- Can I apply for the Culture Plus program if English is not my native language?
Yes, that is not a problem. We do think it is important that every participant has a good command of English though, so you should be able to tutor the children of the host family properly.
- Do I need to be able to speak Chinese when I join the Culture Plus program?
No, you do not. In daily life it will be very useful if you could speak a little Chinese, but it is a not a requirement to join the Culture Plus program. Actually, attending Chinese language classes will be part of the program.
- Is it necessary to have experience with similar programs before I can join the Culture Plus program?
No, it is not. If you have relevant experience with tutoring children or babysitting, this will be very valuable, but it is not necessary. You will also receive a training in China about your tasks and responsibilities in the host family.
- Which Chinese cities are nice to live in?
That really depends on your personal preference. We are currently working together with various Chinese partner agencies located, amongst others, in Beijing, Shenzhen and Chengdu. We recommend Beijing if you want to discover ancient China. If you like living near the nature and experience Chinese culture, we recommend Chengdu. Shenzhen is recommended for participants who would like to live in a fast growing metropolis. We will discuss your preferences during the interview.
- When is the best time to apply for the Culture Plus program?
You can apply throughout the year because we have Chinese host families available all year round. In many cases, we place our applicants in March and September, because in these months, new terms of the Chinese school year start. For each starting month, we suggest you to apply for the program at least 3-4 months beforehand.
- Can I join the Culture Plus program together with a friend?
Yes, you can. In this case we will make sure you will live in the same Chinese city and will have Chinese classes together.
- How much time does the procedure take, from signing up to departing to China?
The entire procedure from signing up to the departure to China will take approximately 6 to 8 weeks. Some students are able to find a Chinese host family quickly, some might take longer. The procedure might take longer for the students who are leaving in summer due to a larger group of students leaving at that moment. China Plus aims to collect all the required documents from the participants before May in order to have enough time to search for a suitable Chinese host family.
- My passport expires within six months. Can I apply for the Culture Plus program?
To be able to get a visa for China you have to have a passport that is at least valid for another six months. Please arrange a new passport first and apply for our program afterwards.
- What are the fees required to join the Culture Plus program?
We ask our applicants to pay a €350 program registration fee and €50 administration fee. You complete your payment when you have had a conversation with one of our staff members and signed up as a participant. Other fees that are required for this program are the application fee for your visa and your Certificate of Good Conduct, fees for vaccinations and the cost of your flight ticket. When you choose to stay for a whole year, your return flight tickets will be reimbursed. If you join the program for half a year, a single ticket will be reimbursed.
- Why is the program registration fee only 350 euro?
We would like to make this program as affordable as possible for everyone. We also receive a contribution from the Chinese partner agencies for each student that we place in China. This is why we are able to maintain a low registration fee for all our Culture Plus participants.
- How does China Plus collaborate with the Chinese partner agencies?
China Plus is responsible for selecting qualified Dutch students and the Chinese partner agency selects a suitable Chinese host family. China Plus also maintains intensive contact with the Chinese partner agencies before and after the departure of the Dutch students. For example to discuss the exact time of arrival, supporting documents for the visa and progress of the Culture Plus program.
- How can I prepare myself for the Culture Plus program?
It is recommended to learn about the Chinese language and culture. You can start learning the Chinese language by downloading a free app, like Memrise. China Plus also organises a pre-departure meeting at the beginning of the summer. During this meeting we will give you useful information and tips. If you have any questions regarding your preparation, you can always contact your contact person at China Plus.
- What are the do’s and don’ts for the Culture Plus participants?
Be aware that you will experience a complete different culture and environment. It is important that you are open-minded and polite. We recommend you to be modest and make sure to have clear agreements with your Chinese host family about mutual expectations. The Dutch people are well-known for being direct when communicating. However, it is better to not communicate too directly in China. We also recommend you to not be too demanding, especially at the beginning. It is wise to not always consider spending time with the Chinese host family as work, because you will be part of the family during the period of time.
- What does my week schedule look like?
You will spend approximately 30 hours a week on activities with the host family’s children. Most of these activities will take place during the weekends, when you will be spending the day with the children. During the weekdays you will often spend time with the children in the evening. During the weekdays you will follow Chinese morning classes which will take three to ten hours a week. You have one to 1,5 days off every week.
- Can I get in touch with other Culture Plus participants who will be staying in the same city in China as I am going to live, before setting off?
Yes, that is definitely possible. At the beginning of the summer China Plus will organise a pre-departure meeting for all participants who will be departing to China in August and September. This meeting gives you the opportunity to get to know other Culture Plus participants. If you are departing during another time of the year, you may contact your person at China Plus for the contact information of other participants who are staying in the same city in China as you are going to live. If they give the permission to share their contact information with you, you will be able to contact them.
- Is it possible to extend the duration of the program in China?
Yes, it is possible. You will sign a fixed-term agreement with the Chinese partner agency and the Chinese host family. If you want to extend the duration of the program at the end of the agreement, please inform China Plus, the Chinese partner agency and your host family. If there is a mutual agreement between each party, you can sign a new fixed term agreement with the Chinese partner agency. If you can stay with your host family you will enter into a new agreement with them. During the last period you can also move to another host family if you would like.