Teach English in China FAQ


What is the salary?

Depending on the relevant background and performace in the interview, your starting salary will range from 186,000 RMB (approx. £22k) to 210,000 RMB (approx. £25k) per year. Over time you can earn more, as high as 237,000 RMB (approx. £28k) per year, by delivering more teaching hours (subject to company policy).

How much tax do I have to pay?

The government charges tax based on your total amount of salary. For foreigners working in China, your starting point is higher than local people. Let’s say if your payment is 12000-18000RMB per month, the monthly tax rate will be around 10-15%. Besides, you do not have to calculate the tax on your own. Our company accountants will apply the tax to you.

How long is the contract? Can I have a short-term contract with you? After the contract ended, can it be extended? If so, for how long?

The first contract lasts 13 months.

Unfortunately, we don't offer shorter-term contracts, though we are confident that you will enjoy your time working with us and will wish to extend your stay in China.

You are very welcomed to extend the contract. It is suggested to speak to your teaching supervisor regarding the extension of the contract before it ends. And we will help you extend the working visa as well. The contract can be extended at a rolling basis for every year.

Do you provide accommodation?

We provide free accommodation for the first 3 months. (T&C apply) Our Chinese colleagues will support you finding your own accommodation after the first 3 months.

Do I pay for my own flight ticket to China? How does reimbursement work?

The reimbursement amount is 10,000RMB in total which can include all your pre-departure costs related to working visa, e.g. apostille cost, criminal record check cost, visa fee, etc. You will get the reimbursement upon contract completion.

Are there any additional expenses?

There are no additional charges from the company end. In general the expenses you will be responsible for are costs for documents preparation and visa application, all of which will be reimbursed subject to your contract completion.


How many students will I have to teach in a class?

No more than 10 students in a class.

Where do the schools and libraries locate?

All of them locate in shopping malls. It’s easy for teachers to get food or buy things. However, it’s isolated from other shops so you don’t need to worry about the noise from outside. You can go on to website to have a look at the working environment.

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Will I have an assistant to help me in class?

For young age groups, 3-5 years old, you will have a local teacher as your assistant. For older students, 6 above, we don’t provide assistant unless you really struggle with the class management.

Will there be parents in the class?

Occasionally Teachers will need to undertake demonstration and open classes for fee paying parents as well as regular classes for existing students. (open classes are run every three months for parents to witness their child’s learning progress) Otherwise parents are not allowed to enter the classroom during the classes. Parent will only be permitted to enter if their child is very young and is distressed about being in a classroom environment, which is new and unfamiliar to them.

Which school will I be allocated to?

We are unable to tell the exact school that you will be working at as it depends on the your starting date. However, all our centres are easy to find and close to public transport links.

What do I need to wear in class?

You will be given two T-shirts as uniform when you arrive in China. It is required to wear them all the time during working hours. There is no specific requirement on bottoms and footwear, however, we do suggest teachers to wear comfortable so that the movement will not be restricted.

What is the student age groups?

We have a wide age range of students from 3 to 16 years old. However, the majority students will be 5-10 years old.


Will you support me in applying the Chinese Working Visa?

Yes, you will have our full support throughout the whole visa process, however you will need to submit your visa application to the Chinese embassy in London/Manchester/Edinburg in person or via postal service.

Do you require TEFL qualification? Do you sponsor for TEFL?

120hrs TEFL qualification is required for getting a Z-working visa in China. Certain exemptions exist, eg. degree in English or Education; having at least 2-years teaching experience in English. It is better to cross check it with the HR team if you have concern in it.

We are going to sponsor the TEFL course for successful candidates if he/she currently doesn’t have one (T&A applied).

How long will the visa process take?

Normally it will take you 6 weeks to finish TEFL course. After that, it may take you 3-4 weeks to collect all the necessary documents. Once you have all the documents ready, it will then take you another 8 weeks to acquire a working permit and working visa. Hope the picture below can help you better understand the timeline of visa process.

Do I need to apply for a hardcopy of TEFL certificate?

Yes, it is necessary for you to have a hardcopy of your TEFL certificate as you will have to show it to the related Chinese GOV department for document checking when you arrive China. It may cost you a little bit extra money and time for applying it. If you already got a TEFL certificate in digital version, please go to the institution of your TEFL certificate online, and apply for a hardcopy by providing the series of your TEFL certificate.

Do I need to do a health check in the UK before I start work with you?

No, it is not compulsory for you to do a pre-departure health check in the UK since you will have to do a full body check in a nominated hospital upon arrival. However, you need to sign a health statement declaring that you have good health which won’t affect your work in China and promising that you will have a full body check when you arrive in China.

Where shall I apply for the working permit? How much does it cost?

The working permit can only be sponsored by the employer in mainland China. It won’t cost you extra money. Once you got all your documents ready, please email the scanned copies to our HR team and then our visa specialist will help you get the working permit from Chinese Authority.

Life in China

How much does accommodation cost?

It depends on the location and your requirements. In Shenzhen, if you are going to share an apartment with someone else, it will be around 2500-3000RMB per month. Or If you prefer your own place, it will be above 4500RMB for a one bedroom apartment or a studio. However, like most major cities some districts are more expensive than others.

Do you offer Chinese classes for foreign teachers?

Yes, we run workshops for our foreign teachers. However, both in groups or as one-to-one sessions. This is because some foreign teachers may feel unconfident in learning a new language with colleagues.

What kind of insurance you are going to provide?

From 2018, Keyword provides ESL teachers with a comprehensive insurance plan including life insurance and medical insurance. The new insurance plan can cover accident and medical treatment. The cost of the insurance is on employer.