China

Why choose China?

Spend a year at the heart of the 21st century and see for yourself why many believe China is at the centre of the world. From super highways and walls of neon, to ancient temples and colourful local markets - tradition and modernity combine to make an unforgettable experience.

Discover dazzling mega-cities, experience Chinese New Year, learn more about age-old traditions and ceremonies, and much more. There is nowhere quite like China and it is not to be missed.

Education is highly valued in China and teaching is a well respected profession. Working in a Chinese school among local colleagues will give you a place in the Chinese community. Not to mention, experience of working in China is hugely in demand in the workplace. 

You don't need to speak any Chinese to apply but you will need to have graduated from university by the time you start your placement. Also, the great news is that we do not charge you a fee to participate in our China programme, unlike some private companies.

What will I do?

As a language assistant in China, you may be placed in primary or secondary schools, or even in a university. There will be a free 60-hour online TEFL to help you succeed in the classroom and year-round support will be available from the British Council and our partners overseas. Find out more below about how everything works and the support that will be provided.

How does it all work?

You will normally be appointed from 1 September to 30 June and work around 20 hours per week.

Free accommodation is also provided with a private bedroom. Utility fees are usually covered too. Your return flight will also be paid for by your school upon completion of the contract. 

Where can I go in China?

Posts are available in a number of locations, including Beijing, Chongqing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Tianjin, and Yunnan.

Please state your preference in your application form. We would recommend that you research these areas before you apply and you should also be prepared to be flexible regarding your location.  

Please note that the areas listed above refer to regions and not to towns or cities, although they may share the same name. 

What will I be paid?

You will earn around 4,000 RMB -13,000 RMB per month (depending on your location, experience and school). This is equivalent to, or more than, a local teacher’s salary.

What will I need to apply?

You do not need any previous Chinese language skills to apply. To be a Language Assistant in China, you must:

  • have graduated from university by the time you start your placement
  • have received your graduation certificate by 15 July. 

If your online application is successful, you will need to bring a copy of your passport, a second reference letter and either your graduation certificate or a letter stating you will graduate this summer to your assessment day.The Chinese authorities have specific requirements as part of the work visa application procedure. This includes a full UK medical examination. Schools in China will advise further concerning the tests required. 

Also if;

  • you graduated before 1 January 2014, we need a work reference from a recent employer.
  • you have previously been a British Council Language Assistant or Comenius Assistant, we will need a reference from your host school.
  • you are bringing your spouse, or children, we will need a letter confirming their financial independence and a marriage certificate. If your spouse or partner will also be working as a language asisstant in China, a marriage certificate is not neccessary. 

When will I hear back?

Late March - you will find out if you have been invited to an assessment day.

Early April - assessment day - these are normally held in London, Manchester or Edinburgh and we always try to invite candidates to the assessment day nearest to them.

Mid April - you will then be told if your application has been successful.

May - you will be given your provisional allocation.

June/July - your specific posting will be confirmed. 

What support will I get?

Successful candidates will need to complete a free 60-hour online TEFL course by the middle of August, although we will expect you to have completed 100 minutes of this by the end of April.

All language assistants will be invited to a pre-departure day in London. This is a great opportunity for you to meet other assistants and get advice on things such as personal safety, setting up a bank account, how to apply for a visa and more. You will also have the chance to ask former assistants about life in China as well as attend an evening reception at the Chinese Embassy in London - a great opportunity for future networking! 

On arrival in Beijing, there is also a compulsory (but free) two-week induction course. Accommodation during the course is also provided. Again, this is as a great way for you to adjust to China and meet other assistants. The course includes:

  • a programme of China-specific TEFL training 
  • supervised teaching practice
  • cultural and language lessons.