The Ameson Year in China Program offers teachers a wide variety of tools to create career development in teaching and beyond. These tools are critical to success in China, and some tools serve simply to enrich your experience in China. Here’s a few reasons why you should choose AYC:
No Prior Experience Needed
A unique feature of the AYC Program is it's ten-month commitment. Some participants treat it as a way to launch a career abroad or as a language teacher; others think of it more as a gap year. In the end, though, your year is your year, and it’s up to you what you do with it. However, it is the AYC’s hope that this year can help kick start your life with an unforgettable year of learning and teaching.
Most programs require two years of prior teaching experience. Because of we are non-profit and work closely with provincial leaders and Foreign Expert Bureau, AYC is an exception to this rule. By getting your TEFL certificate in China, you can hit the ground running, and learn as you work. We also believe that everyone should spend at least one year abroad in their lives.
Teaching in a Public School vs a Training Center
Many of AYCs competitors offer higher salaries, however almost all of them are training centers with more working hours. What’s unique to AYC is: your placement in the public school system, global non-profit, and emphasis on cultural immersion. At a public school system, you will work a maximum of 20 hours per week, while training centers can be a 30+ hour work week at inconvenient times; common working hours include weekends and evenings. Working in a public school system will enhance your experience in China and lead to deeper cultural engagement. A year of teaching experience critical to getting a much higher paying teaching job in the future.
TEFL is a critical tool to success, because it is required to teaching abroad. The AYC offers this certification for free; elsewhere a TEFL certification can cost anywhere from 900-2000 dollars! At AYC we offer help to pass the TEFL certification test, by pairing an online segment with in-person training at our fall orientation.
Orientation in Shanghai
Before you are sent to your school, AYC offers an orientation program that aims to help you get acclimated to the environment. This orientation takes place in Shanghai, and can offer your insight on how to succeed with both living and teaching in China. You will also meet fellow EAs and learn from their background as well as their experiences in China.
During this orientation and the entire program, we additionally offer free weekly Chinese language lessons. These weekly online lessons are invaluable to cultural assimilation, and are another benefit to working with AYC.
Sense of Community
One of the most important elements of the AYC experience is community. At AYC, we want you to succeed for the 10 month Program and beyond. Having like-minded teachers around you for encouragement and resource-sharing is a unique. These relationships often last beyond the 10 month program; the AYC alumni community serves as a group to help future EAs succeed in China, and share how the Program helped their own career development. Just watch 2016-17 EAs Ohm, Baleria, and Kia's video to get a sense of what it's like!
Free Housing and Utilities
While some companies offer more competitive wages, they lack in the ability to provide free housing and utilities. At AYC, our host schools provide just that, either on or near the school's campus. This is a huge benefit, as negotiating housing and other commodities can be very challenging in China.
International Job Opportunities
Working abroad grows and develops young professionals rapidly, giving you years of job experience and character development in a condensed timeframe. The world is "getting smaller", and making global connections is at an all-time importance. Like Alumnus Kyle Edwards showed us, an experience with AYC can offers a variety of doors in your career path at home or abroad.
AYC is Non-Profit
AYC is part of an international non-profit organization that has connections throughout the globe. As one facet of Ameson, AYC profits support other educational programs, like Go Global, Professional Pathways Program, Sino-American Youth Ambassadors, and other internal departments. These non-profit programs promote cultural education, international exchange, and helping Chinese youth succeed in school and prepare them for life after school.
AYC itself places Educational Ambassadors at Tier 2 and 3 city public schools. This is often the only way smaller cities in China are exposed to native English speakers. As the globe gets smaller, international exposure and better education become increasingly important.
Like Mitt Romney said, “Education is the investment our generation makes in the future.” We have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the global generation of the future.