Set up in China, the Volunteer Chinese Teachers Program (hereafter referred to as “Volunteer Program”) provides voluntary services to help meet Chinese teachers’ shortage in other countries. The Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), a non-governmental organization under the Ministry of Education, P. R. China, is responsible for implementing the Program. The Volunteer Center of Hanban is in charge of the program’s daily operation.
Volunteer Chinese Teachers (hereafter referred to as “Volunteers”) are primarily recruited and selected from graduates of the current year with a bachelor’s degree or above, as well as postgraduate students and professional teachers. They all majored in disciplines of liberal arts such as Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, Chinese Linguistics and Literature, Foreign Languages, Education, History, Philosophy, etc. After taking a series of training, qualified volunteers will be dispatched to teach overseas. The term of service for the volunteers is normally one year. If the performance of a volunteer is evaluated as “Good” or above at the end of one year term, and if both the volunteer and the host institution apply to extend the term, the volunteer’s service can be extended upon the approval of Hanban. In principle, individual volunteer will work overseas no longer than 3 years.
Volunteers should be enthusiastic about voluntary service, motivated by a strong sense of “devotion, friendship, mutual help and progress” as well as the sense of honor, mission and responsibility in the career of teaching Chinese to speakers of other languages.
In 2004, approved by the Ministry of Education, the Volunteer Chinese Teacher Program was officially launched. By the end of 2012, Hanban had sent over 18,000 volunteers to 101 countries in Asia, Europe, America, Africa and Oceania.
The volunteers have impressed people of these host countries with their endurance, devotion, and outstanding performance. They are often called “Angels from China” and “wonderful people’s ambassador”.
The Volunteer Chinese Teacher Program has played a positive role in helping other countries to develop Chinese language teaching, in promoting the cultural and educational exchange between China and the rest of the world, and in enhancing the understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and people all over the world.
II.Organization and Management
Hanban is responsible for the overall planning and coordinating of the Volunteer Chinese Teacher Program.
Based on requests for volunteers submitted by different countries, Hanban will either directly organize the recruitment, selection, training and dispatch of volunteers, or entrust the responsibility to the Departments of Education of concerned provinces (municipalities/autonomous regions), or universities and colleges.
After their arrival in the host countries, volunteers will be mainly supervised by the Chinese Embassies or Consulate Generals and the host institutions.
Hanban will usually dispatch administrative teachers to regions where volunteers are in relatively large numbers. The administrative teachers assist host institutions by providing volunteers with professional tutoring and relevant administrative support.
When the volunteer’s term of service is about to expire, Hanban will entrust certain organizations or the administrative teachers to conduct an overall assessment of his/her performance.
Volunteers receive no salary but living allowance. Hanban disburses the following expenses through the state budget: expenses occurred during pre-departure training, processing formalities for going abroad, relocation payments, living allowance, international round-trip airfare, and personal accident insurance. Host institutions should provide volunteers with housing, medical care and local transportation. Through negotiation, part of volunteers’ living allowance, expenses for local training and field trips could also be borne by overseas organizations.
Hanban releases recruitment information based on overseas requests for volunteers. All qualified candidates need to register with the Volunteer Program Application System(http://zhiyuanzhe.chinese.cn), and submit the application online, the PDF copy of application should be downloaded and be submitted to the relevant institutes.
Hanban is willing to establish cooperative relationships with governmental education departments, educational institutions, organizations, and associations of Chinese language teachers from all other countries to provide voluntary service in Chinese teaching.
When there is a need for such volunteers, please contact Hanban, Education/Culture Section of Embassies (Consulate) of PRC, or the related overseas organizations. The Application Form of Volunteer Chinese Teachers (download from www.hanban.org) should be filled in and submitted meanwhile.
Since the procedure of selection, training, and dispatch of volunteers normally takes three to six months to complete, please submit your request for volunteers fairly in advance.