1. Eligibility

1.1 Is a Bachelor degree mandatory to teach English in China?

Yes. It is not just a requirement from employers but also for important for the visa application.

1.2 Do I need to be a native English speaker?

Yes. In order to apply for the job and visa, the applicant needs to hold a passport from Australia, New Zealand, US, UK or Canada.

1.3 Do I need a TEFL or CELTA certificate?

This is not a mandatory requirement yet but there is a possibility that it may become one in the near future so it is highly recommended to get certified if you plan to teach English in China for more than a year.

1.4 What training do I need to teach English in China?

Once you arrive in China, training will be provided by the employer and they usually cover basic topics such as the school curriculum, basic manners, how to operate equipment, how to make contact when you are in need etc.  Private English schools and international schools tend to provide more comprehensive training than public schools or universities. Please see Pros and Cons between different schools and institutions for further information.

2. Application Process

2.1 What is the application process like?

Please see the application process page

2.2 How long does the application process take from beginning to the end?

Typically the recruitment process will be finalised within 2 – 3 weeks.

Visa applications may take up to 3 months so it strongly recommended that you apply at least 4 months before the job commencement date.

2.3 Will a formal contract be signed?

The candidate will have to sign a contract to formally accept a position in China.

Once the candidate is successful for the application, a contract will be signed between the employer and candidate. Please note, the contract is NOT between Ceyllaway and the applicant as Ceyllaway simply assists with promoting the teaching opportunity. We are not the recruiters or employers.

The term of the contract is one year (minimum requirement for Z visa). At the end of the year, you can choose to renew your contract, finish up and return home, or chat to us about other teaching opportunities in China.

Generally, a contract is made up of two parts – English and Mandarin (the Mandarin section should be a replica of the English section). You should sign and date both sections once you are happy with everything in the contract.

2.4 Who does the applicant sign the contract with?

The employment contract will be signed with the school / employer. Ceyllaway is not a party to the contract as our role is to promote English teaching opportunities and connect interested candidates to advertised positions.

2.5 How much can I earn from teaching English in China?

Pay and benefits vary between schools and is specified during the interview process with the school. A general example of a typical package is illustrated here for guidance.

2.6 How do I get a visa to teach English in China?

The employer will help to organise the visa that will allow you to work legally in China (Class Z). If, for some reason, you would like to organise the visa yourself, there is a process to follow. It is somewhat straightforward but can take up to 3 months. Below is a list of documentation you need to prepare for the visa application:

  • Completed visa application form
  • Degree certificate
  • TEFL or CELTA certificate (if applicable)
  • Criminal record check
  • Medical check (if applicable)
  • Current passport
  • Passport-style photos
  • Resume (if applicable)
  • Reference letter (if applicable)

2.7 Do I need to be pay you anything to apply for teaching opportunities in China?

No. Our service is free to job seekers 😉

3. Living in China

3.1  Cost of living in China

With most ESL teacher’s salaries, you can expect to put away a good amount of money while working in China as the cost of living is relatively lower than most western countries. Of course, the cost of living varies between the metropolitan cities and the countryside. However, looking at the average cost of living in Beijing can give you a good idea of the cost of living in most places you would likely work.

Keep in mind that food and housing tend to be more expensive in densely populated cities like Shanghai. Rent is usually included in your teaching contract and you can typically expect to eat lunch at your school, which will save you some cash each month.

Cost of living in China3.2 What are schools like in China?

Public schools in China have basic facilities, classroom equipment and aids. Their campuses can be enormous due to the large number of students enrolled. Private schools in China usually have better facilities, equipment and aids. The schools are smaller and there are fewer students.

3.3 Will there be opportunities for promotion for this English teaching career in China?

Promotion opportunities are mostly available in the private school system. If you perform well and wish to stay for more than a year, you could be promoted to a role such as senior teacher, assistant director of studies or director of studies.

3.4 Is China safe?

China is relatively safer compared to most major cities in western countries. While crimes against foreigners is especially rare, you do still need to exercise a reasonable level of caution when in a foreign country. Below are some general safety precautions:

  • Keep your valuables and money safe
  • Try avoid walking alone at night on empty streets
  • Learn some basic Chinese such as “Do you know how to go to…” and “Can you help me please…” to help yourself find directions or support
  • Memorise the number for the Chinese Police and save it in your contact (110)

3.5 Who do I speak to if I have a personal or work related problem?

Typically each school will have a foreign teacher liaison officer and they should be the first point of contact. We recommend you to clarify this during the interview process with the employer if you  are concerned about this.