China is vast and ancient country located on the eastern and northern reaches of the Asian continent. It is the most populous country in the world with 1.38 billion citizens, and as of 2010, the communist nation is also the second largest economy in the world. Measuring approximately 3.7 million square miles in size (about 39 times larger than the UK), China boasts of gorgeous and diverse landscapes encompassing icy mountain ranges to fertile grassland and humid deserts and steppes. With a history that spans over 4,000 years, China is a country with a strong cultural identity.
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Teaching job opportunities in China comes by the truckload owing to the rapid growth of the country’s upper middle class. This is especially true for English teachers. As such, it is exceptionally easy to find teaching gigs in China.
However, teaching in China is not all roses. Chinese schools are notorious for renegading on contracts, particularly smaller schools. There are cases where schools or language centres stop paying for accommodation after a few months, slashing allowances or even increasing the number of classes to be taught.
A good rule of thumb to protect yourself is to avoid schools which has no existing foreign teacher. If you see or know of another teacher at the school, make sure you talk to them first before accepting a job offer. However, the situation is much more stable and reliable in international schools, private schools or colleges.
For school teachers, you will usually be tasked with teaching a rotating class of around 50 students. The good news is, Chinese culture demands absolute obedience to teachers, so your students will show you a tremendous level of respect.
China has quite low requirements for English teachers. Even non-graduates without any English as a second language certificate can apply for teaching positions in many schools and language centres. However, a Bachelor’s degree is required when applying for jobs in private schools and colleges.
• A native English speaker
• A BA in any subject
• Accredited TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification
• Minimum two-year experience (not necessarily in teaching)
• Age less than 55
Salaries for foreign teachers vary considerably depending on location, employer, and qualifications. However, as a general rule of thumb, non-graduate teachers will earn around ¥6,000 (£673) to ¥10,000 (£1,123) a month, while BA holders averages at around ¥15,000 a month (£1,685).
Fringe benefits will typically include paid accommodation or housing allowance, airfare reimbursement (twice a year) and contract completion bonus.
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