1. It’s easier than you’d think to get started!
There are so many benefits of teaching in China. Finding a teaching job in China isn’t as daunting as it may seem at first! English teachers are in incredibly high demand and the visa process is actually quite simple! With Opportunity China implementing a strict vetting process for all partner organisations, a position at a trusted, organised and well-structured school could be just a click away.
“At first I was concerned about the application processes taking a very long time and being unduly intrusive, but actually it was quite simple. The school in China were very helpful telling me the documents I needed to send them (copy of my Degree Certificate, Criminal Record Check and copy of my TEFL Certificate) and all the paperwork was sorted with the Z Visa in my passport within weeks of starting my initial application.”
Will Perrins, Shenyang – Read Will’s experience here!
2. China is a very affordable place to live!
The cost of living in China is very low in comparison to most Western countries. With teachers able to eat out every night at a decent restaurant for as little as 10-15 RMB (£1-1.50) a head. A pint of beer at a local expat bar is usually around 10 RMB (£1) and use of most cities’ public transport is 1RMB (10 pence) for a bus ride or 2RMB (20 pence) on the metro.
Travelling around the country is also easily affordable, with both cheap domestic flights and affordable high speed rail links connecting the whole of the China.Teaching salaries in China are very generous when compared to the cost of living and teachers often save upwards of 50% of their salary each month.
“So far, most of my money has gone on travelling and food, but if I wanted, I could easily save 2/3rds of my wages, and I plan on doing so in a few months.”
Josh Oakley, Hangzhou 2017 – Read Josh’s experience here!
3. China is a vast country with a so much to see!
China is fascinating country boasting the world’s oldest continuous civilization at 6000 years old. It is home to a vast and diverse array of attractions and wonders, from astounding Great Wall of China to tje awe inspiring floating mountains of Zhang jia jie. Teachers in China often spend their weekends and holidays exploring this beautiful and ancient country, with some living in China for decades and still barely scratching the surface of what the country has to offer.
“After 5 and a half years of living and traveling in China I have seen so many diverse and beautiful places. I’m still excited to explore the Northwest, Yunnan and Tibet but I hope to in the near future! I have always traveled by train and love it! Even those 25 hour trips across the country.”
Art Benoit, Ningbo – Read Art’s experience here!
4. You can make a measurable difference!
Teaching is a profession unlike any other. Having the opportunity to impart knowledge and skills onto others, then seeing your students demonstrate what they have learnt is a unique and gratifying experience. Traditionally, the Chinese education system uses a ‘rote’ learning method (listen to what the teacher says and write it down 100 times until you remember). ESL teachers in China have the freedom to implement a more varied approach to teaching – not only by helping them to develop English, the world’s business language, but also bringing a fresh cultural mix of teaching methods to the classroom!
“I had expected the children to be very well disciplined here, pertaining to the stereotypes which are very true. Students here are so lovely and it is very easy to create friendships and impart knowledge to them”
Patricia Coogan, Chengdu – Read Patricia’s experience here!
5. You will develop great transferable skills!
Being able to impart knowledge and communicate successfully across cultural barriers are skills that can be transferred to almost any profession. One of the benefits of teaching in China is the organisational skills our teachers gain stands them in great stead to succeed in any careers path they choose to take, not to mention the language skills our teachers develop during their time in China! Often you find that the top leaders within business and government have at their core the skills to both effectively communicate and organise themselves and teams around them!
“Be prepared to be flexible, honest and friendly and Chinese people will welcome you with open arms. Also try as much as you can with the language even if you feel silly, they will really appreciate it.”
Alice Benson, Chengdu 2016 – Read Alice’s experience here!
6. China is such an important country!
China is home to almost 1.4 billion people, that’s ⅕ of the world’s population! China is also the 2nd largest global economy and is expected to overtake the United States in 2018 as the largest.
Having an understanding of the culture, language and traditions of China has stood teachers in excellent stead for a diverse range of careers in areas such as higher education, international entrepreneurialism and corporate business.
“Our favourite thing about China so far is the general excitement of day to day life. The experiences and challenges we face have opened our eyes to a completely new culture and way of life.”
Louise Jaye, Fuzhou 2016 – Read Louise’s experience here!
7. Cross-cultural understanding is vital in a globalised world
The world is becoming a smaller place day by day. From Universities to small and global businesses, institutions worldwide are placing internationalization at the forefront. Having the ability to immerse yourself in a different culture is more important than ever. Teaching in China gives you the opportunity to take on a fully immersive experience, step outside your comfort zone and keep in step with global trends.
“What global companies look for are people who can take a global perspective. Those who succeed can work in multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural and multi-locational teams…”
Sonja Stockton, Director, Talent, PricewaterhouseCoopers British Council/Think Global
8. The food!
China is likely the most exciting country in the world for individuals seeking culinary adventure! One of the benefits of teaching in China is the food. From the sweet Cantonese food in the South to the universally revered spicy Sichuan delicacies of the west, China has a dish to suit all pallets! From traditional salted pork and beef to the exotic and unusual food available at niche street markets including scorpion, tarantula and stinky tofu, Chinese food is an attraction not to be overlooked!
“Dim-Sum is without a shadow of doubt my favourite food in China! I am a vegetarian, and I will admit that it can be a challenge always finding food but everywhere you go you can find a BBQ stand that has cabbage and onions on the go and it’s cheap and tasty.”
Daisy Guy, Foshan 2015 (A vegetarian take on food in China) Read Daisy’s experience here!
9. The friends you’ll make!
China has over 160 cities with populations in excess of 1 million and an increasing number of citizens in these are ex-pats. Ex-pat communities in China are without exception welcoming, kind, helpful and easy to find.
Soon after arriving in China you can expect to be introduced to the local expat haunts by fellow teachers at your school, and quickly make friends and connections in the city from around the world. Locals in China are always anxious to make foreign friends, and express genuine interest in your country and culture. Even after returning to their home country, teachers keep in regular contact with their friends from China!
“I play on a 5-a-side football team with other foreign colleagues and Chinese locals. The bar and club scene is developing but newly opened bars have sprung up, which are a great way to meet new people”
Andrew Ferguson, 2016 Chongqing – Read Andrew’s experience here!
10. There’s a huge demand for English Teachers
China currently has over 300 million English languages students, that’s just fraction less than the entire population of the USA! With a new generation of Chinese citizens growing up in an ever-outward facing country, learning the world’s number 1 business language from an early age has become vital. Because of this a huge range of opportunities are available in China to teach students of different ages and abilities across the country. One of the benefits of teaching in China is you can afford to have preferences in locations and age groups before accepting a position and really shop around to find the perfect role for you!
“Those with experience and qualifications can command high-paying salaries, executive housings and worry-free contracts, while those who are new to China or don’t possess desirable qualifications can still find jobs for up to $30 USD an hour.”
Richelle Gamlam, On the ESL Industry in China. Go Overseas 2016