The City by City Guide – What You Should Know About Teaching Abroad in China
While many foreigners often flock to famous cities in China such as Beijing or Shanghai, Chengdu has a huge potential and tons of job opportunities for ESL teachers who want to teach English abroad.
Job Requirements for Teaching English in China
To get started, you must first satisfy these minimum ESL teaching job requirements in China:
- A Bachelor’s degree
- TEFL/TESOL certificate
- A valid passport from an English-speaking country (U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa)
- For non-native ESL teachers, you can teach subjects other than English if you have proven 2 years of experience.
If it’s all too confusing and overwhelming, fill out this application form for Teaching Abroad Positions and we’ll help you find the most suitable English teaching job opportunity in China.
Beijing – The Capital of China
With the growing demand for English teachers, China is an ideal destination for teaching English abroad for many reasons. However, the country is so big that many ESL teachers have troubles deciding where they should teach English in China. The populous and exciting capital – Beijing – tops the list for some. Here’s everything you should know about teaching ESL in Beijing, China:
A Few Facts About Beijing
China’s capital city, Beijing, has a population of approximately 21.7 million people (2017). It’s not the largest city in China (Shanghai is!), but it’s among the 10 largest cities in the world. Mandarin, the official national language of China, is widely spoken in Beijing. Located in the northeast of China, Beijing has four distinct seasons: freezing cold, dry winter; hot, rainy summer; warm spring; and cool, pleasant autumn.
The average salary in Beijing, China is 246,292 Chinese Yuan, or around $36,643 annually, according to Payscale. The source also states that the average salary of ESL teachers in Beijing, China is around 132,885 Yuan, or almost $20,000 a year.
In fact, Beijing is listed among the top four first-tier cities in China. Your English teaching monthly salary range in Beijing would look like this:
- Public schools in Beijing: $1,500 – $2,500
- Language centers in Beijing: $1,800 – $2,500
- International/private schools in Beijing: $2,500 – $4,500
Why Teach English Abroad in Beijing, China
Despite being among the countries that pay the highest salaries for teaching abroad, China has a unique culture, impressive centuries-old architecture, diverse sceneries, and delicious food – all of which are most lively in its capital city, Beijing. Whether it’s the Forbidden City or The Great Wall you’re attracted to or the Peking duck and dumplings that are calling your inner foodie, there’s something for everyone in Beijing.
For once in your life, utterly immerse yourself in Beijing’s vibes and cultures, as well as the fast-moving, technology-driven lifestyle here. Forget about bringing cash or credit cards around. It’s almost too convenient to pay for anything and send friends money using the WeChat app on your phone.
Getting around Beijing is extremely easy with the convenient buses, metros and high-speed trains. And, it’s incredibly safe in Beijing (forget about the common misconception of pickpocketing here!).
Chengdu – Culinary Capital of China and the Home of Pandas
Chengdu is large and growing fast. It’s the financial and economic hub of Western China. The New Century Global Center in Chengdu is the world’s largest building by land area (18.9 million square feet). Chengdu is also a heaven for foodies and home to the adorable giant pandas. Its culture is rich with the famous Sichuan opera, a classical Chinese art form, and ancient sites such as Jinli Old Town or the Giant Buddha in Leshan.
There are many more impressive facts about Chengdu that make it an attractive destination for those who want to teach English abroad in China.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in China, has a population of over 7.8 million people. With its fast development in recent years, Chengdu has become the financial and economic hub of Western China. The city was the starting point of the famous Southern Silk Road that made exporting tea, iron, and silk from Chengdu to neighboring areas possible. Trading products from Chengdu went all the way to Myanmar, India, Bangladesh and even the Middle East. Chengdu’s also favored because of its central location and easy access to Tibet and Yunnan province in China.
Chengdu’s weather is subtropical with four distinct seasons. Winter is quite cold, and it rains a lot during the summer. The locals speak the Chengdu dialect, which is a slight variation to the mainstream Chinese language, Mandarin.
Chengdu used to be a second-tier city in China before, but has now risen to be among the “new first-tier cities”. With that said, though the average salary of an ESL teacher in Chengdu may not be quite as high as in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzen, it’s not that far off! You should get on average $1,400 to $2,300 a month as an English teacher in Chengdu. You may earn even more if you teach at prestigious private or international schools.
Why Teach English Abroad in Chengdu?
The number one reason for many ESL teachers to choose Chengdu over other major cities in China is that the cost of living in Chengdu is quite low, despite its convenient, big city life. You’re looking at around $300 to $400 per month to rent a single apartment in the city center. A person can live in Chengdu for a lot less than $1,000 per month. This is definitely not the case for living in Beijing or Shanghai, for example. Plus, offering a slower pace of life, Chengdu isn’t as overwhelming as other metropolitan areas in China.
Chengdu has a reputation for having the most delicious cuisines in China. Sichuanese food is well-known for being spicy and oily, and the smell is amazing. There are of course non-spicy food options too if you aren’t a fan of chili. You must try the spicy hot pot, Sichuan dumplings, noodles, and skewers while in Chengdu! There’s a huge number of tea houses all around Chengdu regularly filled with locals. They often play cards, Mahjong, or have conversations over a cup of freshly brewed tea.
Okay, if you aren’t sold on the food, the adorable Giant Pandas might do. Chengdu is home to the biggest Research Base of Giant Panda, where you can see the pandas up close, roaming around in nature. It’s the cutest thing to watch. Don’t believe me? Google it!
Learn more about ESL teaching job salary, benefits and the cost of living in China here >