If you’re looking to see modern works of breath-taking human achievement and ancient landmarks like the Great Wall, then China is the perfect country for you to spend your gap year. China’s cities are booming. New Chinese art and fashion are changing the world culture and the world economy hinges on China’s industrial strength. This is a turning point in human history; so don’t miss a beat. Visit China and witness one of the major world powers from the inside!

Volunteering

Volunteering in China is exciting and inspiring, you’ll develop memories that will stay with you forever. Many Volunteer programs take you to the heart of the under-served rural villages such as Xi'an. Here you can get involved with agricultural work or rebuilding damaged infrastructure. Volunteers in China can also work against the unsafe and overcrowded living conditions in the cities, as well as overall unemployment. In China, volunteers can choose from a wide variety of options, from care giving to healthcare to teaching English. The programs are often inexpensive. The length of each program will vary, but is flexible, making a gap year in China a great opportunity to learn hands on skills without being tied to one program for the full year.

Adventure Travel

China is the perfect destination for an adventure travel gap year. Visit the ancient Silk Road. With a history of over 2,000 years, the old Silk Road started from Xian in the east and extended all the way to Rome in the west. Eventually, the silk road connected to the east bank of the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Europe. With a length of over 2,485 miles, the Silk Road is largely responsible for the development of technological and philosophical advancements throughout Asia and Europe.

For nature enthusiasts, Lijiang is well noted for its natural scenery, fresh air, and green vegetation. Lijiang is situated by the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Here you can experience classical Naxi music, often referred to as the "living musical fossil" due to its long history and focus on connecting to the beautiful natural scenery.

For even more natural beauty and philosophical musing, visit "the Roof of the World", a common term used to describe Tibet. Tibet is an exciting place for climbers and adventure travelers. It’s also home to Tibetan Buddhism, where the Dalai Lama meditates and teaches, advocating for a more peaceful world.

Internships

The whole world is knocking on China’s door – and it’s not hard to see why. Steeped in fascinating history, and yet racing into the future at supersonic speeds, China is truly driving today’s global economy and reshaping international business. This makes China the perfect destination for students, graduates, and young professionals eager to gain internship experience and display their boldness, adaptability, and global mindset to future employers. Interning in China is an excellent way to build your résumé while witnessing the world’s fastest growing economy at a pivotal point in world history.

The best place to find internships is in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The countryside is not without it’s share of environmental and scientific internships, but since China is the leading manufacturer of consumer products, the large cities are the places to be for the businesses minded. Interning in China gives you the unique opportunity to explore this economically soaring nation, while becoming completely immersed in Chinese culture and history. The skills you will gain during your internship will certainly give you an edge in the job market. Companies across the globe are excited to do business in China.

Cost of Living in China

Prices in China are rising, but the cost of living is still very cheap. You will have ready access to many of the comforts you enjoy at home and so much more on a reasonable budget. Those taking a gap year to teach or work abroad in China are able to afford frequent weekend trips, regular restaurant meals, and perhaps hire a housekeeper! Even tailor-made clothes may cost as little as $5 USD.

Eating out is the best way to discover the variety of foods that China has to offer and is extremely cheap. A great meal may cost as low as $1 USD. Whether you're enjoying a meal with friends, working out at the fitness club, or getting a massage, you'll find that leisure activities are often very affordable in China.

China has excellent, yet inexpensive, public transport. Even the taxi rides are reasonably priced. Chinese people often commute by bicycle. However, this mode of transport is only for the bravest of foreigners as Chinese roads are notoriously dangerous.

Culture and Etiquette in China

The concept of 'honor', is very important in China. Philosophies such and Confucianism and Buddhism promote behaviors and ethics that stress obligations to people based upon mutual respect relationship. The Chinese believe that maintaining harmonious relations as individuals causes society itself to become more stable. Tradition is important so always formally greet the eldest first. Handshakes are the most common form of greeting with foreigners. But unlike in the United States, many Chinese will look towards the ground when greeting someone. Being humble is greatly respected amongst all Chinese philosophies. However, this does not mean that the Chinese are without their charms. The Chinese have a terrific sense of humor and will readily laugh at themselves if they have a comfortable relationship with you. So never take yourself too serious (frankly this is good advice for everyone).

When doing business in China, one should keep in mind that the Chinese don't like doing business with companies they don't know. Building a trusting bound is essential; so be humble, be patient, be formal, and refrain from dominating a conversation (no matter how excited you may be). Doing business with the Chinese may take a considerable amount of time and is often bound up with enormous bureaucracy. The Chinese see foreigners as representatives of their company rather than as individuals. Rank is extremely important in business relationships and you must keep rank differences in mind when communicating.

China is a land of ancient and modern beauty and is proud of its heritage. As a foreigner, make sure to learn about the history of China as to avoid any accidental insults or disrespect. Try to learn the language and show that you are taking part in the culture of the people. This is greatly appreciated.

Health and Safety in China

China only requires that travelers receive vaccinations for Yellow Fever. However, it’s still a good idea to make sure that your routine vaccinations are up to date. That includes Tetanus, Diphteria (DTaP), measles (MMR), polio, hepatitis B, Varicella and influenza. Unfortunately, Malaria is still an endemic in rural areas including Anhui, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hainan, and Yunnan. So Take precautions!

It’s very important that you remember that the tap water in China is not safe to drink. Even in large cities like Beijing, the plumbing in the city is old and can result in bacterial contamination. You definitely do not want to spend the trip of a lifetime chugging down Pepto Bismal! Drink Bottled water and make sure to boil the water you cook with.

When traveling to the countryside, make sure you have a map with you at all times as the terrain can be quite harsh. The climate throughout China is extremely diverse from tropical in the south, to deserts and subarctic tundra in the north. Dehydration and stomach ailments are often complaints of the adventurous traveler. So be prepared.

Gap Year Programs in China

Want to take a gap year in China? Check out these programs!
Displaying 1 - 15 of 73 programs
Rustic Pathways
Mulit-Country Rustic Pathways Gap Year
Multiple Countries
9.45 •20 reviews

A gap year is not a one-kind-fits-all experience. That's why Rustic...

Beijing International Chinese College
Learn Chinese at Beijing International Chinese College
China
9.75 •12 reviews

Learn Chinese language with Beijing International Chinese College...

131 reviews
Silk Mandarin - Language Training Institute
Intensive Chinese Programs in Shanghai with Silk Mandarin
China
9.58 •131 reviews

The Intensive 30 Course is with 30 classes per week our most immersive...

243 reviews
Teaching Nomad
Teaching Nomad - Teaching Opportunities in China
China
9.65 •243 reviews

Teaching Nomad is your connection to great teaching opportunities in...

That's Mandarin Chinese Language School
Gap Year in China Programs
China
9.33 •6 reviews

Gap year in China students can work with teachers to design a...

LoPair Education
LoPair Education: Au Pair Cultural Exchange Program in China
China
8.55 •89 reviews

Nǐ hǎo! LoPair offers an award-winning cultural exchange program which...

AuPair in China
Au Pair to Shanghai & Other Cities
China
9.5 •6 reviews

Are you interested in having one of the greatest experiences of your...

The Dragon Trip
25-Day Tour of China with The Dragon Trip
China
9.4 •5 reviews

Explore the tropical south, rural west, historic north and the...

Marco Polo Culture Exchange Program
Experience cultural exchange by living with a host family in China
China
9.67 •3 reviews

For the Marco Polos of today, we have paved a new passage to China...

Au Pair Shanghai
Au Pair Shanghai - Be an Au Pair Today!
China
7.25 •8 reviews

Have you ever dreamed of spending a year living and working in China...

Scotia Personnel
Cultural Ambassador Gap Program in China
China
9.75 •4 reviews

Discover the world and experience Chinese cultured on a budget! What...

Wanderlust Exchange
Wanderlust Au Pair China Program
China
9.15 •67 reviews

Wanderlust Au Pair China Program integrates educational travel...

HHS Center
Paid Au Pair Job in China: Live-in English Tutor
China
7.83 •6 reviews

Before you land in China, HHS Center will offer 1. Free visa service...

15 new reviews
Edu-Pal China
Chinese language and Cultural Exchange Program (Up to CNY8,000 scholarship and Airfares)
China
9.67 •15 reviews

Interested in Chinese language and culture? Want to learn Mandarin and...

Bridging the Gap China
Bridging the Gap China: 1 Month Gap Year Program
China
9.5 •2 reviews

Our 1 month gap year program is ideal for those that are looking to...

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What People Are Saying

My experience with Edupal was pretty unique since I came to China in January of 2020; just about a week before the coronavirus pandemic caused many things to shut down. Despite things being uncertain...

view of honey lake in Shenzhen

I joined the Wanderlust Au Pair China program in 2018, my first year out of high school. This was definitely a big change in my life. The next 6 months were by far the most adventurous I had ever had...

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I chose to go to China for 6 months as an Au Pair, mostly to improve my Chinese, and actually in the end it turned out to be a very good decision. Also the choice of YES Au Pair was very good, because...

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