Teach English 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 many schools in urban areas. Would you prefer to 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. With housing provided, your salary will go a long way in China!

You’ll work with enthusiastic students, 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

  • Job placement
  • Visa guidance and processing fee for your Chinese Z visa
  • Furnished housing and a completion bonus to offset the cost of airfare if you teach for two consecutive semesters at the same school
  • Pre-departure support, including a comprehensive online pre-departure course
  • iNext international insurance with 24-hour emergency assistance services for US permanent residents
  • 24-hour in-country support by CIEE staff
  • Multi-day in-country orientation
  • Survival Mandarin language lessons included in pre-departure material and during orientation
  • Transportation from orientation to your teaching assignment
  • Cultural and professional development activities
  • A Lonely Planet guidebook
  • At least several weeks of vacation for two-semester participants

Meet your students

In our Teach in China program, the profile of your students will largely depend on whether you choose to teach in a private or public school. In private schools, your students will be kindergarten to elementary aged and eager to learn English from their foreign teacher. In the fast-growing, globalized Chinese economy, English is an important pathway to success and many young children are enrolled in private English classes outside their everyday public school classes. In addition to giving your students practical language skills, you will have the opportunity to instill in your young students a love for learning languages and an understanding of other cultures.

Most placements in public schools in China are at the university level, although there are also placements at the middle and high school level. In this role, your students will have likely already studied English but their proficiency levels will vary and it is your job to increase their language skills. It is possible that you will be their first foreign teacher, so you will 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.


CIEE places teachers in a variety of urban and suburban locations in Mandarin-speaking areas across China. Get more details about Teach in China locations.

Let us know if there is a particular region of China where you would prefer to teach. While CIEE cannot guarantee placement in specific locations we do have a large network of partner schools and will do our best to match your preferences.

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.


Participants in our Teach in China program are placed in either public or private schools. Most private schools provide English language training to kindergarten and elementary aged children. Public school placements are primary at large universities where CIEE teachers are highly respected as visiting foreign professors. Some public school placements are also available at the middle school and high school levels. Most schools are in second or third-tier cities, such as Chongqing or Guangzhou.


Teaching contracts for private schools typically require 20 to 25 classroom hours per week, although your contract will likely be close to 40 hours per week. With these extra contract hours, you’ll need to devote time to lesson planning, presentations, faculty meetings, and some extracurricular activities.

Public schools typically offer a lighter workload with 16-18 classroom hours per week. Teachers will need to spend time outside of class preparing lessons and attending faculty meetings or extracurricular activities but they will still have time to learn Chinese or pursue other interests. Some past teachers have used their free time to teach their Chinese students sports, such as ultimate Frisbee and American football.


You’ll earn a net salary of 6,000-12,000 CNY a month, plus rent-free housing. If you stay for two consecutive semesters at the same school you will be eligible for a contract completion bonus equal to one or two months’ pay. Salaries tend to be higher at private schools where teachers work more hours. Public school salaries are at the lower end of the scale but teachers enjoy a lighter workload and a generally more relaxed work environment.

Pay is generous by local standards, and about twice that of a local teacher. Expenses are very low, and your income can go a long way, leaving you with savings or funds to explore 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
  • 60 years of age or younger
  • Some schools and regions in China may require TEFL certification or two years of teaching experience. CIEE strongly recommends that candidates without teaching experience sign up for our TEFL course!

To make your application stronger, highlight additional qualifications that are desirable but not required, such as:

  • Experience studying, working, or volunteering abroad
  • A degree in English or education; a master's degree in education
  • Additional teaching certification/credentials
  • Experience relevant to teaching, whether formal or informal

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:
  • February Start Date: Apply by August 1
  • August Start Date: Apply by April 1
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
  • 60 years of age or younger
  • 6,000-12,000 CNY/month
  • Rent-free housing
  • If you stay for two consecutive semesters, you're eligible for a contract completion bonus
Program Fee:


Note: ($2,300 with TEFL Certification included)

Apply Now