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Come to Shanxi Province, the origin of Chinese Culture

    Shanxi Normal University keeps 10 positions open for foreign teachers. Email us today to get started.  Positions start in the Spring (March) and the Fall (September).Foreign Teachers, single or married couples are welcome.

Shanxi Normal University

Linfen City, Shanxi, China


  • 22-60 years old
  • Native English or Japanese Speaker
  • 4-year University/College degree or higher
  • TEFL,TESL or TESOL certificates are desired; otherwise two years teaching experinece in lieu of a certificate will suffice.
Conditions of Employment
  • 1 year contracts
  • RMB 5,000 per month (more for additional classes; different if through a contracting organization)
  • You will work 16 hours per week for the
    base salary
  • Free fully furnished single accommodation apartment (equipped with TV, small kitchen, washer)
  • Two Bedroom accommodations available for married couples
  • Free, round trip ticket for 1 year contract (reimbursement upon completion of contract)
  • Annual travel allowance of 3,000 RMB
  • Insurance: Major medical and accidnetal injury insurance will be purshesed by the department. For clarification ask the office for specifics. Minor medical problems are covered under the universities staff/faculty plan.

The office can apply for a work permit in China for you!  Contact us today.  We will tell you just what you need to do.

General Information for teachers working at Shanxi Normal University

Teachers who will teach in Shanxi Normal University should make full preparations before coming to the University to work. We will try our best to give you concrete indications and suggestions, and the teachers should ask further information about all points on which they are not clear. Below are some points for your consideration. 


  1. Visa. The teacher should show the letter of invitation (agreement or contract) to the representative body of the Chinese Government (embassy, consult, or other authorized organ) in your country so that a visa can be obtained.
  2. Necessary items for teaching. The teacher should consider and prepare in advance what he/she may wish to bring, as: tapes, videos dictionaries and other reference books, teaching materials, and background information on the literature, culture, and history of their own countries. Visual aid equipment is available in the department.
  3. Clothing. The choice of clothes depends on the climate and the heating facilities in the living accommodations provided. In short, you need summer, fall, and winter attire (When its hot, it’s hot; and when it’s cold it’s cold!).  Your apartment is heated, but only from the 15th of November to the 15th of March; in the summer it’s rather hot and in the winter it is rather cold. The annual average temperature is 12.2 C; in summer the highest temperature is 37 C, and in winter the lowest temperature is around 13 C.  It ‘s advisable to wait and buy a good, heavy or down, coat when you get here, as they are just too bulky and heavy to pack. (See suggestions from former teachers and the section on climate.)
  4. Medicines. The University will arrange all necessary treatment at any hospitals in the area, and we will do our best to provide the best possible care, the University has its own clinic, and in Linfen City there are other hospitals and clinics available. There are supermarkets and pharmacies, which sell both Western and Chinese medicine. It is advisable to use Chinese medicine, as there are fewer side-effects. You should bring supplies of any medicines you commonly use and need. If you have special prescription needs you may need to make an appointment at a foreign hospital in Beijing for that prescription.
  5. Air ticket. The teacher is free to arrange his/her own travel and ticketing, providing he/she notifies the FAO well in advance. If the ticket will be provided by the University, it will be by CAAC, and the teacher will be informed of when to go to the nearest CAAC office to pick up the ticket. The University will pay those, who make their own way, the cost of single economic class ticket by the shortest route in RMB (cash) when they get to the University (one-half at the end of each semester). See the appendix for more information on foreign airlines in China.
  6. Documents needed.
    Resume and any other relevant documents, in English, should be submitted with your application.
The resumé should include the following information:
  1. Name, sex, nationality, date and place of birth. Present address and occupation;
  2. Academic record from the secondary level (secondary school, university or college, research institute, major course followed, thesis written, degrees obtained;
  3. Professional titles;
  4. Current state of health, list of previous illnesses;
  5. Date of arrival (if you know), and the intended length of stay in China;
  6. Type of work and department, etc. sought in China
  7. Details of spouse and children (name, sex, nationality, date and place of birth. Present address and occupation, educational level, whether to accompany the applicant to China);
  8. Basic details of any previous stays abroad, including country, the type of work, and length of stay;
  9. Details of special interests, abilities, and other language skills, and at what level
Other documents should be included as follows:
  1. Copy of academic and graduation certificates
  2. Copy of certificate of employment from the current place of work
  3. A letter of recommendation from the place of work or academic department
  4. Recent certificate of health from a certified doctor or hospital (the University website has a downloadable Health Form)

Frequently Asked Questions:



1.  How large is the city of Linfen?

Linfen and its surround areas have upwards of 4 million residents but the number of city residents is considerably less.

2.  What international restaurants does Linfen have? (See Map)

Linfen has several western style restaurants including a McDonalds (6789200*), KFC, Dicos (2013288*) (fast food), a couple of coffee shops, and a Korean Restaurant, a Brazilian BBQ and a Pizza Buffet (2698333*).  Several restaurants will deliver to your residence Be prepared to order in Chinese or get help from someone.* 

3.  Is travel from Linfen to other destinations in China easily accomplished?

Linfen has both a train and bus stations.  Staff in the The Foreign Affairs Office will assist in purchasing tickets if the teachers desires to travel.

4.  What is there to do in or around Linfen?

There are several cities, parks or mountains that can be reached all within a days travel by bus or by train.  The Foreign Affairs Office plans from time to time to help teachers get a first hand taste of China.  Linfen as many small shops for those who enjoy shopping.  There is also a movie theater, which occasionally shows English language films.  There are often cultural/art programs at the university as well.

There are several full-service gyms in the city.  At the current exchange rate it will cost you about 1300 RMB ($170 U.S.- check exchange rates) for a years membership.  Because the Chinese have a habit of using their long lunchtime break to take a nap, the gym is empty during lunch time.  This is also a good time to do any shopping if you want to avoid crowds.

Yao Temple (named for the first Emperor)  is a short taxi ride from campus and boasts buildings which identify the area as the birth of Chinese culture.  The temple area includes an aquarium, as well.

5.  What is the typical salary of a foreign teacher?

Typically teachers who hold a BA or BS, earn 4500 RMB monthly for 16-18 hours of class work.  Working less than 16 hours will decrease your salary working more than 18 will increase your salary.  Typically it is a 1000 RMB increase for an additional 4 classes per week.

6  What is the university's policy regarding airfare reimbursement?

The university will reimburse the teacher for the cost of one roundtrip air ticket the teacher's home country upon the completion of a one year contract. 

7.  What does the apartment come equipped with?

Teachers are provided with a modern, clean apartment in the apartment building behind the library on campus.  The apartment is equipped with a small kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room and balcony where clothes can be hung to dry.  The apartment has an air conditioning unit and is heated with boilers between Nov. 15 and March 15 (according to Chinese law).  Portable heaters are provided as needed.  The apartments have a television with cable TV and a full complement of furniture.  The kitchen has a washing machine, counter/sink area, gas stove and refrigerator.  

8.  Do the apartments have an internet connection?

The teacher can have an internet connection in their apartment but will be responsible for monthly, semi-annual, or annual fees.  The current rate is approximately 50 RMB a month for an always on connection with download rates at around 200 mbps.  The internet is paid along with your phone bill.

9.  What is the cost of living in Linfen?

While this has not been precisely calculated, the cost of food is considerably less than it is in the United States.  The cost of clothing and electronics comparable to costs in the United States.  Housing and utilities are included with the teacher's contract.  There is a monthly base telephone fee of 15 RMB, plus any additional calls are the responsibility of the teacher.  On campus calls (to other teachers, for example) are not charged.  The cost of a movie is approximately 30 RMB.  The typical salary of a teacher at SXNU is more than enough for the teacher to live very comfortably.  A taxi ride is 6 RMB to most locations in the city.  A loaf of bread is 3-5 RMB.  A bottle of coke is 2.5 - 3 RMB. 

10. What is shopping like in Linfen ? (See Map)

Within 2 minutes walking from the Foreign Teachers Apartment there is a restaurant, a branch of the Bank of China, an office supplies store, a mobile phone branch office, a farmer's market type fruit/vegetable stand, a barber shop and an optometrist.

The city has a wide variety of small stores as well as two large supermarkets (Wongef in four locations, and Milky Way in one location) which sell groceries, clothing, appliances and electronics.

11.  How large is the student body at SXNU?

The student body has approximately 20,000 students.

12.  How large is the campus.

SXNU main campus is on 50 acres (See Map) with two smaller campuses in another part of Linfen.

13.  Does SXNU have weekend classes? 

No.  Occasionally the English Promotion Society or some similar organization will conduct an "English Corner" discussion opportunity on the weekend.  Students will invite you to attend these events, typically 2 hours long. Otherwise, there are not any weekend teaching requirements.

14. What areas does the university train in?

The University includes a variety of schools including:

  • School of Economics
  • School of Foreign Languages (English, Japanese, Chinese)
  • School of Fine Arts
  • School of Educational Technology
  • Research Institute of Chinese Opera and Relics
  • School of Biological Technology and Engineering

15. What courses to the foreign teachers typically teach?

Subjects taught by the foreign teacher include:

Survey of American and British Culture American Literature British Literature
English Composition Oral English Selected Readings
History of America History of Britain Extensive Reading
Listening Comprehension Essential Japanese Japanese Grammar
Japanese Reading Japanase Composition  

Suggestions From Former Teachers


There is a little opportunity or need to dress up. Exercise clothes, sweat shirts, slacks and work clothes are adequate.; although, it should be noted that Chinese students and professors normally dress-up (white shirts/ties and even “heels”) for classes! Synthetic clothing is recommended because it dries more quickly.  Long thermal-underwear (available locally and inexpensive!) is often needed, as some classrooms lack adequate heat. An all-purpose jacket is more useful than a coat. You will also need good walking shoes and sneakers. If you need size 9 (women)-size 10 (men) in shoes, or larger; respectively, you should purchase these at home.  It is dificult to find these in China.  It is also difficult to find “large size” clothing.  Chinese sizes are approximately 1/2 size different than western clothing.  If you wear XL in North America, you will wear XXL in China.  It is very difficult to find things larger than XL in most stores.  Walmart in Taiyuan carries some larger clothes.  It is also possible for clothes to be tailored.  Thick cotton 'sports' socks must be purchased in large cities (Beijing, Shanghai).

You can find a wide assortement of very affordable larger sized clothes and shoes at Silk-Street (actually a five story building) in eastern Seoul on Subway line 1.

Hygienic Products

  • Medication as required (most OTC products are available).  There is something called "Black & White" which is the equivalent of Sudafed/Actafed.  There is a less effective version of something like Halls called "Golden."  Bring a bag of Halls if you think you might need it.

  • Name brand female hygienic products are widely available.

  • If you have a favorite brand of toothpaste that is not Colgate, you will want to bring a couple of tubes.  You probably won't find your brand here.

  • They sell electric razors here, but they are rather expensive as a percentage of your salary.  If you have one you might want to bring it (be sure it runs on 220 volts).  Disposable blade razors are available (Mach3), but relatively expensive.  Gillette Vector is a reliable, inexpensive brand that can be purchased most places.

  • Athletes foot medicine and related products cannot be purchased in China.

  • Ibuprofen cannot be purchased in China.

  • Tums chewable ant-acid cannot be purchased in China.

  • Halls cough drops cannot be purchased in all places in China.

  • There are only one or two brands of 'antiperspirant' available and they are hard to find. It might be a good idea to buy a couple sticks-enought to last you the year.

  • Quality eclectic toothbrushes (and refills for Oral-B electric brushes) can be purchased in big cities (at Carefour or Walmart supermarkets).  If you bring your Oral-B electric brush be aware that the voltage might not take 220.  China uses 220.  Large cities will sell Oral-B brushes that take the proper voltage for around 100 RMB.

Food and Kitchen Articles (care package items)

  • Yeast, but not baking soda, is readily available

  • Favorite spices (oregano, and basil, and some other herbs are nearly impossible to find in China); but whole nutmeg, and others, are abundant, and inexpensive!

  • Powdered-milk (local dried milk has a higher sugar and fat content). Normal milk cannot be purchases in China. They have boxed (no refrigerated) radiated milk in the stores. A very high percentage of Asians are lactose intolerant to so do not expect this situation to change anytime soon.

  • Wide variety of vegetables, eggs, tofu, bakery items are readily available. Vegetables in China are quite inexpensive. 

  • Pork, mutton and chicken are readily available.  Beef is available in a couple of stores, but getting a certain cut of meat is a challenge.   Asking for ground beef is easily accomplished ( by pointing at the grinder and gesturing with beef in hand, if you don't know how to ask)

  • While coffee makers are becoming more available, ground (or not ground) coffee is not yet readily available (except in large cities at Carefours [a French supermarket chain], Walmarts or Starbucks).  It might be wise to find a friend back home willing to send the occasional care package with a bag of coffee, or perhaps join some sort of a coffee club that ships internationally.  Get someone to give it to you as a gift if at all possible.)


  • Novels, magazines, & books add weight to your baggage but give you something to read. Amazon ships to China but it is not cheap. Lage bookstores in Beijing or Shanghai will have a small seleciton of novels and classics, but they will be expensive compared to your salary.

  • 'Special' batteries for a camera might be purchased before coming (most are available; e.g., watch batteries are just pennies each!!)

  • Voltage is 220 so you may need an adaptor. The power converters are tedious.  Most newer computer laptops and PCs today take 110-240, but check yours if you intend to bring it.  The plug outlets are a combination of the typical two prong plug and an exotic three prong slanted plug.  Adapters are available here relatively cheaply.   

  • Sometimes it is much, much cheaper to mail boxes/packages to China than to pay the airlines fee for extra weight.

The MAIN street names [see Foreign Affairs Office for maps of Lin Fen (literally, “Bank of the Fen” river) for pinyin names, as well as City Bus routes/numbers].  There is also a map on the website.

Grocery Stores: One of the two largest (Milky Way) is located on, or close, to the north-south “Bei Cai Sheng Road” just out the south gate.  The other chain (Wongef with four locations) can be reached easily by taxi (or a bit of a walk).

When in Beijing, or while visiting other large cities, you may want to purchase ground coffee, not normally available in Linfen; but instant coffee, coffee mate, milk, oleo, and yogurt, a type of sliced cheese and Canola are.


Classes are typically scheduled in two-hour time blocks with 10 minutes for a break and/or 10 minutes to allow students or yourself to get to the next class.  Unique classes require some out-of-class preparation. Classes are taught between Monday and Friday. Students occasionally have Saturday classes however these are connected with the minors, and would never affect the foreign teachers.

Teachers are sometimes asked to fill out an evaluation form at the end of the semester. Your comments and opinions on teaching, academic research, completion of teaching material and teaching equipment are welcomed and encouraged.

Students also fill out evaluations on instructors, and on occasion a younger, less experienced teacher might be given tips on improving their teaching skills. This is very rare, and is only intended better to accomplish the primary goal at hand.

Subjects taughte by foreign teachers include:

  • Survey of America
  • Survey of Britain
  • American literature
  • British literature
  • Composition
  • Oral English
  • History of America
  • History of Britain
  • Extensive reading
  • Listening comprehension
  • Essential Japanese
  • Japanese grammar
  • Japanese reading
  • Japanese composition

Grading System

The points roughly correspond to foreign systems in the fowling way:

  • 93-100=A
  • 87-92=B
  • 73-86=C
  • 60-72=pass
  • Under 60=fail

dressFinal Exam and Points

There is a final examination at the end of each term. A failed examination can be retaken the following year.

In accordance with the Chinese educational system, and the University practices, following grading system is used:

A system of points is used, from 1 – 100; 100 is the highest score and scores under 60 fail.

Electives are graded Excellent, Good, Pass and Fail.

NOTE: Teachers should grade their Chinese student according to their class performance, not to some external lofty criteria.

Work & Salarydress

The last day of each month is your payday.  Your salary will be deposited in a special bank account by automatic deposit which the university will set up for you.  Only you have access to this account for withdrawals or transfers to another bank account.  If you want to change your salary to other currencies, please contact the liaison officer to help you in this matter.  The base salary is 5000 RMB for 16 class hours.  Classes at the university are 50-minute hours. 

Salary Scales Divide into Two Categories:
First Category—Teachers directly invited by Shanxi Normal University. In this case, the University directly pays the teachers a salary, living expenses, and indirectly pays for teacher-accommodations, cost of transportation to and from work site (e.g., apartment, meals, train fare, while in Beijing) and the medical expenses according to the Chinese medical system.  But the teacher must have their own medical insurance.

Second Category—Teachers sent to China by foreign institutions. The second category covers those teachers sent directly by foreign institutions, governments and people’s organizations.  Salaries and living conditions in this category are decided by special agreements or under relevant clauses in the contract.

Time Off

Foreign teachers are also off during the winter and summer (approximately 8 weeks each) however these are not paid holidays.  Many teachers if continuing on their contract Wia Zhuna Louduring the coming semester choose to travel during these breaks.  Travel expenses are offset by an annual travel allowance.

According to the exchange rate settled in your contract (70% for example), your RMB may be changed periodically during the school year.  Ask the Foreign Affairs Office about this directly.

Foreign teachers work five days each week. All the teachers enjoy the public holidays of China and also a two-day holiday at Christmas.  Any other missed classes are to be rescheduled by the foreign teacher.

All residents are equipped with a small kitchen and living room, and one or two bedrooms depending on whether the teacher is in China with his/her spouse.

The apartment is provided for teachers and their family members. If you wish to have overnight visitors, please contact the Foreign Affairs Office.

You will be notified of all mail delivered to the office in a timely manner.  Packages are delivered to a shipping office or the post office on campus and will need to be picked up by the recipient.

Sample Draft Contract


WELCOME TO Shanxi Normal University

Ⅰ. Work assignment
16 hours/week
Guide students to master a higher level of communication, giving proper instruction about necessary background information.
Ⅱ. The period of service will be from the   day of    , 20     to the      day of      ,  20     .
Ⅲ. The duties of Party B
1. Party B shall observe Party A’s work system and regulations concerning teaching administration.
2. Part B shall observe the direction and arrangement of the Foreign Affairs Office and Foreign Languages School in Party A concerning teaching affairs.
3. Party B shall receive the supervision and evaluation from relevant departments in Party A. Party B shall see to it that over 70% of the students in Party A are satisfied with Party B’s work.
4. Party B shall attend teaching research seminars and other activities(about five to six times a year)conducted by Foreign Languages School.
5. Party B shall be under the administration of Foreign Affairs Office in Party A. Party B shall inform the Foreign Affairs Office when going out of the town, including on holidays and off days, asking for leave and changing the teaching schedule.
. The treatment of Party B
1. Monetary salary is 5000 RMB/month. The salary will be paid monthly with RMB from the day of starting work to the expiration of the contract. In case the time is shorter than a whole month, the payment shall be counted by day. The daily wage shall be 1/30 of the monthly salary (the same with February). Extra pay for extra work is RMB 70 Yuan for one period. No more than 70% of the salary can be changed into foreign currencies monthly. The employed party shall pay the personal income tax in accord with the Personal Income Tax Law of The People’s Republic of China.
2. Party B will have Chinese traditional holidays. Party B will enjoy a paid vacation of a month (if the vacation is more or less than 30 days, the payment is a full-month’s salary) on the basis of a one-year contract. According to Party A’s teaching plan, if there is no class for Party B to teach in July, Party A will not pay Party B salary.
3. Party A will guarantee the fundamental living conditions for the employed party in China: lodging with furniture, bedding, telephone, television, refrigerator, toilet, heating and cooling facilities. (The lodging provided to the party whose employment term is longer than half a year or one semester shall be equipped with a kitchen.)
4. Reimbursement of RMB 5000 Yuan for a one-way economy ticket on signature of one semester contract at the end of the semester; Reimbursement of RMB10000 Yuan for a round-trip economy ticket on signature of one-year contract at the end of the school year.
5.  Party A will pay Party B RMB 1,500 Yuan for traveling on signature of a six-month contract, and RMB 3,000 Yuan on signature of one-year contract.
6. Party A will buy health insurance and accident insurance for party B.
7. Except the wages, traveling allowance, insurance and part of certain traveling expenses that Party A will pay, Party B will pay for other expenses like telephone bill, medical care, physical examination, traveling expenses, fees to get the residence permit and foreign expert certificate and to get a visa, cost of accompniant’s living.

.  Sick leave or leave for absence:
1. Party B will need a certificate from the doctor of the designated hospital to ask for a sick leave. The salary of Party B will be deducted on the basis of the period. In case the leaves exceed 30 days (within one year or one academic year contract), the host institution has the right to terminate the contract.
2. Party B will need the approval from Party A to ask for a leave of absence, and Party A will deduct Party B’s salary on the basis of period. Total days of leave of absence can not exceed 10 on the basis of a one-year contract.
3. Periods of leaves can be made up in later time by mutual negotiation.
.  The probation period of the contract:
The probation period of the employed party shall be 60 days. In the probation period, if the host institution finds out that the employed party is unfit for the assignment specified in the contract for reasons of health or professional ability, it has the right to terminate the contract.
1.Without Party A’s consent, Party B shall not render service elsewhere or hold concurrently any post unrelated to the work agreed on with Party A. Should party B not observe this regulation, party A has the right to refuse payment of party B’s air-ticket.
2. Should party B have visitors who intend to stay in his/her apartment for one or more nights, party B is required to help them register at the Foreign Affairs Office.
3. Party B is asked not to keep pets in the apartment. The apartment is not suitable for animals. Dogs, for example, may make a lot of noise disturbing neighbors, or cause property damage.

Confirmation and change of every term of the appendix of the contract must be stipulated in written form through negotiation between the two parties. Any oral agreement will be regarded as invalid.
This contract will be terminated automatically after Part B completes his/her teaching arrangements and leaves the school.

This appendix is signed in duplicate in Chinese and English, both texts being equally authentic and having equal validity of the contract and comprising an integral part of the contract.


Signature of Party A        Signature of Party B


Date:                            Date:



There are a few small shops very near the apartments including a bank, post office, eyeglass store, barbershop, mini-market, and a restaurant.

Shopping can be done in the city.  Several stores are within walking distance, though you will probably want to use a taxi to carry your purchases home with you.  Taxis are available near the gate and throughout the city.  You can get most places in the city for 5-6 RMB.  The best time to go shopping to avoid traffic and crowds is between 12:30 and 1:30 in the afternoon.  As is the case in many cities in China, the streets and stores empty out because many Chinese people go home for lunch or to take a nap.

Chinese Food Menu & Shopping Guide (DOC)

Eating Out

If you don't like to cook, there isrestaurant a restaurant on campus with a very inexpensive cafeteria line, or food may be ordered from a menu.  A meal for two from the menu will typically run you less than 20 RMB.  Food from the restaurant can also be delivered to your residence, though you will need to learn enough Chinese to order or find someone to help you if ordering over the telephone.

There are numerous options for eating local food around campus and just outside of the campus gates, all inexpensive and delicious.

There are several western restaurants in addition to hundreds of Chinese restaurants to visit.  Western-style restaurants include a McDonalds, a KFC, a Pizza buffet and , Dicos (Chicken Fast food).

McDonalds (6789200), Big Pizza, and Dicos (2013288) will deliver to your home. 


There is a large park right behind the foreign teach/student residence on campus with an extended walking path, well shaded areas and numerous benches surrounding a man-made lake.

The apartment has a living room, bedroom, small kitchen, bathroom and a balcony. guy oneDouble occupancy apartments (four couples) have an additional bedroom which can double serve as an office.

倪生唐Apartments come fully furnished with a television (cable included). Currently no western channels are available in China. An internet connection is available. Internet service is provided by the school.倪生唐

The kitchen comes with a two-burner gas stove, a microwave or toaster oven (your preference), refirgerater, and in some cases a toaster over. A 300 RMB settlement allowance is provided to aid in the purchasing of basic cooking amenities.

There is a washing maching, but China has no driers. Clothes are hung on the balcony. You should take this into consideration when choosing the clothes you purchase. Light-weight 倪生唐clothes dry faster.

The bathroom has a shower area and a small sink area and mirror. The apartment water is heated by a natural-gas water heater.

Each apartment also has an air-conditionar/heater unit that is operated with a handheld remote control. The apartment's utilities are handled by the school. There is a telephone in the apartment with a small montly fee. The more you use it the more you pay.

Staying in Touch With Familyrestaurant

Many people use Skype or some other telephone service that relies on VOIP. Skype has a number of features including purchasing a dedicated line to your Skype accout (for people to call you from the landlines), SkeypeIn, SkypeOut, and call forwarding. It is difficult to know which will work as internet regulation in China is ever changing. Others use internet chat and voice/video enable internet chat to stay in contact. There also calling cards which can be purchased, but this is not cost effective.

Packages from the States can take anywhere from 10 days to two weeks. Mail is delivered to the Foreign Affairs Office and will be deliverd to you in a very timely manner. Packages must be picked up from the post office or the package shipping officerestaurant on campus. If your friends/family send a package, warn them to be careful of what itmes can be legally shipped, according to Chinese customs.

Amazon and some other internet based companies will ship to China, but the shipping fee is quite hefty.

Your Address for any official and non-official mails. You should pick up packages from the appropriate office yourself.

  • c/o Foreign Affairs Office
  • Shanxi Normal University
  • Linfen, Shanxi 041004
  • P.R. of China
    Your Telephone: 011-86-357-205-XXXX FAX: 011-86-357-2051083 (to the Foreign Affairs Office if necessary)
Useful URLs


(these sites are in no way affiliated with Shanxi Normal University)




Iternational Dialling Codes

(scroll down for instructions in making international calls)   

Country Name Country Country Name Country
code  code 
Australia 61 Japan 81
Austria 43 Korea (North) 850
Belgium 32 Korea (South) 82
Brazil 55 Netherlands 31
Canada 1 New Zealand 64
China (PRC) 86 Norway 47
Finland 358 Philippines 63
France 33 Russia 7
Germany 49 Singapore 65
Hong Kong 852 Spain 34
India 91 Sweden 46
Indonesia 62 Switzerland 41
Ireland 353 UK 44
Italy 39 USA 1


Making International Calls

Calling China 00-86-357-205-1084
Calling a teacher's apartment in China 00-86-357-xxx-xxxx
Calling the U.S. 00-1-xxx (area code)-xxx-xxxx (number)
Calling Japan 00-81-(in country number)
Calling Australia 00-61-(in country number)


Chinese Customs and Traditions

Addressing People

The common form of addressing people among ordinary Chinese is nowadays it is Xiansheng, which means Mr., or Xiaojie, for a younger female)dress

As a gesture of familiarity or respect between colleagues, the word “lao” (old) or “xiao” (little or young), may be placed before the surname regardless of gender; e.g., “Lao Wang”, “Xiao Zhang”. It is considered disrespectful for people to directly address their elders by their given name.


Professional Titles

Professional titles are often placed after the surname as a form of address, especially “laoshi” (teacher), “Jingli” (manager), etc.. Students will often refer to their teachers as “Wang Laoshi” (Teacher Wang), “Li Laoshi” (Teacher Li), and so on, instead of using the titles Mr., Mrs. or Miss.

cutoutChinese Greetings

Nodding and shaking hands are usual greetings when meeting and parting, and the spoken greeting is “Ni hao.” (Hello.), or “Ni hao ma?” (How are you?); and at parting, “Zai jian.” (Goodbye.).  A handshake also expresses gratitude, congratulations and encouragement. In some areas of the country, especially the mountainous areas, the traditional greeting of clasping both fists together in front of the chest can still be seen.

Handshaking is the accepted greeting. Chinese usually shake hands very lightly instead of taking the hand firmly and forcefully pumping it, and in China a handshake may last as long as 10 seconds. Maybe you should wait for the Chinese to extend a hand first, since not everyone uses this gesture. In China the most useful form of greeting is a nod or slight bow. Upon meeting someone, Chinese lower their eyes slightly as a sign of respect. Staring into the eyes of a Chinese might make them uncomfortable.

Saving or Losing Face

Face-being respected by one’s peers–is very important to the Chinese. They are enormously sensitive to maintaining face in everything they do. Saying or doing anything that causes someone to lose face can instantly destroy a relationship and any business that might result from it. Never insult or openly criticize someone in front of others. Don’t make fun of a Chinese, even if only as a joke. Do not treat someone as a person of lowly rank if their position in the company is high. A person’s face is also their company’s face. The relationship you develop with a person represents your relationship with his entire company. Gifts are important, expressing friendship and symbolizing hopes for success. But expensive gifts can cause personal embarrassment and political or social awkwardness. For wrapped gifts, gold or red are appropriate colors. White and black are colors of mourning.

Have you eaten?


As with any country eating out is a very special time. Sharing a meal and really build some strong bonds. You might use this Chinese Food Menu & Shopping Guide (DOC) when youa re out.

However, in China the greating Ni Chir Fanle Ma? (Have you eaten) is a common way to say hello.

Upon meeting someone you know, the Chinese may ask you “Have you eaten yet?” or “Where are you going?” These questions are to be taken literally; although, they do have an element of greeting in them. When starting a conversation, the Chinese may ask questions that seem very rude to a Westerner, such as inquiries about the marital status, age, salary and so on. A brief explanation that such questions are not polite in one’s own society will suffice, instead of an answer.

Public kissing or embracing are considered rude and somewhat offensive in China, and should be avoided.  Holding hands is even questionable behavior in public. This has been the norm but it is changing. Much behavior by foreigners is excused, however according to Chinese culture, trend-setting by foreigners is generally frowned upon.






Traditional Chinese Festivals


Spring Festival

The Spring Festival, or the Chinese New Year, is the most important festival in China, and it dates back some two thousand years.

DuiLian (pictured on the left and right) are often used to adorn doors during SprinFestival, with one going on either side of the main door to a home. For whatever reason many people often leave them up all year round.

It marks the first day of the lunar year, and it is the time when families gettogether and reunite if they are separated.The date of the festival varies from year to year, according to the lunar calendar, but it usually falls in late January or early February in the Gregorian calendar.  However, the rule is simple: it always falls on the Second New Moon (dark of the moon) after the Winter Solstice (~ Dec. 22). restaurant

 On the lunar New Year’s Eve, the sound of firecrackers is heard throughout the night, signifying “doing away with the old and making the way for the new.” It is an old custom for people to stay up late, or all night. Nowadays in the cities most people stay up late watching TV;  “Chun jie lian huan wn hui”, a program which is very important to the people of China, or playing cards, or preparing food for the next day.

The Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival is held fifteen days after the lunar New Year (on the First Full Moon). It is a tradition to hang decorative lanterns in public places and to eat yuanxiao, a kind of glutinous rice-flour ball with a sweet or savory filling.

Linfen's Lantern Festival is represented by large, complicated 'lanterns' restaurantwhich are more like glow-in-the-dark sculptures akin to parade floats (non-moving). They can be viewed in Gulou Square.

Tomb-Sweeping Day

The festival is for remembering relatives that have passed away. Basically, people go to do tidying up of the families graves. The Qing Ming Festival, is on the fifth of the twenty-four solar terms, according to the traditional Chinese calendar. The solar terms are defined according to the position of the sun in the zodiac. The festival takes place on the fourth or fifth day of the fourth month of the Gregorian calendar, and on this day people usually go to tidy up, or “sweep” the graves of the departed friends and relatives and revolutionary martyrs.

The Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival, or Duan Wu Festival, falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunarrestaurant month. It developed from appeasing the river dragon gods into a popular festival commemorating the suicide of Qu Yuan, a poet in the Warring States Period (475 B.C. – 221 B.C.),  who could no longer bear the moral degeneration of his state. On the fifth day of the fifth day in the lunar calendar, dragon boats are raced in water to commemorate those who tried to save the poet, and as an offering to the river gods. There are other variations to the traditional story. The Dragon Boat Race has now become a popular sport in China, and at abroad where ever there is a Chinese community. People usually eat Zongzi (gluitenous rice concoction and a dates, raisins or peanuts, wrapped in a kind of a scneted reed leaves and tied by twine to be cooked).

The Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-autumn Festival is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, the middle of autumn in the traditional Chinese calendar. In China it is called “Zhong qiu jie” It takes place at harvest time on the night of the full moon, which symbolizes unity. Moon cakes are eaten on this auspicious day. Moon cakes are round cakes filled with dried fruit (like fruit-cake citron or sweet, mashed beans…), and they symbolize the perfect roundness of the moon at the time of the festival. According to Chinese tradition, no matter how far away you are working, you should come home and join your family for the festival.

Excerpt of the laws regulating foreigners entering and leaving China


Article 2: Permission must be obtained from the competent authorities of the Chinese Government by aliens for their entry, exit and residence in China.

Article 3: For entry, exit and transit, aliens shall pass through the ports open to aliens or other designated ports and shall be subject to inspection at border checkpoints.

Article 4: The Chinese Government protects the legitimate rights and interests of all aliens within Chinese territory. The personal freedom of aliens shall be inviable. Aliens shall not be liable to arrest unless a warrant or decision is made by a people’s procuratorate or a decision is made by a people’s court and such warrant or decision is executed by a public security organ or state security organ.

Article 5: Aliens in China shall abide by Chinese law and shall not endanger the national security of China, harm its public interests or disturb its public order.


Article 6: For entry into China, aliens shall apply for visas to the appropriate Chinese diplomatic missions.

Article 8: Aliens invited or employed to work in China shall, in applying for visas, produce letters of invitation or employment.

Article 13: Aliens residing in China shall possess identity cards or residence certificates issued by the competent authorities of the Chinese Government. Aliens residing in China shall submit certificates for examination to the local public security organs within the prescribed period of time.

Article 16: In the case of an alien who fails to abide by Chinese law, his period of stay in China may be shortened or his status of residence in China annulled at the competent authorities of the Chinese Government.

Article 18:  Aliens holding residence certificates who wish to change places of residence in China shall complete removal formalities pursuant to the relevant stipulations.


Article 20:  Aliens who hold visas and residence certificates may travel to places declared open to aliens by the Chinese Government.

Article 21:  Aliens wishing to travel to places not open to aliens shall apply to the local public security organs for travel permits.


Article 22: For exit from China, aliens shall present their valid passports or any other valid certificates.


Article 29: Whoever illegally enters, leaves, or resides or stops over in China, or travels to places not open to aliens without a valid travel permit may be subjected to such penalties as warning, fine or detention for not more than ten days. Offenders whose violations are serious enough to constitute crimes shall be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

Regulations on administration of foreign teachers at Shanxi Normal University


Foreign teachers working at the University should obey the following regulations:

  1. Observe the laws, decrees and relevant regulations of the Chinese Government and the employer’s work regulations.

  2. Cooperate and try every effort to complete the task agreed on.

  3. Accept the employer’s work arrangements and directions, without permission you should not render any services elsewhere or hold concurrently any post unrelated to the work duties.

  4. If you fall sick and cannot conduct your classes, you should notify the director of your department and the director of the Foreign Affairs Office.

  5. If you need a leave of absence, please ask the director’s consent before you leave.

  6. If you are absent with no excuse, a deduction from your monthly salary will be made as follows:  one class abscence=a day’s salary deduction; three days absence=one whole week’s salary deduction; a week’s absence= half a month’s salary deduction; up to a half month’s absence, results in a whole month’s salary being deducted.

  7. Regardless of the reason behind your absence, missed classes need to be made up shortly before the leave or directly thereafter. In case the leaves exceed 30 days,the employing party has the right to terminate the contract.

  8. Foreign teachers are discouraged from developing intimate relationships with individual students. Should this occur, the teacher may be asked to withdraw from the University.

  9. If you work hard at your teaching and observe the contract, a reward will be given by the University or by the department, if you don’t observe the contract or if you violate the regulations, you will be warned, criticized and may even be dismissed, according to the nature of the offence. NOTE: To be criticized in China is a serious matter.

  10. Religious beliefs are personal matters, however foreigners are not allowed to organize any kinds of religious groups, meetings or services, and proselytizing is strictly forbidden, according to the Chinese law and University regulations.

NOTE: The above regulations are based on the new Contract Form and the Living Conditions of Foreign Experts and Teachers issued by our Foreign Expert Bureau. See the sample contract.

Train Schedule Arriving at

and Leaving from Linfen City

Train No.—Dir.
7190—W Linfen to Houma 8:23 9:39 9:39
2519—SW Beijing to Hancheng 19:43 13:07 9:47—9:53
N228—N Yuncheng to Taiyuan 8:02 13:08 9:50—9:54
4526—N Qingjian to Taiyuan 7:50 14:40 10:06—10:19
2542—N Yichang to Taiyuan 15:30 15:25 10:35—10:41
2463—N Baotou to Linfen 14:50 10:36 10:36
6045—S linfen to Hancheng 10:37 14:08 10:37
N225—N Taiyuan to Yongji 8:00 13:55 11:16—11:19
4527—S Taiyuan to Yuncheng 8:35 14:40 12:26—12:34
2023—SW Taiyuan to Xián 8:57 20:15 13:08—13:15
4476—N Yuncheng to Tangshan 11:13 8:55 13:47—13:55
4528—N Yuncheng to Taiyuan 12:20 19:08 14:48—14:57
2024—N Xián to Taiyuan 9:46 20:47 16:06—16:21
4475 Tangshan to Linfen 21:28 16:48 16:48
N226—N Yongji to Taiyuan 14:15 21:06 16:53—16:56
2541—S Taiyuan to Yichang 12:43 12:45 17:10—17:16
2464—S Linfen to Baotou 17:14 13:33 17:14
N204—N Yuncheng to Beijing 15:20 6:39 17:27—17:35
7189—W Linfen to Houma 17:40 18:50 17:40
2520—N Hancheng to Beijing 14:53 8:30 18:06—18:12
6048 Jiafeng to Linfen 13:30 18:54 18:54
Train No.
1485—S Taiyuan to Chengdu 15:31 19:18 19:54—20:00
N227—S Taiyuan to Yuncheng 17:05 22:32 20:20—20:35
6046 Hancheng to Linfen 16:36 20:25 20:25
1676—E Xián to Baotou 14:32 14:35 20:34—20:40
1592—W Hangzhou to Tatong 19:54 8:13 20:46—20:52
2535—S Taiyuan to Baoji 17:53 8:53 22:47—22:53
1486—N Chengdu to Taiyuan 23:25 5:01 23:16—23:27
K237—S Taiyuan to Guandong 22:15 8:10 2:17—2:23
4525—S Taiyuan to Qingjian 22:45 6:05 3:04—3:17
1675—W Baotou to Xián 9:23 9:51 3:26—3:32
K238—N Guangzhou to Taiyuan 21:39 7:51 3:28—3:34
2536—N Baoji to Taiyuan 17:45 8:22 3:42—3:48
6047—E Linfen to Jiafeng 6:33 12:43 6:33
1591—E Datong to Hangzhou 20:37 10:40 7:32—7:38
N203—S Beijing to Yuncheng 19:00 10:25 8:00—8:15


Chinese Currency

yuanThe People’s Bank of China was founded in 1948, and was the first issuance of Renminbi (People’s Currency), the currency of China. The symbol for Renminbi is “¥”, which is derived from the first letter of the romaniced spelling for the word “Yuan”, the principal unit in the currency.

Mao Zedong 毛澤東 portrait is adorned on on denomination of bills 1 RMB or larger.

yuanyuanThe currency uses decimal system. The Yuan (“kuai” on the street) is divided into 100 fen; 10 fen equal 1 jiao (mao on the street). The face values of notes are: 100 yuan, 50 yuan, 20 yuan, 10 yuan, 5 yuan, 2 yuan and 1 yuan; 5 jiao, 2 jiao and 1 jiao; 5 fen, 2 fen and 1 fen; there are also coins for 1 yuan, 5 jiao, 1 jiao, 5 fen, 2 fen and 1 fen. At writing about 8.1 Yuan equals one US dollar.

Interestingly, Chinese count money with their hands differently than is done in the west. Also, packs of 'practice-counting' monopoly-like money can be purchased in stores.