Teach English in Hangzhou
ESL Jobs in Hangzhou
The city is considered one of the best situated and most prosperous in China. They say it’s the Chinese paradise, both because of the natural beauty and local economy.
Although, its population is not enormous and hardly surpasses 13 million (metropolitan area), the capital of Zhejiang Province is now one of the richest and most developed cities with a great job market. It’s a favorite destination for foreigners, because of the variety of English teaching jobs in Hangzhou: it’s relatively easy to get a position here, especially if you are a native speaker.
That’s why meeting an American living in Hangzhou for a long time is not uncommon – the pay is high, there are lots of state and private schools to choose from, and the scenery is breathtaking. Teachers are mostly wanted in schools and kindergartens here: there are over 170 elementary, primary and middle schools here. Plus, there are around 15 huge language centers and private courses, where professionals, teaching English as a foreign language, are constantly needed.
However, as the conditions are very interesting, requirements for Hangzhou international school jobs tend to be strict and some centers hire exclusively qualified natives, so looking for work here might not be the easiest way to come to China.
What Makes Hangzhou Unique?
- Language: Mandarin + local dialects
- Population: 13,4 million
- Climate: subtropical with 4 seasons
- Public Transport: 2 railway stations, international airport, subway (3 lines), bus, taxi
It’s not by accident, that they call the city a paradise on Earth – there is everything here. It used to be a rich city hundreds of years ago thanks to the silk industry and trade, and it still has plenty of things to offer a newcomer. What makes the Hangzhou city truly remarkable is the mix of historical past, the greatness of nature and modern technologies, which both attract tourists and boost the local economy. Many companies like Alibaba, Nokia, and Huawei are based here, that’s why the city is often referred to as the Chinese Silicon Valley.
Being one of the most beautiful and cleanest places in the country, it attracts thousands of expats and foreign specialists. A little less than 10% of the population here are workers from abroad. If you consider teaching English in China but don’t want to be left alone with no fellow foreigner to talk to, this is the place.
Here are a few other benefits of living in Hangzhou:
It’s relatively clean
Unlike in many other populated areas, like Beijing, here you won’t suffer from polluted air and unpleasant smells as much, as the air quality here is better (between “good” and “moderate”).
However, before moving to Hangzhou, it’s recommended to buy an air purifier and some masks, this will decrease the risk of sinus infections, allergies, and other health issues.
Probably, one of the reasons, why we like the city so much is the Hangzhou climate: the temperature rarely goes below 0 C (32 F) in winter.
So if you don’t like snow and other attributes of the cold season, this might be the right place. Summers are usually humid and hot with lots of sunny days.
Is Hangzhou safe?
Totally! It’s one of the most convenient places to live as a foreign worker, because of the level of life and security. As long as you aren’t rude and don’t show aggression, you won’t get in trouble, that’s for sure. However, if you plan to go out at night, it’s better to have a local friend with you, just in case.
The best part of teaching abroad. We all know why we want to work in China – it’s either about food or endless sightseeing! This city is situated on the banks of the West Lake, which is simply picturesque. Plus, there is the old Qinghefang street and ancient temples like Jingci (more than 1,000 years old) and Lingyin, where you could take a few extraordinary pictures or just relax and contemplate the man-made beauty. Don’t forget about nearby mountains too – you can go hiking on weekends there and enjoy the view of the city.
Here you can not only use public transport with little expenses ($23 per month) and get to work fast and easily, you get to travel around the country! As the city is one of the major transit hubs, teaching in Hangzhou will let you explore China on weekends. Shanghai is only 1 hour away by train and Beijing is 1:24 hours by plane! In fact, many locals prefer bullet trains, which are a bit cheaper and impressively rapid – up to 350 km per hour. You could also fly to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines or Taiwan since you won’t be very far from these.
In Hangzhou expats are pretty friendly (as well as the locals), so making friends and meeting new people is easy. You don’t have to limit your social life to Hangzhou expat bars or Western quarters in order to meet someone – there are lots of foreigners working by your side at universities, international companies, or schools. In case you need assistance or just look for an English-speaking friend, you’ll get it.
Enough job offers
When it comes to teaching jobs for foreigners in Hangzhou, you are likely to find something suitable for you in terms of schedule, students and wages. If you compare teaching abroad salary in other regions with the pay you can get in the Zhejiang province is extremely good.
Employers tend to be pickier here, but the requirements are quite reasonable and there are plenty of options for qualified teachers here.
You don’t need to earn a lot to be able to live in such a nice city. In fact, the average cost of living in Hangzhou is $250 per month (excluding rent, which starts at $397 plus utilities). You can easily afford to eat out a few times a week ($11 per dinner), go to the cinema (about the same) or get yourself a drink after work ($3,95). Actually, international school Hangzhou jobs usually offer free housing or a monthly allowance, which covers your rent expenses, which means you might put by around $1,000 per month without having to be especially thrifty.
In fact, according to our clients, local cuisine is on the best teaching English in China experiences. Be ready to fall in love with Hangzhou dishes, which are considered more refined and exquisite, than in other regions. The cuisine is based on the fish from the lake, shrimp, and pork with sweet sauces.
Food is salty, but not exactly spicy. In Hangzhou, Zhejiang province they typically serve Xihu Cu Yu, which is a fish dish with sweet and sour vinegar sauce.
Another specialty of the region is chicken cooked for 5 hours in lotus leaves and mud (Jiao Hua Ji) and traditional bean sweets, you’ll hardly find in other parts of the country.
Types of ESL Teaching Jobs in Hangzhou
- Public primary and middle schools
- Training centers
Teaching in kindergartens
As everywhere in China, children aged from 3 to 18 years are the main clients of a foreign teacher. Public school jobs in Hangzhou often need qualified teachers, who could handle a large class (up to 50 students).
This might be challenging, but quite fun for an experienced professional because with huge groups you can try some mini theater playing, games, and creative activities. However, if you plan to start teaching English in China with no experience, a state school might not do for you, since it requires a lot of self-control, discipline, and skills.
Teaching in schools
Some people say that ESL public school jobs in Hangzhou are tiresome and don’t encourage creative thinking – that’s not true! You might be tempted to turn to classic methods like reading aloud and doing endless exercises sometimes, because an English class is not meant to be 100% about fun and play, but don’t get lazy – students love it when a foreign teacher invests his time and effort into inventing educational materials and brings diversity in class. Inspiring students always pays off!
It’s really not hard to find a decent vacancy for teaching English in primary schools in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, but employers usually prefer mentors with experience with young learners and those having special certification.
In spite of the difficulties, connected with the number of students, there is a great perk about working at a state school – your schedule will be stable, you’ll get weekends off and some extra days off. Plus you will end work earlier – by 4 or 5 pm, which will let you take walks around the city, go sightseeing and enjoy your free evenings with friends.
Some of our clients ask: ‘Is it possible to teach adults in Hangzhou?’ because they don’t feel like working with kindergarten children or teens. Well, yes, sure! In a city with 13 million inhabitants, you can get the job you want.
In fact, there are two main factors here – working hours and type of students. Instructors who prefer adults get calmer and more focused students, who usually need less attention and control. On the other hand, teachers from abroad who choose such groups, often have to work during the weekend, because most adults get some free time on Saturdays/Sundays and are willing to use it for studies.
Plus, when you work in Hangzhou as an English teacher at a training center, be ready to get home at about 9 or 10 pm, since classes for adults tend to begin later and last till 8 pm or 9 pm.
Of course, you still get 2 days off during the week and if you choose those schedules, you get rewarded by not having to wake up early – typically, classes start in the afternoon, so a night owl will be able to get enough sleep, no worries.
The truth about salary
The truth about teaching English in China is that it might be slightly different from all your previous experience, but it’s totally worth it. Plus, you are normally treated as a dear guest, you get paid very well, benefit from bonuses and extra days off, and everyone tries to help you.
When it comes to salary, ESL teaching jobs in Hangzhou are among the top best-paid positions. Wages in the city can attain $3,000 per month, average ones being between $1,500 and $2,300. It might not seem a lot at first, but if you consider the workweek and the cost of living, you’ll be surprised by how beneficial it really is.
Of course, the pay depends on your actual qualifications and abilities: positions for non-natives and jobs for students in Hangzhou, Zhejiang are not paid as well as the ones for natives. However, you still get the bonuses and allowances, so there is really no discrimination here.
What to expect from your role as an English teacher in Hangzhou
These are usually very alike for many teaching abroad programs for certified teachers:
- Teach from 15 to 50 students in the class
- 20 teaching hours + up to 15 prep hours
- Attend teachers’ meetings, training
- Help with placement testing
- Plan lessons, conversation clubs
- Provide feedback, answer students’ questions
- Use up-to-date materials, authentic video, and audio recordings
- Role-playing, games, creative activities in class
- Enhance students’ listening and speaking skills (important and difficult part of teaching English at a Chinese school)
- Perform demo lessons and presentations
- Attend school social and cultural events
Compensation and salary
Hard work and devotion are highly valued in China, so foreign teachers get extra bonuses on top of their monthly wages, which normally ranges from 10,000 to 15,000 RMB ($1,500 – $2,200).
- Flight ticket reimbursement: 6,000 RMB (per contract)
- Contract completion bonus
- Free accommodation or allowance
- Free lunches at school (sometimes breakfasts and dinners included)
- Z visa and assistance
- Airport pickup and guided tour around the city
- Health insurance
- Welcome pack (SIM card, public transport monthly ticket, help with a bank account)
- Training upon arrival (up to 3 days)
- Free TEFL online (if you don’t have any)
- Free classes of Chinese Mandarin
- 3 to 8 weeks of holidays per contract (depending on the duration)
As you already know, ESL jobs in Hangzhou provide free housing. This means that you’ll get to live in an apartment for free (your bills will be paid by the school as well).
- You choose your place: district, style, number of rooms.
- Do you want to have a flatmate? You can get a bigger apartment if you share it with a fellow teacher.
- All apartments are well situated and close to the school. You won’t spend a lot of time in the subway, getting to work or on your way home. Tourist attractions, restaurants, and shops won’t be far from your place.
Qualifications & Skills
Unlike other ESL recruitment agencies and schools, we do not require you to have a TEFL/TESOL certificate or teaching experience. If you are fluent in English and want to teach kids or adults in China, you are welcome to apply and we will find you a teaching position in more than 60 cities around China.
- TEFL certificate preferred (apply for Hangzhou teaching jobs and get a free online one)
- Native speaker preferred/non-native with a fluent language and a degree from an English-speaking university
- Able to commit to a 12 or 22-month contract
- Clean background check
- Creative, inventive, enthusiastic, passionate about Chinese culture
Apply Now to Teach English in Hangzhou
Do you like the idea? Leave us your contact details and the following documents:
- Recent photo of you
- Cover letter
- Preferred schedule and type of students
- When are you ready to start?
Apply today at [email protected] (clickable email to write us right away) or fill out the form below.
Get your application in today and teach English in Shanghai with one of the leading schools in the city.