SLP in China

7 Dialects

Numerous Subdialects

1000 SLPs to a population of 1.3 BILLION!

Talk about a packed schedule! The field of Speech-Language Pathology is relatively new in China having only started services in the 1980s for select language disorders and dysphagia. Historically, the majority of service providers have only received a few courses focused on speech therapy within their studies of general rehabilitation as well as on-the-job training. Due to the lack of specially-trained SLPs, several providers tend to be physicians, nurses, or OTs. Additionally, the amount of dialects and subdialects in China makes it significantly more challenging to provide appropriate intervention to clients. (See ASHA Blog: Speech-Language Pathology in China: Challenges and Opportunities for full article describing speech pathology in China since 2011).

Gains have been made recently with the start of the first accredited speech pathology program created in 2014 with the support of the University of Hawaii at Kunming Medical University (KMU) located in southwestern China. Hopefully, with the installation of this established Bachelor’s program, other academic programs providing courses in SLP will be further developed, China will see a rise in well-trained and qualified SLPs, and service delivery models will be improved.

Professional Organization

Chinese International Speech-Language and Hearing Association (CISHA).

Professional Opportunities

Interested in working as part of a multi-disciplinary team in China? Here are a few organizations that welcome internationally trained and English-speaking SLPs (Madarin speaking therapists are always a plus!)

LIH Olivia’s Place:

Consulting therapists from all disciplines for Olivia’s Place are located in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen with their main site located in Shanghai. Professional development opportunities are also offered through seminars and trainings!

For more information regarding work and volunteer opportunities, email career@lih-oliviasplace.com

Essential Learning Group (ELG)

Also located in Shanghai, ChinaELG offers competitive salaries and good vacation time for international staff. PLUS they will support clinicians with work visas!

Visit their website for more information about job openings and send your resume and cover letter to careers@chinaelg.com.

ChinaELG also offers parent support groups and provides workshops for educators and professionals working with children to better support speech and language challenges.

Orient Speech Therapy Center (China) (OST) is a legal entity of Hong Kong with nearly 20 centers in cities of China including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. In addition to providing skilled intervention, OST also offers training programs for providers to further develop clinical skills.

Know of any other professional or educational opportunities in China? Share them with me to be featured on this page!

So you got your degree–Now what???

One of the most popular questions and concerns I get from readers is ‘If I get my degree overseas, will I qualify to work in the States?’ For those US speechies out there, I can reassure you–YES YOU WILL!
(Please note, this blog post is now an official page on my blog under International Education.)There are a few different options for transferring your degree and/or professional qualifications in the field back to the States, however, I am going to focus specifically on United States citizens who obtained their Master’s in the UK and the process involved in transferring the degree back to the State’s to complete your CFY and obtain your license/CCC-SLP! ***Please note, this is solely based on my personal experience and research and the information I provide is meant to support you in your own research about the process. Please make sure to thoroughly investigate any and all questions you have prior to making any decisions about your educational path!

If you have completed your degree overseas and are already licensed/certified in that country and wishing to work in the States, visit my page which gives an overview of the process through the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) route.

So you got your degree. Now what?!

Before searching for a CF position…

Step 1: Take a look at the general requirements listed on ASHA’s page for internationally educated applicants.

Step 2: Have your degree and credentials evaluated by an outside agency. ASHA provides a list of these agencies.  Once approved, your UK Master’s degree will be recognized as equivalent to a US Master’s from an accredited university and you’ll be eligible for a CF position.

Step 3: Apply for your ASHA Certification. Even though you will be notified by ASHA that you are still required to complete X amount of steps before getting your CCC-SLP, they will clear your education requirements from the start so that you don’t have to worry about this being an issue when it comes time for you to get those Cs!

*Tip: Though ASHA requires you to have your degree evaluated by an outside agency, they have to do their own evaluation too. This is why they require submission of course descriptions/syllabi) of every course/module you took. This will allow ASHA to cross-check that the UK courses covered the same material as the US courses. I recommend getting the application process started as soon as possible so that your education is approved from the get-go and you have peace of mind that all hours for your CF will 100% be recognized and there is no further delay with obtaining your CCC-SLP when the time comes.

Step 3: Find a CF position! Make sure you meet all other requirements for the State you are applying for a CF in before proceeding as all States are different! For example, in NYC (where I did my CF) I was only required to have my Master’s. However, some States may require you to have a provisional license or to have completed the PRAXIS already. So double check!

During your CFY…

Step 4: Apply for licensure. As previously noted, different States may require a different timeline for when you are required to apply for your license so research this prior to starting your CF. However, from personal experience, I suggest applying for it once you have decided where you are doing your CFY/have secured a position. The reasons are similar to why you should apply for your ASHA certification from the get-go. Because A) the process takes FOREVER and even longer as an international applicant so you will want to avoid any further delay when it comes time to get your license and B) the state will also have to approve your education as equivalent (and they will but you will want that sense of security as you start your CF). This process will most likely require you to complete a few extra steps which may or may not be noted in the general application procedure (e.g.– getting paperwork signed off by the Program Director of your uni and submitting course descriptions. So similar to ASHA’s extra steps).

Step 5: Study for and take the PRAXIS! I spent approximately 3 months studying for the PRAXIS. I took it around month 9 of my CFY (which took me 10 months total to complete) and the official scores were ready just in time for ASHA and licensure submission!

Step 6: You’ve passed the PRAXIS–You’re applications went through–You completed your CFY–You’re now a certified and licensed SLP!!! 

Tips:

-Keep a personal record of your observation and clinical hours as it will come in handy when justifying your practicum hours as equivalent to US accredited programs.

-Print out all forms required for Program Directors at your university to sign-off on and have them complete and submit these forms following completion of the program and prior to returning home. It’s a lot easier to take care of this in the UK then it is from the other side of the pond!

-I can’t emphasize enough that you should apply ASAP for ASHA certification and your State’s licensure between the time you obtain your Master’s and start your CFY. Yes, it is annoying that you will have to pay for these credentials nearly a year in advance before you can actually obtain them, however, it will greatly reduce the amount of headaches you may have to deal with if you wait till you’re nearly done with your CF. I speak from personal experience. I submitted my ASHA and licensure application in January 2017 thinking it would be enough time. I finished EVERYTHING by March 2017. I received my CCC-SLP from ASHA in April 2017 (so not terrible) but wasn’t licensed in NY until JUNE 2017! So it took an extra 3 months of headaches before I was recognized as a licensed SLP in NY. Veryyyy frustrating but it all worked out in the end : )

Good luck in all your international SLP endeavors!!!

-Kristin AmRhein

Welcome to SLP Overseas

Welcome to SLP Overseas, a site dedicated to linking the world of speech, language, and swallowing therapy.

As a current international Master’s student in the field, I aim to bring awareness to prospective and current students as well as professionals on the opportunities available in the field on a global scale.

This site will allow students to discover Bachelor’s and Master’s programs around the world that will provide them with an opportunity to learn from international educators and build a network overseas. Additional opportunities available to students also include overseas clinical placements and volunteer work which will allow students to develop their skills alongside professionals in developing countries.

The site also provides information on how to work abroad as a professional. Both paid positions and volunteer opportunities are provided for qualified clinicians to take advantage of around the world in both developed and developing countries.

As an American studying in the UK, I have had the unique opportunity to learn from professionals with different views and approaches to intervention. This has allowed me to open my  mind to the different possibilities within the field and has encouraged my desire to expand my career within the international community. The experience has also helped me to realize the need to bring awareness of the field to areas of the world that would benefit greatly from speech, language, and swallowing services, but do not have the knowledge nor the means to implement intervention.

I hope that this site will encourage individuals to take the time to understand the importance of international speech and language therapy. I hope it will encourage students and professionals from around the world to learn from each other and work together to improve the effectiveness of therapy and the quality of our client’s lives on a global scale.

This site is far from finished but it is the beginning of something positive and it is full of potential. Check back regularly as I plan to post new pages focused on international conferences, research in developing countries, stories from inspirational students and professionals, and much more! I also plan to keep up to date on blog posts featuring my experience as an international Master’s student and the undertaking of my Master’s research project soon to commence this winter!

To learn more about me and my academic and professional pursuits, read My Story. Please contact me with any questions, feedback, or information you would like displayed on my site.

Speechie Love,

Kristin AmRhein
MSc Speech and Language Therapy
City University London