Small Cities or Big Cities? A Guide of Choosing the Best City in China For You.
Why you should consider teaching English in China?
With its rapid growing economy, China has a lot of opportunities for people who are seeking an English teaching position. Whether you are a certified teacher, or just recently graduated from university, there are positions tailored to your profile.
You can definitely live comfortably with your earnings in China and even save some money, but the best part is to immerse yourself in a totally different culture, where you get to discover the authentic Chinese food, learn a useful new language, and live on a land with thousands of years of history. And at the same time, you also have access to all modern facilities that enables you a convenient and comfortable lifestyle.
Where to teach in China?
One of the most frequently asked questions is: where to teach in China? As China has such a vast landscape, different places can have completely different experiences, making the struggle of choosing the best location seem like a legit concern.
You’ve most likely heard of the biggest cities like Shanghai and Beijing, but they are not completely representative of China. More and more potential teachers are choosing other alternatives than these two metropolitan cities.
A lot of things come into play when making such decision, cost of living, weather, population, food, pollution etc. But the most important factor is probably more on an individual level: are you a big city person, or prefer small places? Are you interested in cultures and languages? Do you prefer nature or city more? Answering these questions can already help you make the right decision for yourself.
Best 4 Cities to teach English in China
Based on what we’ve heard from previous and existing teachers, as well as the recent popularity, we’ve come up with a list of four cities. This list includes cities from both north and south parts of the country, achiest cities and recently-developed cities, and of course, mega cities and medium-sized capital cities. All have easy access to modern facilities, but with different flavours.
No trip to China could ever be complete without setting foot in the capital city of Beijing. It’s a politically-charged city, where the people there are most often on the up-and-up for interesting discussions that delve beyond the city’s food, which they will also talk your ear off about. Think of it like the Washington, DC of China if you will.
It’s definitely a city that can compare to lots of metropolitan cities in the world, and it can only be more intriguing because of its fast-developing speed. Everything happens and everything is new.
You are definitely a city/hustle lover for the vibe of Beijing.
As the capital of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou is known for local politics as well as being an epicentre of culture and economy. It’s located on the lower portion of the Qiantang River, just over 100 miles from Shanghai, making it a spectacular stop on your journeys through China.
Because of the subtropical climate, it’s a popular place to visit year-round, never getting too extreme in hot or cold. Plus, the stunning scenery here is like something from a dream. We have this saying in China: “Paradise in Heaven; Suzhou and Hanzhou on earth.”
Xi’an is often cited as one of the most beautiful cities in China. It’s a place that you’ll find very welcoming no matter where you come from. Plus, it’s traditional in style, giving you the kind of vibe you’d have found in Beijing just 20 years prior before the buildings stretched up so high in the sky.
Called Chang’an (meaning the eternal city) in ancient times, it is one of the birthplaces of the ancient Chinese civilization in the Yellow River Basin area. As the eastern terminal of the Silk Road and the site of the famous Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty, the city has won a reputation all over the world.
If you are a unique-experience seeker and would like to start a memorable cultural journey, teach in Xi’an is for you!
Fun fact: Shenzhen has more young people than any other Chinese city. So now you know this place is going to be hip and fun. And truly it is. One could prattle on and on all day about Shenzhen, a place that just 30 years ago was a small market town. Today, it’s one of the biggest and most bustling cities in the south of China.
It’s also a modern metropolis that links Hong Kong to China’s mainland, known for its shopping destinations and contemporary buildings.
If you consider yourself as young, hip and trendy, and also enjoys everything a big city brings, then teach in Shenzhen is for you.
Start planning your next steps to teach in China
If you’ve made up your mind to take more than one year to experience what it’s like teaching English in China, you can start digging into more resources to help preparing your journey:
Some other questions to ask before your journey:
#1. Are you working with the right agency to find the position?
#2. Are you ready for the culture shock?
#3. Is teaching suitable for you?
#4. Are you able to fulfil at least one-year teaching contract?
#5. Are you able to obtain a work visa to teach in China?
Enjoy China, stay open-minded
Our best advice? Consider what things are most important to you before making a decision or even come visit and see what it’s like in person. You can always move to a different city if you feel it calling!