The 12 month Teach China Graduate Program combines the development of practical teaching and personal skills, with on-going pastoral support and cultural awareness training. Teaching English at a school in China, you’ll directly impact the lives of your students while honing your presentation and leadership skills.
On completion, you will have gained an exceptional insight into this fascinating country, have enhanced your future employability, and built an excellent foundation on which to hone a rewarding career.
The programme has two intakes per year, August/September and February.
Applications are now open for the August/September, 2018 Intake.
- Enhance your employability; experience working in China is in high demand in the workplace. According to research conducted on behalf of the British Council, 79% of employers see global awareness as more important than a degree when recruiting new employees.
- China is now the world’s largest economy, and the future for business; show future employers your commitment to understanding the global business environment and increase your cultural awareness.
- Learn Mandarin, a language spoken by over 900 million people and an increasingly key business language. The British Council recently identified Mandarin as the second most important language for economic prosperity and influence.
- There are, on average, 52 applications for every graduate job; demonstrate adaptability and initiative, giving your resume an edge.
- For those considering a career in teaching or academia, excellent experience to support a Master’s degree or school integrated teacher training program.
- Find out about the transferable skills you can gain through the Teach China Graduate Program, from James a graduate teacher.
Working in China requires a specific type of resilience and adaptive mind set. You’ll need to have strong communication skills, good ideas, determination and a great sense of humour. We ask that applicants are able to combine a strong work ethic and self-discipline with warmth, empathy and a smile!
Applicants should be aged 21 by mid-January 2018 for the February intake and aged 21 by mid-July 2018 for the August/September intake, and speak English to native level.
We do not specify a minimum degree classification or GPA, as we believe that your rounded skills as a whole are a more suitable indicator of your suitability for the program.
You will be responsible for delivering well planned and resourced English lessons to your students, which will often focus on oral English. In a Private Language Centre, class sizes typically range between 4 – 12 students, and Chinese children are usually keen learners. You may also have the support of a Chinese Teaching Assistant.
Rewards and Benefits
Participants receive the following remuneration package:
- A £900- £1200/ US$1100-$1500/ AUD$1750 – $2225 monthly salary (low tax)
- Accommodation provided, or an accommodation allowance
- International flight reimbursement
- Typically, Mandarin lessons are provided
- Around 2 weeks of annual leave, plus 11 days of public holidays off work
With key living expenses covered, such as accommodation, coupled with a very low cost of living, your salary will go a very long way – think long weekends away exploring other parts of China and South-East Asia, eating out every day, visiting local attractions on your days off, and affording taxis!
Before departing, successful candidates will participate in a training program delivered remotely. You will be encouraged to interact with others in the cohort, sharing your ideas and resources. Candidates will also be allocated a program mentor who you will be able to contact at any time for advice, typically a teacher with experience in China.
You will also be invited to attend pre-departure online webinars.
Opportunity China’s friendly staff will always be on hand pre-departure to offer guidance on how to prepare, and how to submit a visa application.
On arrival all graduates will participate in structured training delivered by their employer school, focusing on Chinese culture, teaching skills and Mandarin for the classroom.
Our office will be on-hand for ongoing support.
Starting Life in China
Chinese Culture and Society
Teaching in China
Application and Selection
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend a Skype interview.
If you have any questions during the application process, please email email@example.com for an Information and Application Pack.
The deadline for the August-September 2018 intake is 13th April 2018
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any additional expenses?
You will need to pay for your flight to China (approximately £600/$920) though this is reimbursed as per the conditions of your individual contract, for your work Z visa application fee (approximately £151/$250) and a TEFL certification if you require one (approximately £120/$180).
There are cost associated with the document authentication process, a new requirement for the work visa since Spring 2017 . This can cost anywhere up to £445/$600 depending on your country of origin and number of documents required by the school for authentication. Some schools will partially or fully reimburse these costs.
Finally, it is suggested that all graduates purchase an international travel and medical insurance policy. Opportunity China work with Endsleigh to offer a Group Insurance Policy for all Teach China Graduate Program Participants.
Can I apply with a friend?
Yes, we welcome applications from couples or friends – you may opt to teach at the same school and share an apartment, or be located close by.
I do not have any formal teaching experience – am I eligible?
Yes! Your interview will screen for competencies such as presentation, planning and communication skills, as well as your flexibility and ability to thrive within a different culture. Many graduates do not have formal teaching skills, but become strong teachers by adapting the skills accrued during their degree.
Do I need to be able to speak any Mandarin?
No. Each school will have at least one English speaking liaison and some schools will provide Teaching Assistants which can speak English. However, we would encourage you to learn a few basics before departing for China, and do not forget to take a phrase book!
What are the living costs in China like?
Although prices in China are rising and tend to be much higher in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, China is still exceptionally cheap and foreign teachers enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle. Teachers enjoy traveling around China and Asia, restaurant meals, massages and nights out.
Here are some examples of what you would expect to pay for every day items: bowl of noodles – 5 RMB (50p), large beer – 5RMB (50p), 10 minute taxi ride – 10RMB (£1), 30 minute massage 40RMB (£4), cinema ticket -60RMB (£6), a tailor made suit – 500RMB (£50).
Many teachers are able to save up to half of their income each month.
The following blog post considers saving money while teaching in China.
Each of our City Guides includes comprehensive Spending Guides specific to each city.
Do I need a visa to teach in China? If so how do I get one?
Yes you will need a work ‘Z’ visa for China, the application process and further information will be explained as part of your interview, with further guidance documents subsequently provided.
Will I have an opportunity to travel?
Yes, and we would encourage you to explore this beautiful country! Many of our teachers use weekends and public holidays to venture to other parts of China, as well as countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Domestic flights are inexpensive, trains are numerous, and high speed services connect large cities.
As a guide, you can expect to pay the following prices:
One night in a mid range hotel – 350RMB, train from Ningbo to Shanghai – 220RMB, flight from Shanghai to Hong Kong – 800RMB.
How many hours a week would I be expected to work per week in a full time teaching position?
Most contracts require 20-25 teaching hours, as well as some office hours. This will be stipulated in a contract.
What will my accommodation be like?
You will be provide with a teacher apartment located close to the school. The accommodation is likely to be more basic than what you might be used to, but it will be clean and safe. Alternatively, you will be granted a monthly accommodation allowance, which will cover around 75% of the cost to rent a one bedroom apartment. Learn more about accommodation.
Do I need Travel or Medical Insurance?
Your employer school is likely to provide local medical insurance, as per the conditions of your contract, which will give access to treatment at local Chinese hospitals.
Opportunity China suggest that all teachers have their own international policy, which gives access to Western hospitals/ clinics, and will cover personal belongings.
There are many insurance policies and companies to choose from and Opportunity China has partnered with Endsleigh Insurance which specialises in long stay worldwide policies for teachers.
You should print out at least two copies of your policy, and keep one copy in your hand luggage. Ensure that you have noted the emergency contact number stated on the policy.
Will I be able to choose my city of work, and school?
Yes, absolutely. Your Coordinator will work with you closely throughout the school matching process in order to identify your preferences, such as city of work, age of student and type of school.
You will only interview with schools you are interested in working for, and will have the final decision in where you work. The employment contract is signed directly with the school.
Can I speak with a teacher currently in China on the program before deciding the school I will work for?
Yes, once you have narrowed down your school choices during the school matching process, and before signing a contract with your employer school, Opportunity China will introduce you to teachers currently working for that school.
This is a great way to learn more about their first-hand experiences both within a city, the role and day-to-day life, as well as to assess whether you think the school would be a good match for you.
Development and Skills
– In China I have had the opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience which I believe will help me to pursue a career in museum education. I would never have been able to gain this teaching experience in the UK and I am very grateful for receiving that opportunity here in China.
– I have learned to be more flexible, adaptable and improved my communication skills here massively. I have enjoyed the challenges of day to day life that have been thrown at me here.
– I am learning about a completely different culture and way of life which I believe is a truly enriching experience. I am more openminded and already have a greater knowledge of this huge and mysterious country.
– I am starting to learn Mandarin and have nearly completed HSK 1. I believe that being able to speak some Mandarin will be beneficial to my career prospects in the future wherever I end up.
Emily Beckwith is from the United Kingdom and joined the Teach China Graduate Program in August 2017. Since then, Emily has been living and working in China’s tech capital, Shenzhen.