China is one of the most well-established countries when it comes to ESL teachers and opportunities. It's not unusual to become lost in all of what's on offer due to the sheer volume of vacancies and posts that are attracting teachers to Chinese cities. There are five cities that should be considered as a top priority:
Beijing offers something for just about everyone and their teaching preferences. Everything ranging from China's most intimate history through to the modern comforts from home can be found here. This is exactly why so many young graduates are flocking to the city and make up a significant population of ESL teachers in China.
The Great Wall is one of China's most iconic sights and well-visited tourist destinations. Fortunately, there are several different sections of the Great Wall to choose from and they include untouched ancient ruggedness through to modern restored sections. Other key locations that ESL teachers tend to take in are the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and Tiananmen Square.
Shanghai is China's commerce and financial hub, so new ESL teachers in the country will find themselves suitable for instructing the country's professional elite if business English classes are more to their liking. However, that's not to say traditional language classes and classroom-based lessons won't be available here. The city is home to over 24 million people, so there is quite literally something for everyone much like Beijing.
Shanghai arguably offers a more vibrant lifestyle and experience more appreciated by younger ESL teachers. It is one of the best Chinese cities when it comes to its nightlife and exclusive bars, clubs, and restaurants can all be found within the sprawling metropolis. The Bund is also one of China's most popular tourist destinations and is home to some of Shanghai's most prestigious buildings.
Guangzhou is a port city located on the Pearl River in close proximity to Hong Kong and Macau. Here, ESL teachers in China can expect to have a more authentic Chinese experience as the comforts from home slowly begin to disappear from sight and more distinctly Asian influences take a more prominent place within the city. That's not to say teachers will find themselves completely separated from their at-home identities. There are several supermarkets in the city that cater to foreign foods and brands, which can be found at far more competitive prices thanks to Guangzhou's excellent trading position on the waterfront. Classes here are mixed and teachers can often expect to find strong demand for young learners in addition to working adult professionals.
The Chimelong Tourist Resort is located just a short distance away from the city centre and offers an amusement park, zoo, and circus to keep teachers occupied for quite some time. It's also possible to access international travel quite readily as strong rail and air links exist between Guangzhou and other key locations in the Far East.
Shenzhen is located in the southeast of China and acts as a gateway between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. It is known as one of the main commercial centres in China and is home to one of the largest malls in the world: Luohu Commercial City. Its location in the country also makes it an excellent choice for international migrants from all areas, which allows teachers to expand their experience by providing lessons applicable to different learners from vastly different locations.
While it's held in high regard for its commercial life, Shenzhen is also home to a vibrant music scene and live music can be heard throughout the city's nightlife. For those who prefer a quieter experience, then it's also possible to capitalize on the city's excellent position near beaches and hiking trails. It is one of the warmer Chinese cities with a relatively mild winter compared to other locations in the country, so is a great choice for snowbirds.
Chongqing is a clean and modern new city that has had significant investment in recent years to bring it in line with the standards of today. Formerly antiquated tourist attractions are receiving updates and this has made the city incredible popular with Chinese locals. The word soon spread to international tourists and ESL teachers, which is why so many are starting to settle in the city.
There is a growing demand for ESL in Chongqing. Young learners and standard classroom education settings make up the strongest demands, but its location as a port city also make it a good choice for those looking for business English learners.
There has never been a better time to consider China as an ESL teaching destination. With so much available, teachers will surely find the right post for them very quickly!