Lifestyle Considerations When Living Abroad

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Part of the adventure of international travel and education is interacting with societies and cultures which have different values.

As educators and administrators, students and their families put their trust in us to do the right thing at all times. That means a clear set of standards for what to do, and what not to do.

With nearly a quarter century collaboration with the British Columbia Ministry of education, the professional code of conduct and from BC is at the heart of what teachers do in the classroom, and what students expect.

Maple Leaf staff are morally and contractually bound to respect others no matter what, and keep an open mind.

With this practice, teachers have the opportunity to explore another culture and help China to discover the world as an ambassador of their home culture.

Maple Leaf staff are role models at all times, and a ‘thick skin’ is required at times when strong positions are shared by others on topics of history, race, religion and politics;

Maple Leaf offers a sample of attention areas to help prospective candidates evaluate their suitability for a role in this exciting and complex learning environment:

  • The use of controlled substances such as drugs is severely restricted, with severe penalties including imprisonment;
  • Substances which are legal in home regions may not be legal in China, for example cannabis (marijuana);

Using a drug which is illegal (in China) 3-4 weeks in advance of moving can cause an individual to fail a health check in China and void an employment agreement;

  • Candidates must have a completely clean criminal record – cleared charges and misdemeanors ‘count’ in China.
  • Expressiveness in public, especially when socializing or consuming alcoholic beverages is considered to be disturbing the peace and can result in police action and dismissal;
  • Teachers’ moral authority does not extend to the family or home domain; domestic values and child rearing practices vary greatly and are generally out of scope;
  • Open debate is not a cultural norm, especially in public or social media, and can lead to serious consequences including dismissal;
  • Journalism is a regulated work activity, like teaching; individuals are accountable to local laws for personal publishing including blogging, and social media posts – even for overseas outlets;
  • Public religious worship and assembly is conducted in sanctioned venues for international residents;
  • Religious proselytism (promotion or conversion) is only conducted by recognized groups and may be restricted for foreigners;
  • Concepts of privacy, property, ownership and personal space can differ greatly from other nations and across regions;
  • Volunteering is often considered ‘work’ and may be restricted depending on the location;
  • Guest experts (expatriates) are not permitted to accept other employment while on a work permit;
  • China has a global tax policy which includes income generated in other countries after a period of residency;
  • China’s financial system is partially open to international markets; money transfers out of China can be limited due to economic policy.
  • Teachers are expected to bring a laptop to China with them.
  • Access to many Internet sites is restricted in China – plan accordingly before traveling
  • The school provides 365 and other software for school purposes.
  • Cell phones are available for purchase in China, but if you wish to bring a phone from your home country, please check that it is unlocked. SIM cards can be purchased in the first days in China.
  • WeChat is an essential app to download in advance, for school/work, but also personal use.