Working in China FAQs

If you've got a question about living or teaching in China, we've got the answers to all your questions here.

Still can't find the answer? Get in touch with us today and we'd be more than happy to help.

Common questions

We are an education recruitment agency, connecting experienced, passionate teachers with exciting teaching positions in international and bilingual schools in China.

Teaching contracts usually run for two to three years and come with the possibility of extension or placement in another school at the end of the contract.

Teachers must hold a Bachelor of Education, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), or the international equivalent.

Candidates must also be under 60 years of age, have had a clear criminal record and hold a valid passport with more than 12 months before the expiry date.

Once your CV has been uploaded to our website, we will match you with the most suitable school for you. Once we have found an appropriate pairing, we will set up an interview which will usually take place via Skype.

General

It’s not essential to speak Chinese Mandarin in order to work in China, as English is becoming more common within large cities.

However, if you’d like to learn Mandarin whilst you’re teaching in China, it is possible to attend classes or work with a tutor, or make use of the free apps available.

The school terms in China vary by institution, however, they are similar to the British system, with long summer and winter breaks and various national holidays.

We place teachers in full-time teaching positions that have a full working day, five days per week.

The curriculum used in China is chosen by each individual institution. However, the curricula used are usually internationally-recognised.

China boasts a high-speed rail network that makes travel fast, easy and cheap, as well as international airports in all of the major cities.


Some of the best city breaks in China include Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Chengdu and Hong Kong. Additionally, the rice terraces and cast mountains of Guilin and grasslands of Inner Mongolia are perfect for the more adventurous.

All the major cities in China have first-rate international hospitals and medical clinics with English services and doctors who have been trained abroad. Additionally, all Chinese schools provide their employees with health insurance that offers co-payment and billing options.

The classroom support will vary depending on which school you’re placed at, however, it’s quite common to have a teaching assistant, or to work alongside a Chinese co-teacher.

Every school has a comprehensive teacher support system in place, setting you up with health insurance, housing options, language courses and help you with amenities.

Yes of course! China is a popular place for British Nationals to teach. However, it’s important to follow these guidelines:

– Ensure you’re working at a reputable school

– Ensure you know all of the local laws and government advisories

– Make sure you’ve got the correct visa

There are 564 international schools in China, most of them located in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Living

International organisations offer salaries based on teaching experience, with international pay grades in place.

China is an affordable place to live. The local food is very cheap, making it easy to live on a budget. Transport, eating out, taxes and bills are all cheaper than in Western countries, so you can expect to save a good portion of your wage.

Yes, all major cities in China host all major clothing and electronic brands across numerous shopping malls, along with supermarkets which specialise in imported goods.

High speed internet is available throughout China, but you will need a VPN (virtual private network) to access some social media sites.

Your tax situation will depend on the school you work at. You will pay Chinese tax that will be deducted from your paycheck, which is much lower than in the UK. You can also opt in to paying UK National Insurance contributions whilst in China.

The dress code will depend on the school you work in, however, business casual is usually required.

China Work Visa

A Chinese work visa costs £151 if you are a UK citizen, however, this will often be reimbursed by the school you’re working for.

It takes an average of four business days to obtain a Chinese work visa after applying at the Visa Application Centre. However, you can fast track your visa for an extra fee.

Learn more here.

British Nationals need to apply for a Chinese work visa in person at the Visa Application Centre, as fingerprints need to be provided.

Get In Touch

See a job that you like? Simply apply and we will be in touch to help you achieve your career goals. Send us an email or give us a call for help with the application process or more information about working and living in China.
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