• China
    • Shanghai
52+ weeks
Classroom Audience
Early Childhood Pre-School Middle School

Program Details

Classroom Audience
Early Childhood Pre-School Middle School
Feb 26, 2020
Oct 27, 2017
4 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Ambassador Year in China (AYC) is a unique opportunity for recent college graduates to become Educational Ambassadors by spending a year teaching, learning, and making a difference in schools across China. Participants experience the challenges and distinct rewards of being immersed in one of the world’s fastest-developing economic and cultural landscapes. Each week, twenty hours are spent teaching, ten hours are spent in the office or in support of students’ activities, and the remaining time is spent in collaborative or self-directed pursuits, such as language learning, exploration, and community engagement.

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Program Highlights

  • 8000 RMB (~$1200) per month.
  • 8300 RMB (~$1200) travel allowance awarded at the end of the program.
  • TEFL training and certification (free 120 hour course).
  • Free housing (on or near school campus).
  • Chinese language instruction & more!

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Program Reviews

4.80 Rating
based on 5 reviews
  • 5 rating 80%
  • 4 rating 20%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Benefits 4.7
  • Support 4
  • Fun 4
  • Facilities 4.7
  • Safety 4.7
  • Instruction 5
  • Support 5
  • Value 5
  • Academic Rigor 1.5
  • Job Assistance 5
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable Experience

As someone who had dreamt of going to China since childhood, I nearly jumped at the chance to work with Ameson. Their Year in China program offered me the opportunity to explore a culture I had spent 4 years studying. I figured, if I'm going to China, I might as well be paid to be there. Ameson facilitated that dream. The staff in the Shanghai office was extremely supportive and always had a timely response. I've made lasting friendships with my cohort who, even though some are in China and some are spread across the US, still stay in contact with me on a regular basis. Moving to another country when you don't know the language is an extremely liberating experience that allows for self-discovery. Whenever someone was feeling homesick or had a "China Day," there was a support system of 70+ other foreigners going through the same thing and an office full of supportive nationals to help in any way they could. Helping the future of China learn English was just the icing on the cake, so to speak.

I HIGHLY recommend the Ameson Year in China program to anyone who wants to explore Asia and get paid while doing it. Ameson's program definitely gets five stars for all of their hard work and dedication to making maytime in China one of the best experiences of my life!

What would you improve about this program?
I can honestly say the program has exceeded my expectations and I do not have any recommendations for improvement.
46 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome experience!

I graduated from university and was looking for something fun and different to do for a year. I wanted to travel, interact and help people, and learn something new. I think Ameson Year in China program gave me all of that and so much more. I came in with few expectations on what my year would look like. I ended the year being incredibly close to all of the Ameson staff as they were in constant contact with me for any issues I faced at my school. Working with Ameson I also had a cohort of 70+ other English teachers in the area so I was able to find great small villages to visit and travel around to different locations while always knowing locals and having a place to sleep. There were always different trips planned by Ameson or local teachers or fellow AYC-ers. I loved my ability to develop and create my own path in China. Ameson worked hard to make sure my time was excellent and they succeed in advocating any issues on my behalf.

46 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

AYC is the best all-around program

I took part in AYC in it's first year and had an incredible time living in a small city in China. I've continued working with Ameson and am very happy to be part of an international team dedicated to bridging the large cultural gap by focusing on positive cultural exchange. The big draw for me was no program fee. I was trained, received the TEFL certificate, and given a job right out of college. Everything I did that year has helped me find work back in the US and keep my options open to further time abroad.

I didn't want to be a teacher, but I wanted to spend time abroad and learn more about a culture and language very different from my own. Because of the schedule, I had enough time to really immerse myself in anything that interested me. That being said, I think this is also an excellent opportunity for people interested in education in that you get a very immersive experience in a Chinese school and you're welcomed into a community as a full-on, professional teacher. The fact that you receive a TEFL certificate for free is pretty amazing and unheard of, at least that is what I found in my extensive research of other programs that do a similar thing. I also spent the year working pretty hard on improving my Mandarin which was fantastic. Especially because I was placed in a smaller city, I had ample opportunity to speak and study Chinese. The local teachers and students at my school all supported and helped me along the way and Ameson was a great backup support if I ever needed them.

Highly recommend AYC, I think it really is one of the best options for recent college grads looking for some adventure and a good start to career goals. Oh and I also had a TON of time to travel and the salary I was receiving was enough to support all of it.

44 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun & Rewarding Gap Year

I joined AYC in its inaugural year upon graduating from college. Traveling to China (and living and working there for a year) was made easy by having support teams in both DC and Shanghai as well as a network of fellow ambassadors. I was attracted to AYC by the mission of promoting cultural exchange along with having a relatively light work load, which gave me time to explore, learn Mandarin, and work on music. Many of my fellow ambassadors used their time outside of class to prepare for grad school and work on interesting personal projects.

I found the teachers and administrators at my school in Shanghai to be helpful, patient, and fair. They definitely expected professionalism, but they also knew how to incorporate fun and camaraderie in the workplace.

The students were outstanding. They consistently impressed me. I learned that despite my own trepidation about teaching, I actually had a lot to offer them. I challenged them on a daily basis, and they certainly challenged me. I never asked for it, but AYC does offer curriculum and teaching support.

My living situation was initially shocking, but I'm now grateful for being disillusioned of my 'first-world' standards. I quickly learned that my apartment was of a quality coveted by many Chinese people who have achieved greater academic/professional standing than I have. I didn't even have to deal with my landlord or monthly payments, which freed up even more time and money to pursue my real goals and make the most of my time in Shanghai.

If you'd like to get set up in China and have the time to explore, engage with your community, write a blog, work on projects, prepare for grad school, make interesting friends, etc., then AYC is an excellent choice. I'm a pretty independent guy, but it was great knowing that I had ample support coming from Ameson's large offices in Shanghai and Washington, D.C. I want to thank the Ameson Foundation for investing so much in this program and for facilitating my entry into the international non-profit sector.

39 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Ameson Year in China - A work in progress

As an alumna from the first inaugural year of AYC, there were a lot of communication issues throughout the process and failed promises. I found my experience to be positive and authentic working in a relatively small primary art school in Zhejiang province. My city was the perfect mix of real China with oases of Western culture and food. Ameson at least provides a variety of locations to be placed. It's important to note that there are no program fees and your flight is reimbursed at the end of the program. Ameson has been receptive in it's feedback and criticisms. After the mishaps of the first year, Ameson only has ways to go up and improve.

What would you improve about this program?
In the first year, many promises weren't met (i.e. Mandarin language courses, 25 hour work weeks, planned group excursions). Looking at the reformed website, the program reflects a more honest interpretation.

Communication was also something that need major improvement. Ameson is meant to act as a liaison between you and your school, and there seemed to be major disconnects. Again, something I'd suspect Ameson to work on since it was one of the biggest critiques from the first years.
35 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

In your cover letter, we like to hear about why you are interested in the program and how you think this program will fit into your professional and personal goals! Your personal introduction on the application is the place where you can showcase a little more of your personality; the cover letter is a bit more formal.

Most schools provide a teacher's dorm on campus. If you're lucky, you'll get a place off campus. Often, schools will provide a card for you to have at least two meals a day at their cafeteria. If you choose to forgo the school's choice of housing and request one, say off campus when they want you to live on campus, you are given the option of having part of the apartment covered by the school...

Our group orientation for the majority of EAs takes place in Shanghai before participants head off to their host schools (EAs that will be arriving later can attend later orientations). Hotel accommodations are provided by Ameson.

AYC alumni here in my second year: Some EAs have taught in China and taken online graduate courses from their enrolled grad program in the USA. It's doable as long as you're committed and willing to put in the effort. You won't be able to be a student in Chinese university while working as an EA, but you could take business classes with a U.S. institution online and take Chinese classes in your...