Teaching English In China – Inspiraton For Change

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

If you’re a traveller looking to extend your trips, then teaching English in China may just be the perfect change of lifestyle for you. If you’re reading this article then you are most likely already looking for a change in your life. You may be sitting at your desk in your office cubicle, or aimlessly searching the web on yet another Sunday when you know that tomorrow you have to go to work and repeat your mundane life  for another 5-7 day cycle.

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Village woman cooking rice in bamboo, Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces, China
Village woman cooking rice in bamboo near the dragon’s backbone rice terraces.

If you’ve clicked on this article then you’ve made the first step. Teaching English in China is one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve had in all of our travels, and the fact that it has enabled us to travel more, only brings more glory to the idea. You can drop everything right now, head to China and teach English. There are plenty of places in the world to teach English, but perhaps none as foreign, interesting and exciting as China. Not only is it a place that will satisfy an intrepid traveller’s thirst for the unusual, but it also boasts more teaching jobs and opportunities then anywhere else on Earth. Getting a job here is extremely easy and you really don’t need any teaching certificates, degrees or prior experience although having such qualifications will help in your job hunt.

Once you’ve made the decision to come to China, you’ll just need to find a good school, have about $1,000 for your flight (which will likely be reimbursed) and off you go. You can start teaching English in China for 15-20 hours per week, make about $1500 per month and EASILY save half of that. The living expenses here are so low you will be amazed at just how well you can live on so little.

apartment in china
Our Apartment In Yangzhou, China

Our apartment is 950 square feet (90 square meters), clean, modern and in a good area and it costs us less than $300 / month! You can go out and feast on a huge meal with all of your friends, drink beer all night and go home spending less than $10-15. Which means that you can save enough so that after a 6 month – 1 year contract, you’ll have enough in the bank to travel around for a few months. How perfect is that? If you’re really frugal, you could probably work for a year teaching English in China and then travel the world for 6 months, on and off for a lifetime! Teaching English in China really is the ideal job for a traveller and it’s never been easier to get a job.

Once you land a job here and begin teaching, you’ll see that not only is it a great job for travellers, but it’s a great way to get to know the local culture and learn things about China that not many foreigners know.  You’ll be able to make friends with your students and their families and the Chinese staff that you work with. Going to teach English is never a really hard task and even on the days that we just want to be at home in bed, a student will make us laugh or give us a hug and it makes it all worth while. Plus … we only work a couple of hours a day!

at the park china with english teaching friends
Enjoying a day at the park with some fabulous friends. Yangzhou, China

When it comes down to it, there are times in a person’s life when they feel like they need a change. For many, they want to travel but don’t have the money to do so, for others (like us) they just want to extend their world trips. Signing a contract and teaching English in China is the perfect answer to both of these predicaments. So, make the decision, get your TEFL Certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), check out ESL Dave, find a job and pack your bags. It’s bound to be an amazing experience that will change your life forever. If you need more motivation to give this amazing job a try, next week we’ll be introducing 10 Reasons To Start Teaching English In China and each week from now on, we will be giving you job hints, opportunities, inspiration and help for working in China and other countries overseas. We were ready for change and we never looked back… are you ready?

teaching english in china
Teaching English In China is a way to support our travels. Nick with one of his primary level classes. Yangzhou, China

For English teaching tips in other parts of Asia, check out Nomadic Samuel’s Korean ESL Tips!





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Teaching English in China

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

Written by

Nick Wharton

Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his expert knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. He has been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and has more than 10 years of experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship.

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9 thoughts on “Teaching English In China – Inspiraton For Change”

  1. Hi, Nick and Dariece! I came across your site today after reading your post on Lillie’s Teaching Traveling page. I’ve been considering teaching English abroad for awhile now and your site is immensely helpful. It’s neat to see you both teaching and that you can do it without degrees. My significant other doesn’t have any degrees (whereas I have a BA and an MA), so this is starting to sound like a viable option for us. However, my sig. other has type I diabetes and, of course, a great concern is his health and access to insulin. What would recommend as possible options for him? What do you two do in terms of health coverage/insurance? Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom on your site!

  2. Hi Carrie,

    Thanks for the comment! We’re glad you found our site helpful… thats what it’s here for! I understand the difficulties associated with travelling with diabetes. I personally don’t have experience with anyone purchasing insulin but there are some good resources online for travelling diabetics and according to them, it’s pretty easy to get in China! Check out this link: https://www.diabetesdaily.com/forum/type-1-diabetes/59862-buying-insulin-china-so-easy

    As for health insurance coverate, you’re employer will pay for the basic coverage and your S.O will probably want to pay a bit extra for extended coverage. Health insurance is Cheap in China and there are great medical facilities all over the country… even here in Yangzhou.
    Hopefully this helps!
    Good luck and thanks for reading!

  3. Are there any age restrictions that you are aware of regarding ESL teaching in China? I know of a number of people in their younger years but what about someone who here is Aus is reaching retirement age? My partner is an ESL teacher and I have supported IT in schools, the idea of living abroad (and the dream) funded by my native tongue is really appealinghttps://www.goatsontheroad.com/wp-content/plugins/smilies-themer/kopete/thumbs_up.png

  4. Hey Paul,
    Thanks for the comment.

    As far as we know, there aren’t any age restrictions. In fact, there is a man who works in Yangzhou and he’s about 55-60 years old. It’s never too late for a change!

    We’ve really enjoyed our year of teaching and would recommend it.

    Let us know if you have any further questions 🙂


  5. Teaching English is a great way to travel – you get a chance to live locally, make local friends, and really experience life in your new land. Over the years I have taught on contracts for one or more years at a time in Japan, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, UK, all with a TEFL qualification, and since qualifying as a primary teacher I have taught in Ireland, Australia & Brunei. I have travelled extensively in the local region each time and taken some long overland trips on between contracts. Fantastic way to live & highly recommended!

  6. Wow Lisa, that’s amazing!! I can’t believe the amount of exotic places you’ve traveled and taught. That’s incredible 🙂 It’s such a great way to live like a local and really learn about the customs and culture. Good for you 🙂

    Cheers from Mexico!

  7. I’ve really found your website to be one of the greatest finds I’ve come across on the internet about traveling overseas. The information, experience, and tips you have on your site are really second to none and have given me hope again about my future traveling plans I hope to extend for some years.

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