Would you like to do your TEFL course in China?
Getting work as a TEFL teacher in China is easy. China is the biggest market for English Language Teaching in the world. With almost 1.5 billion inhabitants, China has emerged as the world’s largest potential market for just about anything – including English. After hosting the 2008 Olympic Games has accelerated the need for the Chinese to learn English. Also China is now involved in huge levels of international trade, so there is a great demand for Business English in the Chinese Commercial sector. Many companies are now setting up their own in-house English teaching programs and offering TEFL courses find out which is the best TEFL course for you here just contact us!
Most TEFL teachers arrange jobs before arriving in China, normally by contacting schools by Fax, call or e-mail. English teachers from abroad are called ‘Foreign Teacher’ or ‘Foreign Expert’. Foreign Teachers are university graduates under the age of 25, who usually don’t have TESOL qualifications. Foreign Experts are experienced ESL/EFL teachers with an MA TESOL/TEFL/Applied Linguistics. While working conditions are generally very good for English Language Teachers, don’t forget that Western entertainment and commodities can be very hard to find outside the big cities. Non native English can find work teaching English in China, I know of a French Girl who taught English in China this year!
Teaching and living in China is an incredible experience. Having spent your life as an anonymous average person in your home country, you suddenly become the center of attention. Because you are an ‘Foreigner’ you become qualified for jobs you could never get back home. People want to talk to you. They want to know your opinion about everything. They want to be your friend. You may be interviewed on T.V. or appear in a commercial. You might be invited to take part in an athletic competition, even though you’ve never played the sport. You will be labelled as a ‘Foreign Expert.’
Every student in China is required to study English up to and including University level, and standards in reading and writing are often very high. Grammar, vocabulary, sentence constructions; the traditional aspects of language learning are taught and tested thoroughly and by rote. The spoken and communicative aspects of the language, however, are almost never assessed. Competition in the education sector is strong, and having a pet Foreigner is a very prestigious mascot for a Chinese school. Middle-ranked schools especially feel they have to set themselves apart from local rivals, yet in the race to attract us the schools are tripping over themselves. You often have no text book and are completely free to teach anything you wish, which is great because you can be creative as you like in class. Some international schools will have their own yearly schedules and lesson plans already for you to pick up and take to class and so no prep for you.
Your salary will probably be somewhere in the range of US$400-$2000 per month
RMB, is the Chinese currency, you may make more if you have an advanced degree. Private schools may pay by the hour: your pay depends on how many hours you teach. Pay may be higher if the school doesn’t provide housing. Recently return flights are being offered at some schools.
Salaries may be lower in smaller cities, but cost of living will also be much lower. Your salary will go at least twice as far in Changchun as it will in Beijing. Some people say you can’t live on a teacher’s salary in Beijing (or Shanghai or Guangzhou)
Airfare to and from China are usually offered Policies on paying for airfare vary a lot from school to school. Schools usually pay for a foreign teacher’s return airfare only (but some do not). Some schools promise to reimburse you for your plane ticket going over, but you’re safest if they send you the ticket.
Expenses. Your salary should be sufficient for living expenses in China. Usually no rent or utilities. You’ll probably get an advance on your first month’s salary, which you’ll probably need for settling-in expenses.(You may need other appliances, like a toaster oven, pots and pans, plates, utensils, and a stereo). There is much more variety of stuff available in China now and quality is improving a lot. In a bigger city life is much more modern now, with modern showers (with water heaters), washing machines, kitchen appliances, etc.
If you make trips to Hong Kong, Beijing, or Shanghai, and spend money at bars, hotels, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, etc, your money may not last too long. If you cook your own food you’ll have plenty of money. If there is a dining hall or restaurant for foreigners, this is also a good way to make sure most of your salary stays in China. Dining halls for students are pretty cheap, though. Food on the street is also cheap. There are many reasonable restaurants, but expensive restaurants are becoming more common where you can easily spend $80. Think you know Chinese food from all those oriental restaurants you used to visit back home? That was sanitised Chinese grub for Westerners. The real thing is little like: chickens’ feet, ducks’ tongues, pigs’ brains, not to mention virtually every internal organ from every animal you could hope (or not) to find. And then the rice always comes.
Living conditions, your selection of T.V. programming and other entertainment may be quite limited, depending on where you are (However, cable TV is common now, and you will probably be able to catch American shows. There are now over 80 Mc Donalds in Beijing, but you will probably have to get used to a different diet. Get used to rice porridge, dumplings, tofu, and sweet potatoes. Food will be cheap, but you will have to work harder to get it and prepare it.
TEFL salary as an English teacher in China, you probably will not get rich, but you should have enough to live on comfortably.
Supermarkets, where you can get prepared foods and imported stuff are becoming more common but prices seem to be comparable to American stores. .
Clothing is generally cheap, but you need to know where to buy it. Department stores have high prices for fancy imported clothes and jewelry that Chinese people seem to like. But you can usually find a market where you can buy clothes very cheap. But you may have difficulty finding large sizes for foreigners, especially for shoes and jeans. You should have some good shoes when you arrive. I suggest bringing all the clothes and shoes you will need if you are a size bigger than a USA 12.
Electronic goods made in China are cheap, but relatively poor in quality. Imports from Japan are popular, but not much cheaper than overseas. Computer equipment is roughly the same price as in the USA.
Health care should be provided free, but you never know what you might have to pay for to check before you leave.
Please when talking to your new school remember to make a list of questions to ask before you sign your new contract. Health services in Hong Kong are more westernized and usually still reasonable, so many people get dental work and immunizations done there. There are good doctors in many large cities, and Beijing has some foreign-operated hospitals.
If you would like more information about joining a TEFL course in China, go to our Contact page.