3 Tips To Teach English In China In 2019.

Updated: May 7, 2019

Have you dreamt of teaching in China and traveling around Asia?

Well I have....and I DID!

My first introduction to the TEFL industry was in China, and to be honest, I was blown away!

Coming from South Africa, I was amazed at how advanced China was. You can use your smartphone for anything; paying, booking, ordering and the list goes on. That was just one of the things that blew my mind.

The most significant mind blowing moment, was being introduced to my new English school.

I started working as a new teacher for the 5th EF Education First school in Chengdu.

My team in Chengdu China with EF English First

As a fresh TEFL graduate I was a little nervous at being thrown into a brand new school.

But, as the saying goes, you either sink or learn to swim, fast. And boy did i swim!!

So you must be wondering how I did it?

Well to be honest, it's quite easy if you are dedicated to achieving your goal.

Here's how you can do it:

1) Get A TEFL Certificate

The first thing I did in 2014 was get my 120 Hour TEFL certificate with BridgeTEFL.

A TEFL certificate is a "Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certificate".

This qualifies you and trains you in ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching methods, planning and organisation.

Along with this certificate, the tutors often will suggest places to work and will sometimes even go as far as helping to place in jobs around the world. This depends on your TEFL provider and course.

This course also really prepares you for the classroom and how to deal with students so you feel prepared in your first class.

Another reason a TEFL certificate is important for China, is that one of the requirements for a work permit to be a foreign teacher in China is a TEFL certificate.

Click here for more info about TEFLOpportunity's affiliate TEFL courses.

The next thing I did was;

2) Contact Schools and Language Centers.

There are many ways you can get hired to teach English in China after you have completed your TEFL course.

There are generally 3 approaches to getting a TEFL job in China.

  • You can go through a recruitment agency like Gold Star Recruitment. They offer teacher placement services and job sourcing for you and will help send your CV to relevant employers looking for teachers. Gold Star have an excellent network in China and can easily find a job suitable for you. To visit their website click here

  • You can also reach out to your own network of friends, or friends of friends and ask them if they of any vacancies. by doing this, you are tapping directly into the teaching market and skipping agency fees. This method worked for me in finding a job in Hanoi, Vietnam.

  • The third, and my personal favourite, is to contact schools and language centers directly. This means that you find schools offering openings at their school and language. You craft and email, cover letter and spice up your CV to be attractive for ESL employers. (*Tip; Get someone to translate your CV into Chinese as well so you can send both copies to your recruiter) Then you simply start contact 10-20-50-100 schools and language centers. But by doing this you can fine tune your choices and have a selection of at least 3 guaranteed jobs in China.

Once you have started to contact potential employers in China, and received feedback, it's time to decide which job suits your lifestyle best.

Click here to visit our job board.

After choosing your ideal job placement it's time to;

3) Get Your Ducks In Order

Now is the time to start getting your ducks in a row and in order.

This means, ensuring you have all the necessary paperwork to legally work as an English teacher in China.

The basic requirements to teach English in China in 2019 are:

  • A Bachelors Degree (in any field)

  • A TEFL Certificate (100 hours or more is the standard for reputable companies)

  • Some teaching experience (depends on the school)

There are some other documents and things to also consider.

Many companies will bring you over on a Z visa (work permit) which only lasts 1 month. During this one month, the Z visa will be converted in a Residence permit allowing you to travel freely in and out of China for the duration of your working contract.

Another option, is to apply for a business visa, and fly into in China. Once there, you will have to do a visa run (leave the country quickly and come back) to convert your visa to a work permit and then residence permit.

Hong Kong is a popular destination for visa runs for expats in China.


All in all, finding a TEFL job in China can be quite easy if you are dedicated and put in the effort and time to find your dream job.

There are 500 million students who require an English teacher. The demand is incredibly high and is on the rise! So take advantage of this opportunity to earn great cash and travel around Asia.

I did, and have not stopped since 2014...

So if you are interested in getting TEFL qualified and teaching in China, take a look at TEFLOpportunity's suggested TEFL courses right here.

Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Or LinkedIn