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Program Overview

Teach English in China and experience a culture very different from your own with programs that put you in the middle of the world’s oldest civilization. Add teaching experience to your resume and bring a fresh viewpoint to developing communities well off the tourist track, or dive into the bustle of a fast-growing city like Chongqing or Shanghai. The sights and variety of experiences in China are nearly as vast as the country itself.

Teach abroad in China with CIEE, and you can:

  • Be the lead teacher in your own classroom and give your Chinese students the English language skills they will need in their future careers
  • Experience China’s traditional festivals, try exotic cuisine, or find balance with early-morning tai chi lessons
  • Travel through ancient landscapes in a lush countryside of terraced rice paddies
  • Bolster your resume by gaining teaching experience and learning Chinese while you experience this fast-growing economy firsthand
  • Prepare for a globalized future by learning the distinctive styles of Chinese networking and negotiation

Understanding Your Options

CIEE offers two program choices in China:

  • Teach in China – This program is ideal for both new and experienced teachers who want to spend one or two semesters teaching English and learning about China’s rich past and present. Placements are available in reputable public and private schools in Mandarin-speaking regions all across China, with urban and rural placements available. Would you prefer to sing songs with young children 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. You can expect a monthly salary of 6,000 - 12,000 CNY per month in addition to a contract completion bonus. With housing provided, this salary can go a long way in China! Fall and Spring start dates available.
  • Teach in China – Immersion – Immerse yourself in Chinese culture and language while teaching English in Shanghai, the dynamic financial capital of China. Teachers will be enrolled in a beginning Mandarin Chinese course and they can practice their developing language skills as they navigate daily life in Shanghai. This program also includes CIEE’s 150-hour TEFL Certification course so that participants will have the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful teachers. Placements are available at private schools in Shanghai that offer competitive salaries of 7,000 - 8,000 CNY per month in addition to free housing and a contract completion bonus. This two semester program has one start date per year: around Sep 1st.


A rewarding job opportunity that includes:

  • Pre-departure school placement and negotiated work contract
  • Competitive salary comparable to that of a full Chinese professor, plus:
    • Potential for higher rates of pay for teachers with TEFL certification
    • Completion bonuses (usually equal to one to two month’s pay) if you teach for two consecutive semesters
  • Rent-free accommodations with basic amenities

Teaching programs that deliver more, including:

  • Teaching and program guides to help you plan and prepare
  • An online, blended-learning CIEE course that prepares you with skills you’ll use in China and throughout your career
  • In-country orientation, including:
    • Cross-cultural training and problem-solving seminars
    • Classes on TEFL theory and practice
    • Survival Mandarin language lessons for all, plus additional language classes on the Immersion program
    • Sightseeing trips and cultural performances
    • Accommodations and most meals
    • Networking opportunities with fellow teachers
  • Dedicated in-country staff members who act as liaisons with your school
  • A pre-departure TEFL certification course (Note: TEFL certification is not required for all Teach in China participants, but some local governments in China require TEFL certification to grant visas.)

Assistance to make your journey easier, including:

  • Pre-departure guidance to help you:
    • Find the right program
    • Apply online
    • Complete official visa paperwork
    • Prepare for your experience with valuable professional development
  • A program guide and handbook
  • Airport transfer and transportation from orientation to your host institution
  • International medical insurance and 24-hour worldwide assistance with CIEE iNext
  • 24-hour in-country support from CIEE resident staff members


While internationally known cities like Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Chongqing are sure to draw your attention, you’ll want to discover the cultural treasures just outside your door in the provinces where you’ll be working. CIEE places teachers primarily in urban and suburban settings across China. While Teach in China Immersion participants are placed exclusively in Shanghai, teachers on the Teach in China program are primarily placed in second- and third-tier cities.

CIEE places participants in Mandarin-speaking provinces and large cities across China, including but not limited to:

  • Chongqing
  • Shanghai
  • Chengdu
  • Guangzhou
  • Hebei
  • Jiangsu
  • Jiangxi
  • Shandong

CIEE does not place teachers in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Tibet, or rural western China.

Preparation and Support

The CIEE difference clearly can be seen in the quality of our offerings and the diversity of the cultural exchange opportunities we provide. Our unmatched preparation and comprehensive support are designed carefully to make your journey easy, enjoyable, and successful.

Your CIEE program fee covers all the essentials, including:

  • Confirmation of your teaching assignment before you depart
  • Assistance getting ready to go, including an online pre-departure course
  • An in-country orientation program
  • Complete pre-departure and in-country support while on the program
  • iNext international insurance with 24-hour emergency assistance services
  • Visa advice and the cost to process your Z visa
  • A program handbook

Before you leave

We want to make sure you have everything you need to teach abroad, from visa guidance to details about your job, and sound advice on how to settle into your new teaching position.

Enrollment in a Teach Abroad program includes an online course designed to help you build a framework of practical, cultural, and professional skills. You also can call us with any questions – our knowledgeable staff is ready to help.

Before you leave, CIEE will guide you through the necessary steps and paperwork to obtain the correct visa, including obtaining the paperwork needed from your host school in China. You’ll need to complete part of the visa application, and send requested forms and supporting documents with your passport and Chinese work documents to our visa processing agent. CIEE will cover the fee to get your visa processed and sent back to you, and you'll have your visa in hand before you depart for China.

When you arrive at your 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.

CIEE staff members will communicate with your school and then work with you to complete the visa application process. CIEE in-country staff members will update you on how to maintain your visa status while in China, and what you need to do if you exit and reenter the country.

When you arrive

CIEE understands that it can be overwhelming to land in an unfamiliar country, with an extended stay ahead. You’ll have many questions, and feel you have so much to learn. We’re here to help and to make you feel welcome!

All participants actively participate in a professional-development program led by CIEE staff upon arrival in-country. This program focuses on intercultural communication, practical knowledge about China, and how to apply your skills during your Teach in China experience and beyond.

During orientation, you’ll:

  • Get to know CIEE staff members and build relationships with the people who support you while you’re in China
  • Meet fellow CIEE teachers and make friends – sharing your experiences can make your time in China much more rewarding
  • Prepare for your post with training exercises that help make you a more effective teacher
  • Learn survival Mandarin Chinese
  • Enjoy sightseeing trips and performances that introduce you to Chinese culture


Rent-free housing is provided for the duration of your contract. Host institutions provide furnished, modern accommodations.

That’s a major benefit that adds significant value to the program and helps your earnings go a long way!

iNext travel insurance

There’s enough to think about when you travel overseas. Peace of mind is priceless, and CIEE provides it by including insurance as part of every Teach Abroad program. U.S. resident participants are covered by iNext, which supplements your private insurance to cover the cost of accidents and unplanned medical attention while abroad. The policy also offers emergency evacuation coverage with 24-hour worldwide assistance.

Learn more about iNext

TEFL certification

CIEE TEFL courses are a terrific way to get ready for your teaching adventure!

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification gives you the skills, experience, and confidence that makes this journey even more rewarding, both for you and those you teach. Our cutting-edge coursework is conducted online, so you can participate from almost anywhere.

Accredited by the World TEFL Accrediting Commission, our 150-hour TEFL certification course ensures that you:

  • Get feedback on your progress, along with fellow classmates in an interactive environment led by a single tutor
  • Develop an awareness of the field and practices of TEFL
  • Understand the components of English related to teaching of nonnative speakers
  • Can design lessons for TEFL students at a variety of levels
  • Can create appropriate lesson plans in listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  • Practice your new skills with a 20-hour teaching practicum

CIEE 150-hour certification courses begin every two weeks. Learn more.

Teach English Abroad with Confidence

Learn more

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