China is not only one of fastest growing economies in the world, but it is also one of the fastest growing markets for learning English as a second language. With this explosive growth, there are numerous opportunities and benefits for those who want to teach English in China. Whether you are looking for job security, career growth, a livable salary, a break from the rat race, or an opportunity to have fun and travel, the market has never been hotter than it is in China right now. So here are 10 reasons why you should teach English in China – it may just be exactly what you are looking for.
1. The Demand to Learn English in China is Growing
It seems nearly everyone in China wants to learn English, young and old. And being the most populous nation in the world…that’s a LOT of students! Not only is knowing English a key factor in people obtaining highly coveted and well-paying international jobs, but it’s actually seen as a bit of a status symbol. Basically, it’s cool to know English. And a lot of people are investing heavily in their English education.
So those who want to teach English in China have lots of choices.
English schools are popping up all across the country to serve this demand, but not all schools are the same. Here First Leap, we have over 80 centers which are located in 35 cities across China. As an after school English learning center, our focus is on teaching English through fun and interactive topics such as Music, Science, Global Leadership and more.
2. More ESL Jobs Than English Teachers in China
How many industries around the world can say that they have more jobs than employees? Given the huge demand for English teachers in China, companies are constantly in search of more teachers to fill vacancies. Because of this, schools actually need to compete for teachers by offering great employment packages.
Prospective teachers who meet the requirements have a likely chance of scoring a great deal with a top institution in China, like First Leap. With the anticipated growth of the ESL industry in China in the future, this is high demand is not going away anytime soon. In fact, the need for international English teachers in China is only going to increase with each passing day, month, and year.
So now really is the perfect time to get into this industry and teach English in China!
3. You Don’t Have to Know Chinese…or Have a Degree in Teaching!
One of the main concerns people have with the idea of teaching English in China is that they don’t know Chinese. However, speaking Chinese is NOT a requirement to teach English in China. This is because students tend to learn the phonics and other specifics from a local Chinese teacher who can explain it well. The native-speaking English teacher is there to immerse the students in the target language by conducting classes entirely in English. And at First Leap, our International Teachers get to teach the most fun topics while bringing the language to life.
While a college degree in teaching or education is beneficial, it’s not a requirement. Many schools, such as First Leap, will accept people with any degree such as philosophy, business or science. Regardless of your educational background, First Leap provides excellent training and ongoing learning opportunities to enhance your teaching skills so that you can be successful in the classroom.
4. Don’t Just Earn…but SAVE Money When You Teach English in China
Would you like to be able to save thousands of dollars a year while having a comfortable life? That’s exactly what many ESL teachers do while living in China. And in some cases, the ability to save money while teaching English in China is better than back at home!
Reputable schools want to attract the best teachers, so they know that they need to give teachers a good quality of life. In addition, the high demand for teachers means that companies are competing by providing salary packages that not only allow you to have a comfortable living…but most teachers actually SAVE money in China.
The potential to save money is great for people who want to save up for a house or car back home, and also for those who need to pay off student loans, like in the United States.
5. Manageable Schedules and 2 Days Off Each Week
Some people might think that you have to work like crazy while in China as an English teacher in China, but that isn’t always true. While some companies are known to run their employees ragged, many of the top education companies in China (like First Leap) pride themselves on having great schedules for their teachers. The 32 hour work-week at First Leap, but those hours include your prep time. So you won’t teach that many hours a week.
In addition, many after school learning centers (like First Leap) operate nights and weekends. On weekdays our international teachers don’t need to report to work until the afternoon. Weekends are busy, but teachers are finished by the evening so they can go out with friends. Lastly, our international teachers at First Leap have 2 days off each week, plus holidays. So even though you may have a job teaching English in China, you will have plenty of free time to explore your city or travel.
Teaching English in China gives you the chance to have a great balance of work and play.
6. Immerse Yourself in Ancient Chinese Culture
The opportunity to live abroad and immerse yourself in a new culture is an eye-opening experience. When you teach English in China you have a unique chance to connect with and explore ancient and modern China. From adorned ancestral temples to modern skyscrapers, to magnificent landscapes and bustling markets.
During your off days you can wander through parks watching the locals do their Tai Chi, or you may choose to relax while sitting in a pagoda and reading a book. Many teachers take Chinese classes or have a coffee “chat” with their new Chinese friends to practice. At night, get together with your friends over a traditional “hot pot” and maybe wrap up your night at the popular KTV!
Living in China as an expat is truly the experience of a lifetime.
7. Explore Asia – Beyond Just China
It seems there is always something to do and places to explore in this vast country, including the incredible UNESCO sites around China. However, living in China gives ESL teachers the chance to easily explore beyond the borders of China. Holidays can be spent having adventures in nearby Asian countries – such as Vietnam, Thailand, Japan or India.
In addition, many of those who choose to teach English in China take time before or after their contracts to go on more lengthy trips – possibly even taking a gap year before they return home. For many, this time of their life is one of the best chances to see and do things they have always dreamed of doing!
8. Living and Working in China is SAFE
Not only do international teachers in China have the unique opportunity to live, work, and travel throughout the country, but more importantly, they can feel safe doing so. In fact, China is actually among the safest countries for ESL teachers to live and work abroad. You will also discover that Chinese locals quite often very happy to help foreigners – even if they don’t speak English. And those who do, often want to practice their English with you too.
One of the questions we hear often from those who want to teach English in China is that they worry about their safety in China. But many of our experienced teachers at First Leap comment on how surprised they are at the level of safety and security they experience in China. Many of them would even go as far as saying they feel more safe in China than they do in big cities back in their home country.
9. It’s Fun to Teach English in China
As an international ESL teacher in China, you will quickly learn just how amazing and enthusiastic students are in China. And at First Leap, our ESL teachers have the chance to teach some of the most engaging and fun topics. Each day, we love seeing pictures posted online from our teachers who are dancing, laughing, playing, and posing with their students.
Many of our international teachers at First Leap develop a bond with both their students, and even some of the parents. There is nothing that makes you feel more satisfied with your job than having those bonds and watching these children grow. But the fun is not just in the classroom.
10. Make Memories With People From Around the World
Some prospective English teachers in China are worried that they may be lonely. However, that’s often far from the case. Many ESL teachers make friends with their local Chinese co-workers and this gives them the chance to have more authentic, local experiences. From being invited into homes for holidays or events, to late night shenanigans at KTV. And here at First Leap, we strive to create a “family” atmosphere by providing comfort, support, and help in any way possible to ensure teachers have a great experience.
But English teachers in China not only meet Chinese locals. There is actually a thriving expat community in China that includes many teachers from a variety of schools, as well as other industry professionals who live and work in China. There are also numerous expat groups where ESL teachers may get together with others to do sports and other activities. It’s not uncommon for close groups of friends or even co-workers to include people from Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada, South Africa, Australia, the USA and more.
As a result, ESL teachers in China often make friends with people from all over the world and create memories that will last a lifetime.
There’s No Better Time Than Now to Teach English in China
For many, the chance to live and work abroad is appealing itself. And for others, the chance to teach English in China gives them an opportunity to build their skills and gain international experience. While some are interested in long term careers and growth, others may be looking for a fresh, new adventure…and a chance to travel around the world.
Regardless of your reason, ESL teachers in China can make a great salary and even SAVE money. Oh, and you will have a great time doing it!
So what better time to begin your new life and career. It’s easy to get started today!