Monday, June 16, 2008

Well... shoot.

So today I found out that I will not be going to China this July for a summer program.

Because of the Olympics, Tibet, the earthquakes, etc, the government has been putting pressure on many schools not to hold their summer camps. As such, Journey East was unable to get a spot, like many of these English teaching organizations have been unable to. It's been a crazy year, but oh well.

I will still be going to China in the fall, leaving late August or very early September. I still don't know exactly where I will be just yet, but it seems like it will for sure either be 湖州 (Huzhou) or 南京 (Nanjing).

All in all, its not ideal, but things could be worse, and there's not really a whole lot I can do about it, so I guess I'll just deal.

Friday, June 13, 2008

First Snag - The VISA

Ok, so, I am going through this teacher-sending organization called Journey East. They will have a teaching spot set up for me for a summer camp in July and then a placement at a university in the fall and spring. I don't yet know where the spring and fall placements will be, but the summer camp will be somewhere in Zhejiang province.

There are actually about 3 and a half weeks in between when the summer camp ends and when the fall semester begins, during which time is the Olympics. Knowing this a few months ago, I actually bought a few tickets to some events.

However, I just recently (like today) hit a snag in that plan. What the guy from Journey East told me was that in the past, for those people doing the summer program AND the fall placement, they would get, I believe he said, an "F" visa for the summer program, which allowed them to stay 60-90 days. They would also get a work visa for the fall semester. The 60-90 days of the F visa, from what he told me, allowed the teachers to stay in China during that 3 and a half weeks until their work visa for the fall semester kicked in.

However, now with the new Visa regulations that Beijing passed down in April, because of the Olympics, this F visa is Strictly 30 days. What this means is that I will be able to fly out for the summer program, have to fly back to the US at the end of the 30 days, spend 3.5 weeks at home, and then fly back out again in the beginning of September for the fall semester. This effectively kills my ability to use my Olympics tickets, since I can't stay in China.

Anyways, its a bit of a bummer, but things could be worse. Just having to take an additional two 12.5 hour flights in the span of a month will be annoying though.