Overview: Teaching Abroad at SIPFLS

Suzhou Industrial Park Foreign Language School is a certified BC Offshore School that is annually inspected by the BC Ministry of Education.  We use British Columbia Curriculum and teachers develop their programs around the province’s Prescribed Learning Outcomes. All credit course subjects are taught by BC Certified Teachers.

Community Culture

Teaching at Suzhou Industrial Park Foreign Language School (SIPFLS)

As a growing school, we are constantly looking for strong staff to join SIPFLS. We are an academically focused school, with a student-centred learning philosophy and have a well-rounded school program that also celebrates sports, the arts, service and leadership. Our school is relatively small (approx. 200 students) compared to some of the larger BC Offshore schools, but we see that as one of our strengths. We know our students and many of our parents, and we create participatory activities and nurture our students through our program to post-secondary institutions after they graduate. We are an extended family of learners.

Our program employs both International staff (BC-certified teachers) and National staff (Chinese certified teachers) who work well together to support our students. National and International staff are partnered together to work with a homeroom class and track individual students’ progress. National staff provide morning and evening supervision for students.

The school has a year-long Foundation program to assist students who we feel have promise but whose English is not currently strong enough to enter our regular academic program.

Students at Suzhou Industrial Park Foreign Language School

Our students are primarily Mainland Chinese students who must take a placement exam when they apply to the school.  We also have some Taiwanese and Korean students.  Because our students are primarily Asian with English as a second language, a lot of our program is focused on improving language skills, building vocabulary, reading and writing skills, and preparing students for going overseas and being successful in different learning environments.  A fair portion of our professional development is related to ELL learning and issues.

Our students are usually polite, generally hard working and pleasant to get along with.  They can seem reserved and shy, but as you get to know and work with them, they open up.  More than one teacher has commented on what a pleasure it is to work with them and how few discipline issues there are at the school.

Photo Gallery

  • Image of SIPFLS exterior
  • Image of SIPFLS building exterior
  • Image of SIPFLS student being tutored
  • Image of SIPFLS student playing basketball
  • Image of SIPFLS graduating class
  • Image of SIPFLS student graduating
  • Image of SIPFLS students performing in talent show
  • Image of SIPFLS student performing
  • Image of SIPFLS students outdoors
  • Image of SIPFLS student presenting
  • Image of SIPFLS students in school leadership program
  • Image of SIPFLS students running
  • Image of SIPFLS student in computer lab
  • Image of SIPFLS student studying
  • Image of SIPFLS student in arts program
  • Image of SIPFLS' track

Draw for Employees

Life in Suzhou

Suzhou is one of the most livable cities in China, and there are many advantages to living in this city and particularly in Suzhou Industrial Park.  Despite the name, this section of Suzhou is relatively new with many green spaces and parks.  Some cinemas regularly show Western movies, coffee shops like Starbucks, and five-day Western Restaurants in the area that serve everything from pizza to Mexican food. There are many grocery stores that sell Western goods, as well as smaller more local markets where fresh fruit and vegetables are affordably available. Suzhou is famous for its classical Chinese gardens, and there are several Chinese historical water towns in the area. The Suzhou Cultural Centre is a world-class facility complete with a concert hall, occasional International performances, and an Imax theatre. The cost of living is about half of what it is in Canada depending on what you purchase. Money goes a long way, and it is easy to save.

Suzhou is served by travelling high-speed trains that are convenient for traveling on weekends or holidays. Shanghai, with its two airports, is a mere 30-minute train ride away and there are multiple trains each day going to Nanjing and Hangzhou.

Holidays

SIPFLS has a number of holidays over the school year.  At the beginning of October there is usually a four or five day break. Christmas usually runs between 9-11 days, the Chinese Spring Festival is usually about three weeks long and is sometime between mid-January to the end of February depending on the lunar calendar. There are additional short holidays at the beginning of May as well as a day in April and the Dragon Boat Festival in June.

Professional Development is generally focused on pedagogy and educational issues related to teaching and working in our school environment. Our teachers become experienced and knowledgeable practitioners in working with English Language Learners. We are leaders among a network of BC Offshore Schools that share resources and activities.

Salary and Benefits

Salaries are paid for a 10-month school year. Salaries are highly competitive with other BC Offshore Schools in China. The school also pays teachers a generous monthly living allowance that covers the cost of renting a modern apartment in the area. Teachers find it relatively easy to save a significant portion of their salary depending on their lifestyle.

The school also provides teachers with up to CAD 1,800 for return airfare and assists with transportation from Pudong Airport (Shanghai) to the school.

We recognize that good health insurance is very important and the school pays yearly medical insurance premiums for teachers to cover costs at hospitals or medical clinics in China.  Teachers are eligible for up to 10 sick days per school year.

How to Apply

Certification

Teachers are employed at SIPFLS (and all BC Offshore schools) must possess a valid BC Teaching Certificate or be eligible and in the process of obtaining this certificate. If you have teacher certification from a province other than BC, normally you will be eligible for a BC teaching certificate and a Chinese work visa. We employ many teachers trained in other Canadian provinces. Teachers certified in jurisdictions outside Canada may also be eligible for BC Certification. Learn more about the process.

Upon being hired by the school, we will begin making arrangements with you for getting a working visa in China. Teachers are required to undergo a medical check-up, provide an up to date criminal record check, and submit a copy of their university graduation diploma. The school will provide necessary information to the staff member on required documentation, and we will cover visa costs. We are very familiar with the visa process, are aware of how stressful it can be for new staff, and we will assist in guiding you through the process.

What happens when I arrive?

If you have taken employment at our school and are travelling to China from Canada, we will meet you at the Pudong airport in Shanghai and bring you back to our school. We have staff who speak English and Chinese to help you get set-up, introduce you to local grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and answer your questions. We want our new staff feeling looked after and welcome.

School Map

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