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Chinese Guest Teacher Program

Helping schools launch excellent, sustainable Chinese language programs

The Chinese Guest Teacher Program places experienced language teachers from China in Western New York schools to help establish and build sustainable Chinese language programs.

The Confucius Institute teachers are selected by area schools and districts from a pool of candidates in China based on (1) their credentials and experience and (2) interviews by UBCI staff and school or district administrators. Once a school selects a Chinese teacher, the school applies to an international exchange agency designated by the U.S. State Department to sponsor J-visa (non-immigrant) teachers. The sponsor reviews the teacher’s credentials, compiles all required documents, and issues a form DS-2019, with which the teacher can apply for a J visa.

In 2019-2020, six schools/districts hosted seven Confucius Institute teachers as part of this guest teacher program. (In 2020-21, most teacher placements are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The guest teacher salary, international travel, housing allowance, and SUNY health insurance are paid by Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban).

The UB Confucius Institute

  • Assists schools in the selection of qualified teachers
  • Answers questions the schools or teachers have about the process for arriving and settling in Buffalo
  • Provides orientation and regular workshops to help teachers acclimate to U.S. schools
  • Provides other professional development opportunities for the visiting exchange teachers

The school/district

  • Interviews, selects, and appoints the Chinese teacher
  • Works with a U.S. State Department-designated exchange teacher sponsor to prepare documentation required for the Chinese teacher’s J (non-immigrant) visa
  • Appoints a logistics person to help the incoming teacher settle in Buffalo
  • Appoints a faculty mentor for the guest teacher
  • Supervises the teachers and provides supportive evaluation of the teacher’s work
  • Develops a plan for creating a sustainable Chinese language and culture program as part of the regular curriculum

Most Confucius Institute exchange teachers stay in Buffalo for two or three years. When the initial teacher leaves, UBCI usually can arrange for a second guest teacher. There is no definite end date for a school in the program, although UBCI expects schools eventually to establish the Chinese language program on a permanent basis by hiring a regular, certified Chinese language teacher.

To help fulfill the growing demand for certified Chinese language teachers, UB launched a Chinese language certification and M.Ed. program in fall 2015.