Frequently Asked Questions To Help You

Eligibility to teach in China

You need a Bachelor’s Degree in any Major and a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate.

You are not expected to know how to teach on arrival in China, you will receive training in your first week. We will also always be available via WeChat and WhatsApp if you need any help.

We encourage this! We try our best to place friends or family members near each other.
This is definitely possible. A little more complicated, but we are able to assist.
The legal upper age limit is 60, however most people over the age of 40 don’t have the freedom, the desire, the mind-set or the energy to relocate to a new country and we thus advise that people over 45 don’t apply.

There are numerous online 120h TEFL courses available. You can do our affordable 120h online TEFL course  or search for the most affordable course online. Just make sure the website is not a scam and that the TEFL course is internationally recognised.

Please note, you don’t need a TEFL course higher than 120 hours. This certificate is just used to obtain a visa for China, schools don’t care.

Also, don’t do expensive face-to-face TEFL courses. They are unnecessary because the way they teach you is not how you would perform in an actual class and you will be trained at the school you signed a contract with.

Here at Teach And TEFL we have competitions where you can win a free course and promotional days where you can receive a discount. Just follow our social media pages to stay up-to-date.
No, your university qualification in education is enough.

CELTA stands for Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults. It’s an internationally recognized teaching qualification. It takes about a month to complete full-time, making it more comprehensive than a TEFL or TESOL course. While it’s a great certificate to have under your belt, you don’t need it for China. TEFL or TESOL are both sufficient and cost a lot less too.

What it's like in China

To summarize this in short China is:

Safe – no guns and surveillance is everywhere.
Convenient – anything can be bought online and delivered to your door.
Easy to get around – trains, bike taxi’s, car taxi’s and bicycles are all affordable.
Nightlife – clubs and bars can be found everywhere.

Surveillance is everywhere and as such crime is at a minimum. The general public is also not allowed to own guns in China and as such violent crime almost doesn’t exist.

Go have a look at this BBC video and you will see that there are security cameras EVERYWHERE in China.  The chances of something happening to you are almost zero.

Yes, China is extremely convenient.  We use our phones to do everything here.  We don’t need cars, and if we really need to talk to a local, we use a translating app on our phones. Here are a few more links to show you how technologically advanced this country is:

Most teachers will live in close proximity to their schools, so walking and cycling will be the preferred method of getting to and from work. However, if a school is a bit further away the metro systems are extremely convenient.

Teacher housing in China is comfortable and has everything you need: bed, table, chairs or couch, TV, fridge, toasting oven, shower and washing machine. Apartments are either one or two bedrooms, and in most cases you’ll live on your own.

Chinese food is delicious! Each region of China is famous for its own special dishes. The food is quite different to the Hong Kong-style Chinese food you might be used to in your own country.

Local food is cheap! If you choose to shop at a western-style supermarket, like Carrefour or Walmart. Alternatively, you may opt to pick up your groceries at a local market. Most teachers opt for the convenience of stopping at the myriad of cheap Chinese restaurants available in every direction you care to go. For the less adventurous: there is an over-abundance of KFC, Starbucks, Burger King and McDonalds in every city.

Chinese students are enthusiastic and eager to do well. Young students can be very excitable and one of your biggest challenges will be taking control of the classroom and managing their behaviour. You’ll have the opposite challenge with older students and adults – the challenge will be getting them to speak!

If you need any additional help after you finished training at your school you are welcome to contact us. It’s easy to teach students in China if you are open minded and remember to enjoy yourself in class.

The options are kindergarten, primary school, middle school, high school, university and private/training center. If you’re a qualified teacher in your own country, there will be more opportunities and you could even work in an international school.

Absolutely! In fact, schools prefer you not knowing any Mandarin as they want you to speak English 100% of the time.

New vocabulary is taught with the aid of flashcards and basic grammar is taught through drills, games, rhymes and songs.

You will also have a Mandarin-speaking assistant present and she will translate if it is really needed.

There’s an estimated 400 million people learning English in China at any one time. At important locations like an airport the staff can speak English. When you are in a situation where the person doesn’t understand English you can just use a translating app like Dear Translate.

As a teacher, the cost of living in China is quite low. It’s only expensive if you consistently eat at Western restaurants or always party at night clubs.

Accommodation and internet are included in your contract, your only expenses will be the electric bill, food, public transport and your phone plan which is ridiculously affordable. If you eat the local food you will have a lot of money left over.

Your teaching contract in China

Each teaching contract in China is different. The most important things to look out for in your contract are your working hours, salary and entitlements (like holiday pay).
You get an end of the year bonus. You can choose to renew it, apply to work at a new school/location or finish up and return home.
All contracts are 1 year long. In rare circumstances if you push the school for a higher salary they will let you sign a 2 year contract.
In the rare case that you must break contract and return home, you must leave China immediately per the rules of your working visa.

It all depends on the following:

  • The ‘Tier’ city you want to go teach in learn more
  • If you have any teaching experience
  • If you have a bachelor’s degree or higher in education
  • What type of school you are interested in

Preparing for China

To allow time to prepare the paperwork and get your Z (work) visa, you should allow at least 3 months or 2 months with our fast document services before your start date.
The process you need to follow to get your work visa for China is relatively straightforward but it can take time, so you should start as soon as you can. We will send you the steps once you apply on our website.
Yes, let us know if you get stuck. If you don’t want much involvement in the visa process, we can put you in touch with a visa agent who can do the legwork. Just let us know.

After you applied we will give you a complete packing and to-do list.

Your career in China

Both! Some teachers go to China for one year only, while others renew their contract or change schools and stay much longer. Whether you stay for one year or longer, when you return home you will have had an amazing experience and a fat bank account if you didn’t live like a king 24/7.

Once you arrive in China, you will receive basic training on things like where classrooms and various facilities are located, and how to operate any equipment in the classroom. Training is more thorough in private/training centers because people with no teaching experience and a degree not in education will always be placed in these schools.

Promotion opportunities are mostly available in the private school system. If you perform well and wish to stay for more than a year, you could be promoted to a role such as senior teacher, assistant director of studies or director of studies.

On the job in China

You’ll be teaching oral English, because the focus of the local teachers is usually on writing and grammar. If you have experience teaching particular subjects, such as science or maths, then you can apply to teach in a specialist area outside of oral English.

Each school’s equipment varies. In the public school system, a chalkboard and TV may be the only equipment available. You’ll therefore need to improvise and create fun and engaging lessons with lots of games and activities. In the private school system, equipment is usually a lot better. You may have an interactive whiteboard, iPad and other multimedia devices.

In the public school system, you will have to prepare your own lesson plans. In the private school system, schools have set lessons for the whole year.

This depends on the level you wish to teach. You can teach kindergarten-age students right up to adults.

For people without any teaching experience we will always recommend you to teach at a private/training center where the age of the students are 4-12 years and where the class size varies between 4-10 students.

Your support network in China

Yes if you teach in a kindergarten or in a private/training center. However, you generally won’t have one if you teach in a public school.

Generally, yes. Most schools we work with have placed foreign teachers before and employ more than one at a time.

Yes, other teachers in your school will always help because they were also new. You can also contact your consultant who helped you come to China as we offer lifetime support.

The application and recruitment process to teach in China

Applications are accepted throughout the year. If you want to work in the public school system, you should apply no later than three months before the semester starts to allow for visa processing. That means you should apply by June for a Semester 1 (in September) or by November for a Semester 2 (in February).

It depends on the kind of experience you’re looking for. Schools on the east coast generally have the best conditions and salaries, though the cost of living is higher. If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience in China, consider a smaller city or less densely populated province.

We always ask a teacher what is most important for them e.g. salary, type of school, working hours or social activities. Based on these answers we will steer them to suitable cities.

Our recruitment process is straightforward. If you meet the requirements to teach in China, you can submit an application. You’ll have a video chat with us over WhatsApp. Once we have your documents, self-introduction video and asked you a few questions we will send you to the right recruiter based on your needs e.g. salary, school type and location.

Our partner will then arrange an interview with a school and once you passed the interview the school will send you a contract. If you are happy with the contract you will sign it and send it back.

After that our partner will make sure your documents are ready for your Visa and you can check our to-do list to make sure all your affairs are in order.

No, our recruiting service is free. The school pays us a once of commission for helping them find you.

Other frequently asked questions

Some foreign apps like Google and Facebook are blocked in China. You and the person you want to talk to must install the following free apps, WeChat and/or DingTalk. Then you will be able to send them messages and do voice-and-video calls.

Without a VPN WhatsApp messages go through 80% of the time and if you have the best VPN (Astrill) then calls will still be laggy.

Here at Teach And TEFL we pride ourselves on being honest and open and therefore we have the following policies in place in order to ensure that our teachers are safe.

a. We never ask you for one single cent or take a cut from your salary at any point.
b. Our company is also registered in SA (Enterprise Number: 2020/468584/07).
c. You sign a contract directly with your employer and not with us.
d. Your employer pays your salary.
e. We will not let you be employed in China without having the correct Z (work) visa.

If you have more questions, please ask one of our consultants in the video call arranged after you applied.