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Chinese government to teach Chinese abroad, Teach and Learn in China, Teaching English in China
By: Justin P. Pare’ (justin) 2012.06.20

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It is no secret that to teach English in China has long been one of the world’s most intriguing places.  From the days of Marco Polo into modern times, traders, adventurers, and scholars have been drawn to China's vast culture, history, resources, and markets. But it is not just adventurers and merchants that have flocked to China since it re-opened itself to the world over 30 years ago.  Today, students, and recent graduates have come to the realization that living and working in China is not only an incredible opportunity to see the world and experience a different way of life, but is also a great way to open the door to many more opportunities for success in the future.

For travelers who are searching for an in-depth, educational, adventurous, and even life-changing experience, teaching English in China is definitely the way to go. As a foreign teacher, you will have the ability to travel independently and visit areas outside of those that the Chinese government would like you to see.  You will be able to witness firsthand the differences between China’s new rich, and its struggling peasantry.  A 5-star hotel, visible for miles around, may be hiding an ancient village that continues to live same traditional way of life in which they have lived for centuries.  Rich, poor, old, new- all thrown together in a volatile, exciting, and intellectually stimulating mix that offers an experience unlike anything that can be found in the western world.

If you are interested in learning how to speak, read, and write Chinese, then teaching in China is quite possibly a better vehicle towards accomplishing this goal than studying abroad for a semester.  Chinese classes, taught by a teacher with a MA degree or higher, can be purchased at a rate of around $2.00 per hour.  Compare that to the thousands of dollars spent on tuition for college sponsored semester abroad programs!  It is very convenient for teachers to balance their own Chinese lessons with their workload, because they can schedule the lessons in between their own classes.  Most teachers work 2-6 hours per day, 4-5 days per week, so there is plenty of time left over for studying Chinese or whatever other extracurricular activities tickle your fancy!

For people interested in a career in education, teaching English in China is a wonderful way to gain valuable classroom experience.  The language barrier can be difficult, and teachers must use their creativity to find new and interesting ways to reach their students.  Teaching in China is an excellent way to develop a teaching style and methodology while gaining experience teaching those of a different culture and background.


Experience and Survive: Tips for living in China

Eat Up!

Each region of China has its own unique dishes. No matter where your travels in China may take you, be sure to sample the local cuisine.  Some will be wonderful, others not so much, but you never know until you try. Some meals can seem quite, well, exotic to a person accustomed to a western diet.  Expect to see cow intestines, caterpillars, chicken claws, fried fish heads, and other food stuffs that you never imagined you would see on a plate.  Keep an open mind, and try them all.  You will be surprised by how good it all tastes!

Drink Up!

At many dinners you will be given the choice of drinking beer, wine, water, cola, tea, or Chinese white liquor (bai jiu).  Bai jiu is a traditional drink, and is very strong.  If you can handle your liquor, and want to wine and dine like a true Chinese, then go with the flow and indulge!  Warning: the amount of bai jiu that a man can drink at one sitting is a matter of pride for many Chinese.  If you do choose to drink bai jiu, you may be opening yourself to drinking a lot.  Just be careful, and if you are in unfamiliar surroundings, it may be best to avoid bai jiu altogether.

Live  frugally

The base salary for a foreign teacher in China is a less-than-jaw-dropping $400-$500 /month.  Clearly, this is not the highest paying job in the world, but the benefits are fantastic!  Further, with the cost of living in most Chinese cities dramatically lower than in The States, your salary is more than adequate to live and travel quite comfortably.

Don’t over pack

To say that there are a lot of people in China is an understatement.  When you are traveling on a train, or a bus, or are out in any other heavily frequented public spaces, it is terribly difficult to find room to maneuver.  People are pushing, pulling, and it can be very chaotic.  Having a huge suitcase, or even 2 of them, in this type of situation is not recommended!  Pack lightly, but intelligently.

Have Patience

Perhaps the most valuable piece of advice I can give to prospective teachers has nothing at all to do with an actual item to take on your trip.  The most important thing you can bring is inside of you already.  Patience- and lots of it.

Size Maters

If you are a man with a shoe size 10 or higher, or a woman with a shoe size 7 or higher, don’t anticipate being able to find footwear readily available in your sizes.  Long sleeve shirts, suits, underwear, and other clothes are also difficult to find in larger sizes, so be prepared.

Justin P. Pare’ is the founder and president of Teach Abroad, Inc.. He created Teach Abroad, Inc. with the goal of giving potential teachers an honest, professional, and organized service in an industry that was severely lacking both. Please visit for more information.


Lowdown: How to get to China

Teach Abroad, Inc. is the leader in international educational placements for China. They offer opportunities for qualified candidates to teach, study, and travel in China. For more information about teaching in China with Teach Abroad Inc., or to learn more about this summer’s new Explore! Beijing 3-week Tour and Study Program, visit, or send your resume to

China Study Abroad has programs in 13 cities and over 25 universities and academies. They offer programs ranging from Mandarin immersion to martial arts. If you want to go to china to study, or just to learn the language, China Study Abroad is a great place to start! They have internships, business classes and volunteer programs available all over china.

English First recruits year-round and almost always has positions available in China. All of their teaching positions include flight reimbursement, free accommodation, and free medical insurance. offers a detailed list of companies with TEFL certification programs and teaching job placements in China and elsewhere.  Check out their website for more info.

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