English First, Chengdu

Teach English in Chengdu, Easy Peasy 4

12 months

English First, Chengdu

Position: Teenage & Young Learner English Teacher

Location: Chengdu 

About the employer

EF Chengdu-teachers, students, and schools are large in number and scale. It stands out from the market with over 100 international teachers, 10000+ active students, and 13 established schools.

EF Education First Chengdu welcomes you to experience the rapidly evolving and multifaceted culture of China first hand, with the support and expertise of one of the largest English training organizations in the world. EF Education First is an international education company that specializes in language training, educational travel, academic degree programs, and cultural exchange. The company was founded in 1965 by Bertil Hult in the Swedish university town of Lund. The company is privately held by the Hult family and is headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland.

EF has approximately 37,000 staff and 500 offices and schools located in more than 50 countries.

About the job

Our entry level position is a full-time English teacher which has many opportunities for professional development as a teacher and includes different skills. Also, because we are a series of schools as well as a company, if teachers want to climb the corporate ladder there are definite opportunities to move into management positions or cross into other departments. Right now our branch is constantly expanding and is actually set to open two new centers this year. Due to this expansion we have no shortage of teaching positions opening all over the city. In light of this, the way we recruit is a bit different than traditional companies in that we do not have opening and closing dates for applications and we interview and assess candidates as individuals based on their qualifications, so it is not a competition to fill one or a few spots. Time is on your side, 4th year university students are welcome to apply for a position for after graduation.


– Training Centre

Starting Date



– Chengdu: 15 ~ 20

Got a question for English First?

City with positions opening

Main Responsibilities

  • Teaching English to kids in China aged 3 – 18 in groups of up to 16 students
  • Planning and delivering lessons to children
  • Using electronic media and EF-developed courseware to teach English efficiently and effectively
  • Evaluating student progress and providing ongoing guidance for improvement to both students and their parents
  • Assigning and evaluating out of class exercises
  • Participating in social activities with students organised by your school to encourage oral English proficiency


  • First contract salary range of 12000CNY-14000CNY per month
    This includes a 2000CNY housing allowance (we also provide a loan upon arrival to help with moving into an apartment)
  • International health insurance provided
  • Extensive and ongoing training provided
  • Welfare officer assigned to each teacher (a local Human Resources officer whose job is to help our foreign staff adjust to life in China, helping with things like finding an apartment, setting up a phone, hospital visits, etc.)
  • Commission from demo classes and 1-to-1 classes which can be up to 2500CNY a month
  • 24 days of paid leave
  • 5000CNY contract completion bonus
  • 9000CNY flight allowance (we purchase the first flight)
  • Visa cost reimbursement
  • Step by step visa assistance from our recruiters and visa officer
  • Free Chinese language courses


We’re looking for energetic, positive, creative, and patient individuals who love working with children. No experience needed.

  • Minimum education of Bachelor’s degree
  • Clear criminal background
  • Passport from South Africa (or USA, UK, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand)
  • Clear, neutral accent when speaking English
  • Outgoing personality that enjoys working with children. Our classes are mainly young learners aged 3-6.
  • Must be willing to relocate, unfortunately we do not offer remote positions


  • Work Visa
  • Airport Pickup
  • Accommodation
  • Training
  • Team Activities
  • 24/7 Life Support


English First Teachers
English First Teachers
English First Teachers
English First Teachers
English First Teachers

Directly to the employer & Average response time: < 24 hr

Best Jobs in China for Americans

Are you an American thinking about getting a job in China?

With many people seeking global opportunities, China has become a hot-spot for American professionals in many sectors. 

The chance to live somewhere new and experience a new culture while enriching your career is something you shouldn’t pass up. There are numerous opportunities to grab in China, if you just know where to look.

Plus, these jobs can be quite lucrative for Americans. If you feel like you’re stuck in your current situation or simply want to have a lifestyle change, try going somewhere by living and working in China. 

Want to do what you love or try a new career out altogether in China? Here are the 10 best job opportunities in China for Americans. 

1. Software Developer

While the tech crunch for engineering and programming is a little less in demand than it used to be, the chance for Americans to get a foothold in this sector is still very promising. 

Because the real estate boom continues in China, those with a bachelor’s in computer programming or engineering could find themselves in a top-ranking company making a 6-figure salary, just for having knowledge in the field and for speaking English.

2. Translator

It’s one the jobs in China particularly for English speakers, but it’s not enough to merely be able to waft in and out of English and Chinese with ease, though that will certainly get you work. 

The key here is to hone your skills in a certain industry, like law or marketing for example. Then you’ll be in high demand with a high paycheck to go right along with it. 

3. Marketing

Working in marketing in urban areas in China

Living in the urban sprawls of China (Shanghai, Beijing etc.), there is a massive demand for marketers who can entice foreign and non-English speakers. 

You’ll need your marketing, communications, or journalism degree and some experience in the field is certainly preferred. Good money awaits, up to $4,000 per month if you’re good enough. 

The thing to note though is that in China, few companies know the distinction between sales and marketing so you’ll likely be wearing multiple hats. They’ll be clamoring for you to help them target beyond China for upscale clientele like rich expats living in China for example. 

4. Modeling/Acting

If you have the looks, you might be just what a Chinese company is looking for. 

In China, using a foreign face for modeling or acting is highly regarded due to the e-commerce boom. 

Even if you have no experience, you might be able to find your calling in this field simply by knowing where to show up. It’s not always easy to land parts though so while you could find success, it may be awhile between gigs. 

It’s not bad though for a side hustle to complement one of the other jobs on our list. 

5. Teaching English in China

Teaching english in China and abundant job opportunties as an English teacher

By a landslide, one of the most popular ways to earn lots of money while working in China is to teach English

It’s very simple to find work because it is a field that is in high demand. Even if you’ve never taught before, you can find work teaching English in China. You only need a 4-year degree from a university in any field and to get your TEFL certificate which is easy to do. 

Teaching English in China affords many opportunities because there are so many schools, both public and private, plus tutoring opportunities and colleges. You can teach English to small, adorable children or even to businessmen eager to advance their careers. 

There are so many choices, and the pay and perks of it are even more enticing than other career options. 

6. Voice Talent

Working as a voice talent in China

Have a good, crispy voice with a flat accent? You might find your calling as a voice talent. 

You could be used for commercials or even just recording textbook exchanges, but there is potential for growth. Serious candidates should create a voice demo and get it out there.

7. Foreign Expertise

If you have other foreign experience or knowledge, especially in a particular field, you may be one of the most coveted commodities for a Chinese company. 

Having knowledge of the Western market to share along with language skills immediately opens up many doors in the business world. Some US companies will happily transfer you to their offices in China if you can be their ideal liaison. 

8. Advertising Manager

For those that are passionate, proactive, and creative, advertising is a great way to break into the working world in China. 

Experience is less important here though a drive to succeed will get you far. Because both Chinese and foreign businesses are fighting to stake a claim on the Chinese business sector, you may find your niche with a foreign ad agency that needs new talent to crush the competition. 

9. Lawyers

Working as a lawyer in China

While you’ll need to have prior jurisdiction elsewhere, carrying on your law career in China can be a fantastic career move. 

International firms often turn to those with American law degrees as well as a high-level in Chinese language. With the right experience, you’ll glean more about Chinese law and become a Foreign Representative Attorney.  

10. Beauticians 

It’s only been in recent times that the beauty culture has hit China. Beauticians from foreign lands are highly sought after because they have international training and use different methods. 

The Chinese beauty sector is always on the hunt for fresh foreign talent to help mold its industry and bring about high quality standards. 

Working in China as an Expat

With the low cost of living in China, moving from America to China to work is a great idea. If you’ve been floundering in your career, need a change of scenery, or just want to add another dimension to your experience, taking a job in China is one of the best career moves you can make!

12 Best Entry Level Jobs For Recent College Graduates

5 Best Entry Level Jobs For Recent College Graduates

University graduation is an exciting time for many young adults, but what happens if you are at this point in your life and you do not have any idea what the future holds for you? That small caveat can have you wondering if all those years in university were worthwhile.  

Thankfully, those years were well spent, because they will allow you to eventually have the job of your dreams.  If you are unsure of where you want to work, or what you want to do, after university graduation, then you must check out these best jobs for university graduates

1. Translators

working as a Translators after graduation

If you have a knack for languages and spent part of your time in university learning a second or even third language, then a translator job might be your best option upon graduation. This position may have you staying in one place, but most of the time, you will find that you are traveling to different exciting parts of the world.

The best part is that you can either work for one specific company or you can work for a translation firm and help multiple companies at the same time.  

2. Web Developers

 graduate entry level job: junior developer

Young adults are more tech savvy than the older generations, which is why you may want to consider becoming a web developer after attending university.  You can spend your days creating fabulous websites, while working on enhancing your programming and graphic design skills.

While you can work for a company doing this, there is also potential for you to branch out on your own and do some freelance work or be self-employed.  

3. Real Estate Agent

working as a real estate agent after graduation.jpg

Becoming a real estate agent is easier if you managed to take a lot of the classes when you were in university, but nothing should stop you from taking them after graduation!  As a real estate agent, you can work when your schedule allows it, although, you will earn more if you put in a forty plus hour week.

This is an excellent option if you want to help people find their dream home or if you are interested in finding a job that you can do in addition to another one. 

4. Computer Support Specialist

working as a technical customer support after graduation.jpg

You may not have the skills to develop websites after graduating from university, but you should have the skills to help others with their computer issues. Computer support specialists are becoming more popular and that demand will only continue to grow in the future. As a support specialist, you will use your knowledge to answer many questions and solve problems that many people have throughout the day. 

This position is available within many individual companies or you can choose to work in a call center environment and help numerous companies or clients each day.  

5. A Substitute Teacher Or A Teaching Assistant

graduate entry level jobs - teaching assistant

For college graduates who had majored in Music, Education, the Liberal Arts, or Computer Science can become a teaching assistant or a substitute teacher. This way, they will also see if teaching is a career they really want to get into as this is a great way to test the waters.  

Have you ever considered teaching English abroad? Panda Buddy is currently hiring for more than 300 positions in China. We carefully select our education partners to make sure they are well recognised in the industry, provide great local support (airport pickup, visa, and accommodation support) so that you can have a smooth transition to your new life in China. Apply today with Panda Buddy to get your journey started.

6. Film and Video Editors

working as a film editor after graduation.jpg

Film and videos are taking over the world, which is why you may want to jump on the bandwagon now!  This is one of the fastest growing positions and while you may love the thought of working on films, you will find that the majority of your work will be videos.  This is due to videos becoming quite popular online, as everyone seems to prefer watching content instead of reading it.

As a video editor, you can work for some major companies or you can work on your own, as you help bloggers and other online companies enhance their customers’ experiences.  

7. Technical Writers

working as a technical writer after graduation.jpg

As a regent university graduate, you may think that you never want to write another paper for the rest of your life! However, you may want to consider becoming a technical writer, because the pay is amazing!

This position is filled with opportunities to write instruction manuals, how-to guides, and many other technical documents that others will find helpful in their day-to-day lives.  Technical writers do need to do a lot of research, but the end result will be something that you can be proud of.  

8. Construction Workers

working in construction as a graduate

Getting a degree in one field doesn’t mean that you need to stick to that field once you graduate. There are so many options available to you, including as a worker in the field of construction. It is quite common for people with English or History degrees to find themselves working as construction managers within ten years of graduating.  

You will definitely not start out making tons of money as a construction worker, but as you learn the trade and get the experience, you will find yourself rising up in the ranks.  All you need is a love of working with your hands and the desire to solve any problem that comes your way quickly.

Once you have acquired both those things, as well as the ability to construct almost anything, you can then use your degree to become a construction manager or even get promoted to a higher position.  

9. Paralegals

working as a paralegal after graduation.jpg

Some people toy with the idea of continuing their education and going to law school, but then never do because they do not know if it is the right choice for them. 

If you are having these thoughts, then you may want to consider working as a paralegal after graduation. This position will allow you to learn more within the field and see if it is truly something that you would want to do for the rest of your life.  

10. Marketing Coordinators

working as a marketing coordinator as a graduate

Everyone normally takes some type of marketing class in university and that is what usually piques their interest in this field after graduation. This is definitely the position that you should consider if you love creating ideas and strategies that will allow someone to see the potential in a product and why they absolutely need to purchase it. 

Marketing coordinators work in many different areas, both in print and online, so you should have the skills to promote products in all areas. This position also requires you to multitask as you work, so be prepared to have multiple balls in the air at once, especially in the beginning when you are just learning the ropes.  

11. A Social Media Manager

working as a social media manager after graduation.jpg

This career is one that many freelancers without a university degree can do from home, but when it comes to working in social media management through in this situation. That is because their clients will come and go.

If you want to work as a social media manager at a larger company where your position will be secure, then you will need to be a university graduate with degrees in Public Relations or Communications.  

12. Administrative Assistant

 graduate entry level job: administration assistant

This role is a common one that many college graduates that have degrees in Communications, Psychology, and Business take on.

This way, those who start out as an administrative assistant can eventually move on to management roles if they were to stay working for a long time in any particular company.


These are some of the best jobs out there if you just graduated from university and are looking for a position that you will love!  You may need to start at the bottom for each of them, but they all have potential for enormous growth. This is excellent news, especially if you fall in love with the position and know that it is something that you want to do for the rest of your life! 

If you are thinking about venturing outside of your comfort zone, teaching English abroad in China will also be a great option, you get to experience a new culture, while strengthening very important skills such as communication, leadership and languages etc. 

Cost of Living in China vs. the United States

cost of living in China vs US

Living in China and the United States both have its own pros and cons, this article is going to give you a brief comparison of the cost of living in each country.

In the United States for example, you can make quite a bit of money, but a lot of it goes to pay your bills. In China, on the other hand, despite the increasing cost of living, the overall price of goods and services are still quite low compared to most western countries. This provides an opportunity for a great life style while earning a reasonable salary.

Below is a simple breakdown of the comparison between China and the USA:

ExpensesCost (in China)Cost (in USA)Monthly Cost (in ChinaMonthly Cost (in USA)
Rent$200 ~ $700$500 ~$1,000$200 ~ $700$500 ~$1,000
Food$2~$5 per meal $10 ~ $15 per meal$100 ~ $150$150 ~ $250
Transportation$,0.3~$0.5 each way (bus) $3 ~ $5 each way$30 ~ $50$100 ~$200
Utilities$50 ~ $100$250 ~ $300$50 ~ $100$250 ~$300
Total$380 ~ $1,000$1,000 ~$1,750

cost of living in China vs. US
cost of living in China vs. US

Cost of Renting

  • US: $500 – $1,000 per month
  • China: $400 – $500 per month

Rent is always one of the biggest bills that you need to pay each month. In fact, over in the USA, you probably had to put out $800 per month minimum for an apartment unless you were still living rent free with mom and dad.

In China, the rent is quite affordable. In a Tier 2 or Tier 3 city, you can get a single apartment close to the city area with as little as $300 per month; However, in a Tier 1 city, the price increase to about $500, or as much as $700.

Cost of Food 

  • US: $150 – $250 per month
  • China: $100 – $150 per month 

In the USA, food prices are continuing to rise, which means you are probably spending at least $50-$75 each week to feed yourself.  And, that is if you are not going out to eat all that often. If you choose to eat out in the US, you can easily pay $15 to $25 per meal and that’s if you don’t have a drink or choose to have only one. Those prices can be even higher depending on where you live and the restaurant that you choose.

In China, the basic grocery in incredibly cheap, and it’s possible to feed yourself with $30 or less per week! If you feel like dining out, there are a lot food options that are both cheap and delicious. A normal meal for one person will cost about $2 – $5.

Cost of Transportation

  • US: $100 – $200 per month
  • China: $30 – $50 per month

You probably had your own car to drive around in, which meant you were possibly paying for your car, the insurance, and the gas that you used each week. If you didn’t have a vehicle, you may have utilized your local bus, a taxi, or the subway. Each one of those trips would have been a few dollars each way, or more, if you were taking the taxi to further destinations.

The public transportation system is China is very advanced, and cheap. A bus ticket costs you less than a dollar (10 to 30 cents) each way, and the subway ticket is about 50 cents to 1 dollar, depending on how far you’re going. Didi (the Uber in China) is another great option if you prefer more convenience, and the price is usually double or triple the subway price, which is still quite cheap.

Cost of Utilities  

  • US: $250 – $300 per month
  • China: $50 – $100 per month

Utilities is what gets everyone’s budget each month and they include electricity, water, gas, telephone, and Wi-Fi.

In the US, all these things can add up $300 per month or more depending on where you live, how much heat or air conditioning you need to use, whether you get your water for free each month, and what type of phone and internet plan you have.

In China, you should expect to spend  approximately $100 or less for everything each month.


Above are the cost of living comparison between China and the United States in renting, food, transportation and utilities. If you’d like to see the price breakdown of specific items, you can check out the updated date from Numbeo.

Education in China: How does it work?

Education system in China

The education in China is best characterized by a strict primary & secondary education as well as a relatively flexible tertiary education. That means primary schools and secondary schools have stringent rules, whereas universities in China encourage creativity more frequently.

That being said, Chinese schools don’t really expect foreign teachers to worry about their strict rules at school.

To take a more holistic view, there are mainly four school types:

Most public schools in China offer high-quality education

Public schools in China

Unlike public schools in western countries, the majority of Chinese public schools are great places for kids to study.

In western countries such as the United States and Australia, public schools are generally for those who can’t afford to go to private schools. In contrast, a very good public school in China is for students who are academically outstanding.

Private schools are very expensive in China

Private schools in China

In fact, there aren’t many private schools in China. More specifically, private schools are for the elite in the Chinese society, but it doesn’t mean these children are better in terms of academic achievements.

Usually, it only means their rich and famous parents are too busy to look after their kids, so they send their kids to private schools where everything is taken care of.

–> Public School vs Private School: A Teacher’s Real Experience

In China, international schools are similar to western schools

International schools in China

Most international schools in China are very similar to western schools in many ways, e.g. the curriculum is more western; the methodology is also more western. That’s because students from international schools will study in western countries when they go to university.

Having said that, students’ workload in a typical international school in China is still more than students’ workload in a western school. But if you are a foreign teacher, your workload shouldn’t be affected in an international school in China.

Training institutes are the most flexible schools in China

Language institutes in China

A training institute isn’t a mainstream school because it’s actually a company. For example, the most common training institutes in China are English training companies. But oftentimes, these institutes are called “schools”. They provide English language programs for learners from different backgrounds. Some of their students are kids; some of their students are adults.

If you work for a training institute, chances are you will need to work at night and on weekends because your students probably have to go to school or go to work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. In other words, your students can only go to the training institute in their spare time. 

–> The Truth About Teaching English in China

–> 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Teaching in China


No matter which school type you teach in China, you’ll encounter hard-working students who are mostly respectful towards teachers. Often, you’ll be impressed with how much they can sacrifice in order to get a good score.

Teaching English in China Requirements [Updated in 2019]

requirements for teaching english in China

If you are seriously considering teaching English in China as your next adventure, you must be curious to know what qualifications you need to have in order to come and work in China.

As the Chinese government constantly changes its visa policies, you need to keep yourself updated with the latest information. This article is updated in 2019 to give you the most recent update in teaching English in China requirements. 

Check it out! 

1. Is a Bachelor’s degree required? 

If you want to apply for a work visa and teach in China legally, the answer is yes.

The process of getting a work visa is quite straightforward, and a bachelor degree is needed for this to be approved.

2. Is teaching experience required?  

Not necessarily, but if you, you will be in a more favorable position during the interview, and more likely to land on a better package.

However, this is not a “must-have” for you to teach in China. In fact, there are a lot of programs offering training for graduates without any teaching experiences. A university graduate without any teaching experience can also land a good position and transition smoothly to teaching English in China life.

3. Do I need to be a native English speaker?  

No necessarily, however, due to China’s recent visa update, candidates need to be passport holders from native-speaking countries, i.e., United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or South Africa.

Need to be passport holder of United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or South Africa.

4. Is the TEFL certificate necessary?  

TEFL is the certificate to teach English as a foreign language which usually takes serious training for you to complete.

You do need a TEFL certificate in order to complete your work visa application, but you can also obtain it after you’ve secured a position. In fact, some positions Panda Buddy offers can offer you TEFL course at a much cheaper price. So if you don’t have one already, don’t worry, you’ll be fine.

P.S. There are also many different kinds that are equivalent to TEFL, such as TESOL certificate, CELTA, Cert TESOL, Dip TESOL, those are big ones. 

5. Can I teach in China without a degree?  

A Bachelor’s degree is required for the work z visa in China. 

There might be some positions available for people without a degree due to the high demand, however, it’s not recommended to take the risk to teach in China without a work visa.

The good news is, there are countries hiring English teachers that don’t require you to have a Bachelor degree. For more detailed information, please check out our summaries of teaching abroad requirements. 

bachelor degree is required for work z visa

6. Any other requirements?

In order to obtain a legal work visa, you need to have a clean background check, a valid passport, and an updated curriculum vitae. 

 To recap, here are the basic requirements for teaching English in China: 

• You need a Bachelor degree

• You need to be a passport holder of either United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or South Africa

• A TEFL certificate is required for the work visa (but it can be obtained after the interview with the support of your employer)

• Teaching experience is not required but preferred 

Teaching English in China Requirements - A Checklist

Panda Buddy is currently hiring for more than 300 positions in China. We carefully select our education partners to make sure they are well recognised in the industry, provide great local support (airport pickup, visa, and accommodation support) so that you can have a smooth transition to your new life in China. Apply today with Panda Buddy to get your journey started.

Beile Training School

Meten International English school enviroment

12 months

Beile Training School

We care – these two words pretty much sum up how Beile training school strives to serve its customers and treat its employees.

We’re an English immersion training institute established in 2009. With over 30 training centers in China, we’ve provided training to thousands of kids!

About the employer

Beile training school has over thirty after-school language training centers nationwide, and tens of thousands of Chinese kids have enjoyed the Beile English experience since 2009. We provide the most advanced and innovative American teaching philosophy available to children in China. 

Traditional American kindergarten (ages 2-6) and primary school (ages 7-12) curriculum is the heart of Beile training school’s educational structure.

We care – two words pretty much sum up how Beile Training School strives to serve its customers and treat its employees.

Being an after school language training institute, we care about the intellectual and emotional well-being of our each and every one of our students no less than their own day school. 

Character counts – knowledge and skills are merely wasted education without character. We believe the best way to foster wholesome characters is through actions of love and care in our every day teaching. We have formally adopted the Positive Behavior Support (PBS) system across our classroom, and seek to model appropriate behaviors and replace undesirable behaviors through positive reinforcement. Our teaching staff engages in various charity events to teach our students about the importance of citizenship and voluntarism.

Beile's philosophy


– Meten Training Centres

– International Kindergartens 

– Early Education centres 


Starting Date



– Beijing Training Center: 50

– Shenzhen Training Center: 20 

– Shanghai Training Center: 20

Got a question for Meten?

Cities with positions opening

Job Description

  • Position: Full time
  • Location: Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen
  • Contract duration: 1 year
  • Class size: 10-15 students
  • Start date: Any time
  • No more than 40 working hours per week


  • Competitive salary from 23,000 – 26,000RMB per month
  • Annual completion bonus for 10,000RMB
  • Annual reimbursement of transportation fare for up to 10,000RMB
  • Health insurance
  • 5,000 RMB Interest-Free Setup Loan
  • Multiple career development opportunities
  • Official holiday off for more than 20 days a year
  • 15 days of free accommodation near the headquater
  • One-week paid training
  • Free TEFL course online
  • Free Chinese lessons
  • Start-up assistance (bank account, cell phone, etc.)
  • Team building activities


  • Native English speaker from UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or Ireland
  • Bachelor degree or above
  • Candidates without BA degree must have TESOL/TESL/TEFL certificate or 2+years teaching experience
  • TESOL, TESL or TEFL preferred


  • Great training system 
  • Team activities
  • Vacations in winder
  • Re-sign bonus
  • Free TEFL
  • Start up assistance 
  • Work Visa
  • Airport Pickup
  • Accommodation
  • Training
  • Team Activities
  • Opportunities for Promotion


Beile Training School is keen on creating a pleasent working environment for our employees. You will be very good friends with your new coworkers, you guys can get some food and drinks together after work, join some fun activities on the rest days… Also we provide abundant team-building activities every month, like KTV, outdoor games and dining etc.

Beile Training School Teach in Beijing
Beile Training School Teach in Beijing
Beile Training School Teach in Beijing
Beile Training School Teach in Beijing
Beile Training School Teach in Beijing

Teacher Review

Directly to the employer & Average response time: < 48 hr

Cost of Living in China for Expats: 2019 Guide

cost of living in China

If you plan to move to China, you might be very curious to know the cost of living and lifestyle over there. The cost of living in China can vary hugely depending on the cities, regions as well as the lifestyle you choose.

You can live in most China’s major cities for far less than $1,000 per month, and with a great lifestyle. However, there’s always room for luxury and more spending. It costs around $1,000 or more to rent a nice apartment in the center of Beijing or Shanghai if that’s the kind of lifestyle you are seeking.

For most entry-level ESL teachers, an average salary is around 10,000 RMB to 15,000 RMB per month ($1500 ~ $2180), usually with your accommodation allowances provided on top of that. You might be surprised that with this amount of salary, you can afford not only a comfortable lifestyle, but also save a decent amount!

A Breakdown of the Average Cost of Living in China:

ExpensesCost (USD)Estimated Monthly Cost (USD)
Rent$200 ~ $700$200 ~ $700
Food$2~$5 per meal$100 ~ $150
Transportation$,0.3~$0.5 each way (bus)$30 ~ $50
UtilitiesElectricity, water, gas, telephone, wi-fi$50 ~ $100
Total$380 ~ $1,000

Cost of living in China
Affordable Cost of living in China

Cost of Renting in China: $300 – $500 per month 

Well, over in China, you can pay as little as $300 and as much as $700 per month depending on where you live. The major cities will have the higher rents, while the outskirts of the city are much cheaper.

A massive money saver!

However, if you are teaching over in China, your school will help arrange your apartment either through allowances or provided for free. Depending on your contract, the way it’s arranged can vary. They can either deduct it from your pay each month or include it in your contract.

Cost of Food in China: $100 – $150 per month

Food in China can be very cheap, but it also depends on what you are buying.

How cheap it can be?

For basic grocery, rice is approximately costing $10 for a five-kilogram bag. Cooking oil is pricey, and chicken is reasonably priced at about $8 per kilogram.  You can pick up many different fruits and vegetables for less than $10 per week.

It is very possible to purchase all the groceries that you need for one week in China for $30 or less and actually still have food left over for the following week!

You want to experience the local cuisine and ambiance.  Don’t worry, you can eat out numerous times a week and never break your budget!

You can grab many great and filling finds like a big bowl of noodles for the equivalent of a dollar, usually about 1 or 2 dollars. Street eating is just as cheap. Grabbing baozi (steamed stuffed buns) or even fried rice as you rush off to the subway costs roughly the same.  A basic dish of beef and noodles will cost you about $2 and many other meals are about the same.  If you choose to grab a pint of beer with your meal, that will cost you about $1.

And there are A LOT of choices as well.

The food options will surely dazzle you, and you can keep it on the cheap side. Once you start craving food from back home though, that’s where it gets expensive. Western food definitely costs more but sometimes it’s worth it to get that taste of home.

Still, you can manage a good budget by shopping smart and cooking for yourself in your apartment.

Cost of Transportation in China: $30 – $50 per month

Most of the time, schools will usually try to arrange your apartment near where you work, especially if you are not in a metropolitan cities like Beijing, Shanghai, the apartment that you live in when you are in China is so close to the school that you can easily walk there every day. By walking to your school,  you can save a lot of money on transportation costs.

The buses are incredibly cheap, so even if you couldn’t walk to your school, you could do it for less than a dollar (10 to 30 cents) each way.

The subway is a little more expensive (still fairly cheap though!), but worthwhile if your destination is further away. Subway costs can be about 50 cents to 1 dollar, depending on how far you’re going.

Taxis are more expensive, like everywhere else in the world. But it’s most certainly worth it when you need to get somewhere faster. You can also try your luck with Didi, China’s answer to Uber. If you are in a hurry, the price tag is totally worth it.

Cost of Utilities in China: $50 – $100 per month

Utilities is what gets everyone’s budget each month and they include electricity, water, gas, telephone, and Wi-Fi.

Over in China, some of these may be included with your apartment, which means that you will not need to pay for them.

However, if you do, you should plan on spending approximately $100 or less for everything each month.

For example, mobile phone bills. As a foreigner, a prepaid phone is your best option. You can find good prepaid plans for around 200 RMB a month (can be cheaper depending on your needs), which is about $30 to $40. That’s much cheaper than the states.

Cost of Entertainment in China: depends

A ticket to one of the new English language films will only cost you a couple dollars and there are plenty of other things that you can do for just as little.

Dining out with friends and colleagues and participating in enthusiastic karaoke fun are the two most popular entertainment options after work. Both of them don’t really cost much money.

Your Cost of Living in China Depends on Your Location

which city you teach in China will affect your salary teaching English in China

There’s usually a noticeable difference among these cities in terms of the average salary rates, cost of living standard, city infrastructure and business opportunities etc. Therefore, choosing different cities to live in China also results in different salary and cost of living.

P.S: China has a unique tier system for all cities, and it’s used as a point of reference to refer to different economical development levels.

Tier 1 cities refer to metropolitan cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen; New Tier 1 cities are the emerging capital cites with high growth rate, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Wuhan are in this category; Tier 2 cities are usually the normal capital cities in a province, or big cities with good economical development level (e.g., Xiamen, Changchun, Haikou etc.); Tier 3 cities are even smaller cities comparing to Tier 2 cities.

City TierSalary (USD)Cost of Living (USD)Rent (USD)
Tier 1 Cities$2,123 ~ $2,800$1,000 ~$1,500$400 ~ $600
New Tier 1 Cities$,1415~$2,123$700 ~ $1,100$283 ~ $424
Tier 2 Cities$1,415~$1,840$560 ~ $1,000$212 ~ $424
Tier 3 Cities$1,132 ~ $1,415$424 ~ $566$141 ~ $353

Your Cost of Living in China Also Depends on Your Lifestyle

As you can see, the cost of living in China is comparatively low. With your salary as an expat, you’ll have a comfortable living there. However, your overall cost of living in China also depends on the lifestyle you choose.

You can live more frugally and save up to $15,000 a year in China, or you can indulge yourself in luxury, YOLO!

In China, you’ll never fail to find leisure spending opportunities. You can have your restaurant order delivered to you anytime you can, get a pampering massage every now and then, or a one-year gym membership. They are all very much affordable for your earnings as an ESL teacher.

The Monthly Budget of an ESL Teacher in China

Below is the monthly budget from an ESL teacher in Chongqing, China.

cost of living in china, save money while teaching in china
Save money while teaching in china

Enjoy your life in China! 

As you can see, it doesn’t cost that much to live in China and the difference means that you can save a ton of money while you are living and having the time of your life over there!

Of course, much of your cost of living in China also depends on how you plan to live.

If you want to live it up and enjoy yourself, you’re going to be saving much less of what you earn.

While the cost of living in China is indeed cheaper than most places, particularly when it comes to healthcare or home repairs, there is still room for luxury.

The best thing you can do is remember to live within your means so you can use your earnings to embark on fantastic voyages during your time off.

So, spend wisely.

You might also be interested in:

Teaching in China Salary: The Ultimate Guide

Cost of Living in China vs. The United States

Living in China as a Foreigner: Expectation vs Reality

5 Things I’ve Learnt After Living in China for 3 Years

Teaching English in China Salary: An Ultimate Guide in 2019

Teaching English in China Salary

If you are wondering how much you can earn working as an English teacher in China, this article is for you.

Due to the currency exchange rate and lower cost of living in China, you might not earn as much as you do back in your home country (US, UK, AU, NZ). However, your teaching salary in China will provide you a comfortable living that would have sometimes been a luxury in your home country. 

How much can you make teaching English in China?

In general, teaching English in China offers a decent pay which allows for a comfortable lifestyle for expats. It might vary depending on a few factors. 

So how your salary teaching in China is determined?

First of all, your salary standard will be based on the average salary in China. With the growing economy, there’s a steady increase in the average salary rates for Chinese people. In a purpose of attracting foreign talent, the average salary for foreigners is generally higher than local employees.

For foreign teachers teaching English in China (ESL teachers), your salary depends on mainly three factors:

  1. Your qualifications and teaching experiences
  2. The type of institutions you teach at
  3. The location of your school

Let’s take a look at each factor in more details below:  

1. Your salary teaching in China depends on your qualification and teaching experience

your qualification and experience will affect your salary teaching English in China

To be qualified to teach English in China, there are some basic requirements:

  • Valid passport from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand
  • Bachelor’s degree in any subject
  • Passing the medical test
  • Passing the criminal background check
  • A TEFL certification (+120 hours)

These items ensure you obtain your work z visa in order to teach in China legally. 

Formal teaching experience is not required but much preferred, therefore you’ll see a difference in salary between experienced ESL teachers and inexperienced teachers (university graduates) in China. 

  • Salary for inexperienced teachers 

For teachers without teaching experience, or university graduates, the salary will range from 10,000 RMB to 15,000 RMB (USD $1,584 ~ $2,123) per month. 

  • Salary for experienced teachers 

For experienced ESL teachers, especially those with more than 2 years teaching experience in China, the salary can go up to 18,000 RMB to 25,000 RMB (USD $2,548 ~ $3,539) per month. 

Of course, the exact amount of salary will also depends on the location as well as the type of institution you work with.

Some second tier cities will never be able to afford an experienced ESL teacher as much as 25,000 RMB, but the salary of 15,000 RMB in a second tier city can potentially go longer than the 25,000 RMB salary in a first tier city. 

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2. Your salary teaching in China will vary based on different institution types 

your school types will affect your salary teaching English in China

Below is the infographic of a teaching in China salary guide based on the institution types.

As it shows, apart from your qualifications and experiences, how much you earn depends on the type of institution you work for. Generally speaking, greater income comes with bigger responsibilities. 

Teaching English in China salary
Teaching English in China salary based on different institutions

Let’s take a look at each type and the working conditions: 

  • Public Schools: 8,000 – 11,000 RMB per month (1,268 – 1,740 USD)

Public schools in China belong to the government educational system, the teaching hours usually are around 20 hours/week, Monday to Friday. You will be able to teach students from multiple English level, and generally a medium to large class (30 – 60) size.

The teaching schedule won’t be very packed giving you a lot of free time on your own, usually a native co-teacher is there to work with you preparing and delivering lesson enabling you to cope with the environment better. Another one absolute perk is that most public schools have canteen open to you for lunch (amazing food!).

  • Private Institutions: 8,000 – 16,000 RMB per month (1,270 – 2,535 USD)

As you might already have heard that in China, parents usually have high expectations towards their kids’ academic performance, and private Institutions are where parents sent their kids to further develop their skills after normal school hours.

In these institutions, teaching performance expectation for teachers is generally higher which results in more working hours (as well as the increase in salaries).

Private institutions are generally more open and less restrict about candidates’ background. Candidates who have high English skills and a genuine passion for teaching in China can get a shot in winning a position there. Working hours are different from public schools where after-school hours will be your working time.

  • International Schools: 10,000 – 25,000 RMB per month (1,584 – 3961 USD)

International schools in China are for expats’ kids or kids from more well-off families (that aim to send their kids overseas). Most classes in international schools are taught in English (100%), therefore expectations for foreign teachers here could be more than English language, and extended to other subjects such as history, arts, maths and physics etc. Of course, your salaries will be aligned with high expectations and more working hours.

  • Bonus: Accommodation Allowances and Flight Reimbursement

In most jobs, free accommodation or allowances will be provided on top of the standard salary, giving foreign English teachers more disposable income to enjoy their stay in China. 

Apart from that, flight reimbursement (exact amount varies) is often offered at the end of the one-year teaching in China contract. If you really enjoy your teaching job and would like to extend, you are more than welcome! The average length people stay and teach in China is about 2 ~ 3 years. 

3. Your salary teaching in China also depends on your location

which city you teach in China will affect your salary teaching English in China

China has a unique tier system for all cities, and it’s used as a point of reference to refer to different economical development levels. 

There’s usually a noticeable difference among these cities in terms of the average salary standard, cost of living, city infrastructure and business opportunities etc. Therefore, choosing different cities to teach English in China also results in different salary.

For cities with lower pay, the lower cost of living will often offset it, meaning you can enjoy the same or even better standard of living comparing to the city with a higher pay. However, if you want to have access to a better entertainment life, bigger expat community, bigger cities (Tier 1 or new Tier 1 cities) will be your choice. 

China's tier city system
China’s tier city system (Source: Wikipedia)

So let’s take a look at the pay scale for different tier cities:

City TierSalary (USD)Cost of Living (USD)Rent (USD)
Tier 1 Cities$2,123 ~ $2,800$1,000 ~$1,500$400 ~ $600
New Tier 1 Cities$,1415~$2,123$700 ~ $1,100$283 ~ $424
Tier 2 Cities$1,415~$1,840$560 ~ $1,000$212 ~ $424
Tier 3 Cities$1,132 ~ $1,415$424 ~ $566$141 ~ $353

For most Tier 1 and new Tier 1 cities, teachers will be provided with housing allowances that will cover at least 80% of the rent cost; and for Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, the accommodation will usually be provided for free. 

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Cost of living in China

cost of living in China while teaching english in China

As mentioned above, different cities have different salary standards and cost of living. However, in generally you will have a comfortable living. 

You’ll get to experience cheap but amazingly awesome food, super convenient and cheap transportation, and many other entertainment activities as well. Also, a decent amount of savings if you are determined.

Want more luxury? You can have your restaurant order delivered to you anytime you can, get a pampering massage every now and then, or a one-year gym membership. They are all very much affordable for your earnings as an ESL teacher. 

Sample budget from an ESL teacher

Below is the sample monthly budget from Harold, an English teacher in Chongqing, China. Check out his post about saving money while teaching in China. 

Sample ESL teacher monthly budget (Infographics)
Sample ESL teacher monthly budget

Non-monetary reward: a new life experience

Apart from getting paid decently, teaching in China is a great opportunity to open yourself up to a new and exciting experience. Check out the stories from other teachers:
Experience of Jennifer: My Teaching in China Experience
Teaching in China Story: Culture Shock? Most Welcome!
Teaching in China Story: A Spontaneous Decision Turned Life-Changing Experience
Teaching in China Story: The Beginning of A New Chapter

Are you ready to teach English in China?

Teaching in China is an experience that is meant to stay within you for a lifetime. You’ll get to experience, learn, grow and impact.

Why wait when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this presents itself? 

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Is China a Good Place to Live?

Is China a Good Place to Live?

Moving to China may sound scary and impossible to many people, but those who have taken the risk have quickly discovered that it was an excellent decision for them!

Living in China can be much more exciting and amazing than living in other areas of the world, despite the fact that the country can be slightly overcrowded.

Reasons Why China is a Great Place to Live

1. Exploring A New Place

One of the main reasons people want to live in China is because they love exploring new places and learning new things. Imagine all the cities, countrysides, and neighborhoods you can explore without venturing too far from your new home. Plus, the number of new attractions for you to see and explore are plentiful, giving you a plethora of things to do for weeks, months, and even years.

2. Learning About New Cultures  

Learning about other cultures is exciting because it allows you to see how the past has shaped today and the future.  While you can learn about different cultures from books, there is nothing better than experiencing it firsthand from the locals that live within those cultures every day.

3. Learning Mandarin

Learning Mandarin will also be exciting for you, although it can be a difficult language to master. However, once you start to learn a few words, you can easily begin to communicate with others that you meet over in China. Then, once you become slightly proficient, it will be one more thing that you can add to your resume!

4. Traveling in China 

Traveling in China 

Traveling and living in China go hand in hand because you can reach so many different areas in a short amount of time from this country. This means that when you are living in China, you can easily take a train or airplane to your destination of choice without needing to be away from your new home for weeks at a time.  You can easily spend long weekends traveling the world while seeing new sights that will instantly take your breath away.

5. Employment Opportunities

One of the best things about moving to China is that your future employer will help you get settled into your new life.  They will help you find a place to live, if they do not already have a place lined up for you, plus they will make sure that you know how to get to certain places.

Some of the places that your employer, and co-workers, will make sure you know about is where to get the best food to eat. While you may crave all those Western foods, you are not going to want to pay the price for them the entire time you are living there. Instead, you can easily try, and learn to love, the local and traditional cuisines of the area you are living in. The prices for these foods will be quite low, especially if you listen to your employer and go to the places that the locals visit all the time.

Learn More About Teaching in China

Reasons Why China May Not Be the Best Place to Live

There are a few reasons why China might not be the best place for you to live, but most of them are not really deal-breakers for many people.

1. Enjoy Big Living Space

Enjoy Big Living Space

One of the biggest reasons why people choose not to live in China is the fact that they want a very large house to live in. There are no large houses in China and in reality, you will probably be living in an apartment that is in a very tall building with narrow spaces.

2. Religions

If you are a very religious person, you are going to be in for a surprise when you arrive in China.  The Chinese people are mostly atheists, although a few do practice religion on occasion.  This can be a shock to some people, especially those who attend church every Sunday and other specific days of the week.

3. Not Used To New Things

Spending time in China always means spending time with those from other cultures.  If you are the type of person who only wants to spend their time with people that look, act, talk, and do things like you do, then moving to China is not going to be for you.

4. Internet Restriction 

One of the main shocks to many people is the fact that the internet has many restrictions in China.  This can be bad news for those that depend on the internet every single day for everything! If this is you, then you are going to want to think twice before you consider China as your next home away from home.

So, Is China a Good Place for You to Live? 

Now that you know the main reasons as to why China is a good place to live, and why it may not be the place for you, you can finally decide whether you are ready to make the move.

You may be pleasantly surprised at how amazing this country is and that the reasons not to move there are less bothersome to you than you first thought.

You might also be interested in:

What are the Pros and Cons of Living in China?

7 Must-Try Flavours: Discover the Most Authentic Chinese Food

14 Interesting Chinese Cultural Facts