Teach in China

Teach in China

About the Programme

China is a country on the move and its vibrant culture will leave you breathless! Bolster your resume while you experience this fast-growing super power firsthand as it becomes a leader in world economics. Learn Chinese or brush up on your Chinese skills while building your future by learning Chinese methods of networking and negotiation. Experience China’s traditional festivals, try exotic Chinese cuisine, immerse yourself in the vibrant pulse of some of the world’s most lively cities, or find your inner balance with early morning tai chi lessons. You will find yourself teaching English in a culture very different from your own—bringing your own culture into the classroom through your lesson plans.

This is an International Programme so you'll also get to meet people from all over the world who have decided to Teach in China!

Challenge yourself to learn more about a different mindset and lifestyle by rediscovering yourself outside your own culture. Build your CV, learn Chinese, explore an ancient culture, and immerse yourself in China for five or ten months this year on our Teach in China program. The Teach in China programme offers you the flexibility of two departure dates and program lengths.

Teaching English in China is much more than a trip overseas; it is a total immersion working and living experience which affords the opportunity for intercultural interaction and involvement in a local community. Working in your new school will open the opportunity to make friends in a new corner of the world, all the while contributing to the language and cultural education of your students. Break out of your routine and learn things about yourself—and others—you can't by staying home.

...“Choose a job you
love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
― Confucius

The IST Plus Teach in China Programme is a Partnership between IST Plus and our local Chinese Partner, CIEE Study Centres



You do not need extensive teaching or international experience to apply! Whether your degree was in English, Engineering - or anything in between, if you have a good attitude and solid work ethic, your academic background will serve you well in the classroom—this time from the teacher’s side of the desk.

Our partner schools are looking for well-rounded applicants who are independent, adventurous, and who adapt well to new situations. Participants must be able to expect the unexpected and thrive in a changing environment! It’s essential that participants are self-motivated, responsible, and recognise that their first priority is to their school and their teaching assignment.

Basic Eligibility Requirements
Bachelor’s degree in any subject
Native English language fluency
British, Irish, Canadian, Australian, or New Zealand citizenship (Native English speakers from other countries may also apply- please contact us for details)

Desirable Experience
Teaching experience or TEFL certification, community involvement, sense of volunteerism, experience instructing children (e.g. summer camp counselor) and/ or similar experience preferred
Experience studying, working, or volunteering abroad
Degree in English or Education
TEFL certification

Job Description

As the lead classroom teacher your goal will be to improve the conversational English skills of your students. Through creative classroom exercises and educational games, your native English abilities and cultural savvy will improve the verbal competence of your eager Chinese students.

Your participation on the Teach in China program will help to support English language education for Chinese students. As a foreign teacher you’ll be promoting a healthy exchange of cultures and empathy for Chinese students, teachers, and the greater community all while gaining awareness of local people, culture, and language through this unique immersion experience.

Our programme place teachers in classrooms from kindergarten to college. Many assignments are at colleges and universities, but there are often openings to teaching younger students at private schools.
You can request placement at a particular level and preferred location, though placements are driven by the demand for English-speaking teachers and the requirements of each host institution, so our partners cannot guarantee that all requests will be honoured.

Teaching contracts are typically for 16-18 classroom hours per week (classes are 40 to 60 minutes in length), depending on the school. Classes are generally held Monday to Friday. In addition to actual time spent in the classroom, participants are expected to devote time to class planning, presentations, faculty meetings, and a modicum of extra-curricular activities. In some instances, when teachers want to earn more money, overtime classes can be scheduled for an agreed upon rate, typically 80-120 RMB per hour.

Schools and Location
Positions are available at both private and government schools teaching students of all ages from kindergarten to college.

Our partners place participants in Mandarin speaking areas all around China and a significant number of our partner schools are located in urban and suburban areas. Placements are most common in second and third tier cities. The CIEE Study Centres traditionally make placements in Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Anhui, Shandong, Hebei, Chongqing, Guangxi, and Heilongjiang. They also place teachers in large cities, including Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou, and Beijing, but note that these placements are subject to local regulations for visas. Our partners work to place teachers in all parts of China. Placements are driven by demand for teachers and visa regulations.

No placements are currently offered in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, or rural western China.

teach - and learn

How Much do you get Paid?

Salary range of 4,000-10,000 RMB net pay per month

Average and median salaries outlined below were calculated using actual contracts for all 2013 Teach in China participants:

Hours Worked per Week

Monthly Salary RMB

Hourly Salary CNY

Hourly Salary in UK GBP (£)











Rent-free housing for the duration of the work contract*
Pay increases for those with graduate degrees and significant teaching experience
University-level positions for teachers of science, maths and English, available on occasion
Pay and benefits, though dependent on qualifications, are typically higher than standard salaries
Completion Bonus or Travel Stipend to support return airfare (up to 10,000 RMB for two consecutive semesters of teaching or up to 4,000 RMB for one semester)
*Host institutions provide furnished accommodation. Rent-free living, combined with the reasonable cost of living in China, allows earnings to go a long way.

How much is your Salary Worth in China?

  • Average salaries in a Chinese Univeristy

    Professor: 5,000 RMB/month
    Associate Professor: 3,500 RMB/month
    Lecturer: 2,500 RMB/month

    Foreign teachers are paid more than a full professor..

  • Average salaries in a Chinese School

    Principal: 4,000 RMB/month
    Vice Principal: 3,000 RMB/month
    Teacher: 2,500 RMB/month

    Foreign teachers are paid more than the principle..

  • Cost of Living in China

    Taxi fares:

    In Shanghai, starts at 12 RMB and continues at 1 RMB/2.1km
    In smaller cities, starts at 5-9 RMB and continues at 1 RMB/1.5-2km

    Cost of a meal in a Chinese restaurant:

    Breakfast (typical Chinese breakfast: bāozi, soybean milk): 1.5-5 RMB
    Lunch and dinner (meat, vegetable, rice):
    Shanghai and Beijing: 20-50 RMB/person
    Middle City (regional economic center): 15-25 RMB/person
    Small City: 5-10 RMB/person

    Average cost of western fast food meals:

    Burger King: 15-19 RMB
    McDonald’s: 16.5-25 RMB
    Kentucky Fried Chicken: 16-22 RMB

Orientation Week

My Image
Teach in China

...Every day, there is
learning and adjusting. Each day will be filled with seminars and experiences that will help you prepare to teach English effectively, communicate in China, and understand the language, all the while building new friendships with your fellow teachers.

All participants take active part in a 4 day/5 night professional development program conducted by experienced staff in China. The CIEE Shanghai Office has the history, staff, and knowledge to help you prepare for a successful teaching position in China.
Our proprietary curriculum focuses on intercultural communication, practical knowledge about China, and how to apply your skills during your Teach in China experience and beyond.

During this week, you will get to know the staff well and build a relationship with the support network that is available to you throughout your time in China. We have dedicated support staff that act as a liaison between you and your school to help facilitate intercultural communication. Dedicated Teach in China staff are there to help you work your way through cultural issues, and can even provide travel advice for your weekend destinations. Most importantly, in case of emergency, the team is there to help.

The staff in Shanghai is only part of it—wait until you meet your fellow teachers from all parts of the English speaking world—all embarking on similar adventures at your side. During the week, relationships are forged, travel plans made, and visits promised. You will leave for your teaching placement with connections throughout China!

Orientation Highlights

Airport pick up on designated arrival date and time in Bangkok
Classes on TEFL theory and practice, language training, and local culture
Accommodations at a clean, friendly hotel and most meals
Sightseeing trips
Transportation from orientation to your host institution
Mandarin LessonClasses on TEFL theory and practice, language training, and local culture

√ Intercultural training, personal development and problem-solving seminars

*The orientation will provide you with survival Mandarin language lessons. Lessons will be geared toward beginner and intermediate-level speakers. Once you leave and integrate into the community of your new school, you will be able to provide yourself with ample opportunity to learn Chinese.



  • 5 Month Programme: £990
  • £175 Deposit required at time of application
  • Pariticipants are responsible for organising their own flights and insurance - you can do this through our preferred partners here
  • 10 Month Programme: £950
  • £175 Deposit required at time of application
  • Pariticipants are responsible for organising their own flights and insurance - you can do this through our preferred partners here

What's Included?

• Placement in a Chinese school, college or university
• Airport transfer and Free accommodation provided by the Host institution
• Good local salary (
see salary above)
• Week-long residential training and orientation session in Shanghai before teaching starts
• On-going support and 24/7 emergency help from our Chinese partner, CIEE Study Centers
• TEFL qualification upon completion of the contract


Participants are responsible for organising their own travel to and from China.
We recommend our Travel Team for the best deals.

Dates and Deadlines

There are two departure dates each year for Teach in China:


Departure: February - soon after Chinese New Year
Deadline for Applications: 15 December
Orientation in Shanghai: Participants must arrive in Shanghai for the start of the orientation


Departure: Mid/ late August
Deadline for Applications:15 June
Orientation in Shanghai: Participants must arrive in Shanghai for the start of the orientation

Getting the Visa

Working legally in China is one of the most important aspects of teaching English in China.
Pre-departure, our team guides you through the necessary steps and paperwork to obtain either a “Z visa” or an “F visa”. The visa work is simple for you because we obtain all of the contracts and paperwork from your Chinese host school for you. You will complete two to three brief forms, and send them with your passport and Chinese work documents to the Chinese Embassy.
Your processed passport will be returned to you before you depart, in some cases JUST before you depart for China*.

After your arrival at school, your institution will coordinate all legal documentation associated with working in China and assist with obtaining this paperwork which will be your work permit. Staying legal in China is very important!

Having a “Z visa” or an “F visa” is the key to a successful time working in China. It allows you to register with local officials in China for maximum safety and assistance on your trip. All participants work in China on a “Z visa” or “F visa”. Which type of visa (Z or F) you will need to apply for is determined by your school in China. Local CIEE staff will communicate with your school to obtain the necessary paperwork and then send this on to us in the UK. We work with you to complete the visa application process.
CIEE in-country staff will update you on what you need to do to maintain your visa status while in China and what you need to do if you exit and re-enter.

*Note: Due to Chinese visa processing restraints, it will be necessary for you to submit your passport and supporting documents for processing approximately six weeks prior to the programme start date. You should not have plans to use your passport between this date and your departure for China.
There are times when the visa process will seem, by Western standards, to be very “last minute.” Consider this to be part of the experience and welcome to Chinese time!


To start the application process just get in touch with the team and we'll get things moving for you. We're also there to answer any questions you may have before during and after the process!

Fill out my online form.

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IST Plus was formed in 2003. Since then we have worked with thousands of students and young people from all over the world to help and guide them on their international journeys.
We work with partners across the globe to provide the best service possible.


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International: +44 (20) 7788 7877


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