Disney English FAQ – Frequently asked Questions
Are there any recruitment fees?
No. There are no recruitment fees at all.
When was Disney English established?
Disney English opened its first center in Shanghai in October 2008.
Where are the Disney English centers located?
Disney English centers are currently in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Nanjing. Disney English will be expanding into other cities throughout China, and will scale globally in the near future.
What experience or documents does a candidate need in order to qualify as a Disney English trainer?
- Trainers are required to hold a 4 year Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
- Minimum of 18 months/ 2 years post graduate teaching experience, preferably teaching young learners (K-8)
- Previous ESL, EFL experience preferred
- Candidate must be native English speaker
What if I don’t have a TEFL?
Currently, Disney English trainers need a TEFL certification to legally work in China for Disney English, as it is a requirement in getting your work visa approved. If you do not have a TEFL, Disney English will help facilitate the processes in order for you to obtain a TEFL C. Disney English pays for all Disney trainers to become TEFL-C (Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Children) certified. The program, which is affiliated with Columbia University, consists of 20 on-line modules. Each on-line module has a written assessment and trainees will receive feedback within 24 hours. Disney trainers will take the first 7 online modules prior to coming over to China. After completing the first 7 modules they will be issued a basic TEFL-C certificate that will be used to secure their Chinese visa. Once in China, you will receive 15 hours of live delivery as a part of your on-boarding and training. The remaining 13 online modules will need to be completed within 3 months after your arrival in China. Disney English will provide the TEFL-C course as a no cost benefit to foreign academic cast members. The hard copies of the TEFL-C certificates will be given to Disney trainers upon completion of the course.
Please note: If you have any questions surrounding this please speak with your Recruiter.
I currently live in China, but need a TEFL certification. Can I take a class online or a weekend course in China?
Yes, Disney English will facilitate an online class.
How long is the contract with Disney English in China?
The Disney English contract for trainers is 12-15 months including training prior to starting in the classroom. Contract lengths are dependent on start date & center, please ask your Recruiter to specify when your contract date will end.
Do trainers receive orientation and training about the Disney English curriculum and multi-media technology?
Typically, orientation starts the Monday after they arrive. Orientation lasts approximately 1 day followed by 6 business days of training. During orientation and training, Disney trainers will learn about Disney English, the content and curriculum, the technology, and have the opportunity to shadow existing Disney trainers. The curriculum designed by Disney English is well structured, robust, engaging and detailed. Every lesson has planned activities and targets and trainers will have the resources they need to present the lesson; including the use of smart boards, games and Disney inspired songs.
Do Disney English teachers get paid during orientation and training?
Yes, Disney trainers are paid during this period.
Will I need to obtain a complete medical physical prior to going to China? Will I receive a complete physical when I arrive in China?
Typically, pre-entry medical checks are not required for candidates who are going to China, however the medical check is subject to the entry requirements of the particular consulate at which you’re applying for the visa, so please be sure to check your local consulate website to see if the consulate does indeed require the pre-medical check. If you need a medical form, your recruiter will provide you with one.
Additionally, ALL candidates will also need to complete another medical check once they arrive in China. The cost of the physical in China is approximately 700RMB which Disney English will reimburse.
Please note: Disney trainers should bring two 2-inch color photos with them (any background) – this is required for the medical check in China.
What is the actual time spent in the classroom during a typical week?
Disney trainers spend 40 hours per week in their centers; of which approximately 21-24 hours are spent in the classroom. The remainder of the time is spent preparing lessons, conducting parent/learner demonstrations to help market our program, attending staff meetings, development training and engaging in other center activities as needed. Trainers work a 5-day week with two consecutive days off during the week. Shifts do not start earlier than 8:30am and would end no later than 9:00pm.
Will teachers have weekends off?
Saturdays and Sundays are Disney English’s busiest and longest days at the centers. Disney trainers are required to work both days, and can expect that one of the days will have a 12-hour shift. Disney trainers do receive 2 consecutive days off during the week, to serve as their “weekend”. Usually the days off are either Tuesday/Wednesday or Wednesday/Thursday.
When will I know which center I will work at, and what my schedule will be?
Trainers at Disney English will know their schedule and the center they are assigned once they arrive in China.
What are the ages of the students?
Disney English provides English classes for children ages 2-10 years old. There are 3 programs offered:
- Hello World: 2 year olds
- Foundation: 3-6 year olds
- Step Up: 7 year olds +
Classes are separated based on a learner’s level of the English language, but Disney trainers will be teaching each age group.
How long are the classes?
- Hello World: Classes are 45 minutes during the week, and 1.5 hours on the weekend
- Foundation: Classes are 60 minutes during the week, and 2 hours on the weekend
- Step Up: Classes are 60 minutes during the week, and 2 hours on the weekend
- Trainers meet with the young learners for approximately 2 hours per week
How many students will be in one class? Am I the only Disney teacher?
No class will exceed 15 learners. Disney trainers teaching the Foundation & Step Up programs will have a Chinese Assistant trainers accompany them for 80% of the time. Disney trainers teaching the Hello World class will have a Chinese Assistant trainer accompany them throughout the entire class. Additionally, the parent and/or guardian will also be permitted to attend Hello World.
Will I be located at one center or will I teach in a variety of centers?
Initially, trainers may be required to provide coverage in multiple centers for the two months or so, however, once a trainers completes this “floating” period, they would be placed in one center for the remainder of their contract.
Are there promotional opportunities?
Yes! Disney English employees could be eligible for promotion after they’ve completed 6 months of service. Promotional opportunity is dependent on performance and what growth positions are available at that time.
What do the Disney English teachers wear and is there a dress code?
Disney trainers are required to maintain a consistent look and therefore are required to wear a uniform which consists of a blue Disney English logo polo shirt (2 short & 2 long sleeves provided by Disney), black belt*, Disney English standard khaki pants and closed toed black shoes* (sandals, athletic shoes, and very casual shoes are not permitted). Disney will custom order khaki pants for you once you arrive, but initially you will need to wear your own khaki pants (no cargo or capris), so please be sure to bring a few pairs of your own as it may be difficult to find European/US pant sizes in China. Once the standardized khaki pants have been ordered and delivered, you are expected to wear them during class, and not the pairs you brought. *Black belts and shoes are not supplied by Disney English.
Male trainers must be clean-shaven and have haircuts above the collar. Female trainers must have neat hairstyles off the collar. Tattoos must not be visible wearing a short-sleeved shirt, and must be covered at all times. Facial piercings must be removed when in the center. During orientation and on-boarding training, the uniform will not be available, but business casual clothing is expected to be worn during the first few weeks.
How important is it to learn Mandarin?
You do not need to speak Mandarin in order to teach English. Disney English is an English immersion curriculum so Chinese will only be used when necessary by the local trainers.
How do trainers find an apartment?
Disney English will provide new trainers with a list of preferred realtors to assist in searching for an apartment. Trainers will be responsible for finding their own housing. Current Disney trainers are also a valuable resource for trainers when finding an apartment. Disney English recommends you bring a minimum of $2,500 -$3,000 (depending on location). This money is extremely beneficial for putting down first month, last month and deposit for rent. Disney will provide an initial advance of the Housing Allowance up to 13,500 RMB (equivalent to 3 times the monthly benefit) if necessary to assist in meeting the deposit requirements for an apartment, please note that the advance will be deducted from your initial first 3 months of housing allowances. Disney trainers who opt for the advance will start receiving the regular monthly housing allowance on the 4th month.
Please note: Disney English trainers typically receive the cash advance at approximately 2-3 weeks after arrival date.
Are apartments furnished?
Some apartments have furniture; trainers will need to work with the real estate agent in China to ensure the apartment has the desired amenities. We recommend that trainers bring their own sheets and towels. Note: most apartments do not come equipped with eating utensils and cooking pans, but trainers can easily purchase them in China.
How do I open a bank account in China?
Disney English will take trainers to get a Chinese bank account within the first 3 days of arrival in China.
What is the daily ATM limit for withdrawing money?
The daily ATM limit is 2,500 RMB.
Can couples work for Disney English?
Yes, but Disney English hires each person individually. Couples also must work in separate schools. Disney English cannot guarantee that couples will always start at their assigned school on the same date. Additionally, there is a possibility that couples may not have the exact same days off, however, we can guarantee that couples will have at least one common day off. (For further explanation, please discuss with your recruiter).
How much money should Disney teachers bring when they first arrive in China?
Disney English recommends that trainers bring a minimum of 2,500USD for Shanghai & 3,000USD for Beijing.(We recommend that you convert approx $220USD (1500RMB) once you arrive in China at the airport or before back in your home country).
Also, please note that you will be required to pay cash up front for the following:
- Hotel Key Deposit: Approx 200RMB (returned upon hotel check-out)
- Medical Reimbursement: Approx 700RMB (reimbursed by Disney English)
- Laundry: During orientation, Disney English will provide a list of local laundry-mats located near your hotel where you can drop your laundry off for a fee.
Is there opportunity to save money with the job with Disney English?
Current Disney trainers have been able to save money, but the amount saved depends on personal spending habits.
Does Disney English pay for shipping from city of origin to China? Does Disney provide storage facilities?
Disney English is unable to provide shipping assistance or storage facilities for belongings.
Can I bring my pet?
Disney English does not provide any assistance for trainers bringing pets. We recommend that trainers refer to the Chinese Embassy website to learn more about the requirements necessary to bring over an animal.
Are there any physical demands that I should know about?
Yes, Disney English delivers exciting, energetic content to help our learners connect with English in a totally original way. To successfully secure a work permit in China, all candidates must undergo a physical health exam. Academic positions require frequent standing, bending, squatting, and reaching. With very limited amounts of time, you are running around setting up chairs, breaking down tables, and gathering realia, etc. Frequent lifting of one to five pounds and occasional lifting of up to 40-50 pounds are required.
Does Disney English assist with the visa process for my spouse and/or dependent(s)?
Yes, Disney English will cover fees associated with the cost of tourist visas for trainers’ spouses and/or dependent(s) when they arrive in China. Dependents (Children) and Spouses (Husband/Wife) need to apply for a tourist visa and pay for this on their own. When you arrive in China with your spouse and or dependent(s) Disney English will transfer the tourist visa to the ‘Dependent’ or ‘Spouse’ visa. The cost for the transfer will be covered by Disney English.
Please note: Spousal/dependent visas will not permit them to work in China for Disney English or any other company in China. If you have any questions please direct this towards an HR Manager/Recruiter.
What benefits are included in the benefits package?
- Disney English will pay for the trainers one- way ticket to China up front, and will also reimburse the trainer with a monthly travel allowance of 420 RMB paid with salary. This allowance may be used for a return flight or travel to another destination. It is taxable income.
- 3 week stay in hotel upon arrival
- 7,000RMB Training Bonus (trainers will receive the bonus 2-3 weeks after arrival)
- Monthly Housing Allowance (allowance varies based on location and is included in the monthly salary) Beijing is 4,850 RMB, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are 4,350RMB; Chengdu are 3,000RMB, Nanjing is 3,300RMB. All are extra on top of your salary and paid monthly with the salary. Please note: your housing allowance will begin once you find permanent housing or 3 weeks in the hotel, whichever comes first. If you choose to have the first 3 months allowance advanced, you will not receive your regular housing payment until 3 months have passed since you left the hotel and it will be prorated.
- Monthly Salary depends on position. (Please ask your recruiter for detailed information. Salary is not negotiable).
- Disney trainers are also eligible to receive a mid-contract, performance based salary increase after they have been with Disney English 6 months
- 100% Monthly Health Insurance Premium (co-pay not included) for trainers
- Dental Insurance included in healthcare package. Spouses and dependants (under the age of 18) of trainers will have 50% of their healthcare premium paid by Disney. The employee will be required to pay the remaining 50% should they choose to include them. (Note: The total premium for one year is: adults 8,350RMB, children 5,845RMB)
- 10 sick days
- 10 vacation days + 11 national Chinese holidays
- During the contract, all candidates will become TEFL-C certified
- Mandarin Lessons provided by Rosetta Stone (Trainers will receive a password and login to access the software 2-3 weeks after arriving in China)
Does Disney English pay for airfare?
Disney English will pay for the trainer’s one- way ticket to China, and will reimburse the trainer with a monthly travel allowance of 420 RMB paid with salary.This allowance may be used for a return flight or travel to another destination. It is taxable income. Please note: Disney English does not pay for the airfare of a spouse who is accompanying a trainer – unless the spouse is also going to be a trainer for Disney English.
Could you please provide a brief list of the health benefits?
The health benefit premium for the foreign trainers is paid for by Disney English. Trainers do not have a deducted amount from their paycheck. There is a reasonable co-pay when trainers do need a doctor. The plan includes English-speaking doctors. Spouses and dependants of trainers will have 50% of their healthcare premium paid by Disney.The employee will be required to pay the remaining 50% should they choose to include them.
When does my insurance coverage begin?
Health Insurance starts once the contract is signed.
Will temporary housing be provided during my first few weeks in China? Are housing accommodations included?
Disney will pay for up to a maximum of 3 weeks in a hotel, and will provide you with a list of realtors with whom our trainers have had success to assist you in locating permanent housing once you arrive, but we expect you to find an apartment as quickly as possible.
How soon will they receive their arrival bonus and first paycheck?
The relocation bonus check takes approximately 2-3 weeks for receipt via direct deposit into your Chinese bank account once established; Disney English staff will assist you opening a local bank account. Disney trainers get paid at the end of each month. Trainers will receive their first paycheck at the end of the month if trainers start prior to the 15th of the month. Trainers, whose first day of work is after the 15th, will receive their first paycheck at the end of the next month. (E.g.: You start on March 21st; you will receive your first paycheck at the end of April).
How much tax does the Chinese government take from my paycheck?
Typically, 20% is taken out in taxes if you’re a FT and around 25% if you’re an LLD. Disney trainers are still required to file any applicable taxes in their home country.
How much vacation time do teachers get?
Disney trainers get 5 paid vacation days, plus 11 national holidays. All vacations must be planned ahead and approved in advance. LLD level candidates receive up to 10 paid vacation days, plus the 11 national holidays. The 11 days of statutory holidays observed by the company are:
- New Year’s Day: 1 day
- Chinese New Year: 3 days
- Qing Ming Festival: 1 day
- Labor Day: 1 day
- Dragon Boat Festival: 1 day
- Mid Autumn Festival: 1 day
- National Day: 3 days
Please Note: Disney English Academic Cast Members receive time off in observance of the Chinese National Holiday schedule. Substitutions are not permitted in the event a holiday falls on a day you already have off. As is the case with your standard weekly schedule, due to the nature of our business, trainers may observe different holidays than their colleagues in the Regional and National Offices. Holidays and vacation time not observed on the calendar can be coordinated with your manager, in accordance with Disney English time-off policy and depending upon the Center’s schedule.
Will Disney help me obtain a visa? What type of Visa do I need and? Who will pay for the visa?
Disney will help trainers obtain the temporary Z Visa. Disney trainers will need a Z visa to apply for a Work Permit. Trainers typically obtain a temp visa in their home country or may apply for a visa in Hong Kong or Korea. Once in China, trainers will receive their official approved work and residence permits. The residence permit is a year in length with multiple entries. Trainers are responsible for the visa costs incurred outside of China; however, visa costs incurred in China are paid by Disney English. We recommend that US Citizens use www.mychinavisa.com and Canadian citizens use http://www.mychinavisa.ca.
What documents are needed to get the work permit (Z visa) in China?
Visa requirements differ between cities, please consult with your Recruiter:
Please note! Generally, candidates do not need a pre-medical check, however, pre-medical check requirements tend to vary depending on the Chinese consulate, regardless of which city the candidate will be teaching in. Therefore, please be sure to view your local Chinese Consulate website to make sure that the consulate you will be processing your paperwork with does not have a pre-medical check requirement.
If I am currently teaching in China and hold a work visa can it be transferred to Disney English?
If a trainer currently has a work permit and is working in China, Disney English can assist the trainer in extending their permit and changing the sponsor employer to Disney; however the trainer must be in China prior to the work permit expiring to facilitate the process. Please be aware that this process may be affected by the regulations of the province that originally issued the permit.
What if I am arriving on an F visa?
Please contact your recruiter for additional information and details surrounding the F visa process.