TA Frequently Asked Questions

This page will be continuously updated with helpful and informative responses to the questions that are commonly asked. If the answer you seek does not appear below please contact the Chinese Studies Program.

What are the duties of a Chinese language TA?

Qualified grad students are hired as Teachig Assistants (TA) to teach Mandarin Chinese to 16 or less students on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in tutorials (a.k.a sections). A grad student working as a TA must have a flexible schedule that permits him or her to lead 2 or more CHIN tutorial sections on those particular weekdays. Teaching as a TA includes but is not limited to practicing pronunciation, in class presentations to the class and answering student questions. The TAs offer quizzes in class, maintain confidential records of the grades, grade homework papers and exams and return these documents to the instructor/students in a timely manner. A TA hired at 25% must also spend 60 minutes in the assigned TA office to meet with students so that they may practice vocabulary/pronunciation drills or other aspects of tutoring. TAs also prepare or adjust a lesson and meet with instructors on a weekly basis to prepare for the upcoming week's classes. A new TA may be instructed to attend a corresponding lecture on Tuesday/Thursday to shadow a Chinese language instructor and learn his or her teaching method.

When can I apply for a TA position?

If you wish to be a TA in the fall you will need to apply during spring quarter, generally before May 15th. If you wish to be a TA in the winter you will need to apply during fall quarter, generally before November 15th. If you wish to be a TA in the spring you will need to apply during winter quarter, generally before February 15th. Official deadlines will be posted on the TA page of the Chinese Studies Program webpage: http://chinesestudies.ucsd.edu/ta/

How many TAs do you hire?

Spring quarter in preparation for fall is the best time to apply for a TAship. In preparation for fall we hire a total of approximately 11-13 TAs. This means we usually hire 4 to 6 brand new TAs depending on how many of current TAs are graduating. Many TAs will continue to work for (CSP) for the entire academic year or until they graduate. In winter quarter there is a reduction in enrollments which causes us to cancel some sections and therefore we will need fewer TAs. In spring quarter there is a further reduction in enrollments which causes us to offer fewer CHIN sections and then need fewer TAs.

Can you enter my information into the application for me?

No, it is the responsibility of the applicant to submit his or her own full application in order to be considered for an available TA position.

It is after the deadline date, can I still submit my application? What are my chances of being selected?

You may check, to see if the Chinese Studies Program is still considering additional applicants after the deadline date, however it is very unlikely that the deadline would be extended. Please be aware that there are many new and continuing grad students who are qualified to apply for the Chinese language Teaching Assistant position and the process is very competative. To be considered as an applicant you should follow all instructions and complete your application by the deadline date.

Can I call or stop to find out the results?

We greatly appreciate that you do not check on the status of the application process. Applicants are generally contacted via email or phone call four to six weeks after the application deadline with results. There may be the possibility that you are invited to come in for an interview, the Chinese Studies Program will call or email you. Please be patient.  DO NOT call, stop by or send emails to the Chinese Studies Program to inquire about the status of your application prior to the results are available as the program is unable to answer your inquiry until the decision making process is complete.

Can you print the Confirmation Page for me?

This is your responsibility as an applicant. You need to print your own Confirmation Page. Be prepared to deliever or mail in the two items requested at the completion of your application. The Confirmation Page and the USB (or CD) with your voice recording. If you post your recording online you only need to submit the Confirmation Page.

What do I do with the Confirmation Page and CD recording?

Remember to print the Confirmation Page once you have completed the online application, fill in your information and send (mail or deliver) the form and your voice recording on a CD by the deadline to HSS 1009. You can find the address at the bottom of the Confirmation Page. A friend can deliver the item(s).

I'm currently a CHIN TA, do I really need to complete an application again?

Yes, anyone who is interested in being considered as a TA for the upcoming quarter MUST apply online. Grad students that are currently working as teaching assistants must finish the online application and MUST drop off the completed CONFIRMATION PAGE at HSS 1009 by the deadline date.

What do I put on the online video, the USB or the CD?

Great question, a VOICE RECORDING or VIDEO RECORDING of yourself speaking in Pǔtōnghuà (Putonghua) for a minimum of 3 minutes. You are using this opportunity to introduce yourself in Mandarin to the Selection Committee. Do not simply read from texts or have background music/noise in your recording. Ensure to speak loudly and clearly and save this recording online (i.e. Youtube or Youku), on a USB drive or a CD.  Before submitting the audio or video recording, make sure that it works well on a PC computer AND a MAC. Write your full name with a permanent marker on the CD or USB memory stick.

Can I send you a mp3 or other sound wave instead of a CD? What about a thumb drive?

Yes, you may if you are having trouble uploading a video on Youtube or Youku. The online method is preferred as it makes it easier for the Selection Committee to quickly hear your pronunciation. If you do submit a USB thumb drive the Chinese Studies Office will make an effort for you to pick up your recording once the application review process is over.

How much will I be compensated as a TA?

The salary for a TA at 25% is $1,071.08, a TA at 33% is $1,413.83 and a TA at 50% is $2,142.17 per month for the three months of a quarter based. The salary varies on the type and number of CHIN sections assigned to the grad student. Any grad hired as a TA at 25% or more is also eligible for a TAHI/TAFE fee remission (also known as a G-SHIP) in the amount of $5,478.21 each quarter of employment based on the 10/1/14 agreement. There may be additional benefits for international students and that should be discussed with your home department if applicable to each individual's circumstances. This amount of G-SHIP fee remission per quarter is based on the 2015-16 tuition and fees chart for graduate education at UCSD.

When will the Chinese Studies Program give me the fee remission?

The Chinese Studies Program does not give or submit fee remissions. It is the graduate student's home department that enters the eligibility online and that prompts the Graduate Division to activate the fee remission.

Why am I required to enroll in CHIN 500? Why do I have to select letter grade?

In addition to the fee remission and a monthly salary you will be earning 2 or 4 units based on your assigned percentage for being a teaching apprentice. Your work output/response, employee attitude and effectiveness as a TA are measured via a grade. Each grad student will be earning a grade for CHIN 500. 

What do I do with the Confirmation Page?

Remember to print the Confirmation Page once you have completed the online application, fill in your information and send (mail or deliver) the form and your voice recording on a USB or CD by the deadline.

Where do I send or take my Confirmation Page and CD?

You may deliver your Confirmation Page and USB or CD to Humanities & Social Sciences (aka HSS) room 1009 located in Muir College. You may mail your Confirmation Page & CD to the address below:

University of California, San Diego
Chinese Studies Program TA Application
9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0113
Humanities & Social Sciences Bldg., Room 1009
La Jolla, CA 92093-0113

Please contact the Chinese Studies Program for further details and assistance.

Updated: 6/28/2016