Teach English in Kunming

Compensation and salary

Teaching jobs for foreigners in Kunming may require a significant amount of time and energy, but they totally pay off: grateful students, little gifts and regular snacks on your table before the class are common.

But you also get bonuses from your employer on top of the salary:

  • Salary up to 12,000 RMB (depends on your schedule, experience, level of English etc.)
  • Free accommodation or allowance up to 2,000 RMB
  • Help with visa and documentation
  • 11+13 days off per school year
  • Flight ticket reimbursement after 9 months (the amount should not exceed 3000 RMB)
  • 7000 RMB contract completion bonus
  • Visa fee reimbursement after 6 months of the contract
  • Airport pickup
  • School-paid trips for staff
  • Promotion options within the school
  • Welcome pack including a Chinese SIM, monthly bus pass, help create a bank account
  • Guided tour around Beijing + tip about where to go in your district
  • Loyalty bonus for each subsequent contract with the school
  • Referral bonuses per person (if a new teacher is hired through your recommendation)
  • Performance bonuses
  • Summer class bonuses (per month): 500 RMB
  • Help with everything related to bureaucracy or medicine
  • Help with a bank account, taxes, paying bills, interacting with officials and doctors (if needed)
  • Coaching, workshops, class reviews and mutual observation
  • Full health insurance
  • Possibility to get a free TEFL certificate

Types of ESL Teaching Jobs in Kunming

  • Public institutions
  • International schools
  • Training courses

Interested in jobs for foreigners in Kunming? There are quite a few of these.

Foreigners who enjoy teaching young learners are permanently in extreme demand, because of the evergrowing number of children and kindergartens.

English speakers are needed everywhere, no matter if they are natives or just fluent – nowadays parents are crazy about early development and language learning!

If it’s your first job, don’t be afraid to apply to teach English in China: no experience doesn’t necessarily reduce your chances, unlike the absence of Bachelor’s degree, which might be a serious problem.

Fresh teachers, students, and enthusiasts are welcome, even without certificates and experience, because the only thing that counts for jobs in Kunming is your creativity, readiness to learn and good adaptation skills. Being passionate about languages and knowledge sharing is a must!

What is the schedule like?

Schedules differ a lot! Those, wondering “Is it possible to teach adults in Kunming?” have to be prepared for late classes and weekends at work because you can only teach grown-ups at language schools.

Weekends there are extremely busy. On the other hand, you won’t have to wake up early, as classes usually start around 3 pm, but last till 9 pm on weekdays.

The administration will fix two days off for you during the week, but chances are, there will be Monday and Tuesday, rather than Saturday-Sunday.

Kindergartens and ESL public school jobs in Kunming have a more regular schedule: Monday-Friday you are expected to start around 8 am (sometimes 7 am), then have a break at midday and continue till 5 pm.

Evening classes are not out of the question, but extremely rare. Weekends are off so that you could plan something with your friends and relax.

How much can you earn in Kunming?

It depends on different factors like qualification, certificates, experience and what school has to offer.

When you teach English in China salary is not a concern, because it’s almost impossible to get low pay and be unable to live comfortably.

Foreigners here earn between 9,500 RMB and 12,000 RMB ($968 – $1,750), as prices are quite low, with teaching jobs in Kunming you can afford everything from eating out to traveling outside China on vacation.

Usually, $350 – $400 is enough for basic needs, food, and some shopping, so you can save some money for gifts and flight tickets.

English teaching jobs in Kunming
ESL jobs in Kunming
Jobs for foreigners in Kunming

What to expect from your role as an English teacher in Kunming

  • Up to 20 teaching hours, + 5 office hours per week
  • 14 – 50 students per class (public school jobs in Kunming presuppose bigger classes than ESL courses)
  • Lesson planning, test check
  • Demos, ordinary classes, conversation clubs
  • Attend school social events and staff meetings
  • Enhance speaking in class
  • Use audio material and games
  • Provide feedback
  • Placement testing and interviewing new students
Teaching jobs for foreigners in Kunming
Work in Kunming as an English teacher
vacancy for teaching english in primary schools in Kunming


Even though rent is very reasonable in Kunming, China is renowned for the generosity of its employers, who tend to cover 100% of charges and offer free housing to all newcomers.

This actually lets you save from $200 to $500 per month, depending on the size of the apartment.

Another good news is that you get to choose it all by yourself!

  • Full assistance finding an apartment in Kunming: a Mandarin-speaking agent will look for a place and send you pictures of available options.
  • Unique Western-style places with necessary equipment, furniture, and enough space.
  • Peaceful and nice Kunming neighborhoods with a foreigner-friendly environment.
  • Close to commercial areas, entertainment, and work.
  • Private accommodation may get a roommate upon request.

Utilities are paid for by the foreigner teaching in Kunming but don’t worry, these charges normally don’t exceed $50.

Free housing for English teacher in Kunming
Great appartement for ESL teacher in Kunming

Qualifications & Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field (preferred but not necessary)
  • 120-hour TEFL (jobs in Kunming are ready to offer it for free)
  • Any previous experience is an advantage
  • Qualifications, additional skills are a plus
  • Native speaker / good speaking and writing skills in English
  • Ready to sign at least a 12-month contract
  • Enthusiastic, culturally aware, open-minded, patient and creative

Apply Now to Teach English in Kunming

Does Kunming sound like your kind of place? Don’t lose a minute – we are waiting for these to get started:

  1. Cover letter
  2. CV
  3. Recent photo
  4. Preferences (teaching hours, students)
  5. Availability to begin work

When are you able to start?

Apply today at [email protected] (clickable email to write us right away) or fill out the form below.

Submit your application and start to teach English in Kunming at a top school as soon as possible.

What is it like to live in Kunming?

The main city of the Yunnan province is not only large and economically powerful but also has lots of opportunities for expats.

Kunming jobs for foreigners are usually related to English translation or teaching and are quite numerous on the market.

Kunming English teaching jobs are offered by state schools and kindergartens, colleges, international institutions, and ESL courses.

There are around 250 different schools in the city, plus 50+ training centers, looking for new teachers – qualified specialists or fresh enthusiasts, speaking English.

Kunming international school jobs

What Makes Kunming Unique?

  • Population: 2 million
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Public transport: airport, 2 railway stations, buses, subway, taxi
  • Climate: subtropical highland

The “City of eternal spring” is probably not among the best-known places in China, but surely one of the most agreeable to live in.

The Kunming city is a great option for everyone who is passionate about the Chinese culture, language and those, who can’t stand hot summers.

Living in Kunming as a foreigner is about finding the right balance between traditional and modern things, Western and Asian styles, etc. Nothing is “too much” here.

Plus, there are lots of different career possibilities and a chance to put by some cash for the future.

Cuihu Park, Kunming, China
Kunming teaching jobs for foreigners
Kunming districts

Kunming weather

No extreme heat, no freezing wind... Never. Is that even possible?

Thanks to its situation, the city never experiences harsh winters – temperature in January rarely goes below 8 C (46 F), as well as in July it almost never is above 18 C (65 F).

The climate is rainy and humid, but quite pleasant and spring-like. Ideal for those, who love early spring, refreshing rain and flowers.

Affordable cost of living in Kunming

High-speed Internet connection is only $16 per month, a pint of beer costs $0.60, while the price of a 3-course restaurant meal is around $8 per person.

The housing can be as cheap as $200 per month, but it’s usually paid for by the employer, so you get to save extra dollars for outings and trips.

What to do?

If you enjoy the natural beauty and admire the ancient man-made architecture, then you won’t be disappointed by what this city has to offer! Visit the 1,200 y.o.

Yuantong Buddhist temple, walk through the Black Dragon pool with its picturesque ruins and secular trees.

Teaching English in Kunming, don’t miss your chance to see the Dongchuan fields and the Yuantong rice terraces, which are ideal for someone passionate about photography or painting.

They are especially beautiful in late spring and early autumn with their multicolored hills and shapes.

Dongchuan fields

Evening entertainment

We all understand, that living in a city is not the same as visiting it as a tourist: sometimes we all need a calm place to go to, especially, if you teach at a school in Kunming all day long.

If you are willing to meet someone from the expat community, go to the local Irish pub or the famous gin bar. Moondog and The Turtle are great night clubs for those, who love dancing and nightlife.

Stone forest, Kunming

The local cooking style is spicy

However, there are a few famous desserts, like the pineapple rice with raisins, coconut milk, and almonds. Don’t miss your chance to drink a cup of true Pu’Er tea, because that’s where it comes from.

If you happen to be an adventurous eater, here is a tip from the locals: try stinky tofu, traditional fermented cheese sold by street vendors in many Kunming districts! No wish to take the risk?

Then buy a piece of fried goat cheese – classic, fresh and delicious!

Stinky tofu