Renmibi, AKA Yuan (CNY)
- China’s attitude to westerners has softened greatly, and there are over 400 million English language students across this vast country, so demand for teachers is massive.
- Main TEFL regions
- Shanghai, Guiyang, Hangzong, Kunming, Yinchaun, Yan'an, Yanliang, Weinan, Xianyang, Lianyungang, Wuhan, Zhengzhon, Dalian, Jinan, Xian, Dandong, Shenyang, Tangshan, Beijing; and many other smaller towns and cities and rural areas.
- Types of teaching
- State and private secondary schools: General English
Colleges and universities: General English, Business English
State and private primary schools: General English, English for Younger Learners
Foreign language institutes: General English, Business English
Teacher training colleges: General English, English for Specific Purposes (ESP)
In-house company training: General English, Business English, ESP
Private tuition: General English, Business English, ESP
- This is usually provided by your employer, and you’ll share with other English teachers. The quality of accommodation can vary from very comfortable to basic, but most are of a good standard.
- Flight reimbursement
- This depends on your employer, although many schools offer a bonus on completion of a 12-month contract.
- There’s a big salary range depending on your qualifications, where you work and for how many hours per week: anywhere between US$400-1,400.
- At the lower end of this salary range, you will pay around 11% of your income as tax; at the higher end it’ll be closer to 16%.
- Cost of living
- This can be very low for those who eat local food and travel on cheap public transport or on the ubiquitous bicycles. If you live in a rural area, you may have no choice but to cook your own food, but don’t be surprised if the curious locals offer you Chinese cooking lessons!
- Potential to save money
- If you land a good job you could save US$500 or more per month, but foreign exchange in China is tightly controlled, so negotiate a clause in your contract that allows you to convert this money to your home currency.
- How much TEFL training is recommended?
- You only need a university degree to get a job, and in some workplaces you don’t even need that. However, to maximize your earnings, you’ll need a decent TEFL qualification.
- Common teaching conditions
- As conditions can vary between posts, you should negotiate your circumstances and timetable wherever possible. Expect to teach for 15-25 hours per week, but classes can be big (sometimes with over 50 students) and you should set aside time for extra-curricular commitments such as marking.