With four great program options on offer, it can be tough to figure out which of these Chinese dragons you want to take for a spin. But lucky for you, the moon is full, the jasmine tea is freshly steeped, and we’re ready to make some hard-and-fast predictions about which of these TEFL internship programs in China is the right fit for you.
Best Program if You Want to Maximize Cultural Immersion: China Home Tutor
Do you dream of living in a place where the fresh aromas of home cooked, authentic Chinese food are the norm? Do you want to be part of a family—truly part of it—and improve your OWN language skills while helping others do the same? Do you want to walk away from your experience in China with a deep understanding of what the locals’ everyday lives are like?
Then consider our 2-3 month home tutor / homestay program in the Middle Kingdom—our shortest contract in China. This program is built to maximize immersion opportunities and afford teachers the chance to improve Mandarin, build relationships, and share TEFL skills in a high-impact, meaningful way. This program is an excellent fit for independent travelers who want more from their experience abroad than a couple of photos.
Adorn yourself proudly with the badge of a cultural ambassador as you change the lives of your host family in Beijing or Shanghai!
Best Program If You’re Trying to Build Your Resume: 5.5 Months in Shanghai
Are you a professional teacher (or do you dream of becoming one?)? Then these highly professional international internships in China are for you. This program is a great fit for teachers who see the bigger picture of your TEFL internship on your career path. With more hours in the classroom—and higher pay to boot—we recommend this program to more-serious ESL teachers.
But just because you take your job seriously doesn’t mean you’re not going to have a TON of fun outside of the classroom, too! Shanghai never sleeps, and between the buzzing lights of the Bund and the frenetic energy of Nanjing Road (the best shopping street in China, period.), you’ll be head over heels in love with your life in China in no time.
Work at one of the most effective language schools in the city; prepare lessons and meet with parents to ensure your students have EXTENSIVE support during their English-learning endeavors. Future job applications and teaching gigs will be a cinch thanks to all of the comprehensive experience this position offers you. And damn, is that your resume shining bright? We need shades.
Best Program If You Want to Teach… But You Also Want to Hang: China Nationwide
If you’re an ultra-social butterfly and don’t believe an experience alone is anywhere NEAR as fun as doing something with a friend, then this community-oriented five month TEFL internship program in China is for you. Hit the ground running with a full-on orientation, built specifically to connect you with your fellow TEFL teachers and give you insider knowledge on where to go and what to do while you’re abroad.
This course starts in Beijing, then you’ll hit the road on placements all over the country—even in really badass locations like Inner Mongolia (stocky ponies and all). This full-semester, 4.5 month program is a great fit for first time teachers who want a taste of the good life. Your work commitments are around ~35 hours weekly, with 15 of those hours solely dedicated to grading, prepping lessons, and discussing with your coworkers where to grab hot pot that night.
If you’re game for adventure and love it best when you’re with your whole crew, choose this program in China. Gan-bei!
Best Program If You… Adore Pandas & Ample Travel: China Hunan
We get that for many ESL teachers, the dream of living in China comes part and parcel with the dream of seeing cute, black and white, and might we add furry panda bears up close. The pandas, nicknamed in Mandarin as “GuoBao,” or “our country’s most precious item,” are definitely an appealing aspect to living and interning as a TEFL teacher in central China.
But there are more advantages than quality time with adorable rolly-pollies to attract international teachers to Hunan province.
If you desire to live in a single place, a real “home,” for an entire experience and really get to know the community, yet still have flexibility and free time in a smaller Chinese city, than our Hunan program will make a great fit. Your work hours will be less intense than our Shanghai program, and the chance to stay rooted in a singular place outweighs the mobility of our 4.5 month nationwide placement. The centrality means easy access to hoards of Chinese destinations and activities, like floating the Li River, visiting adorable villages in and around Lijiang, or even trekking the Tiger Leaping Gorge (it’s like the Grand Canyon of China!). Yes, adventure and meaning overlap with ease in this 4.5 month program, and we can’t wait to see what jumps out at YOU as your favorite experience.
You’re ready to pick your China internship program
Our steeped tea leaves have done great work in predicting what your future could look like as an ESL teacher in China. Now that you know what’s at stake in each of these opportunities, which one best suits you and your goals? Find the perfect fit and get your China TEFL experience started today.