Do you have questions about what life is like teaching English in China? Don’t worry… EF English has got you covered. Read our FAQ below for some answers to the most common questions about living and teaching in China.
I can’t speak Chinese; is teaching in China for me?
Teaching in China with EF does not require you to know how to speak Chinese. This is a good opportunity for you to teach and learn at the same time. We encourage our teaching staff to learn some Mandarin if they are interested in doing so. Mandarin classes are included in your employment package.
What salary do you pay?
Salaries vary by school location and position. English teachers in our schools in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are paid 13,500RMB per month depending on placement along with a full benefits package. Please refer to our current job listings for more details on the employment package for each available position.
Will my teaching job provide me with enough money to support myself?
EF offers a competitive salary that supports a good standard of living locally. Our teachers generally find that the amount they earn from teaching in China allows them to live comfortably and gives them a stronger purchasing power than they are used to at home.
See cost of living details for China.
I don’t know if I’m qualified. Can anybody teach in China?
We only consider candidates with the following qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree
- TEFL Certification (EF can provide you with a free TEFL certification if you don’t have one)
- No criminal record
- Passport holder from the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa (due to China visa regulations)
We do not consider applications from candidates who do not meet all four of these minimum requirements for our schools.
How will I find a place to live?
We will help you find appropriate accommodation in a convenient location. Some schools will provide housing for their teaching staff while others provide housing assistance.
How can I make friends while I am teaching in China?
In addition to your colleagues in your centre and the local community, you may meet other EF teaching staff in your local area and at various events between and among different EF centres over the academic year.
What happens if I get sick in China?
We provide comprehensive health insurance coverage for you with ERIKA™ Insurance. It will cover you in the event of sickness and injury. ERIKA™ health insurance has been specially designed for EF training positions in the country. It includes:
- Round the clock coverage
- Worldwide assistance service
- Low deductibles
What are my teaching hours?
You are contracted to work 40 hours a week, including an average of 20-25 teaching hours. Contact hours will depend on your centre and sometimes the time of the year. Some schools have summer and winter peak periods during which teachers receive only one day off per week and may be asked to teach more contact hours, but you’ll never work more than 40 hours a week. During non-peak periods you will have two consecutive days off per week and fewer contact hours.
How much holiday do I get?
You will get a minimum of ten days paid leave during your first twelve-month contract as well as 11 public holidays.
How big a class will I be teaching?
Class sizes at EF range from one-on-one private lessons to workshops of up to 25 students.
Is there a teaching dress code?
EF operates the best-in-class English language training schools in the country. There is a professional dress code we expect employees to comply with. Details of the dress code in your particular school are provided in advance of your departure to allow you time to pack accordingly.
Does EF have any other expectations?
We expect all our staff to be punctual since the classes have to adhere to a schedule and students expect to receive their full allotted instructional time. We also expect teachers to represent EF well, both inside and outside of class.
Will teaching in China with EF provide me opportunities for promotion?
Yes, teaching in China with us can be your first step towards launching a great career. We do promote our best teachers to Senior Teachers, Director of Studies or even to work in one of our 400 worldwide schools and offices.
I would like to teach English in China with EF, how do I start?
If you’re ready to start your new adventure and start teaching English in China, then the next step is to apply. Once you have filled out your online application, you can expect to hear back from one of our recruiters if you meet the criteria for teaching English in China. From there, your recruiter will answer any further questions that you have, and schedule an interview.
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