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Experienced teacher - New to China


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I am considering coming to China to teach English and to also improve my Mandarin.

I taught English in Taiwan and Thailand for 8 years to all different levels.
I have an excellent reputation in Taiwan and Thailand as a very good teacher.
My Mandarin is so so,but definitely needs improvement. My goal is to be fluent within 1 year.

I would like to be in a fairly warm weather city,and not so much unhealthy smog each day. Any recommendations ?

What are the requirements of teaching attire ?
Would it be best to search for a teaching job upon arrival ?
As an experienced teacher with a TESL and BA degree, what should I expect as a salary ?
What are the apartments like that schools offer ?

Thank you in advance to all who take the time to reply.

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If you use an agent, expect to have a much lower salary than you could have otherwise by searching Baidu maps for "小學”,“中學”,“高中”,or “大學” in areas you're interested in (I recommend Hangzhou, but see below*)and then contacting the schools directly (either email or phone call).


*Coming from Taiwan and Thailand, you might find Hangzhou to be a bit cold during the winter (0-10c). Maybe you could search online for "PM 2.5 map of China" and help base your location decision on that.

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Would it be best to search for a teaching job upon arrival ?


I'm not a teacher, but from what I've read it would be best to find a job before arrival.

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I wouldn't recommend randomly emailing public schools as above. Most public schools won't have the ability or knowledge to hire foreign teachers. Those that do will also likely know how to advertise directly or will use agents to do so.

For salary, depends where in the country. If you want a larger salary and a more Southern climate then look at Shenzhen. Guangzhou might also be ok but Shenzhen is likely to have more higher paying jobs. I guess advantages are quick access to HK and a decent climate. Shenzhen is fairly boring though.

Other Southern cities are likely to have good climates and be interesting but unlikely to have huge salaries. For the best money you would need to look at Shanghai and Beijing probably. There will be some jobs will great money elsewhere but perhaps less opportunities. Salary might be 15k plus 4K housing. In lower cities maybe 8k to 12k and a free apartment. After one year you could negotiate a better salary.

If you're a native speaker, have experience, a BA and some kind of TEFL cert then you're pretty much set for any teaching job going.

Definitely recommend not arriving then looking for a job. As things stand now it's likely you'd have to fly home again in order to apply for the right visa once you'd found a job. Spare the expense and look for the right role from home and get the Tony visa before you leave.

Apartments vary. If you've worked in Thailand there shouldn't be many surprises. The quality won't be what you're used to back home but there are nice apartments nonetheless. They should All have western toilets, kitchens, living rooms, heating etc

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