How to Teach English in China

Teaching Jobs in China


Today China is emerging as a global financial force, and as English is the established global language of commerce, a primary focus of the Chinese government is improving English competency amongst its citizens.

How to Teach English in China

That’s me having FUN teaching in China

They say that as many as 400 million Chinese people are studying English, which is one-third of the country’s population, and the value of the English-training market is estimated to be US$4.5 billion annually.

This offers excellent opportunities for those interested in teaching English in China or indeed those wanting to know how to teach English in China.

The English language market is growing fast, and many new positions are becoming available for those wanting to teach English in China.

It can be an interesting Experience.

Mostly the people in China are friendly, and they treat you like someone special and will go out of their way to smile and say hello to you.

I remember in my first year teaching, way up north in Changchun, Jilin province, where they were not used to seeing foreigners and sometimes the people would stop and stare at you, even come up and walk around you, almost touching you, especially young children. People would even give up seats on buses for you so they could get a better look at you.

How to Teach English in China

So much Delicious Food

Others would take photos with their phones and groups of teenagers would want photos and selfies with you.

Restaurant owners would want you to come in and they would seat you by the window and insist upon giving you your meal for free to get you to come back again and be seen by their customers.   

These are not the sort of things that go in major cities like Beijing or Shanghai, as foreigners are a dime a dozen there, but it certainly makes for an interesting experience in the not so popular cities and lesser known locations.

It could even be a little intimidating being treated like a rockstar and having people stare at you out of curiosity, although for me having experienced a little momentary fame in a past life, I was amused by the attention I received just for being a ‘foreign’ person. 

China at a Glance – Quick Facts

How to teach english in chinaChina is considered to be one of the longest continuous civilization in the world and one out of every five people in the world is Chinese. They invented paper, the compass, gunpowder, and printing. 

China consumes twice as much steel as the US, Europe and Japan combined and had recently undergone massive infrastructure development, and its economy has been among the strongest performing in the world over the past few decades.

Capital: Beijing

Population: 1,339,724,852 China is also the fourth largest country in the world.

Language: Mandarin Chinese

Currency:   Renminbi (yuan)  (¥)

Climate:    Varied: wet/dry seasons

Government:   Nominally Marxist–Leninist single-party state.

Religion:           Buddhism, Taoism

Time Zone:       Despite its size, China has only one, time zone.

What to Expect

(To see how I made this video)

Teaching in China can be a very rewarding and life changing experience. If nothing else it will be memorable.

                        [Teaching Classes (both in and outdoors) in various locations around China]

Teaching English in China is an amazing experience, you get to witness a fascinating culture, sample delicious cuisines, indulge in an adventurous and exciting lifestyle and learn more about Chinese culture and customs. 

Foreign English Teachers are well respected in the community and you can expect a competitive salary, (you are ‘well paid’ by Chinese standards) and it often includes a variety of benefits, depending on the type of school or contract you land.

Even though salaries in China lower than in other parts of Asia, the cost of living is also much lower, so teachers can expect to live well or save a significant portion of their salary.

Typically teaching in China takes place at privately run language schools, public schools, International High schools, or private international schools and universities. (The majority of those studying English are school age).

Where to Teach?How to teach english in china

The number of English schools in China runs into the thousands, with some schools operating hundreds of branches across the country, so the quality of education ranges, as does the quality of jobs. But demand for Foreign English teachers is increasing.

Universities and international schools usually offer the best working conditions for teachers who are serious about their work, this includes slightly higher salaries, accommodation benefits and visa sponsorship. 

With these types of positions applicants with the right qualifications and experience, can expect to receive numerous employment offers and good contracts.

However be aware that there is a large proportion of private ESL institutions, which are considerably less legitimate in nature. These schools will hire English teachers with one, basic requirement: “a white face” and the ability to speak English.

I want to Help You

I have personally been working and teaching English as a foreign language in China for more than four years and have taught in many schools and universities, so I am well placed to give you good advice.

How to Teach English in ChinaI remember in in my first year teaching way up north in Changchun, where it would go from -37 in the winter to +37 in the summer and the snow would last about eight months, but the plus was that you never really had any rain because it would just snow instead.

During the coldest parts of winter, the windows on the buses would freeze up and you couldn’t see out due to the thick frost. So in order to know where to get off, I would have to count the stops and mark them off by scratching marks in the frosted windows because I didn’t understand the announcements in Chinese.

Then you had to be carefully getting off as the ground was really slippery and sometimes there would be a pile of people, who had fallen over getting off the bus. It was kind of like dismounting a ski lift at a ski slope.

Then one morning you would wake up and there would be blossoms on the trees and the snow was gone and it’s summer and it’s was like a different place. There as you were getting use to the new surroundings and thinking that the climate wasn’t too bad because the summers were nice and warm, suddenly the next morning there would be snow on the ground.

Shanghai

Which is nothing like living in Shanghai, where getting down to freezing is a bit of a shock for them! Another thing you needed to watch out for was the snow plows that would decide to plow the streets while you were waiting for the bus and the entire bus stop would get covered in snow.

They do that in Shanghai too, but with water whenever they wash down the streets. The trucks will just come past spraying water and you will get wet if you don’t get out of the way.

The Reason I’m Telling You This…

It’s not just about the ‘interesting’ weather in the North East of China. I want to ensure teachers who come to China will have their expectations met, enjoy a safe, stable teaching experience and have comfortable lifestyle and don’t have too much of a culture shock because believe me, many things are different in China.

For this reason, before coming to teach English in China, I want to give you some information, in order that you will have a better understanding of what teaching English in China actually involves and to avoid becoming one of the 20 percent that leave before completing their contracts.

In fact many teachers who come to China are not even aware they could be ‘unintentionally‘ breaking Chinese law and could easily be banished from the country, accused of working illegally and not be entitled to receive any compensation whatsoever. 

What to Watch out for

Many native English speakers, wanting to be English teachers in China often have their contracts and job placement handled for profit by a third-party agency. These agencies earn a commission for each teacher placement and sometimes they employ teachers on business visas (and even on tourist visas) rather than the legally required work visas.

It’s not uncommon for agencies/employers to bring people to China, to work illegally with non-work visas

This is because the potential gains from having “native speaking /Western faces” is so high that the benefits for employing ‘foreign teachers’ outweigh the risks of being caught for hiring them illegally.

Some agencies even offer contracts to foreign teachers, who do not qualify for work visas and instruct potential teachers to lie on their visa applications in order to get them teaching jobs solely so they can decrease their costs by as much as 40 percent by avoiding taxes, fees and other benefit payments. 

Be Aware 

There is a black market for unqualified English teachers in China. So it’s important to make sure you have the correct documentation, such as a Foreign Expert Certificate (as shown below) and the appropriate work Visa. How to Teach English in China

China’s history is vast, and encompasses many different historical elements and business practices that are different from what many in the west expect. Anyone contemplating Teaching in China should be aware that some ESL jobs advertised are known to change once the teacher arrives at their placement. This also includes location.

Contracts in China are not really contracts rather they are ‘only offers of enticement’ and employment conditions and pay can be varied by the employer and the Chinese legal system provides little redress for foreigners. As the ‘rule of law‘ is not part of the Chinese legal system. 

In fact recently, the Supreme People’s Court in China, ruled that foreigners working illegally in China have no ‘labor relationship‘ with the employer, and therefore. “Without a labor relationship, any foreign national working illegally has no access to arbitration.” In other words the Chinese legal system will not help you.

What is Required

Beyond the nationally mandated Z visa, all foreign teachers in China must also obtain aHow to Teach English in China work permit issued by provincial offices of the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs (SAFEA). This work permit is also known as – A Foreign Expert Certificate (as shown here) 

Requirements vary from province to province, although cities like Beijing and Shanghai require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and either two years of work experience or either a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate or a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate.

Without this fundamental requirement foreign teachers can not legally work in China and without a Z visa, they are not entitled to receive any salary.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t be offered a job or receive payment. It just means you are vulnerable to exploitation and manipulation.

How to Legally Teach in China

Getting the appropriate working Z Visa involves dealing with the Government and is initially issued by a Chinese Embassy and is a requirement before entering the country to work. Most employers will help you facilitate this process, and it usually takes a few months. However once you have your initial Z Visa then renewal is a straightforward process and can be undertaken from within the country.

Getting either a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate. Or a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate is a whole lot easier and can pretty well be done from anywhere and there are numerous options.

The majority of employers require job applicants to have at least a 120-hour TEFL / TESOL certificate or a 250-hour TESOL/TEFL Diploma, depending upon your previous teaching experience. 

Typically these courses are open to anyone aged 17 or over who is a native English speaker or a fluent speaker of English and can usually be completed online and at your pace.

Recommendation

I have graduated from and recommend the how to teach english in chinaInternational TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT) program as it provides a wide variety of practical, high-quality, online TEFL courses and certification options.  I found them to be one of the few online course providers that offered ongoing job support and guidance for no additional cost.

Which was extremely helpful when deciding which countries to go to, in order to teach English overseas. (I selected China, but your options are numerous).

But most of all I prefer them because course graduates are awarded an internationally recognized and accredited qualification. They also offer worldwide job guidance and life-long teaching support as well as other career services, something very few other providers do, and they are available in most countries. 

english teaching jobs chinaIf you decide to use them you will find that all the online tutors are very experienced, friendly, and very supportive. You can find out more about their program here. 

Find more about their program here. 

New Z Visa Requirements for Teaching in China (2016)
According to the new work visa policy, the border entrance work permit and foreign experts work permit have now been streamlined into one system.

If you haven’t applied for a work visa before in China a list of the eight documents and the requirements needed for the process of applying for a work permit is listed below:

1. Passport
The foreign teachers in China can be divided into two groups according to their passports:

  1. Foreigners with a passport from the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Republic of South Africa are native speakers.
    2. All others are considered as a non-native English speaking countries.

2. Bachelor’s degree or above
For native speakers, they should have the original of bachelor’s degree or above. For non-native speakers,they should have the original of Bachelor’s Degree or above in native English speaking countries.  NOTE: According to the new visa policy in China, both groups will need to provide a certificate of authentication in China or their country.

3. CELTA /TESOL/TEFL/Certificate
The original and copy of the CELTA /TESOL/TEFL/Certificate. 

4. Resume
Resume content includes the education since high School and work experience which should be accurate to the month and uninterruptedly describe until now.

5. +2 years legal work experience
Over 2 years of actual work experience, which means you should work experience of more than two years since graduation in your own country. A letter of recommendation would be a good thing and such a recommendation letter must be on the former company letter-headed paper, and include your work experience, work start date to ending date, and your employer’s signature.

6. Health check form
A certified health certificate which should be issued by the health and quarantine departments designated by a Chinese embassy, or consulate if issued by a foreign health care agency. Or one issued by an approved Chinese Government agency in China

7. Photos
8 Recent (passport-size) white background photos (full face and without hat)

8. Non-criminal records
It must be issued by the official sector of the country where the applicants comes from.

Notice: Native speakers who hold a tourist visa or a business visa can apply for a work visa in Beijing if they reqiuire a working permit. You don’t have to go back to your own country to apply for it.

In Summary

China has a lot to offer. There is a wide variety of well-paying English teaching jobs in different cities and regions in China. If you are interested in learning more about their culture first hand while making a difference in the lives of students, then I encourage you to discover how you can begin this exciting and memorable adventure. Teach English in China and be apart of one of the fastest changing countries – in the world.

In Addition – (this is a bit of a secret… shhhh)

One of the reasons for the high demand for foreign teachers in China is that all schools and universities are required by the Ministry of Education to expose Chinese students of English, to a ‘Native English Speaker‘. So the hiring of native speakers, to front the classroom is considered a ‘necessary business expense’. Also Chinese parents expect to see foreign faces (preferably white faces) at fee charging private English schools.

So regardless of the type of school, foreigner English speakers are typically hired to facilitate the students’ listening and speaking skills. The actual technical aspects of the English language are undertaken by Chinese English teachers, who on the whole do a pretty good job.

So if you are thinking of Teaching in China, there are only two broad categories of foreigners who should even be thinking about teaching English in China.

  • The first are those who are relatively young and are seeking an adventure in a foreign country before settling down.
  • The second are those who are close to, or ready to retire, have no significant family ties or obligations, and are looking for a unique cultural adventure in a country where the cost of living is still relatively low.

So if you fit into either of these two categories,  are a native English speaker, are light skinned, from the United Kingdom, North America, Australia, South Africa or New Zealand, have a pulse and can walk and talk, then you can quickly find a job teaching English in China.

If nothing else it will be an experience to remember (and it doesn’t snow everywhere in China – just up north!).

Another Idea that Involves Speaking English

how to teach english in china

(For more about this see my review here)

In case, you’re not interested in being an English teacher in a foreign country but have a great Native English. Speaking voice, I’ll share with you another little-known secret…

Jenny Lewis, a good friend of mine, says makes her $300 to $500 an hour…

In fact she told me recently it earned her a six figure income in only a few months. It’s all here

She also says, “I never thought that I could make money off something given to me from birth! My voice has become an untapped asset that allows me to work flexible hours and earn income without leaving the comfort of my home”

It has nothing to do with building websites, filling out crappy low paying surveys, or selling anything.  I am talking about the voice over industry where people will pay you for using your voice. 

(If you’re curious as to what it is I’m talking about. You can take a look at my review of this product in another post).

The VoiceOver Industry

The voiceover industry is largely underrated and usually dominated by celebrities, leading most people to believe that ‘only famous people’ can earn significant amounts of money in the voiceover business, but that is not true.

Almost anyone can become a voiceover specialist and inside this short video presentation, you’ll discover a huge billion dollar industry that’s hidden in plain sight, you’ll soon wonder WHY nobody has noticed it before.

For more about the voice over industry see this link.

Finally

If you have enjoyed this post about ‘how to teach English in China’, please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question below or socially share if you found this post interesting.

(If you want to listen to the complete music video, “Do you speak English” it’s by Ross Antony on youtube)

About Peter

An International Speaker, Writer and Internet Marketer, living in Shanghai, China, teaching Business / English at a Chinese University and making a difference to the world, bringing you great information and recommending awesome products that will make earning online while living internationally - a breeze. http://onlineaffiliatewealth.com

58 comments

  • Paulo

    You are incredibly thorough. I had fun going through your post. Currently, I’m based in Thailand and I’m thinking of taking on a teaching post here as well.

    The opportunities are plentiful here as well. Though I’d have to say, that you’re far more likely to land a quality job if you’re a caucasian. Seems like folks in local hiring aren’t that good at spotting credentials. I know of several well-credentialed folks who got passed over for other folks on the basis of nationality.

    • Peter

      Hello, Paulo. Yes unfortunately it’s a fact of life here in China that what matters most is the way things look rather than the underlying quality. This is something you find out pretty quickly after living in China for a while. Overal though teaching English in a foregin countryis a great experience as you will get to experience the local culture in a differnt way and more closely than if you were a tourist. Thanks again for your comments :).

  • Robert Junk

    Wow! What a great subject and in depth analysis on a topic i never really knew was a real opportunity. I still blown away by it actually. Not only do you talk about the opportunities, but you give information about China, and their climate, culture, visa requirements, etc. This is an awesome and well put together article. There are opportunities everywhere.

    • Peter

      Hello, Robert Pleased you found the post interesting and informative. China is certainly an interesting country and seeing it first hand and experiencing it is a life time experience. Thank you for your comments. 🙂

  • Chris

    Hi Peter. Excellent blog post! (and a great domain name by the way 🙂 ) I am running an online business as an Amazon Seller and have quite a few business contacts to Chinese manufacturers. I am not a native speaker of the english language, and therefore it is very important to me to have a business partner with solid english skills! I’m pretty happy with my partners. Yet, it is super exceiting to read how people like yourself teach those Chinese people english, hence making businesses like mine possible in the first place! Great read!!!

    All the best to you,
    Cheers,
    chris

    • Peter

      Hello, Chris Thank you for your comments and I am pleased you liked my site. Yes teaching English is fun and it gives me time to work on my websites,even if internet access can be frustrating at times, and getting worse. The government here is getting better at blocking VPN as the economy goes into slowdown and other world events unfold they don’t want their citizens to hear about. Still an interesting place to be in the interim. Thanks again for your comments. 🙂

  • Deva

    Interesting facts. I’m from Croatia and knowing english language skills helped me in the Internet business. Today I work from home, chatting with people from all over the world. Although there is a Google translator, it is necessary to know the language because the results are usually not grammatically well arranged.

    • Peter

      Hello, Deva. Haha Yes, Computer translations can be a real problem as the meanings of the words are different and the words that get translated can make the senetence meaning very confusing. Thanks for your comments. 🙂

  • Franni21

    Hey Peter, your post is really interesting, especially because it’s a true story, something that you are doing and want to share with us. I think that’s really intimate and inspiring. Teaching English is something more people should do because is the language almost everyone communicates with. I should know because I’m from Peru, so my first language is not English. Keep it up 🙂

    • Peter

      Hello, Franni21 Thank you for your comments and I am pleased you liked my post and yes it is based upon my personal experiences

  • Joon

    Although my current situation won’t allow me to reside in China, but I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in China back in 2005 to 2007. I haven’t experienced rural side of China but lived in Shanghai the whole time, but foreigners were still greeted with curiosity back then. I’m not sure if it will be the same. I stayed as a study abroad student so I’m not experienced in job markets but I do have a bit of experience living there. Everything was pretty affordable at low costs. Only thing that as a foreigner may want to watch out for is getting ripped off. Other than that everything was pretty cool living there.

    • Peter

      Hello, Joon. Thank you for your feedback. Yes, China is an interesting place, however, Shanghai is ‘not really’ China. It’s more like an international city with ‘Chinese characteristics’ ha ha. However, things are changing fast in China now as their economy begins to melt down and the cracks begin to show so it will be interesting times.

      But still a great place to live and work as an English Teacher because you get paid well by Chinese standards so you can live well and enjoy the culture. Thank you for your comments. 🙂

  • Derek Marshall

    Hi There Peter,

    The right things come along at the right time for the right people. With the dragnet closing down in Thailand on foreigners who are long terms stayers, China (warmer climate!) sounds great to me. Being there for show much better as I do have limited experience in Teaching (TEFL qualified but no degree) I might actually do well in China for a few years to learn the trade and get practical experience alongside someone else.

    What sort of Salary could I expect? to be honest with an already passive income (disability pension) the teaching would be for extra and something to do while my blog starts to earn, plus at a bigger school, nice way to meet locals (teachers, parents, School admin staff) and learn about Chinese culture. (any help on that would be great!, also any recommended agencies ?)

    • Peter

      Hello Derek, you are ‘well paid’ by Chinese standards and it often includes a variety of benefits, depending on the type of school or contract you manage to get. Even though salaries in China lower than in other parts of Asia, the cost of living is also much lower, so teachers can expect to live well. So somewhere between 8000 -12000 RMB per month, but it also depends upon which area of China you are in as it could be a little as 6,000 but then that location living is also very cheap. Whereas big cities like Beijing and Shanghai you might get 16,000 RMB per month but the costs are also much higher, so it’s all relative.

      I like teaching here because it also gives me plenty of time to work on my internet business.

      So it really is a great situation and almost anyone can do if they want a year off from the distractions of the real world, experience another culture and have time to commit to building your internet business and get paid to live in another country.

      If you are serious I can send you job posting information just send me a PM

      Thanks for your comments 🙂

  • Anna

    Hi Peter,

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post! I did not know that English is so big in China and that teaching positions are in such demand. It is fantastic to have someone with your expertise and guidance for those who are seriously considering taking advantage of this opportunity.

    I found your story so interesting about how in some areas foreigners are treated like celebrities! I can’t imagine experiencing something like that (great for the ego though, and I guess the next best thing to being famous in Hollywood)!

    I have always been very interested in the voice over industry but have never known how to go about it. I really appreciate your honest review of VO Genesis – it’s something I’m definitely going to keep in the back of my mind!

    Thanks for all of the great information!

    • Peter

      Hi Anna Pleased you enjoyed the post and I thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Yes the VO industry is an interesting concept and people do make money with it. Thanks again for your feedback 🙂

  • Eddy

    I’ve lived in China for a couple of years and definitely needs more English teachers there. Like real native English speakers. But like your article says, one needs to be careful when embarking on this path. Many of my friends have had their contract “accidentally” cancelled, salary not given or other issues. When that happens, one would feel quite lonely facing a large wall with no understanding of the local language. Be sure that you know what you’re getting into. And also, the expats in China are like a family. It is important to get in touch with the expats in the city where you will be teaching.

    • Peter

      Hello Eddy Thank you for your comments and you are right about needing to be careful as China has a different way of ‘doing things‘ and it’s not often in your best interests but with the right contacts and information things can be a little less frustrating. Thank you for your feedback 🙂

  • Imad

    Hello, Peter.

    Teaching English to Chinese people is a great idea. I have a friend who did that a couple of years ago, and I think it was an amazing experience for him. I don’t know any Chinese word, so this might be an opportunity to learn some and give some knowledge in return.

    Getting that much attention just for being a foreign person is something to try.

    Interesting article. I enjoyed the read.

    Thank you.
    Imad

    • Peter

      Hello Imad I am pleased you enjoyed the post and thank you for your comments and yes it is interesting getting attention just for being a ‘foreigner’ This doesn’t happen in the big cities though, just the smaller ones and many rural places and in terms of experiences you certainly get your share of those. :).

  • Michael Maamari

    Hey there…

    This was something I was always interested in. I was going to get my TEFL and all of that jazz. I never ended up following through unfortunately but reading this post kind of revived that idea, hahaha.

    It definitely seems like an interesting experience and there are a lot of people working under-the-table types of teaching jobs in China unfortunately. Thanks for your post

    • Peter

      Hello Michael Yes there are lots of opportunities for English teaching in China and I can hook you up if you want a legit job here. Thanks for your comments and thank you for reading my post. :

  • Alen

    Hi there

    Great information about Teaching English in China, I will bookmark this website to show to my friends

    I have looked through and read your profile and found that you clearly know what you are talking about and I have also read through other posts and it is really really good and very informative so well done on this great website.

    Wish you great success

    Alen

    • Peter

      Hello Alen Appreciate very much your feedback and thank you for reading and leaving a comment. Wishing you success also 🙂

  • Jack

    Hello Peter I loved the videos you have posted on this page and I found the whole page and content information very informative and learn a lot and want to thank you for the resources you have provided.

    The images are nicely presented and I was easily able to navigate around the page and I am certain this page is going to be very helpful for people considering doing this

    Fantastic site,

  • TheDopestMatrix

    now this is an intersting read, because the fact is, one day I want to learn Madarin, and this is something that I could potentially do in the future! I think that its pretty cool that you are treated like a rockstar just because of the simple fact you are a foreigner, id love to experience that one day!

    Matt TheDopesstMatrix

    • Peter

      Thank you for your comment and I am pleased you enjoyed the post. It is indeed interesting to be treated special however that is usually in the smaller cities or in the rural areas it’s not that way in the big cities like Beijing or Shanghai because they see foreigners all the time so nothing too special about that. Thanks again for your comments 🙂

  • Matthew

    That was an incredibile read, i never knew there were so much to look out for if looking to work as a teacher in China. Your page is a Necessity for people looking to work over in China.
    The images you have added of yourself really make me gain your trust, and i can tell you know what your talking about.
    I have a friend looking to go to China soon and will show him your website as i think its beneficial even if he doesn’t teach there. There are many useful things to come from your website
    well done keep it up!

    • Peter

      Thank you Matthew I guess you liked the video clips too? Yes teaching in China is certainly interesting if nothing else and a life enhancing experience. Thank you so much for your kind comments and I am pleased you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Pakiza

    Excellently written. very accurate, descriptive and an A to Z on Teaching English in China. English is my second language but I love to learn language. I have learned so far a couple. English is my favorite language. You have very rightly brought out the facts of Chinese people, they are very gentle and gifted with pleasant behavior which create a cordial atmosphere between a teacher and student. The post is not only covered each and every aspect of the subject but also you have made it interesting and engaging by adding some beautiful nature’s scene. Well done, keep it up.

    • Peter

      Hello Pakiza Thank you for your comments and I am pleased you found this post interesting and you liked the images I included. Thank you again for your feedback 🙂

  • CrewMonkey

    Excellent! Although it was lengthy, I found myself compelled to keep reading. I’m not a candidate for, Teaching English in China, but enjoyed all the information you provided. Interesting & thoroughly informative read. I will be looking into you VO Genesis review shortly.
    Thank you for being so helpful and sharing your experience! I hope anyone considering this comes across our site, first. A perfect Guide to Becoming an English Teacher in China.

    • Peter

      Hey Thank you CrewMonkey I appreciate the comment and pleased you found it interesting enough to read anyway ha ha. Hope you enjoy my other posts. Thanks a again 🙂

  • Jeni

    Hi there Peter. Wow, it sounds like you really have a lot of stories to tell. Rock star status for teachers. Well, teachers are definitely more deserving than many of the real rock stars. 🙂

    Great advice to folks who are considering going to China to teach so they don’t get duped by third parties, or get any surprises once they get there.

    I had the same question as another person who commented about knowing how to speak their language. I think that is fascinating that it isn’t really required. Sounds like you are living quite the adventure. Good luck with it.

    • Peter

      Hi Jeni Thank you for your comments and yes it is fun and it also gives me plenty of time to work on my internet sideline business. So it really is a great situation and one anyone can do if they want a year off from the distractions of the real world, experience another culture and have time to commit to building an internet business and get well paid. Thanks so much for your feedback. 🙂

  • Evan

    Great post Peter! Teaching English in China would be an amazing experience. I know that I would love to integrate into the culture. It would be a great opportunity to learn so much about their way of life. You know what they say, the best way to learn is by teaching!

    • Peter

      Hello Evan. Pleased you liked my post and yes I agree with you teaching is a great way to learn and in China its also a great way to learn about the country. Thank you for your comments 🙂

  • SamDal

    This is a grear read Peter and I can definitely relate to the wow factor. When I was in Japan, the same thing happened. People would treat me like a celebrity just based on my different appearance so I had a giggle when you outlined your experience in smaller Chinese villages.

    How did you find the food there because based on what many have said who visited the bigger cities – they all lost a lot of wweight upon their return 🙂

    • Peter

      Hi Sam Yes foreigners are treated like rock stars in the smaller areas, not so much in the bigger cities. The food is simpler in the outer area by more westernised in the major cites. But that’s part of the charm of living in a different country and experiencing different cultures. Thank you for your comments 🙂

  • RuthM

    Such an interesting post. My Mum used to teach english as a foreign language to business men where I grew up in singapore. A lot of these were chinese, so this is an interesting topic to me.

    I have never been to China, but it is one of those places I would like to go. And teaching is something that is interesting to me. I had never thought about combining them, and you make it sound like it could actually be possible as a career move with the right training.

    Great food for thought!

    • Peter

      Hello Ruth Thank you for your feedback and your comments. Yes it certainly is an interesting thing to do and a great way to see China and get paid. They are always wanting people so it’s not to difficult or to late to consider the possibility. Thanks again for the feedback 🙂

  • Janet

    A very informative article. In my 20s I went to teach English in Spain – not quite as far away as China, but an amazing experience I will never forget, which not on,y paid well, but gave me the opportunity to travel extensively round Spain and really get to know the real country.
    I have friends teaching English in China. They went over there before they married and re now married with 2 kids, and continue to be treated like rock stars as you say. Another advantage I’ve seen from their lifestyle is the opportunity to travel in that part of the world. So accessible and affordable to them right now.
    I agree with your statement that two main categories of people should consider it – such an upheaval definitely isn’t for everyone, but if you do I’m sure it would create lifelong memories…

    • Peter

      Hello Janet.

      Yes teaching English in China is an amazing experience, you get to witness an interesting culture, sample delicious cuisines, indulge in an adventurous and exciting lifestyle and yes Foreign English Teachers are well respected in the community and you you are ‘well paid’, by Chinese standards and it often includes a variety of additional benefits, so teachers can expect to save a significant portion of their salary and do a bit of traveling.

      Teaching in China can be a very rewarding and life changing experience and if it’s a ‘fit’ then its well worth it Thanks for your comments 🙂 .

  • Riaz Shah

    Hey Peter,
    This is an awesome article, teaching English has always been my plus side wherever I go. While I was living in France, I had no qualifications whatsoever to earn some extra income so I taught English and was able to earn a living there and the people are very nice too.

    I’m planning to go to China this December and live there for a month with my uncle, this article helped me greatly. Thanks for taking the time to write this!

    • Peter

      Hello Riaz I have personally been working and teaching English as a foreign language in China for more than three years and have taught in many schools and universities so I am well placed to give you good advice so hence the post about teaching in China. It has been a great experience so I thought I would pass along what I know. Thanks for your comments 🙂

  • Mike

    As an English speaker who has travelled many times to China, I can offer the following observations. First, their Chinese are an extremely friendly people and make visitors feel very welcome. Many of them already know English and are very interested in practicing their skills with native English speakers.Finally, they love it when you practice your Chinese, no matter how limited, with them.

    • Peter

      Hello Mike Yes certainly agree with you about that and want to thank you for leaving a comment. Hope you enjoyed my article 🙂

  • Kams

    What a great, informative article. I used to teach Chinese students at a university in the UK and they are a pleasure to work with. They take studying very seriously and have a high respect for their teacher (sometimes even too high, as whenever you make a mistake they’ll never point it out to you). I only taught in China for 2 weeks and although it was Shanghai I was still treated like a rock star, and it rocked!

    • Peter

      Hi Kams Yes it truly is a great experience I have been doing this for three (going in my fourth) years now am am still here. I tend to try a different location every 12 months or so to get a different living perspective although I do like Shanghai. Thank you for your comments 🙂

  • Geoff

    Incredible opportunity here for those interested in both travel and teaching! The information here is substantial yet poignant. Everything you need to know about how to make this a reality! The author even has personal experience, and offers to help you with any roadblocks. Have you learned Chinese in the process? Best of wishes. Geoff.

    • Peter

      Hello Geoff Thanks for your feedback and yes I am happy to help anyone interested in pursuing this further as it is a rewarding experience. Appreciate the comments. 😉

  • Hi Peter. I have friends, Canadians, who taught English in China and Japan and told me they loved the experience. It took them some time to learn the new culture but they adapted eventually. They shared with me almost the same information you mentioned in your blog. Very informative and thorough article especially that I do academic advisory to international students myself. I also liked your recommendation on TEFL and TESOL as well as the layout of the content.. Great article.

  • Kiefer

    Very interesting stuff, Peter! I have always been interested in Chinese culture myself, and my best friend from college currently is teaching English in China. All that to say, this is something that I have considered doing from time to time.

    One question though: do you recommend any degree of familiarity with Mandarin? I have never seen these universities, and so have no idea what I would have to expect in terms of how well I could get around and teach effectively just knowing English.

    Thanks a ton!
    – Kiefer

    • Peter

      Hello Kiefer Thanks for your question. In a word NO it doesn’t not matter that you cannot speak Chinese As long as you have a college degree (in any subject) and have a TESOL or TEFL in lieu of a teaching diploma / certificate. They just want you to be able to speak clear English (native speaker) and are ok in front of a classroom of students wanting to learn English. Most places already have Chinese English Teachers and you will just be adding to the students English speaking experience. Let me know if I can help you further as it’s a great lifetime experience. Thanks again for your comments 🙂

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