If you’ve done any research into the world of TEFL then you’ll already know that China is probably one of the most popular places to teach English. But why is this, exactly? Why is China so popular? Well, here’s a list of five reasons as to why the country is the best place to be for any TEFL teacher.
1. The huge demand for teachers
As China aims to continue its rapid economic growth, its reliance on strong international trade links heightens. With English the dominant business language, the demand for English teachers for China’s business professionals is very high. Furthermore, with a younger population looking to travel, work and study abroad, more school and university students look to improve their English speaking skills. Couple both these factors together and you can see why there is such a demand for TEFL teachers in China unlike anywhere else. This means for the qualified TEFL teacher there is an abundance of opportunities here.
2. Status of teachers in Chinese society
In China there is, and always has been, a respect for education. In fact, China was found to have the highest public respect for teachers in the world, according to a 2013 survey which confirms their high status within Chinese society. You won’t find students being rude or chatting back to you here, a story many Western teachers may find hard to believe. This means your students will truly be able to thrive under your tutorship without fellow classmates distracting them. The work ethic of Chinese students is unparalleled and they will always try their hardest in class.
3. The friendly and welcoming people
Continuing on from their respect for teachers is the personality of the people in general. The people here are very open and will not be afraid to stare at you, or even ask for a photo! The Chinese are known to be constantly smiling and are very welcoming, especially out of the main tourist cities. Those of the younger generations will be keen to test their English on you too and will often be willing to assist you in any minor problem you may have such as translating. Again, an overall respect for teachers will mean your students will be very polite to you.
4. The low cost of living
Thanks to China’s powerhouse economy, almost everything (except expensive foreign imports) is cheap! From accommodation to groceries, most things here will be cheaper than back home in Europe. This is especially true in more rural areas – however, cities will usually provide better wages so it’s up to you to decide which you’d prefer.
5. Unparalleled cultural diversity
There’s no place on Earth like it. The most people in the world, the biggest cities, one of the most diverse climates, all in one country. Each region has its own style, cuisine, and customs. There’s the Mandarin North and the Cantonese South with everything else in between. In the cities it feels like you’re witnessing an industrial revolution take place with big, modern towers sharing a street with old, traditional buildings. China has been transforming over the past few decades to become one of the most modern and cutting-edge nations in the world whilst still preserving ancient traditions. From the Forbidden City in Beijing to the Pearl Tower in Shanghai, every landmark is a testament to China’s magnificence – whether old or new.