This is a once in a lifetime experience for ambitious people who have a degree and want to live as a local, teaching English in China. It will enhance your life skills to give you a healthy blend of challenge and fun while you teach English – a much sought after language in China. The money you earn will be enough to live well and fund your travels in China.

Duration: 12 months
Dates: Dates available every February and August
Eligibility: Native English speakers with Bachelor degree, TEFL certification and background check with clean record
Age: 20 – 45


  • Becoming a valued member of a school and immersing yourself in the daily life of a very different culture
  • Using creativity to engage and teach your pupils, and becoming respected by them
  • Learning Mandarin, the world’s fastest growing language, as you practice it in your day-to-day life
  • Boosting your resume/CV with international TEFL work experience
  • Earning money so that you can tour China, see its amazing sites and taste its delicious cuisine
  • Benefiting from free accommodation and food provided by the school

Beijing, China


English is the principal international language in China and it is drilled into children at school that it is paramount to learn to a high standard. As an English speaker you’ll receive a warm reception as a teacher in China, and you’ll be highly valued by your students.

Our programme in China is a great opportunity for recent graduates, or career breakers, who want a paid job whilst experiencing the Chinese way of life, its people and its language. With Oyster, you will get help with all your arrangements, guidance on obtaining a visa and the chance to be part of a wider teaching network in China.


In order to be eligible for this programme, you must:

  1. Be a native English speaker from the UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the USA
  2. Have a Bachelor degree
  3. Have TEFL certificate (minimum 120 hours). We can advise on TEFL courses if needed
  4. Provide a background check with a clean record
  5. Be aged between 20-45 years old. Applicants between 45-50 will be considered but cannot be guaranteed

Optional Beijing Orientation

If you want to get to know China a bit before starting your teaching placement, you can join our 2 night orientation in Beijing. You will fly into Beijing where you will be met and taken to your orientation accommodation (hotel sharing a room with up to three other people) for your first two nights.

During the orientation, you will get to know our in-country team, receive an induction to the programme, one day Beijing city tour and welcome dinner, before departing to your school and accommodation. The cost of transport from Beijing to your school accommodation is included.

The cost of the optional orientation is £620.

For those people who do not want to take part in the orientation, and instead head straight to their schools on arrival in China, an online orientation will be conducted with you.

School and teaching information

The schools are usually large, with 2000 to 5000 students and are a mixture of private, government schools and training centres.

You could work in a Kindergarten (age 3-6), Primary (6-12 years old) or Middle school (12-18 years old). Class sizes vary but you should expect 40-50 students in each class.

School day

You’ll work a total of 40 hours per week at the school, 5 days each week. This is made up of face-to-face teaching time, lesson preparation, meetings and extracurricular activities. On average around 20-25 hours per week will be spent delivering lessons to students in the classroom.

You should be prepared to work occasional evenings and weekends. Two days off are provided each week, although not necessarily consecutive days off.


You will be well paid as a teacher in China and can expect a salary of between 10,000-20,000 RMB per month (approx £1000 – £2000). This rate is agreed before you sign a contract with the school and is based on your previous experience and qualifications. You’ll be paid into a local bank account that the school will help you set up. Salary is paid only for your working days.

On completion of your contract, you will receive a further 10,000 RMB as a completion bonus.


You can expect to work in one of the following regions, and will be able to make a preference during the application process:

  • Inner Mongolia
  • Shandong
  • Hebei
  • Hunan
  • Guangdong
  • Beijing and surrounding area

How the year works

This programme runs for 12 months with start dates in February and August to match the start of the school semesters in China.

During this time you will either work continuously in a language training centre or work two school semesters, totaling around 10 months, with holiday time in between. The exact dates of the spring semester depend on the the Chinese New Year holidays but generally start in February/March, finishing June/July and then the autumn semester runs from 1st September to the 15th January each year.

During the summer and winter holiday periods, you can expect to receive a stipend of 800RMB per week (approx £90). Free accommodation will continue to be provided but food will not be supplied.

At the end of your 12 month contract you are free to re-negotiate an extension directly with the school if you wish to stay on.


  • Private bedroom in a shared apartment or university style dorm during the teaching programme
  • Shared living room and bathroom
  • Accommodation is located within a 45 minute journey (using public transport) of your school
  • WiFi is provided


  • 3 meals a day, 5 days a week are provided by your school canteen
  • Where schools cannot provide food on-site, you will be given an allowance for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Want to tour China before or after your job?

We are excited to offer 16 or 25 day tours of China that can be easily added to the start or end of your trip. For more information, click here.

What do I need to know regarding Covid-19?

We have been working closely with our partners in China and keeping an eye on the current travel restrictions to ensure we have the most up to date information and give you peace of mind. Please see the links below for more information.

Program updates:

We expect there to be small changes to the program in order to accommodate restrictions in place at the time of travel. These may include:

  • social distancing
  • accommodation amendments
  • private transfers instead of groups
  • proof of a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival (taken within 72 hours before travel)
  • wearing masks and other protective clothing
  • extra health and safety measures

Depending on when you are due to travel, some of these may become obsolete. We advise to be prepared for a quick turnaround of travel arrangements and having back up options should changes need to be made.

Travel arrangements

Airport: Beijing International Airport (PEK) for the optional orientation, or local airport if going straight to the school
Arrival day: This will be confirmed once you have your visa.


  • Access to your own personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the program and manage your booking
  • Dedicated contact time with an experienced destination manager to discuss the project, answer any of your questions and for us to find out more about you
  • Help and advice from our UK office before arrival and whilst you are away
  • In-country support
  • Pre-departure information covering medical, safety and project advice
  • Gold level, 24/7 Pharos crisis management and incident support cover
  • Financial protection: ATOL (if we book your flights); IPP (if we don’t book your flights)
  • Thorough orientation on arrival
  • Accommodation (see the ‘accommodation’ section above for details)
  • Advice on visa requirements
  • Oyster plants a tree in Africa with TreeAid to help reduce the impact of global carbon emissions
  • Optional 3 day Beijing induction (£620), airport pick up, welcome meal, 1 day tour and induction seminar
  • Free transport from the arrival airport to your school accommodation if not doing the optional orientation
  • Free transport from Beijing to the school after the optional orientation
  • Food is provided by the school, three meals a day, five days a week
  • 10,000 – 20,000 RMB salary per month, 10,000 RMB completion bonus (10,000 RMB equates to £1000 or $770 USD)
  • Certificate of Recognition (on request)
  • References (on request)

Not Included

  • Flights – as an ATOL bonded company, Oyster can book flights for you
  • You need a valid passport that meets the requirements of the country you will be travelling to
  • Insurance (covering your time with Oyster and any planned independent travel)
  • Any costs associated with changing your return flight date if you need to
  • Independent travel costs
  • Home country travel costs
  • Spending money for additional trips, food and entertainment
  • Cost of Chinese Z Visa (approx £150 at the time of writing)
  • You need an updated resume/CV
  • Notarized and authenticated Bachelor degree, background check and TEFL qualification (120 hours minimum)

More Information

China is much talked about – this is your chance to experience it for yourself as a resident.

You get a real, English teaching job in China – a unique opportunity to enjoy the buzz of living and teaching in China.  A year in China will bring you life long benefits whatever you choose to do afterwards, as well as great memories and many new friends.  Your employment prospects will be considerably enhanced, especially if you work at your Mandarin and make the best of you time in China.

You will face challenges teaching English in China, but at least you know you will have peace of mind knowing you will be met in Beijing and attend an induction course before being taken to your school as well as advice and support throughout from Beijing.  You’ll get a good salary – your money goes a lot further in China and travel and eating out are particularly cheap.

Accommodation at your school is comfortable separate accommodation giving you some peace and quiet to be able to work at your Mandarin and English lessons.  You’ll also experience China as local rather than just passing through as a visitor.  In 6 months you have the opportunity to see much more than main tourist sights.

China is such a vast country spanning thousands of miles that the climate varies radically. China has a variety of temperature and rainfall zones, including continental monsoon areas. In winter most areas become cold and dry, in summer hot and rainy.  It is always best to check the weather before you go, when you know exactly where you will be based.

During the first month you will need some money to pay for drinks, souvenirs and any extras (food is included) until you receive your first pay cheque. Once you are working in a school you will get paid a salary to cover any extra payments.

A combination of cash and debit/credit cards is recommended. Outside major cities ATM’s can be limited so have enough cash to keep you going. Your school will help you set up a bank account on arrival.

You will need to apply for a Chinese Z Visa which costs approximately £150. We will help with this once you have booked a place on the programme.

Most of our participants are independent travelers and you will become part of a group of people from around the world here. Contact us if you want to travel with a friend as we will need to find a school that is in a position to hire you both.

You should visit your doctor or travel nurse to find out what vaccinations you will need. Your routine vaccinations will need to be up to date, it is likely that you will need Hepatitis A and Typhoid, and possibly Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Malaria and Rabies. You should follow your doctors advice.

There is a hospital in the town where you will be living.

China is a safe country, just be sure to follow advice given by Oyster and the local coordinators and use your common sense.

You will live in a town so will be close to all amenities. The public transport is great in China, with even small cities having undergrounds.

You’ll receive free accommodation and all meals while at school and you will receive a monthly wage from the school.  You will have your own room and can expect WiFi. Your accommodation will be within 45 minutes from your school.

Dining in China is a big affair and restaurants come in every shape, size and type. Meals generally involve a selection of dishes for everyone to share including meat, vegetables, rice and plenty of tasty things.

You will have a member of staff at the school that you can discuss issues with. Day to day, you will work independently in the school.

Staff at Oyster’s head office and in-country will be responsible for your safety and welfare while you are at the project. This will start from the moment you are picked up from the airport until the time you leave your school. Before and after these times, you will be outside Oyster’s responsibility and should make sure that you act safely and avoid risk. This is also true if you choose to leave the project during your time off. We will give you plenty of guidance and advice about this.

You will have WiFi at the schools and your accommodation.

Internet cafés are available in big cities although are declining with the use of smart phones. WiFi is available in a large number of city locations.

There is good service in China but phoning/texting from international phones can cost a lot of money. A good option is buying a local phone and SIM if you will be there for a longer period of time.

China is 8 hours ahead of GMT (GMT +8).

A 3-pin Chinese plug adapter.

China is a huge country with a fantastic range of activities to try and places to explore. It is particularly fun to eat out in a range of places and its always good to practice your Mandarin a bit!

There is so much to see: the Great Wall, the Terracotta army, imperial palaces, sky scraping Shanghai, giant pandas, gardens of Suzhou and more.

You will work, on average, 40 hours a week with two days off per week (not necessarily consecutive days).

If you would like to learn more about choosing the right childcare project for you, check out our guide to volunteering with children.

Got a question or want to chat to Project Manager Roger who has first-hand experience of the project? Call +44 1892 771971or email: – [email protected].

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