Teach In China Immersion

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

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture and language while teaching English in the exciting and culturally diverse city of Shanghai.

You will be enrolled in a beginning Mandarin Chinese course and practice your developing language skills as you navigate daily life in the city. Placements are available at private schools in Shanghai that offer competitive salaries, rent-free housing, and contract completion bonuses. The Teach in China Immersion program has one start date each year, in the fall, and all contracts are for two semesters.

For spring start dates and one-semester contracts, take a look at our Teach in China program. This will also be a better option if you need intermediate or advanced language classes - you can use the savings from the lower program fee to pay for a class or tutoring at your own skill level.

Term Start Date Deadline Duration Compensation
Fall 2 Semesters  August February 1 10 months 8,500 - 18,000 CNY (approx. $1,200-2,650)/month plus housing

About Our Program Fees

CIEE, a non-profit organization, has been sending university graduates abroad to teach English since 1997. Our Immersion program in China includes CIEE’s online TEFL certification, beginner Mandarin classes, 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 $2,900. 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 ($1,900) 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

  • Job placement at a reputable Chinese school
  • Rent-free furnished housing
  • Contract completion bonus
  • Enrollment in a beginning Mandarin Chinese course
  • CIEE's 150-hour TEFL Certification course
  • Pre-departure support, including an online pre-departure orientation with lots of advice from alumni
  • Personalized, step-by-step guidance with document preparation for your visa
  • Multi-day orientation in Shanghai
  • iNext international travel and emergency medical insurance
  • 24-hour in-country support from CIEE staff in Shanghai

The Destination

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All Teach in China Immersion participants are placed at schools in Shanghai. This city is China’s bustling financial and international center, so you’ll be able to access the best of both worlds - international shopping and cuisine as well as local Chinese culture.

The Take-Aways

  • Compensation

    Competitive salary, rent-free furnished accommodations, airfare reimbursement up to 8000 CNY at end of contract.

  • Certification

    Receive a 150 Hour TEFL certificate from CIEE, including real-world observation and practice, to meet the requirements of prospective employers.

  • Assistance

    Pre-departure guidance, international medical insurance and 24-hour worldwide assistance with CIEE iNext, in-country support from CIEE resident staff members.

Job Description

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Job Description

On the Teach in China – Immersion program, you will teach kindergarten, elementary, or middle school age children. All placements are at private English schools in Shanghai, where your students take English courses in order to supplement their regular classes in public schools. Most of your students will have likely studied English previously and your job will be to improve their conversational English skills by facilitating fun and engaging activities.


Teachers who work with older kids (ages 5-17) typically earn around 7,500 CNY/month ($1,100 USD), while teachers who work at preschools (ages 1-5) can earn anywhere from 8,500 - 18,000 CNY (approx. $1,200-2,650) per month. All teachers receive rent-free housing, which is a big deal in terms of both finances and convenience.

Pay is competitive, far more than what a local teacher makes. You can enjoy a comfortable standard of living with any of the salaries above. There is also a contract completion bonus equivalent to approximately one month’s salary that can be applied to the cost of your return airfare.

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!

  • china, classroom, students


    Placements are at private English schools and preschools in Shanghai. Your students will be young children who are enrolled in English classes to supplement their regular education and boost their language ability.

  • china, classroom, student and teacher


    Preschool contracts typically specify 26-36 hours of classroom time per week. Contracts for jobs with older students have fewer teaching hours, around 22 per week. In addition to classroom hours, you’ll need to devote time to class planning, presentations, faculty meetings, and some extracurricular activities. It’s a full-time job regardless of age group.

A Glimpse at the Cost of Living in China

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The cost of living in Shanghai is higher than in many other Chinese cities; however, if you choose traditional Chinese meals from local restaurants it is still very affordable.

A typical breakfast of baozi (steamed bun filled with meat or vegetables) and soy milk costs approximately 1.5-5 CNY, which is less than one US dollar. For lunch or dinner, a hearty meal including meat, vegetables, and rice costs between 20-50 CNY or $3-8.


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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 ensure 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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