Teach In China

TEFL Included - $1,100 value
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The safety of CIEE participants is our highest priority, and all of our decisions reflect that commitment to participant safety. Due to the recent and ongoing Corona-19 virus, CIEE Teach Abroad has only suspended its Teach in China programs for the Spring 2020 term. After careful consideration, and in the absence of any specific change in conditions, we will continue to offer our programs as planned in all other locations. Learn more

Teach English for one or two semesters and experience Chinese heritage and culture firsthand.

Placements are available at reputable schools in urban and suburban areas in southern and eastern China. Would you rather teach young children nursery rhymes in English, or have deeper discussions with university students? Let us know your preferences and we will find a school that is a good fit for you.  Pay is competitive and housing is provided - meaning that your salary will go a long way in China! Whether you’re a recent grad or not-so-recent, getting to know the Chinese people will be the experience of a lifetime.

Want to add a Chinese language course to your teaching program? Consider Teach in China Immersion, available each fall.

Term Start Date Deadline Duration Compensation
Spring 2021 February/ March July 1 One semester (5-6 months), or two semesters (10-12 months) 7,000-18,000 CNY (approx. $1000-2,650)/month plus housing
Fall 2020 August/ September March 1 Chongqing Only*

One semester (5-6 months), or two semesters (10-12 months)

7,000-18,000 CNY (approx. $1000-2,650)/month plus housing

*If you already have a TEFL certificate or an education degree, you can still apply for Fall 2020 Shanghai jobs with our China Basics program. If not, there isn’t enough time to get a TEFL certificate for that location and start date.

About Our Program Fees

CIEE, a non-profit organization, has been sending university graduates abroad to teach English since 1997. Our program in China includes CIEE’s online TEFL certification, orientation on arrival, and a high level of support throughout your experience (see all features below). To cover those costs, there is a program fee of $1,900. Once we accept your application, there is a $1,000 deposit to reserve your spot and start your TEFL training. The second and final payment ($900) is due a few months later after you accept a job offer from a Chinese school. CIEE alumni receive a 10% discount!




What's included

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What's included

  • Placement at a reputable Chinese school or university
  • Enrollment in a CIEE 150-hour TEFL certification course
  • Rent-Free Furnished Apartment
  • Completion bonus to offset the cost of airfare (2 semester contracts only)
  • 7-15 days off per semester during school and national holidays
  • Pre-departure support, including an online pre-departure orientation course with lots of advice from alumni
  • Multi-day in-country orientation
  • 24-hour in-country support by CIEE staff
  • Transportation between orientation and your teaching assignment
  • Personalized, step-by-step guidance with document preparation for your visa
  • iNext international travel and emergency medical insurance

The Destination

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CIEE’s placements are concentrated in the major metropolitan areas of Shanghai, on China’s eastern coast, and Chongqing, near the center of the country.

Chongqing is both a city and a region. The central city has 10 million residents, and the region, about the size of Maine, is home to 30 million. It’s an economic powerhouse with a brand-new metro and airport, and more shopping malls and movie theaters than you can count. Enjoy spicy Sichuan cooking, visit karst canyons or ancient Buddhist caves, or relax in the hot spring retreats in the mountains around the city. Universities, private schools, and kindergartens in Chongqing are always eager to hire teachers! Read more or watch videos about Chongqing.

Shanghai was once called “the Paris of the East,” and today you’ll find vintage European architecture alongside modern skyscrapers and offices. This city of 24 million is a global financial capital, and has been a hotspot for expat living for decades. CIEE’s partner employers in Shanghai are private schools and kindergartens serving children aged 2-16.

Placements in Guangzhou, Shandong, Nanchang, and Nanjing are occasionally available, but not every season.

The Take-Aways

  • Compensation

    All teachers receive a competitive salary and rent-free furnished accommodations. Two-semester teachers receive up to 8000 CNY airfare reimbursement at end of contract.

  • Preparation

    All participants receive a premium 150-hour TEFL course, guidance with complicated visa documents, detailed pre-departure information, and an in-country orientation.

  • Assistance

    All participants receive 24/7 in-country support from CIEE staff in China, as well as international travel and emergency medical insurance with CIEE/iNext.

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Job Description

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Job Description

As a lead classroom teacher, your goal will be to improve the conversational English skills of students. Many Chinese students are more comfortable reading and writing in English than they are listening and speaking. Through creative classroom exercises and interactive games, you will give your Chinese students the confidence to use English in conversational settings.


You’ll earn a salary of 7,000-18,000 CNY (approx. $1000-2,650)/month, plus rent-free housing. If you sign up for two semesters, you will be eligible for an end-of-contract bonus of 8000 CNY. Salaries tend to be higher at private schools and kindergartens where teachers work more hours. Universities are at the lower end of the pay scale but teachers enjoy a lighter workload and a generally more relaxed work environment.

Pay is competitive, far more than what local teachers make. Expenses are very low, and your income can go a long way, leaving you with savings or funds to explore all that China has to offer!

  • Schools

    In the fast-growing Chinese economy, English is a pathway to success. Many students and young children enroll in private English centers outside their everyday public school classes, and college students are often expected to have strong English as well.

    CIEE’s partner employers in China can be grouped into three categories, with salary ranges as follows:

    Universities (Chongqing only): 7,000-8,500 CNY/mo
    Private Schools (ages 4-17): 7,000-11,000 CNY/mo
    Kindergarten/Pre-Ks (ages 1-5): 10,000-18,000 CNY/mo

  • Workload

    Jobs with younger kids have higher salaries and tend to have longer working hours. Teachers at kindergartens typically have 25-30 contact teaching hours per week. At private schools, it’s normal to have 20-30 hours of teaching time, plus extra time for lesson prep. University jobs have 18-25 teaching hours per week.


A Glimpse at the Cost of Living in China

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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 - $8.00 US)
  • Midsize city: 15-25 CNY/person ($2.50 - $4.00 US)
  • Small city: 5-10 CNY/person (80 cents - $1.60 US)

What People are Saying

  • It's undeniable that teaching abroad is a life-changing experience, but I feel uniquely supported by CIEE. The staff is made of top-notch, helpful personnel, even going beyond their Maine office.

    Abigail C. | Teach in China
  • To anyone planning to teach abroad, especially in China, it can be overwhelming and really stressful to handle the process of finding a school abroad without the help of someone who has established a relationship with the schools overseas. CIEE gave me a reassuring sense that the contract I was about to sign was trustworthy.

    Keane W. | Teach in China
  • CIEE is very well organized and helped set us up with everything. We got here with no problems and everything went smooth. It was nice to know we could ask for help if needed as well.

    Leslie T. | Teach in China
  • Helped me through every step- getting TEFL certified, placing me with a school, setting up interviews and contracts, answering and and all questions. They were great

    Matt W. | Teach in China
  • The teach abroad program in China is wonderful. Every step is fairly straight forward and CIEE staff help you with everything. This eases the transition to the new culture.

    Keli B. | Teach in China


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China’s requirements for foreign English teachers have been changing rapidly in the past few years. Although we monitor these developments closely, we are not always able to predict changes in advance. Fortunately, we have strong relationships with schools and government partners, which lets us find great placements for teachers from all backgrounds. Here’s what you’ll need to apply for our program:


  • Native English speaker
  • A bachelor’s degree in any field
  • Citizenship in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom
  • Applicants must be 60 years of age or younger to get a Chinese work permit

A TEFL certificate of at least 120 hours is now required* for virtually all ESL jobs in China, so CIEE’s flagship 150 hour online TEFL course is included in our program. We’ll help you meet this requirement between the time you apply and the time you travel to China.

*Applicants who already hold a degree in education, or who can provide signed original letters confirming 2+ years of full-time teaching experience, may opt out of the TEFL course.

TEFL Certification

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TEFL Certification

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification gives you the skills, experience, and confidence to make teaching abroad even more rewarding – both for you and those you teach. The CIEE TEFL 150-hour certification course is included in the fee for this program and ensures that you:

  • Develop an awareness of the field and practices of TEFL
  • Understand the components of English related to teaching nonnative speakers
  • Get personalized feedback from an experienced TEFL tutor
  • Can design lessons for TEFL students at a variety of levels
  • Complete 20 hours of practice teaching experience to hone your skills

Our Team

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Ready to change your life?

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