Want to teach English in China but can’t decide where? You’re not alone. China is a massive country, filled with serene landscapes, bustling cities and varying living conditions.
To find the right city for you, consider your interests, creature comforts and salary expectations, and you’ll be well on your way to whittling down this vast country to a few select destinations.
Here are some of our favourite cities in China to choose from:
Do you love pandas? Then you will love living in Chengdu.
It’s famous for the Chengdu Panda Reserve – the only place in the world successfully breeding this endangered species. It’s also where you’ll find the Leshan Stone Buddha and its spicy soft tofu dish mapuo doufu.
The city is also popular with expats, which means you won’t struggle with meeting other English speakers.
Salaries start at 6000 – 8000 RMB per month and the cost of living here is quite affordable, so you’ll have plenty to save for future adventures.
Do you need the great outdoors to be on your doorstep to feel happy?
Then teaching in the city of Guilin is perfect for you. It’s an ESL destination with a difference.
It’s home to beautiful mountains and scenic lookout points, plus it’s only an hour away from Yangshuo where you can swim in a mud cave!
And don’t forget to try famous dishes like Guilin rice noodles or Yangshuo beer fish.
Salaries start at 8000-12000 RMB per month.
Beijing is ideal for city slickers who want their modern creature comforts mashed up between ancient history.
Here you can find the famous Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and more!
It’s one of China’s largest cities and is overflowing with job opportunities for ESL teachers. While salaries are higher here than other places (10000 – 16000 RMB per month), cost of living is also higher, so you’ll need to be frugal with your money if you want to save.
Located in the Yunnan province, Kunming is known for its perfect weather, natural environment and non-mainstream Chinese culture.
It’s an ideal place for an ESL teacher who wants to immerse themselves in China’s culture but also want to avoid the big city life.
Salaries are a bit lower (between 5000-8000 RMB per month), but Kunming makes up for it with hikes to Tiger Leaping Gorge and cultural performances from minority groups.
China has something for everyone. Whether you are craving the bustle of a big city like Beijing or want something more serene, you’ll be able to find an ESL position that suits your needs.
Do your research, know your interests and you won’t pitch up at your new teaching position regretting your decision.
About the Author
Lauren Melnick is a South African travel blogger and ESL teacher currently living in Ubon, Thailand. When she isn’t making lesson plans and watching nursery rhymes on YouTube, you can find her eating up a storm, taking selfies with dinosaurs, and planning her next adventure.