How to Book/FAQ

1- When shall I make booking?
Ideally 1 to 2 weeks before you plan to start lessons. Note we only process bookings with minimum 40 tutoring hours that start within 30 days (you will start lessons within 30 days at longest after booking).

2- What’s the booking process?
On our website, Mandarin tutors are categorized into novice/part-time tutors, professional/certified tutors and star tutors, based on qualifications. Compare profiles, rates, reviews and credentials of tutors and check their availability by timetable. Select the best fit.
Step 2. Book
Click on “Book” button next to the tutor’s profile. If you cannot decide on your best fit on our website, fill out request form for our recommendations. We have many more tutors in database than listed on website.
Within a maximum of 48 hours (if we receive your request during office hours), we will contact you for interview appointment to meet the requested tutor or alternative candidates we recommend if the one you request is not available or you haven't picked a particular one.
Discuss tutoring rates and details with the tutor on meet. Pay a small one-time service fee along with tuition fee based on total booking hours if you decide to take the tutoring, before the first lesson. Service fee will only be charged for successful referral.

3- How long shall I wait for your reply?
Under normal conditions we reply to requests within 48 hours if we receive them during working hours. We respond to every request or email. To avoid our emails from getting moved to your spam folder, make sure to add book@ShanghaiTutors.Com to your “approved sender list” or “white list”. You can also add us to your “address book”. If you do not get a reply from us within 2 working days, we may not have been able to contact you, so contact us again.

4- Who are the tutors? What are their qualifications and experience?
We build up an unrivaled network of independent Chinese/Mandarin tutors that spans Shanghai and major cities in China. Only the best are included in our community (about 30% of the applicants). Each of them goes through credentials verification, resume evaluation, interview screening process and meets our criteria. They are of all kinds of backgrounds: professional Mandarin teachers from universities, international schools, Mandarin schools, freelancers, part-time tutors with regular jobs, college students, etc. Some of them offer private tutoring off work to supplement income and some have shifted completely to freelancer tutors. Most of the tutors have either relevant certificates, education degree or experience but this is not a must. We apply our own criteria and judgment. For example, if you learn Business Chinese, a smart part-time teacher with degree or experience in finance could be more suitable than a full time Mandarin teacher specializing in classic Chinese or literature. We work with one goal: to provide clients with the best selection of tutors while staying within their preferred cost range.

5- Do I get to pick and meet the tutor before starting?
Yes. You can request particular tutor on web listings or ask for our recommendation. We encourage every learner to meet and interview tutor before taking lessons to ensure some sort of chemistry in lesson. You may discuss tutoring rates and lesson plan. It is free to meet and interview in our office in Jing'an, Shanghai. If you require interview to be held in your place instead of our office, we charge 50rmb if your place is located within inner ring of Shanghai or 100rmb outside inner ring.

6- What’s the price for tuition?
Price varies. Tutors are independent. We do not employ or manage tutors. You discuss rates with tutor directly and employ tutor as independent contractor. Mandarin tutors fall into 3 categories based on qualifications (marked as A, AA, AAA respectively). Difference in tutoring rates reflects their difference in experience, qualifications and popularity. Check and compare standard rates in tutors' profiles for reference, and discuss the exact tutoring rates and details with the tutor you request on meet. While the final rate is a matter of negotiation between you and the tutor, below is the average rate range for your reference(on private 1-1 basis). They may vary according to tutor’s popularity, commuting distance, time and frequency of lessons. For 2 to 3 students taking lessons together, the rates may rise by around 25% to 50%.

Tutor Type Category A Category AA Category AAA
Hourly Rates 70-90rmb 100-120rmb 130-170rmb

Category A: novice teachers/part-time teachers (0-1 year experience)
Category AA: certified teachers/professional teachers (minimum 1, average 2-5 years experjence)
Category AAA: star teachers (top teachers with experience in universities, international schools, corporate trainings, etc.)
Most tutors fall into Category AA: certified teachers/professional teachers, charging between 100-120rmb/hour (1-1).

7- How much is service charge? What service do I get? 
400rmb for 1-1 private tuition regardless of tutoring length. This fee is only charged one-time on successful referral and is to be paid along with tuition fee upfront before tutoring.
The small service fee helps us maintain operation of this site, offline office work and guarantees you one year continuous support from us. If anything goes wrong during tutoring (e.g. conflict of schedule, decrease of teaching quality, or you simply want to change a tutor), we can provide another tutor (tutoring rates need to be discussed and confirmed with new tutor). There is no limit in changing tutor within 1 year. The service fee also validates Money Back Guarantee, ensuring your tuition fee is refundable for any reason. With this financial support from you, we are able to provide best possible experience to you and our clients.
If you study in a group, there will be 200rmb surcharge on service fee for each additional student studying in the group. For big group and corporate bookings, service fee varies; please consult to confirm.

8- When and how do I pay?
400rmb one-time service fee and full tuition fee (based on your total booking hours) should be paid upfront, if you decide to take tutoring after meeting the tutor, before the first lesson. E.g. if you take 40 hours tuition at 100rmb/hour, the total fee is 4400rmb (400rmb service fee + 4000rmb tuition fee). If you study in a group, there will be 200rmb surcharge on service fee for each additional student studying in the group. Textbook, if used, is to be paid separately by actual price of the book.
All these payments are to be made in CASH in RMB, Alipay or by bank transfer (only RMB transfer within China). Credit cards are NOT accepted. Please be sure to have with you the necessary funds when you sign the contract. Tutoring will not start until the learner has made payment full upfront.

9- Where do I take lessons?
You and your tutor are free to choose any convenient location for lessons. Many students choose to have lessons in their homes, offices, while others prefer to meet in a public location such as a library or coffee shop. The place should be safe, healthy and should not require mandatory consumption (if you want to have lessons in a coffee shop or restaurant, you should discuss who is paying in advance to avoid embarrassment).

10- What should I do if I have any trouble with tutoring? Can I change tutor?
If you have any problem regarding tutoring during contracted hours, you need to notify the tutor immediately. Should the tutor not be available or cannot solve the problem, you should contact our staff or Emergency Complaints Number previously provided with the contract. If anything goes wrong during tutoring (e.g. conflict of schedule, decrease of teaching quality, or you simply want to change a tutor), we can provide another tutor (tutoring rates need to be discussed and confirmed with new tutor). There is no limit in changing tutor within 1 year.

11- Do you make refund if I shorten tutoring hours or decide to stop learning?
Yes, prepaid but unused portion of tuition fee is refundable for any reason, whether you want to shorten the hours or stop learning totally, as long as you notify us within service time (1 year).
1 There will be 8% processing charge on returning tuition fee to cover our administrative costs.
2 Request made in written form to moneyback@ShanghaiTutors.Com within service time (1 year).
3 Refund will be made in 20 working days after requesting.
4 Refund does not apply to the event that learner has previously breached contract or engaged in illegal or improper behavior, language.
5 Resuming lesson with same tutor without giving us notice will invalidate Money Back Guarantee.
6 Refund will automatically terminate 1 year service while one time service fee is not refundable under any circumstance.

12- How is the teaching quality compared with private course in Mandarin schools?
It’s safe to say, only better, if not the same. There are many good Mandarin teachers working as freelancers to supplement income. As a matter of fact, many teachers work for more than one Mandarin school at the same time to keep enough students. You might end up with the same teacher eventually via ShanghaiTutors.Com and Mandarin schools, but you will most likely pay 60%-200% more if you choose schools, for schools need to charge a lot more to cover high expenses spent on ads, sales, staff, rent, utilities, etc.

13- Why the tutoring rates via are much lower than Mandarin schools?
The tutoring rates shown on are set by tutors, meeting their pay expectation and conforming to market reality. If you take private course with a school, a significant amount of your tuition goes to cover their high expenses spent on marketing, sales, advertisements on internet, paper, magazines as well as staff, rent, utilities, etc. The actual pay for teachers is only a small percentage of your tuition (normally 30-40%).

14- What are the advantages of finding tutors via ShanghaiTutors.Com VS finding tutors by myself?
We are specialized in providing private Chinese/Mandarin teachers & tutors. We have a big pool of Mandarin tutors of all kinds of backgrounds and provide them to a wide range of clients, from individual learners to large corporations. We have helped thousands of students find the support they need. Every week we receive new applications from tutors to join our team, and only the best are included (about 30% of the applicants). We don't make exceptions or compromises. Each tutor in the ShanghaiTutors community goes through credentials verification (ID, diploma, certificates), resume evaluation, past students’ reference and finally an interview screening process and meets our criteria. We provide continuous support throughout tutoring so that we can always propose of good deal of quality and assurance to our clients.
While finding a tutor by yourself is possible, you are running high risks. As a foreign learner, you will find it hard to tell whether the “tutors” are teaching you the right things or whether they speak Mandarin without regional accent, unless you already have a fairly good foundation in Chinese and are able to distinguish. Remember, Chinese is rated among the most difficult languages in the world, teaching it requires a lot of expertise. If you choose wrong teacher or use wrong learning method, you will waste time. Furthermore, some bad “tutors” might be keener on other things than teaching, for example, practice English; find a foreign spouse and immigrate... There have been too many cases that foreign learners give up learning Chinese because they are frustrated with bad tutors.

Economic Studio in Saint Land
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