What is it really like teaching English in China?

It’s a big step to pack up and move to China to teach English and so it’s useful to hear some stories from teachers currently living in China. In this series of interviews we provide you with more details about the lives of real English teachers in China. They share their experiences about life inside and outside the classroom, their first impressions of China, a typical day teaching English at their schools, resources available, favourite classes and some of the adventures they have had in China so far.

Darren Ralphs

Shane English - Shanghai
“I’ll say the best thing about Shanghai is that it’s more of a mix of old meeting new than I thought it would be.”

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Jodie Dumas

York English - Fuzhou
“I hadn’t taught children before coming here so I was really nervous about it but they coach you a lot and you are given so much help.” 

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Liv Conroy

Nanhai Kindergarten - Foshan
“I love that Foshan is in the South of China, it proves an excellent base for travel with China and further afield into the rest of Asia.” 

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Sean Healy

English First - Chongqing
“I can tell you that Chongqing is a city like no other that sprouts off in a million different directions in a million different ways.” 

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Neil Noland

Kid Castle - Shanghai
“As best as you may try to plan for all contingencies, nothing can brace you for the culture shock that is China.” 

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Zhara Fernandez

Best Learning - Beijing
“Teaching is one of my biggest passions. I love what I do. I definitively feel satisfied every moment that one of my students discovers something new in my class.” 

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Luke Bosworth

English First - Chongqing
“The aspect I find most rewarding about teaching English is the cultural exchange of ideas for higher level learners.” 

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Heather

High School - Qingdao
“I can really invest in each student because I know their strengths, weaknesses and learning styles.” 

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Sergey Kozlovtsev

University in Shanghai
“University students are old enough to be able to discuss complex issues, yet young enough for the teacher to be able to make a lasting impression.” 

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Robin Watts

Wall Street English - Shanghai
“I became despondent with the UK education system, a mundane and predictable social life and, prompted by a Chinese girl I had met, moved to China.” 

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Wayne Clough

American Eagle - Chengdu
“It’s got a tier 1 city feel at the cost of a tier 2 city with amazing food and beloved pandas that are famous throughout China!” 

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Anna Reynolds

Public School - Saudi Arabia
“Saudi Arabia is a wonderful city with lots to offer and people are very friendly.” 

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David West

Language School - Vietnam
“At night, I have seen owls hovering above the rocks of Front Beach hunting. The beach is just a 10 minute taxi ride from my home!” 

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Kelly Miller

EF Shijiazhuang
“I love the fact that there aren’t a lot of Westerners here so I feel like I’m getting to see what the ‘real’ China is all about.” 

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Mary Robison

Star-River - Shanghai
“I love seeing those moments when the students have worked hard at understanding something and they have the ‘ah-ha’ moment.” 

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Tre Tennyson

Rainbow Station - Shenzhen
“It’s always fascinating the types of people you run into here in Shenzhen and the types of memories and networks you build.” 

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Luigi Carletti

English First - Hangzhou
“Every day is an adventure. No really. Think about moving to a different country. A huge one in fact. ” 

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James Johnson

Giraffe English - Shanghai
“We just had a whole company ‘amazing race’ event and sports day, quiz night, and company trip. There is always a lot of fun going on both for the students and the teachers!” 

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Luke & Tonya

Shane English - Changzhou
“Adventure comes in many forms and China seems to have them all. You certainly don’t have to look very far to find something interesting or seemingly strange.” 

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Anna Rossi

English First - Xuzhou
“The adventure starts from the dinner table! If you sit on a traditional Chinese dinner table you can expect anything from chicken feet, duck intestines to eggs that are so old they’ve gone black! ” 

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Shayne Dent

English First - Nanjing
“What I enjoy most about Nanjing is the tight knit expat community as well as the fact that you can have a taste of both big city life alongside more traditional Chinese aspects. ” 

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Elaine Reynolds

Public School - Shenzhen
“Having researched different countries and talked to various recruiters, a public school job in China
appealed to me. So then I hopped on a plane and here I am in China!. ” 

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Shur Chellan

New Oriential - Hohhot
“I thought that I had gotten frost bite and I was going to lose my fingers… However, it turns out to be a once in a lifetime experience with such history steeped in culture!” 

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Ashleigh

EF Qingdao
“My young students attack me with hugs and I’m nourished by their enthusiasm.  I then have slightly older students who always have something to discuss with me!” 

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Nicholas

SDE Public School
“There’s really no shortage of things to see, and locals always want to test their hand at English, so it’s easy to meet many people.”

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