Program Overview

The Teach in China program is ideal for first-time teachers, and offers one- or two-semester options. Placements are available in Mandarin-speaking regions all around China, with many schools in urban and suburban areas. One-semester placements are limited, as most schools want to hire a teacher for two consecutive semesters. You’ll work with enthusiastic students from primary school through university, giving you opportunities to share cultural awareness and language skills in a rewarding, enjoyable environment.

As a highly valued foreign teacher, you’ll promote an exchange of cultures with Chinese students, teachers, and the greater community. At the same time, you’ll gain a deeper awareness of and appreciation for the local people, culture, and language.

What’s included

The fee for the program covers:

  • Job placement
  • Modern, furnished accommodations
  • Pre-departure support, including visa assistance
  • iNext international insurance with 24-hour emergency assistance services
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • In-country orientation
  • Survival Mandarin language lessons included in pre-departure material and during orientation
  • A Lonely Planet guidebook
  • Transportation to your teaching assignment
  • Cultural and professional development activities
  • One to two months of vacation for two-semester midyear-entry participants
  • A completion bonus equivalent to one or two months’ salary to offset the cost of return airfare if you teach for two consecutive semesters at the same school

Meet your students

In the fast-growing, globalized Chinese economy, English is an important pathway to success. You’ll be welcomed with open arms and have students who want to find out all they can – not only about English, but about Western culture as well. With so much to learn from one another, classes will be something you look forward to every day.

CIEE places teachers in classrooms that range from kindergarten to college. 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 CIEE cannot guarantee that all requests will be met.


CIEE places teachers in a variety of settings and student populations. Teach in China teachers tend to be placed in urban or suburban settings. Get more details about Teach in China locations.

Job description

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


Participants are placed in private and public schools. Most schools are in urban or suburban areas, and our Immersion program includes rural placements.

Some positions are at private language academies where evening and weekend classes are taught. You’ll still have one or two days off per week if you’re placed at one of these institutions.


Teaching contracts typically require 15 to 22 classroom hours per week. In addition, you’ll need to devote time to class planning, presentations, faculty meetings, and some extracurricular activities. In some cases, overtime can be negotiated, typically at a rate of 80-120 CNY/hour.


You’ll earn a net salary of 5,000-7,000 CNY a month, plus rent-free housing.

There are ways to earn additional income. Overtime may be arranged, and those with graduate degrees or significant teaching experience can earn higher rates of pay. There’s also a completion bonus to apply toward airfare if you stay for two consecutive semesters.

Pay is generous by local standards, and about twice what a local teacher makes. You can enjoy a comfortable standard of living on what you earn. Expenses are very low, and your income can go a long way, leaving you with funds to explore and experience all China has to offer!

A Glimpse at the Cost of Living in China

Breakfast (Typical Chinese breakfast: baozi [steamed bun filled with meat or vegetables], soy milk): 1.5-5 CNY (25-80 cents)

Lunch & dinner (meat, vegetables, rice):

  • Shanghai & Beijing: 20-50 CNY/person ($3.25-$8)
  • Midsize city: 15-25 CNY/person ($2.50-$4)
  • Small city: 5-10 CNY/person (80 cents-$1.60)


You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to apply, along with a few other qualifications. These, plus a sense of adventure and desire to cross cultural boundaries and engage with people eager to learn English, make you a great candidate.

CIEE looks for candidates who are independent, curious, and thrive in a changing environment. Are you self-motivated, responsible, and ready to take the plunge into a rewarding adventure? If so, start your application now!


  • Native English speaker
  • A bachelor’s degree in any field
  • Citizenship in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom

To make your application stronger, highlight additional qualifications, such as:

  • TEFL certification
  • Experience studying, working, or volunteering abroad
  • A degree in English or education; a master's degree in education is preferred
  • Additional teaching certification/credentials
  • Teaching experience preferred, but not required

Positions for highly experienced applicants (college professors, graduate students) sometimes can be secured for qualified candidates, especially in the fields of English, math, and science. Please contact CIEE for details; advanced planning is required.

Quick Info

Teach in China
Start Dates:
  • August
  • February
  • 5-6 months (for one-semester programs)
  • 10-12 months (for two-semester programs)
Application deadlines:
  • December 1: February departure
  • April 1: August departure
Eligibility requirements:
  • Native English speaker
  • Bachelor’s degree in any field
  • Citizenship in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom
  • 5,000-7,000 CNY/month
  • All China programs include housing; if you stay for two consecutive semesters, you're eligible for a completion bonus that is applied to return airfare upon completion of your contract.
Program Fee:


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