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You may have thought about teaching English in China and you probably know a few people who have done it and a few ways it can be done. But you probably don’t know all the options that are available to you. The purpose of this post is to let you see the different organizations you could work with in order to teach English in China. They vary in the length of time, requirements, salary, and bonuses (i.e. apartment, plane ticket reimbursement). These are the key considerations when considering where to teach. Some schools want you to be present 40 hours a week, some schools only require you to be present 15 hours. Some schools require previous teaching experience and others do not. Some schools require a TEFL Certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and others do not.

Peace Corps

I have met some people who have done the Peace Corps and not only do they teach English in China, but they also have opportunities to attend special events. Back in 2009 the two people I met were invited to see Hilary Clinton speak in Beijing.

Requirements: 18+, US Citizen

Fulbright

There are many types of Fulbright grants available on their website, but the one I am referring to is for teaching English. There are no grants to teach English in China, but there is one to teach English in Taiwan (as well as many other countries).

Requirements: US Student, Attained a college degree, varies by type of grant

Training Centers

There are chains of English training centers in China. Training centers are places where adults or children can come to learn English. Often your students will be from either the workforce or kids whose parents want them to have extra English classes. Training centers vary in their requirements, but you typically won’t find 4-month paid vacation gigs like you will at colleges. However, requirements can be less strict, for example you may only need a TEFL certificate, and not necessarily any teaching experience.

English First
Disney English
New Oriental
HESS International Educational Group

Requirements: Varies by school and organization

Job Sites

There are lots of job boards online for finding jobs teaching English in China. Below are a few of the main sites that advertise jobs teaching English in China. In addition to teaching jobs they also have study abroad and volunteer abroad opportunities.

GoAbroad
Go Overseas
Transitions Abroad
Teach Away
Dave’s ESL Cafe

Requirements: Varies by school and organization

Main Considerations

Only you can decide what is important to you but some things you may want to think when considering a job are below.

Salary: In a smaller city in China you can get by on 6,000 per month easily, and probably half of this if you really want. You can consider 3,000/month the normal lifestyle, and 6,000/month the eat-out-at-lots-of-foreign-restaurants-and-go-to-the-bar-a-lot lifestyle. This assumes rent and utilities are covered. Colleges pay in the 4,000-10,000 range, while training centers typically pay in the 10,000-20,000 range. In a bigger city like Beijing or Shanghai, you will probably need about 6,000 RMB per month to live off of at least, more if you want to live large or in a really nice apartment in the city center.

Apartment: Most schools will either provide an apartment on campus (if they are a college) or a stipend for an apartment (if they are a training center).

Airfare: Some schools will provide roundtrip airfare for one year, others will provide half the cost of a roundtrip flight per year. Try to get roundtrip airfare for one year since this is the equivalent of about 1,000 RMB per month if you are coming from anywhere outside Asia.

Vacation: For me, as an entrepreneur and writer, this is probably the most important. Colleges and K-12 schools provide 4 months of vacation. Training centers provide the standard 2-4 weeks of vacation. This is the reason training centers pay better than colleges.

Conclusion

Good luck in your decision-making process. I recommend finding someone who taught English in China and speaking with them about their experience.

If you know anything about these organizations or have had experience with other organizations and schools, please leave a comment about your experience with them.

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