits
Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) is committed to being a community where each member seeks out every opportunity to successfully deliver our mission, “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring learners who contribute positively to their communities.”
To support this effort SCIS offers a highly competitive benefit and salary package, these include:
- Salary: SCIS offers a competitive salary package that reflects the years of experience a faculty member has accrued. For those faculty with 3-8 years our base salary begins at $47,000, at 8-12 years it is $49,000, and for those with more than 13 years of experience, the starting salary is $51,000. Those faculty members with Masters or Doctorate degrees will be provided enhancements of $2,000 or $4,000 to their base salary respectively.
- Host Country Taxes: SCIS will pay, on your behalf, all of the People’s Republic of China taxes accrued from your salary.
- Retirement/Personal Savings: All eligible faculty members will receive $3,000.00 in each of the first two years of employment. Thereafter, the payment will increase by $500 per year to a maximum of $5500
- Health Care: SCIS provides international faculty members with major health insurance which offers coverage worldwide, excluding the US (comprehensive emergency care is covered within the US).
- Housing: School Provided Housing for the first school year, and receive a housing allowance to arrange your housing needs for your second year of employment and beyond.
- Airfare: SCIS will provide each teacher with US$3000 for an annual travel supplement upon submission of the airfare receipt, ticket, and boarding pass. An additional supplement is given for one dependent child per teacher (US$ 500 if under the age of 2 and US$ 1250 if age 2 year or older.
- Displacement Allowance: SCIS will pay a displacement allowance of US$1000 for each new teacher upon his/her arrival in Shanghai in August. (first year only)
- Extra Baggage Allowance: SCIS offers a one-time extra baggage allowance for actual costs up to the maximum amount of US$1500 payable after the presentation of applicable receipts (reimbursable for first year only).
- Utilities: SCIS will pay, on your behalf, utility expenses of up to US$1500 per year.
- Transportation Cards: SCIS will provide each faculty member RMB 2,000 (approximately $300) to support their transportation needs.
- Wellness: SCIS will provide each faculty up to RMB2,000 (approximately $300) receipt-based benefit to support health, wellbeing, and general wellness efforts.
- Annual Health Check: SCIS will provide each faculty up to $500 for an annual health checkup.
- Dental Wellness: SCIS will provide each faculty member up to RMB3,000 (approximately $450) receipt-based benefit to support annual dental checkups and health.
- School Provided Lunch: SCIS will provide cafeteria lunch to faculty on all school days.
- Professional Development: SCIS’ provides professional development funding on an annual basis. For the initial two year contract, this amounts to $1,000.00 along with access to additional professional development experiences that are covered directly by the school. In a faculty member’s third year and beyond they may receive up to $1,500.00 in professional development funding.
- Student Tuition and Fees: All SCIS overseas hired teachers’ school-age children have SCIS tuition and fees covered up to two children if both parents are teaching and up to one child for a single teacher or a teacher with a non-teaching spouse. Tuition for additional children above the allowance is provided at a discounted amount. All children must meet admission requirements.
- Technology: SCIS provides each faculty member with the use of a school-owned Apple laptop.
- Leaves of Absence: Personal Leave, Sick Leave, Compassionate Leave, and Professional Leave. Paid Maternity Leave is available after the 2nd year of employment.
- Recruitment Leave: Up to 4 paid recruitment leave days (extended with 1 personal leave day) may be taken by an overseas-hired teacher in his/her third or more year, with pre-arrangement and approval of the Administration.
- Other Benefits: Currently, SCIS teachers receive additional support for wellness initiatives, such as the public transportation and health & fitness allowances.
Overseas Hire Conditions
We’d like to provide a clear understanding of the conditions below before you accept our contract offer:
Shipping is not available for first year faculty members. The timing of your work permit and residence visa issuance simply will not allow you to receive a shipment and it would be returned rather than released to you. Instead, we recommend that you pay for “excess baggage” or send boxes by your national mail carrier. We do not recommend using courier services (e.g. Fed Ex, UPS, DHL) as custom clearance will be highly problematic and expensive.
Please note that pets are not allowed in school provided housing, and many Shanghai landlords prohibit or avoid tenants with pets. In the event that a teacher acquires a pet once they are no longer in school provided housing, the teacher should understand that he or she would be responsible for any damage caused to the apartment, any damage or grievance filed by anyone who is bitten or disturbed by the pet, and for all of the registration and licensing regulations in Shanghai.
All original certificates (Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees) are required to be authenticated with the People’s Republic of China Embassy/Consulate where you will be applying for the Z visa.
Visa, Work & Residence Permit Process
New Teacher Life
Although Mandarin is the language of business and education throughout all of China, there are countless dialects, and languages, in various regions throughout the country.
The Shanghai dialect is a distinctively different language than pure Mandarin, however a basic vocabulary of Mandarin will afford most non-Mandarin speakers enough to get by if they are living in Shanghai, and for general travel throughout the country. Because Shanghai is becoming such modern and cosmopolitan city of recent, it is not uncommon to find local citizens who have a basic command of the English language. DVD players and DVDs are popular and readily available. If you decide to bring a electronics with you, however, customs could assess duty on this if your luggage is checked. A combination VCD/DVD/CD player will cost you less than US$100. Remember also, the electrical system is different from that of the U.S. At most apartments provided by the school for our staff, satellite television is available. English language channels include: CNN, HBO, Star Sports, and at least one music channel. Numerous other channels are available which broadcast programming in Chinese, Italian, French, Japanese, and German.
Household Staff/Domestic Help
For many people coming to China, employing domestic help will be a new experience. To work as a household help is a respected position in China, and to work for a foreigner has high prestige. Undoubtedly, if you do hire help, it will take you a little while to get used to having help in your home, but once you have established a routine with your “ayi”, you will come to appreciate the work they do so willingly for you. Most teachers agree that it is very pleasant to come home from school to find the chores done, particularly the laundry. It is most unusual for expatriates not to have maids. So, even if you feel uncomfortable with the idea, they do make your daily life easier. The school can assist you in hiring help. Many of the “ayis” who have worked for staff who are leaving the school will be interested in being employed by new teachers who are arriving. Therefore, personal referrals from families soon departing are the best sources for experienced, reliable domestic help. With a little diligence and maybe a few tries, you will find trustworthy, hard-working household staff. The typical cost for an ayi is approximately US$ 3.00 per hour.
People who live here have the opportunity to maintain a healthy diet, including a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Rice is the main staple, and chicken and seafood are plentiful. Most people shop in both supermarkets and local markets. In general, food prices range from slightly lower to slightly higher than in the U.S., depending on the proportion of imported goods purchased.
When it comes to eating out in Shanghai, there is an ever-expanding number of local and international restaurants to choose from, catering for all global tastes. Chinese enjoy eating in restaurants, and there is a wide selection from the very basic Chinese cafe to restaurants of international standard. There are many American fast food franchises in Shanghai, and most have outlets in all areas and in the major shopping centers. Most major hotels offer continental cuisine in their restaurants and coffee shops. Some offer special food promotions featuring a particular country’s dish for about a month or so. In addition, those seeking American fast food can find Subway, Papa John’s, McDonald’s, and, of course, Starbucks. We believe that you will enjoy the experience of seeking out new places to eat after you arrive. However, avoid indiscriminate sampling from noodle stalls and markets. Select one of the better-known places, frequented by locals and clean in appearance. Eat only fresh prepared cooked or fried food served hot. Eating raw meat and seafood involves high and unnecessary risks. Avoid produce that has not been peeled. Drink only boiled or bottled water. The apartment will supply your apartment with a water dispenser and the purchase of replacement bottles is handled through the apartment management.
Local citizens dress conservatively and modestly. Everything from very casual to very dressy is seen on the streets. Clothes are inexpensive, and tailoring can be done at very reasonable prices. Chinese equate high fashion with success. As Shanghai is a modern cosmopolitan city, many of the upper society are decked out in international designer fashions for social events. There can be occasions where you could need formal wear, however normal suits and ties or long dresses are appropriate for most occasions. Shorts are appropriate wear for men and women for sporting events and in most casual recreational settings. The dress at school is casual but “smart”. Women dress as they would go when going to lunch at a nice hotel—nothing that might be offensive to the wide range of ethnic backgrounds and sensibilities we have among our parents. Modest sleeveless blouses and modest open-toed sandals are all right for school. Men do not always wear ties at school, but long trousers, leather shoes with socks (not sandals or athletic shoes), and a shirt with a collar. SCIS is a conservative and diverse community of different customs and experiences. Teachers’ appearances should reflect their professionalism and competence. Earrings or ponytails for men are outside of the dress code, as are nose rings or body piercing for either sex or any other styles that might “alarm” some of our parents or students. A special note: For special occasions, such as United Nations Day, teachers and students often wear something representative of their home country. You may consider bringing a traditional dress, shirt, jacket, or hat for occasions like these.
Supermarkets in Shanghai are modern, full-service stores. Many have bakeries and delis. Meats; dairy products; and canned, frozen, and packaged goods are imported from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Fresh seafood is abundant, and locally produced poultry and eggs are of good quality.Local and imported beer is sold, as is liquor and wine, but is expensive. As most foods are imported, prices are higher than perhaps in your home country. The favorite “expat” market, Carrefour, has numerous outlets. While prices in supermarkets are always higher than in traditional markets, the convenience, variety, and quality of goods in supermarkets outweigh the price considerations for many. On-site services, such as dry cleaners, shoe repairs, drugstores, and film developing, also make supermarkets a convenient place to complete other errands.
Public markets, or “wet markets,” all of which have wet floors from freshly washed produce, are usually large, open-air places filled with stalls selling all sorts of fresh produce, meats, seafood, sundries, and flowers. Each vendor has his own specialty. Markets open early every morning; some close before noon, and others remain open till late afternoon, even on Sundays. Prices are generally lower than those at supermarkets or provision shops. Returning to the same stall on a regular basis will help set better prices. All transactions are cash only. These can be great fun once you get used to the country and language. But at first, it is probably better and more convenient to send your maid for the meat and vegetables. Shopping at the local markets is best done when one is comfortable with the language and prices. Every little area has its own small- or medium-sized market. Shopping In recent years, Shanghai has seen explosive growth in the construction of shopping malls. Developers promote the malls as places for families to shop, eat, and be entertained. In fact, on weekends, the traffic and crowds can get quite heavy. These facilities include department stores, supermarkets, banks, restaurants, movie theaters, and many specialty shops. Keep your shopping list for Shanghai essentials until you know where to buy things and are comfortable shopping here. You do not need to plan to arrive with ALL the clothes you will need right away. One month’s supply of essential toiletries is recommended. Travel in China/Asia China offers endless travel opportunities within the country, and is also well placed as a springboard for interesting and exciting holidays. Other parts of Asia–with the delights of Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore–are easily reached. India, Nepal, and Vietnam offer new and challenging possibilities. Many foreigners visit Australia and New Zealand during their stay in China, enjoying the delights of the western world down under style. Travel guidebooks brought from home can be a great help in planning holidays. Excellent selections of guides for Asian destinations are available in Shanghai, but books are expensive here. It is important to book your travel plans early as school vacations occur during popular tourist times. Plane and hotel reservations must be made well in advance. Summer is not too early to reserve December travel.
Expat Websites Asia Xpat – http://shanghai.asiaxpat.com
Shanghai Expat – http://www.shanghaiexpat.com
Shanghaiist – http://www.shanghaiist.com
Professional Development Opportunities
Professional Growth Budget – The School will financially support a range of professional development opportunities each year on the premise that most Professional Development will be an expense shared by the school and the teacher. The administration will publish guidelines on an annual basis to explain how teachers my access those opportunities equitably. All requests for professional development must be submitted in writing to the administration using an approved format. The school administration may identify priority support to meet specific school needs.
Administrator and Teacher Duty Day Requirements
- Returning Administrators (Principals and Vice Principals): Should arrive on campus at least five calendar days before the new teacher arrival date. They are on duty for all teacher and student contact days within the school calendar.
- Newly-hired Administrators (Principals and Vice Principals) will report two weeks prior to the new hire teacher arrival date. They are on duty for all teacher and student contact days within the school calendar. They are on campus at least five calendar days after the last teacher duty day.
- Returning Coordinators (Athletics & Activities, Aquatics, IB, Early Years, and Student Support) and Librarians report to school at least two working days before returning teachers arrive, and are on duty for all class days and one work day after the last student day.
- Returning Teachers report one week prior to the first day of classes. They work on all class days, and are on duty at least one full day after the last student day.
- New Hired Teachers (Librarian/Media Specialists, Coordinators, Specialists and Counselors) report two weeks prior to the first day of classes. They follow end dates for returning teachers.
This administrative calendar indicates the dates in which various faculty members are expected to be on campus and on duty.
Faculty members who have “part-time” designations as coordinators or librarians must follow the duty days as outlined for the coordinator/librarian positions.
Faculty who are unable to report to work on the indicated date for any reason must have approval from their direct supervisor. Additionally, they will have their base pay prorated according to their actual reporting date.
As noted in the calendar designations, administrators are expected to work additional days as needed to fulfill their duties. If an administrator seeks leave for any of the prescribed days, he or she must first get the approval from their direct supervisor. With preapproval of their direct supervisor, administrators may request one personal leave day during the teacher duty days.
Administrator vacation schedules must be organized in advance in order to ensure office coverage during holidays. The Director of Schools approves campus administrator leave. The Board of Directors approves leave for the Director of Schools.
I came to Shanghai to work with SCIS’s collaborative and welcoming faculty. My fellow teachers challenge me to try new lessons related to their unique talents and interests. This helps me to continually improve my teaching practice! I feel lucky to work in a professional environment that cares deeply about inquiry, problem-solving and growth — for both its students and its teachers.
SCIS is a community of learners. We all strive, students, teachers and parents, to be life-long learners. I chose this school for its vision, it is a school that values international education – the kind of education where inquiring minds who are knowledgeable and caring take action in their community. The opportunity to grow as an educator is second to none. Shanghai is a city full of energy, living and working here is a remarkable opportunity both professionally and socially.
One of my favorite parts about working in the SCIS community is its commitment to nurturing an appreciation for cultures, languages, backgrounds, and talents. Our students come from all over the world, and each are encouraged to develop multiple languages while honoring and appreciating their native tongue. From nursery and preschool all the way through grade 12, students are provided with opportunities to develop appreciation for all the cultures that surround them and to explore interests/talents in the arts, sciences, athletics and more. Students and teachers join together in learning to appreciate the differences that both enrich us individually as well as create bonds within our community at large.
One of the most exciting aspects of working in education is having the opportunity to guide learners in designing and expressing effective solutions for authentic challenges. SCIS nurtures these opportunities, and I’ve grown as an educator thanks to its vision.
I chose to teach at SCIS because of the truly international community that supports learning and growing in an inquiry-based environment. The school’s vision of international-mindedness is reflected in the many events held on campus and in the way that students and teachers interact with, and respect one another.
Frequently Asked Questions
The currency of China is the Renminbi (RMB). As of this printing, the exchange rate is 6. RMB to the U.S. dollar. The daily exchange rate can be obtained in the business section of The Shanghai Star or at any financial website. There are no restrictions on exchanging up to $500 US in China, though there are charges involved.
Due to banking laws in China, the school cannot directly pay employees U.S dollars cash in salary payments. The school will establish an account at Standard Chartered Bank after all your residence and work permits are issued, normally a month or more after you arrive, into which your salary may be transferred. The employee may then withdraw cash from this account or transfer it to a foreign bank.
Teachers hired on overseas hired status will receive a displacement allowance of $1,000 on arrival. The school will pay this allowance in the Renminbi equivalent so that the teacher has some local currency for incidentals.
In addition to the displacement allowance, it would be helpful to have US $2,000 to US $3,000 available to meet expenses prior to your first salary payment (August) should you wish to buy additional furniture and other items of personal choice. The money should be in, cash, or an account upon which you can draw.
All teachers are paid in U.S. dollars over an eleven-month period, August–June. The pay date for each month is provided in a pay schedule at the beginning of the year, and is generally the last working day of each month. Payment of salaries will be in RMB direct transfer into your Standard Chartered Bank account. Once pay is transferred into the employee’s account, ongoing transfer to other banks, or exchanges into RMB can be done by the teacher at the bank. The teacher will bear any bank-levied charges. SCIS will make all transfer orders on or before the scheduled pay date, but it cannot control when individual teachers’ banks will acknowledge the transfer and credit the deposit.
Most teachers maintain bank accounts in their home countries. The Business Office will not cash checks. Traveler’s checks can be problematic to cash and it is recommended that US dollars cash or RMB be the currency of choice.
Although China is basically a cash-oriented country, having a credit card with you will simplify life here, especially as you settle in. Many teachers have used credit cards to draw cash from ATMs as they wait for their local bank accounts to be established. A number of ATM cards work in Shanghai. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted at hotels and most–not all–restaurants, department stores, and shopping centers. Buying airline tickets and other such purchases are also made easier. Some places, however, charge a 3-4 percent surcharge when paid by credit card. You should contact your bank your bank and place a “travel alert” on your card so that the bank does not suspend your access while overseas.
Taxes – China
The PRC charges an income tax on every expatriate salary at the rate of approximately 30%. SCIS bears the cost of this tax and pays the income tax for all teachers.
Taxes – Home Country
Depending upon your home country, you may have tax or reporting obligations in your home country. It is recommended that you make inquiries of your home country taxing authorities before departing for China to ensure you understand your home country tax status.
B. Ticketing and Arrival
C. Arranging Your Travel
Flight reservations must be made as far in advance as possible. Do not wait until you have received your travel allowance to book your flight(s). Reservations should be made at the time the contract is signed, or soon after. August is a month of peak demand for travel to East Asia. Remember, in most places you do not have to pay for your ticket when making reservations.
Your trip may include scheduled stopovers for personal or timetable reasons. SCIS does not cover the cost of personal stopovers, and you may be charged for excess luggage at each stopover. Check with your airline for baggage restrictions if you are breaking your travel for a stopover. You may find that, while you may check in two suitcases at your city of departure, if you stop over and check in again, your baggage allowance may be only 20 kg. per person and you may be required to pay excess baggage charges. Check this with your airlines.
D. Arriving Prior to the August Reporting Date
SCIS strongly discourages new staff from arriving in Shanghai or elsewhere in China prior to one week before the reported starting date. If you arrive early, the school cannot assist you in any way, and it may put you in violation of the immigration laws because of our processing limitations. (Sometimes, however, arrival a few days early is necessitated by flight bookings, and the school would rather have a teacher a few days early than a few days late.)
If a teacher enters China before the school has issued the necessary authorization, the teacher will have to leave the country later and re-enter after visiting a Chinese Embassy or Consulate outside of China (normally the Chinese Consulate in Hong Kong). Expenses for this trip will not be reimbursed, as the trip would not have been necessary had the teacher not entered China prior to the issuance of authorization.
If a teacher would like to travel in China before August and if the school is able to provide the visa in time, then that is fine, as long as the teacher understands that she or he will be entirely on her or his own upon arrival. SCIS will be unable to arrange airport pick-up or other assistance. The important thing to remember is that if a teacher makes travel plans prior to August, the teacher will be liable for the Hong Kong trip expenses if her or his visa is not ready, and there is a good probability that the visa will not be ready—this is something that is simply beyond the school’s control.
Getting Around, Children, Pets
Taxis are plentiful and comparatively cheap in Shanghai, although trips to distant parts of Shanghai or the airport can add up if taken frequently. Taxis can be hailed from the curb of most any street in Shanghai. They can also be ordered by telephone.
In Shanghai there is a relatively good underground subway system which provides access to the central portion of the metropolis. It is a fairly user-friendly system for English language speakers, and can be figured out with a little work.
A comprehensive network of bus routes provides access to all areas of the city, though not so user friendly for English speakers. Buses are a very popular source of transport for local citizens, and are extremely crowded, and can be very uncomfortable.
One of the best ways to get around is by bicycle or scooter. Bicycles can be purchased for little expense, and provide a great way to see many parts of the city that would be missed through other means of transport. Shanghai is virtually flat, so riding a bicycle does not require negotiating hills, however it does require negotiating dense vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
For those with school-age dependents, please complete a student application (includes a checklist of the information needed such as school records, immunization records, letters of recommendation, etc). SCIS has limited services for children with special needs and cannot enroll children with severe allergies. Dependent children must be able to pass the enrollment requirements as set by the admission committee. Please contact email@example.com as soon as possible for enrolling your child.
Although pets are becoming increasingly more common in China, bringing pets is not recommended. Prospective teachers should state their intention to bring a pet with them prior to signing a contract. Teachers must recieve permission from the Superintendent of Schools prior to arrival. All teachers on school provided housing must submit a damage liability form and will be held responsible for any damage including wear and tear caused by the pet. A good resource for bringing pets to China can be found here: http://www.entershanghai.info
Staying healthy in China is mostly a case of taking common-sense precautions just as it is anywhere else in the world. However, these precautions may be a little different from those required in a temperate climate. To arrive healthy and stay healthy should be your goal. That being said, you will get sick from time to time. Most illnesses that our staff experience are easily treatable with over the counter medication. Western standard medical care is available in Shanghai from a few clinics. More serious illness or injury may require a trip to Hong Kong, where excellent medical care is available.
Overseas-hire teachers and some local hire teachers receive major medical coverage through the school’s medical service provider effective August 1st. Details of the coverage are available in the booklet each teacher will receive from the medical service provider in August.
A dental check-up is recommended before leaving home. There are a few good dentists in Shanghai, although these are expensive by developing nation standards. Orthodontic care is available in Shanghai.
Chinese Health Examination
New teachers are required, by the Chinese government, to undergo a basic medical examination after they arrive in Shanghai. This examination is part of the processing for residence status. Teachers may have a physical examination in their home country prior to arrival in China, however in most cases, the local authorities will require them to complete the examination after arrival anyway.
There are no required immunizations for China. Advice from home country physicians will vary, but you should probably check on the status of your routine vaccination and obtain immunization against typhoid (there is now an oral vaccine), tetanus, and Hepatitis A and B. Your doctor may have other recommendations.
If you require prescription medicines, you should bring a sufficient supply with you. Find out the generic name of the drugs in your medicine. China has a modern pharmaceutical industry, and most likely your prescription is available here, although it may have a different brand name. Prescription drugs arriving by mail can be assessed a heavy duty. Optical SCIS recommends that you have an eye examination before coming. If you require glasses, bring a spare pair and your prescription. Opticians and optical services are available here. Contact lens solution is also easily attainable in Shanghai.
SCIS provides 2-bedroom housing for all overseas-hired teachers for their first year of employment. Single teachers are provided with single housing.
Our schools have a strict NO-SMOKING policy, so we do not expect that this will be a consideration in housing arrangements. If you do smoke, you should do so in outside areas that will not affect others. Smoking is not allowed on the school campus.
Apartments will be ready for you when you arrive. All SCIS rental units and onsite housing will have basic furniture and major appliances. It is up to the teacher to spend the money to provide the “extras” that make the difference between a house and a home. The displacement allowance is provided partially to meet the extra costs of establishing a new home in Shanghai. There are beautiful furniture and decorating fabrics to be found in local department stores and markets.
After one year of employment, overseas-hired staff will go on a housing allowance and will be responsible for their move to their own residence. Staff may request to take over the school lease on a case-by-case basis. (effective w/ 2013-14 School Policy)
China has 220 volt/50 cycle electricity, but the power supply may be erratic, and sometimes appliances run a little “hot.” (Electricity in North America is 110 volt/60 cycle.) Transformers are available locally although can be difficult to find. Prices range from US$10 to US$50, depending on the size. It is best to leave 110 volt appliances behind and purchase those you need, such as a toaster or hair dryer, locally. Surge protectors are available locally and are advisable for protection of stereo equipment, TVs, and so forth).
For overseas hired staff, SCIS will pay teachers a supplemental utility allowance each month as outlined in the contract or will provide utilities. In most cases, with moderate conservation of utilities, this amount covers all costs. Although the school rents the apartment for staff, the individual staff members are responsible for their utilities. Staff members should be aware that sometimes accounting measures on utilities are not the best, depending on the apartment complex where you are living. Not receiving a regular bill does not absolve the staff member of their responsibility for utilities. Unpaid utilities will be deducted from the staff member’s salary when necessary to clear accounts with local utility companies. Staff members are urged to be aware of their use levels and watch their monthly statements closely.
SCIS faculty apartments are equipped with a phone. You should check to see whether your phone has IDD (International Direct Dial). If it does not, you can be connected, and then the school will pay the initial connection charge. IDD enables you to dial directly without going through the overseas operator. With IDD you can get an itemized bill each month. Most teacher’s also use a Skype account for making international calls via computer.
Computers & Network Devices
SCIS functions in a mixed PC/Mac environment. Most teachers are issued Macbook computers to use in the classroom or workplace. The SCIS network hosts a podcast server to publish video and audio online and teachers are expected to maintain a website or blog online for classroom use.
Teachers who own personal computers and smartphones (iPhones, Andriod phones etc) may use their device on campus. Campus technology coordinators will assist you to get your device online.
The school owns various computer peripherals (digital camera, projector, scanner, etc.), which are available for school-related projects by teachers. These items are not to be taken off campus unless the Campus Technology Coordinator has checked the item out to the requesting teacher. Faculty whom check out an item are responsible for the safety of their device. All faculty will receive in-service training for the use of school computer equipment.
Internet access is ubiquitous and affordable in Shanghai. ADSL broadband subscription start at approximately 120 rmb (15 USD) per month for a 4MB connection from China Unicom. All teachers are encouraged to create an account with one of the many Internet Service Providers for private use of the internet. Skype and other voice-over-internet technologies are popular for avoiding expensive phone bills.
Some websites and services may be blocked in China. Sites include Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. The use of a VPN account can avoid the problem, but free services can be unreliable.
Many teachers prefer to use the school’s Internet connection to access their private e-mail account. While teachers are welcome to use the school network for personal e-mail, they are encouraged to refrain from checking during the day when classes are trying to use the school’s limited bandwidth.
SCIS’s computer resources are designed to directly support and improve the instructional program. It also functions to foster communication between and among SCIS employees. Etiquette and judgment must be used when distributing electronic information. The use of the Internet in school to solicit or sell goods or services or to access inappropriate web sites is strictly prohibited.
Located in the Yangtze River Delta in eastern China, Shanghai sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River in the middle portion of the Chinese coast. The municipality borders Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces to the west, and is bounded to the east by the East China Sea.
“Paris of China and Queen of the Orient;” city of quick riches, ill-gotten gains and fortunes lost on the tumble of dice; the domain of adventurers, swindlers, gamblers, drug runners, idle rich, dandies, tycoons, missionaries, gangsters and backstreet pimps; the city that plots revolution and dances as the revolution shoots its way into town – Shanghai was a dark memory during the long years of forgetting that the Communists visited upon their new China. Shanghai put away its dancing shoes in 1949. The masses began shuffling to a different tune – the dour strains of Marxist-Leninism and the wail of the factory siren and all through these years of oblivion the architects of this social experiment firmly wedged one foot against the door of Shanghai’s past until the effort started to tell. Today, Shanghai has reawakened and is busy snapping the dust off its cummerbund. The sun rises every day to a city typifying the huge disparities of modern China – monumental building projects push skywards, glinting department stores swing open doors to the stylish elite, while child beggars, prostitutes and impoverished souls congregate among the champagne corks and burst balloons of the night before. History is returning to haunt Shanghai and at the same time, to put it squarely back on the map. Shanghai is evolving at a pace so unmatched by any other Chinese city that even the morning ritual of flinging open one’s hotel curtains reveals new facets to the skyline and new sounds on the streets. Shanghai is racing towards the future and has little time for yesterday.
Shanghai has a population of around 20 million people, but that figure is deceptive since it takes into account the whole municipal area of 6100 sq. km. Nevertheless, the central core of some 220 sq. km. has more than 7.5 million people, which must rate as one of the highest population densities in China, if not the world.
Broadly, central Shanghai is divided into two areas: Pudong (east of the Huangpu River) and Puxi (west of the Huangpu River). There are four main areas of interest in the city: the Bund from Suzhou Creek to the Shanghai Harbor Passenger Terminal (Shiliupu Wharf); Nanjing Donglu (a very colorful neighborhood); Frenchtown, which includes Huaihai Zhong Lu and Ruijin Lu (an even more colorful neighborhood) and the Jade Buddha Temple and the side trip along Suzhou Creek. Near the Bund, is the famous Yu Gardens, with its beautifully crafted gardens and bazaar shopping surrounding the area.
Wikipedia: Shanghai – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai
Last updated August 1, 2018
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