China is without a doubt the largest market in the world for teaching English as a foreign language.
With over 300 million English learners across the country, including children, adults and business professionals, the variety of EFL positions in China is truly astounding.
Here we share a wide range of information that you might find useful before you get on the plane.
As well as a guide to teaching in China, you will also find tips on learning the local language, suggestions of things to see and do during your stay and plenty of insight into the local culture and customs.
China is one of the best markets for teaching English as a foreign language as it offers a comfortable standard of living and good teacher salaries.
To be eligible to work in China, you will need to be a native or fluent English speaker, possess a TEFL/TESOL qualification, and hold a four-year degree.
Teaching abroad in China is also a great way to enhance your professional portfolio. There are teaching positions available right across China in a variety of educational institutes.
China is the 4th largest country in the world inviting visitors to explore a vast variety of historic, cultural and natural sites and attractions.
Xi’an, for example, is home to the mighty Terracotta Warriors, while Chengdu has the largest panda conservatory in the world.
The two most popular cities to visit in China are its capital Beijing and the commercial hub of Shanghai. However, there is so much more to see in all corners of the nation.
Guilin is famous for its karst mountains along the Li River, and Kunming is referred to as the city of spring due to its mild climate that is ideal for exploring the many tea fields in the region.
It comes as no surprise that due to China’s cyber-isolation, the country has its own versions of Facebook, Twitter, and instant messaging.
WeChat is your bank account in your pocket that allows you to transfer money, split the bill in restaurants, or send ‘lucky envelopes’ to friends for Chinese New Year.
WeChat is China’s most powerful mobile app that started out with chatting and cute stickers. Today, you can use WeChat as a mobile wallet and even make in-store payments.
Moreover, you can hail a cab, book a karaoke room, share your real-time location and even pay your utilities with the app!
Some of China’s traditions and customs can seem quite shocking to foreigners when they first visit.
It might also surprise you to see people spitting loudly in public.
When you are in China and you see toddlers in split pants, don’t be concerned. These pants are often preferred in place of diapers as they allow children to relieve themselves when need be.
For example, burping is seen as a sign of satisfaction with the meal and is considered a compliment.
Even though attempts are being made to lessen this practice, it is quite common to see people spit on the streets or even on public transportation.
Check out more Chinese customs in this infographic.
The Great Wall of China is one of the most fascinating historic attractions in the world.
Today, the wall spans 8,851.8km (5.500 miles) across China from east to west. The Great Wall is easily accessible from Beijing and various other locations across China.
Construction of the wall began during the Qin Dynasty around 221 BC and it took approximately 500,000 people to complete the massive structure.
Typically, visitors spend anywhere from 2 to 6 hours exploring the wall and taking photos to remind them of their visit to this unique attraction.
When traveling or moving abroad, packing is often one of the hardest parts of the journey. It’s always best to pack light to avoid nasty baggage fees at the airport.
Be sure to check whether the power plugs used in China differ from yours, and if so, buy an adapter.
Pack as little as possible and remember that you can buy more clothes once you get there. However, there are a few things you should definitely pack and take with you.
It is also recommended to bring toiletries such as deodorant and hygiene products since they might not be available or overpriced in China.
When moving overseas to China, you will quickly realize that English is not widely spoken. In order to guarantee a smooth stay, these easy tips will help you to learn Chinese fast.
The app also doubles as a Chinese-English dictionary. Once you’re in China, connect with locals and find language partners.
Start listening to a Chinese Pod where anything from basic to advanced topics are covered. Pleco is another useful tool allowing you to practice vocabulary using a smart flashcard system.
You’ll be surprised how many locals are eager to improve their English and are willing to help you with your Chinese as well!
When referring to Chinese food, you might picture your typical rice and orange chicken. However, in China you need to be a little more specific.
Sichuan cuisine, for example, is known for spicy and bold flavors, whereas Cantonese cuisine is sweet with a variety of sauces.
In fact, there are 8 great regional cuisines of China due to the vast size of the country.
Shanghainese food tends to be a little more salty than the rest of the country and food in Beijing is often fried and features soy and sesame flavors.
China’s 22 provinces couldn’t be more diverse and unique. Due to its enormous size, the country has a wide variety of different cultures and peoples that make up 36 minority groups.
Shaanxi Province is home to the fascinating Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and the mighty Li River stretches through Hubei, Chongqing, and Guangxi.
Some of the most beautiful areas in China include the Beijing area with its many premier attractions, such as the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.
Check out this infographic for more sites and attractions across China.
Tiananmen Square is the most visited part of Beijing and is also the third largest city square in the world.
Stand on the same ground as Mao Zedong when he announced the birth of the People’s Republic of China or when pro-democracy protests ended in a massacre in 1989.
While the ‘Gate of Heavenly Peace’, as it literally translates to, is an attraction on its own, it is also the entrance to the Forbidden City.
When you visit Beijing, do not leave without visiting Tiananmen Square.
Chinese New Year is the most important holiday of the year in China. It is so important that Chinese people are off work for an entire week to return to their families in their hometowns.
Traditionally, firecrackers are lit making as much noise as possible to chase off evil spirits.
The family reunion dinner is therefore the most important part of the celebrations. Most families prepare different dishes, such as dumplings, at home and have the whole family over.
During Chinese New Year it is customary for married couples and elders to give red envelopes with money to children. Find out more about Chinese New Year customs in this infographic.
Mandarin is the official language of China and the largest of the Chinese dialect groups.
Mandarin, and most other Chinese dialects, is a tonal language, which means it relies on pitch to convey the meaning of a word.
On top of that, Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world with almost a billion native speakers worldwide.
However, the language is not as hard to learn as many think, as it does not rely much on modified verbs, linking words or prepositions.