Frequently Asked Questions from Applicants
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have other questions.

Working with Chatteris

Q1. I am a graduate, but not a recent graduate. Am I still eligible to apply? 
The Chatteris International Graduate Programme is primarily tailored to meet the personal and professional development needs of recent graduates. Ideally, applicants should have graduated within the past 4 years or be final year students in order to benefit the most from the programme. However, those that graduated over four years ago but display similar areas for development, qualities, enthusiasm and flexibility needed to meet our requirements may be considered for a place.
Q2. How much will I be taxed while I'm working in Hong Kong?
The good news is you probably won’t be taxed anything. You won’t earn enough in one financial year during the Chatteris contract to exceed the tax exemption boundary. However, taking part in Chatteris extra programmes may increase your earning enough to affect your tax bracket. Tax is much lower in Hong Kong than in the UK, Canada and the US though, so it shouldn’t be too much!
Q3. Are travel expenses, both from my home country and while in Hong Kong, covered by Chatteris?
No. As Chatteris is a non-profit organisation, we cannot afford to pay for flights to and from Hong Kong. You will be told your school placement early during orientation, and it’s your responsibility to make sure that transportation costs to and from school are within your budget. Transport in Hong Kong is very efficient and much cheaper than in most big cities though, so this shouldn’t be a big problem.

Q4. Where are schools located?
Chatteris works with schools all over Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. We try as far as possible to accommodate preferences, but obviously this is not always feasible.

Q5. I am a qualified teacher; do I have to attend the orientation period?
Yes! The orientation period is not just about teaching. It is an introduction to the Chatteris Approach rather than a teaching course. It includes some hands-on teaching and is a good opportunity to meet and start familiarising yourself with Hong Kong students. In addition, Chatteris focuses on collaboration and the orientation period is the best time to get to know everyone and learn to work together.

Q6. Will I be paid extra if I am a qualified teacher / have a TEFL qualification?
No. Every CNET is paid the same. If you choose to apply to Chatteris, you are not applying to be a teacher in a ‘traditional’ sense. Creativity, hard work and enthusiasm are more valuable to us than TEFL or teaching qualifications. Although such qualifications can be quite helpful in the classroom!

Q7. Are there opportunities to work for Chatteris after the completion of my 9 month contract?
Yes, this applies to those which have proved themselves to be outstanding during the course of their contract. There are opportunities to become a Senior CNET and remain for a second year with Chatteris. This is mainly for those who are interested in pursuing a TESL or a career in education. A study loan is also available to Senior CNETs who have signed up for an MA TESOL course.

Q8. How do I get my visa to work in Hong Kong?
Provided you send all of your documents on time, Chatteris will arrange for your visa to be sent to your home country. If documents are delayed, the process can take a little longer and your employment visa may have to be given to you once in Hong Kong.

Q9. How much will I be paid?
CNETs will earn a monthly salary of $15,000 HKD (approx. $1917 USD, other rates are subject to fluctuation). As mentioned in point 2, this is enough to cover your cost of living in Hong Kong (subject to spending habits!).

Q10. How many hours will I work?
CNETs work about 40 hours per week (8 hours per day Monday to Friday). Occasionally CNETs will be required to work on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays for school functions and co-curricular activities. On other occasions CNETs take part in training programmes, promotional work, functions and events organized by Chatteris such as the Christmas Pantomime.

Q11. How can I obtain a police clearance certificate?
You may go to your local police station for exact details on how to obtain this or click here to see how some of our previous CNETs got their Police Clearance form.
Q12. Can I take leave outside of school holidays?
It is Chatteris policy to insist that all participants of the Chatteris International Graduate Programme are available for the entire programme period. Working in a professional education environment means that to miss any term dates would affect the students and schools. It is important that people who join the programme come for the students and are understanding about this requirement concerning attendance.

Whilst working in Hong Kong it is individual CNETs’ responsibility to maintain their health to ensure that excessive sick leave is not taken. Chatteris follows the Hong Kong government labor laws regarding sick leave.

If a CNET has good attendance, punctuality and performance then a CNET will enjoy all school holidays like the students. If not, CNETs will only enjoy public holidays similar to teaching assistants and other office workers in Hong Kong. CNETs will have to work in the Chatteris office or school to make up for the work or receive extra training. To view sample school calendars please click here and here. Requests for special leave outside of school holiday periods require strong justification and will not normally be approved.

Should CNETs be unable to attend the entire programme period then they will be placed on the Chatteris waiting list. This means that should a place become available in a school during the academic year we would contact the CNET and offer the opportunity to take part in the programme. If this occurs it most often takes place in November or January, but it is impossible to confirm this.

Q13. I want to come to Hong Kong using a one way plane ticket, is this possible?
Chatteris strongly advises accepted CNETs to purchase a return ticket. However, if a CNET possesses a valid work visa in their passport prior to leaving their home country then a one way ticket can be used. If you decide to purchase a one way ticket without possessing a valid work visa then you might encounter problems when leaving your home country. Purchasing a one way ticket without a work visa is therefore done at the CNETs’ own risk. There have been cases in the past where CNETs have not been allowed to leave their home country using a one way ticket and without a valid work visa. This is why Chatteris strongly advises the purchase of a return ticket.

Q14. I am a smoker. Will Chatteris accommodate for me to take breaks during the day?
All schools in Hong Kong are non-smoking. Chatteris is a non-smoking company and all activities and events are strictly non-smoking, as mentioned in both Chatteris' and school policies. Chatteris does not make accommodations for those who need to take smoking breaks.

Q15. What if I have visible tattoos and multiple piercings?
Applicants must be prepared to cover all visible tattoos. Excessive piercings are not allowed at all times in schools and around students.

Q16. Why is a deposit of 2000 HKD required?
Chatteris requests that all CNETs give a refundable deposit of 2000 HKD (approx. 260 USD or 159 GBP) after accepting their offer.

This deposit has two main purposes. Firstly, the deposit helps offset pre-arrival costs of accepted candidates. These costs include work visas, teaching resources and accommodation during the three week training period. Secondly, the deposit demonstrates that a prospective CNET intends to come to HK and participate in the programme. We regard the deposit as an indication of serious interest and commitment.

The request of a deposit is a common procedure that takes place among many organisations working on an international level. CNETs are asked to send the deposit via overseas bank transfer and are responsible for any bank charges incurred.

The deposit will be reimbursed in full upon successful completion of the Chatteris International Graduate Programme.

Q17. How much will it cost to get settled in Hong Kong?