Our definitive guide to the places & possibilities that come with teaching English in China!
Read on to find our A-Z of living, working, travelling and above all, making a difference in China…
A is for apply today! – Think positive, check out our form, if you think it’s for you then give it a go! We read all applications and always try and speak to those who we think would be suitable. We certainly encourage everyone to give it a try, after all, you have nothing to lose!
B is for Beijing – the must-see capital of the fastest growing industrial, economic, cultural and political power in the world- a real hub of fast-paced urban life where breathtaking architecture and buzzing lifestyle combine to make an unforgettable experience. With a global outlook and a staggering population of 22 million (to give you an idea, that’s the size of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and San Antonio combined) the city offers urban life on a massive scale.
C is for China itself – of course, besides the capital there’s a massive (and we mean massive) country to explore! Double the size of Europe with a bewildering array of landscapes, cultures, cuisines and environments from deserts to jungle to stunning mountain ranges, all well connected and safe to travel and explore.
D is for development– you’ll grow while you’re with us, as a person, as a traveller but also as a teacher and professional. You’ll take skills home with you that will open new paths in your career, or could be a route to teaching either at a higher level in China, or in a different country.
E is for ESL– one of the qualifications that acts as a doorway to teaching in China, English as a Second Language is a thorough grounding in teaching English to non-native speakers that can help new teachers access the crucial Z visa programme.
F is for food– a huge part of life in China. Our teachers frequently mention the amazing variety and quality of food in China as one of the most exciting things about living here. In China, every meal is an adventure in a way you simply don’t get back at home. Don’t worry though, you’re not cut off from the world- you can get all your favourites too, if you’re feeling homesick.
G is for the Great Wall! An unmissable part of your time in China, no trip to the country is complete without walking on the famous fortifications. One of the wonders of the world and perhaps even the greatest engineering achievement in history, the Great Wall stretches over 13,000 miles, with some parts over 2,200 years old.
H is for holidays– you’ll get plenty of time off in China, both included in your work contract and also because of the many public holidays. These offer the chance to relax, to explore the country more widely, or even to head back home and see friends and family.
I is for IELTS– the International English Language Testing System, an English language assessment measuring practical language skills by non-English speakers. Teaching English abroad is pretty full of acronyms, but this is a big one!
J is for Jiangsu– the region between Qingdao and Shanghai is one you’re sure to visit, and it’s home to some beautiful coastline and is famous for its ornamental gardens. Make the most of your time in the area to travel Jiangsu and see the sights, before hitting the city of Shanghai for some urban excitement.
K is for kids– the reason we’re all here is that we love teaching! We feel the incredible difference we make every time we help a struggling child crack some difficult vocab, or master a new area of the syllabus. It’s rewarding work like most people will never experience, as you’re helping many of these kids to find a route to a better life.
L is for learning– we’re always learning, and you’ll find life teaching in China presents so many chances not just to teach, but to find new talents and develop new skills for yourself. Remember- teaching works both ways!
M is for mountains– from the Wudang Mountains to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, the great outdoors doesn’t get any more impressive than China’s majestic mountain ranges. Mountains play a huge part in Chinese religion, tradition, folklore and history generally, with stories abounding of Gods and emperors walking the slopes on which you can hike today. Mount Tai, situated in Shandong not far from Qingdao, is home to the millennia-old steps to the ‘gate to heaven’ at the top of the mountain, as well temples, ancient inscriptions and other holy sites. You’ll be able to explore these stunning surroundings at your leisure.
N is for new experience- something you’ll be getting a lot of! Of course, moving to China is inevitably going to be a big culture shock, where even small daily tasks might appear daunting at first, but unlike travelling alone you’ll be surrounded by a friendly, supporting and empathetic group of expats who can help you navigate your new environment. We all went through it, and soon you’ll be helping a nervous new arrival settle into the swing of daily life in Qingdao!
O is for opportunities Teaching abroad gives you the chance to begin the journey of a lifetime- self funding your hunger for travel and interesting experiences. But there are also short term opportunities that you’ll find opening to you. You’ll have a chance to make new friends, pursue a new start in an exciting and dynamic environment with a great culture and a rich history- one that will welcome you as a member of, not merely a visitor to, its inspiring and ever-developing landscape.
P is for prospects China attracts high quality teachers, and teaching in China will give you tremendous experience & confidence to develop your career as an international English teacher. Should you choose you can continue to develop your career as an English language teacher in China, where strong candidates who can teach to a high standard can have extremely successful careers commanding large salaries tutoring, or teaching at elite schools.
Q is for Qingdao– our home and one of the most incredible cities in China. A collision of historical European influence and modern Chinese dynamism has created a truly unique city, unlike any other on earth. Home to some of the world’s engineering marvels, as well as a European old town, Qingdao is a thriving seaside city with a unique cultural identity.
R is for rewarding– your time in China is an amazing experience and a great dimension to add to your career, but the real rewards are in the difference you can make to peoples’ lives. English language skills aren’t just another qualification in China, they’re the route to a better life, and for young and old the aspiration to speak English permeates Chinese society.
S is for Shandong, the province where we live. Provincial status in China, with its huge range of customs and cultures, implies more autonomy than it does in the West. Home to some stunning beaches and mountain ranges, Shandong is a fantastic place to explore and with a perfect climate, friendly people and modern outlook it’s a perfect blend of authentic Chinese culture and developed global outlook.
T is for teaching– All our staff are qualified and experienced professional teachers with a background in education, and as a certified high-quality school we strive to provide pupils with a really excellent English language tuition service that stands apart from a lot of the other, agency-led schools in China. You’ll find yourself immediately at home with our supportive team and surrounded by friendly career teachers who can help you settle in to your new home. Classes are well organised and you’re given lots of support both from our teaching team and our Chinese support staff.
U is for unlocking your potential – you have a chance to take your career in a new direction in a new environment by teaching English in China. You’ll find the school environment positive, the pupils polite and enthusiastic, and the support excellent allowing you to push yourself and develop your skills as a teacher to take your career further.
V is for vacation – from Vietnam to Japan to South Korea to Thailand, the possibilities to go further afield during the long Chinese holidays mean you can see a lot more of the world than just the (admittedly abundant) sights in China itself.
W is for Weibo/Wechat– two big social networking tools in China! Weibo is like Twitter, while Wechat is more akin to Snapchat or Whatsapp. They’re almost universal in China, where Western sites aren’t easily accessible, and you’ll find them invaluable to making friends and finding out about local events, organising trips or practicing your Chinese.
X is for Xi’an – home to the terracotta army, Xi’an is an impressive city by anybody’s standards- home to an incredible 12 million people- 1.5 times bigger than either London or New York. Well worth a visit, it sits in the heart of China, with a rich cultural scene reflecting the many customs and peoples that it’s absorbed over the years. Once the historical capital city of ancient China, it’s surrounded by some of the best preserved historical fortifications in the world- the beautiful and impressive city walls, which today offer an atmospheric walk, with great views from 40 feet above the ground.
Y is for the Yellow Sea– the sea on which Qingdao has built so much of its history, prosperity and success. Of course with the sea comes the opportunity to hire a boat and enjoy the waves, as well as to surf, swim or just sunbathe and enjoy the fantastic beaches Qingdao has to offer!
Z is for the Z visa– this might be cheating a little bit, but the Z visa is a crucial, and often misunderstood, part of coming to teach English in China. Ensuring you understand the criteria fully before you apply will mean a smooth and successful application process, and a stress-free start to your adventure! Learn more about the Z visa here.