In this interview, we’re speaking with Ted who is a full-time contributor here at Goats On The Road. He’s been a professional ESL teacher for almost 20 years now and is currently teaching English in Guangzhou, China. 

In this article, you’ll learn first-hand what it’s like to teach English in Guangzhou, how to find jobs, the pros and cons, the salary, and much more.


Πίνακας περιεχομένων
Thanks for chatting with us, Ted! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
What made you decide to become an English teacher? Did you have any prior experience?
You’re currently teaching English in Guangzhou, China. What’s it like living there? 
What types of jobs are available for teaching English in Guangzhou? 
How did you find a job teaching English in Guangzhou? 
Can you tell us a bit about the company that you work for?
Did you need to have any qualifications to get a job teaching English in Guangzhou?  
What does a day in the life of an English teacher in Guangzhou look like? 
How much can an English teacher earn in Guangzhou? 
What are the pros and cons of teaching English in Guangzhou? 
Any final advice for an aspiring English teacher?

Thanks for chatting with us, Ted! Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve been an English teacher for almost 20 years. I’m originally from the United States, and I haven’t lived there in all that time. I’ve been able to travel to many places in the world, sometimes for extended periods of time.

I’m also a writer, and along with here at Goats on the road and other places online, you can read my stories on my blog No Hay Bronca. much of my writing is about Mexico, where I lived for 10 years.

What made you decide to become an English teacher? Did you have any prior experience?

I became an English teacher for two basic reasons: I didn’t know what I wanted to do after university, and I wanted to explore the world. At the time, I never imagined that it would end up becoming my career.

A long time ago, about six months before I graduated from university, I answered a classified ad for an English teaching job in South Korea.

I had no previous experience as a teacher. I learned on the job, and I got a great deal of help and good advice from a more experienced teacher who was brought on as headteacher a few months after I arrived.

Until he came, I had no idea what I was doing. After that, I continued teaching in different kinds of schools, eventually working my way up to teaching in universities.

You’re currently teaching English in Guangzhou, China. What’s it like living there? 

Guangzhou is a fantastic place to live.

It’s extremely modern and also has a lot of history. It has a unique culture within China – Cantonese culture, which includes the food and language – and also has an international vibe with neighborhoods like Xiaobei, where a large community of African immigrants live.

Guangzhou is also known as Canton, or more precisely Canton City. 

Guangzhou has been an important city for thousands of years. right in the center of the city is the Nanyue Kingdom palace museum, which contains an excavation of the old city palace from 1800 years ago.

You can see remnants of the various ancient city walls from different periods under glass below the pedestrian street Beijing Road, which runs in front of the museum.

What types of jobs are available for teaching English in Guangzhou? 

A common type of teaching job is at a small English academy where people study English in their spare time. In China, they’re called training schools or training centers. Some are only for kids, and some are geared toward adults or teenagers.

This is the type of school I worked at in South Korea. They’re the best option for people with no experience. The hours are long, up to 40 hours a week, either teaching or office hours, but the pay is good.

The highest-paying jobs are at international grade schools, which are often boarding schools that go from elementary through high school. like university jobs, these require experience, usually at least two years.

I prefer to work at a university because the low hours give me plenty of time for writing, translating, and copyediting work on the side. Also, the students are more mature and more interested in learning English than young children.

How did you find a job teaching English in Guangzhou? 

I found the job online. I can’t recall the specific website—there are many good resources for teaching jobs in Guangzhou, and sometimes you can find hiring information directly on university websites.

I believe that I searched for “teaching English in Guangzhou,” “university jobs in Guangzhou,” andso forth, and then I compiled a list of email addresses and sent each a short message and my CV. I didn’t get a response most of the time.

For the ones that did write back, I asked the person for details about the job, such as the working hours and pay. then I had a few online interviews, using Chinese video communication apps like Tencent meeting or DingTalk.

It’s also common for people to use recruiters to get English teaching jobs in China. This is a good option if you don’t have teaching experience and want to work at a training center.

As always, check your contract carefully. In some cases, you’ll be employed by the recruiting agency, not the school you’ll be working at, and you’ll therefore be subject to their conditions.

One of the first jobs I found in China was like that. among other shady clauses, the contract stated that if things didn’t work out at the school where I’d be teaching, I could be moved to any other school that the recruiting agency worked with.

This effectively meant that I could be taken out of the university and put into a kindergarten or grade school, something I definitely didn’t want to happen.

Two good places to check out for finding teaching jobs in Guangzhou are and

Can you tell us a bit about the company that you work for?

As I mentioned, it’s a large public university. I work in the foreign Studies Department, and the students major in English, French, or Japanese. They choose an emphasis later, which can be teaching, translation, or business.

Οι ταξεις

The classes are measured in “teaching hours,” which at universities everywhere in China are typically 40 or 45 minutes. two of these “hours” make up one class, so a two-hour class is actually only an hour and a half.

My contract is for 16 teaching hours a week, which means eight different classes. Each group meets only once a week. between 12 and 16 teaching hours seems to be the standard for Chinese universities.

Housing in Guangzhou

Many universities have on-campus housing for teachers, and a furnished apartment is included in my contract.

It’s not a requirement to live in it, and if I lived somewhere off-campus, I’d receive a little more money in each paycheck to make up for it. but that money isn’t nearly enough to cover the cost of an apartment in a major city like Guangzhou.

My on-campus apartment is nice, although I’ve heard some horror stories about extremely small places, run-down places, or places without a Western-style toilet. (Squat toilets are the norm in China.)

Anyone planning to live in an on-campus apartment should ask to see photos first — or better yet, view it in person.

School events and Community

Before I decided to teach English in Guangzhou, I taught at a university in a different part of China.

That university was really interested in fostering a community, with many events that my wife and I were encouraged to participate in, such as a sports day, a huge performance for the new year, and a party at the end of the semester.

There’s none of that where I am now. I’ve been completely left alone, which in many ways is a good thing, although there are certain benefits to feeling like you’re part of a community.

Did you need to have any qualifications to get a job teaching English in Guangzhou?  

These are the requirements for getting a teaching job in China.


Each school has its own requirements, which may include prior experience, Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL/TESL certificate.

University jobs require at least two years of experience, and some of them require a master’s degree, a PHD, or even a portfolio of published peer-reviewed journal articles.

Requirements for a residence visa in China

Then, there are the requirements for the Chinese residence visa and work permit. getting these involves a complicated process.

Below I’ll describe the requirements for university teachers. I believe that they’re the same for teachers in other types of schools, and I suspect that they’re the same or similar to the requirements for other types of jobs in China.

Anyone looking to work in China will need help in this process from the company that wants to hire them.

Before you sign a contract, a person from the company’s human resources department should send a list of requirements and offer to help with things like finding translators. If they don’t, or if communication with the company is difficult, expect some serious headaches.

Some companies will reimburse you for the significant expenses of this process, and others won’t. If the company will pay, it should be clearly statστη σύμβαση.

Έγγραφα για θεώρηση κατοικίας στην Κίνα

Θα χρειαστείτε πρωτότυπα του υψηλότερου βαθμού σας (τουλάχιστον ένα πτυχίο Bachelor για τη διδασκαλία και πολλά πανεπιστήμια απαιτούν μεταπτυχιακό δίπλωμα) και έλεγχο ποινικού ιστορικού.

Αυτά τα δύο έγγραφα πρέπει στη συνέχεια να πιστοποιούνται τρεις φορές. Οι πρώτες δύο φορές είναι από κυβερνητικές υπηρεσίες στην πατρίδα σας και η τελική πιστοποίηση είναι από μια κινεζική πρεσβεία. Στη συνέχεια, θα πρέπει να μεταφραστούν στους Κινέζους.

Θα χρειαστείτε επίσης ιατρική εξέταση, η οποία περιλαμβάνει ακτίνες Χ και εξετάσεις αίματος και ο γιατρός πρέπει να συμπληρώσει μια συγκεκριμένη μορφή που είναι στα αγγλικά και τα κινέζικα.

Μόλις φτάσετε στην Κίνα, πιθανότατα θα πρέπει να πάρετε ένα άλλο σε ένα συγκεκριμένο νοσοκομείο για αυτούς τους τύπους ελέγχων.

Εάν η εργασία σας απαιτεί προηγούμενη εμπειρία, όπως οι πανεπιστημιακές εργασίες όπως η δική μου, τότε θα χρειαστείτε μια επίσημη επιστολή από το προηγούμενο αφεντικό σας.

Είναι σαν μια επιστολή σύστασης, αλλά με τις ακριβείς ημερομηνίες της απασχόλησής σας, ένα επίσημο επιστολόχαρτο (σε χρώμα αν είναι δυνατόν) και σαφείς πληροφορίες επικοινωνίας.

Αυτό πρέπει επίσης να μεταφραστεί, οπότε κρατήστε το σύντομο.

Οι μεταφράσεις των κινεζικών είναι ακριβό και ορισμένοι μεταφραστές χρεώνουν από τη λέξη. Επίσης, βεβαιωθείτε ότι το αφεντικό σας υπογράφει με μπλε στυλό. Το αρχικό μου απορρίφθηκε επειδή ολόκληρη η επιστολή ήταν σε μαύρο και άσπρο.

Εάν θέλετε να μετακινηθείτε στην Κίνα με τον σύζυγό σας ή τα παιδιά σας, θα χρειαστείτε το πιστοποιητικό γάμου σας και το πιστοποιητικό γέννησης του παιδιού που μεταφράζεται και θα χρειαστεί να πάρουν ιατρική εξέταση.

Είναι μια σύγχυση, απογοητευτική και δαπανηρή διαδικασία. Γι ‘αυτό είναι σημαντικό να έχετε κάποιον να σας βοηθήσει από την εταιρεία που εργάζεστε.

Τι κάνει μια μέρα στη ζωή ενός αγγλικού δάσκαλος στο Guangzhou;

Μεταξύ της διδασκαλίας, την εξερεύνηση του Guangzhou και την ολοκλήρωση της άλλης ηλεκτρονικής δουλειάς μου, εδώ είναι μια μέρα / εβδομάδα μπορεί να μοιάζει.

Διδασκαλία στο Πανεπιστήμιο

Ως πανεπιστημιακός δάσκαλος, διδάσκω μόνο μαθήματα τρεις μέρες την εβδομάδα, αλλά καταλήγω να δουλεύω βασικά κάθε μέρα. Εκτός από τη διδασκαλία, ξοδεύω πολλά χρονικά μαθήματα σχεδιασμού. Το πανεπιστήμιο μου έδωσε ένα βιβλίο για να χρησιμοποιήσω, αλλά τίποτα άλλο.

Αυτό είναι χαρακτηριστικό για τα πανεπιστήμια στην Κίνα – μπορείτε να διδάξετε ό, τι θέλετε, περισσότερο ή λιγότερο. Οι αίθουσες διδασκαλίας έχουν έναν προβολέα και κάθε δάσκαλος που γνωρίζω χρησιμοποιεί μια παρουσίαση του PowerPoint κάθε μέρα.

Σε σχεδόν όλα τα σχολεία κατάρτισης, από την άλλη πλευρά, οι δάσκαλοι πρέπει να ακολουθήσουν τα σχέδια μαθήματος που προετοιμάζονται εκ των προτέρων. Η αποκλίνουσα από αυτό το σχέδιο μπορεί να σημαίνει μεγάλο πρόβλημα για τον δάσκαλο.

Προτιμώ να κάνω τα δικά μου σχέδια μαθήματος. It may take quite a bit of time, but you can reuse (and improve) them if you teach the same classes in a later semester.

Διδάγω ανάγνωση και γράφω μαθήματα, οπότε επίσης ξοδεύω πολύ χρόνο τον έλεγχο της εργασίας. Μια συμβουλή για τους πιθανούς Αγγλικές καθηγητές-Κρατήστε αυτές τις εργασίες που γράφουν σύντομα, μόνο μια σελίδα ή δύο, ή ο χρόνος που ξοδεύετε τα έγγραφα που ελέγχουν γρήγορα.

Την άλλη ηλεκτρονική εργασία μου

Εκτός από τη διδασκαλία, κάνω επίσης ανεξάρτητη γραφή, copywriting και τη μετάφραση των εργασιών. The writing and copywriting is pretty steady, so I usually know how many hours a week I need to dedicate to those.

I also know myself and how I work—always in the morning, and the earlier, the better. I won’t get any quality writing done in the evening after a long day of walking around in the sun, teaching classes, or squeezing into crowded buses.

Translating, however, can be totally random.

For instance, a few weeks ago I was contacted to translate a long journal article by an academic in Mexico who writes to me a few times a year. When that happens, it’s like, well there goes my weekend. I prefer to do my freelance work on Saturdays and Sundays.




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