If you remember last year about this time, the Foreign Experts Bureau (FEB) in Beijing wouldn't give our schools the necessary documents to get our visas. The reason? Technically we can't teach in China without two years of experience. The three schools that our program works with were able to obtain special permission to waive the rules for Cedarville teachers and that's how I was able to go to China. We were promised that this wouldn't be an issue in the future.
But for now it is. The new teachers at two of our three schools this year are having trouble getting the papers they need from the FEB. We think it's because of the new visa restrictions and the heightened concern from the Olympics. I'm fairly certain that the new teachers at my school will eventually be granted permission to come, but we will probably have to wait to press the rule until after the Olympics.
So we are hopeful and thoughtful about these things, but it is discouraging and I feel bad for the new teachers who were excited to fly to Beijing in three weeks. Now it looks like their ETA will be pushed back until some time in September. Eleven of us are getting ready to leave August 20ish, but we hope that the remaining twenty five can join us soon!