Aston Recruiting: Teach English in China

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Teaching English in China is a rewarding experience. If you are looking for a career change, Aston Recruiting provides the perfect immersion experience in China. We have teaching positions available throughout China year-round, check out site for recruiting dated. Regardless of the extent of your contract, Aston can provide you with a package that meets your needs. From visa help, to airport pick-up, Aston is there every step of the way to help you transition to China.

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Questions & Answers

In order to teach, you'll need TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA certification. If you don't have one of these, they ask that you speak with a recruiter and attend one of their TEFL certification programs. Here's the link for more info: Hope that helps!


based on 12 reviews
  • Benefits 8.3
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 8
  • Facilities 8.1
  • Safety 8.8
Showing 1 - 12 of 12
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Teaching With Aston English In China

I recently finished teaching with Aston English school in Dalian. I rank my year with Aston as one of the best of my life. The school is a highly professional American owned training school with in house Western managment. At times l found the teaching to be rather demanding however the support i received and excellent curriculum provided by Aston always made me feel comfortable. The students were a pleasure to teach and the schools Chinese staff were very helpful and did their very best to make me feel welcome. The salary provided by Aston may not be the highest when compared to other English schools, however they provide good accommodation and take care of the whole visa process. Before teaching with Aston l worked for a few other English schools that failed to honour the contract and had very little interest in taking care of their teachers. I always felt that Aston greatly cared about my comfort and happiness which is a rareity with many current training schools in China.

Dalian is a highly modern Chinese city that offers plenty of entertainment. The thing that l greatly liked about Dalian was the fact that l could easily live a Western lifestlye when it suited me. Due to a large number of fellow expats residing in the city, as well as several western bars and restaurants. Although at the same time l could completly submerge myself in Chinese culture and the language.

I highly reccommend Dalian Aston English to all.

How can this program be improved?
Aston provided me with everything the contract promised. I dont have any suggestions for improvement.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Teaching at Aston

Before working at Aston, I worked for a Chinese company which paid me very little and had me working on the wrong visa. When I realised the seriousness - and potential fines involved with working under a business visa - I immediately sought legitimate employment elsewhere. That was when I discovered Aston. Although Aston was not the highest paying institute, it was a very fair company which made sure I was given the correct paperwork (Z-Visa and Foreign Expert Certificate) and the staff care that I received was second to none.

I was given a very nice, clean apartment and a tour of the city (something which I didn't receive from the previous company), as well as attending an introduction dinner with all the other Aston teachers in the city.

All new teachers were given complete training by an experienced and enthusiastic teacher trainer; and on-going training and support was given throughout the duration of my time at Aston.

The work load was fair, with only 20 teaching hours and 3 office hours a week, (compared to the 25 teaching hours and 15 office hours a week at my previous job) and a generous amount of holiday was given, as well as 3 days off a week.

The fact that Aston is an American ran school, meant that there was a fellow foreigner always on hand to help, and advice and support was given when needed.

Although my time at Aston was fairly brief, It was thoroughly beneficial and made my experience in China all the more enjoyable.

How can this program be improved?
The salary was slightly lower than most other schools, but the workload was also light in comparison.
Yes, I recommend this program
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No HR whatsoever

Aston seems to have a good structure, but yet they still seem to have problems.

Schools that tend to be franchises and the general local management in the schools is bad.

Bad communication, last minute changes to schedule, trying to pressure you into working more hours and making promises of paying overtime but when you are leaving they try get out of paying you.

They are are always trying to either do you out of money or trick you into working more hours.

HR is non-existent when you try to ask for support or advice on how to handle these situations. So they leave you to fend for yourself.

One of the worst experiences I've ever had.

No, I don't recommend this program
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Fantastic support of teachers

I taught in Jinan with Aston on my first international job. The interview was pleasant and professional. The expediting of the letter of invitation and passport were done to specifications. When I arrived the only thing that wasn't told to me as a beginning traveller is the time change and layover times. I would have preferred the school to have a contact person with the airline to make the transition smooth. The people were kind and loving yet with concern of curriculum and teaching props, the school were fine. The apartment left much to be desired very hot without air-conditioning and very cold with out heaters on. The floor heating is not enough and too expensive. All and all the schools administration took great care of me and kept me in safety with concern during my off days.
I would prefer that the teachers had more input to each semester and changes that could assist the children, but I guess you can't have everything. The hours of work are great for me and the area is a mixture of city life and traditional people. Aston is well worth the chance for beginners, intermediates and those looking to advance.

How can this program be improved?
Opportunity for advancement
Yes, I recommend this program
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Great School, with some weaknesses

Great people, by and large. A decent, coherent teaching philosophy and teaching materials, though the intermediate to advanced books are way too difficult for students and lead to a lot of frustration. Salary, not amazing but if you are in a small city, enough to save money while you work (Assuming you are not a raving alcoholic). Schedule, not too strenuous even with the 28 hour contract, as long as you can plan lessons quickly. Living conditions... well it's China. Apartments will vary a great deal from city to city. However, the school allows you do take a housing stipend and rent a better apartment if you want. Overall, a very decent organization.

How can this program be improved?
Text books need improving!
Yes, I recommend this program
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I was only meant to stay for 6 months...

Aston was recommended to me by a good friend. She'd had an interesting experience so after graduating in 2011 I decided that I would give teaching in China a try with the same program as her. I thought I'd do 6 months and then move on to another country. Little did I know that I would enjoy it so much and enjoy my China experience that I would want to make it last a lot longer - I'll be here until September 2013!

Aston has been the perfect entry for me in China. I've experienced 2 schools in the time I've been here and therefore have been able to see a lot of China and meet a lot of new and interesting people and students!

The cities I have been in have few foreigners in, (Ordos, Inner Mongolia and Zhangzhou, Fujian) which may not appeal to some people, but for me this was perfect as it has also given me the chance to pick up a bit of day-to-day Chinese which I am confident to use when travelling around.

The program offers ongoing learning and training for the teachers, as well as the chance to get involved with various activities to help promote the schools and get involved with recruiting new students.
The school in Zhangzhou I am at now only opened in March 2012 so I have been a lot more involved in this than I was in Inner Mongolia.

I have had western managers who have been great at passing on helpful information and advice about wherever I've been living, so that has been really useful too.

Lesson planning is easily explained and after the first few weeks it becomes a lot easier and you become a lot quicker at it! Ongoing feedback is also available and everyone shares new games and ideas which makes it easy too.

I teach a range of ages, from 3 years to adult, and this variety keeps me interested from day-to-day. There are various different contracts available, for hours and lengths, which can suit various people and what they are after when working in China. Each has various bonus and holiday opportunities too.

Nitty gritty - I have never had a problem with being paid on time. I have had help opening a bank account and also with buying a phone and local sim card wherever I have been. Pay for China is good and you don't have to worry about rent as you are given a free room in an apartment usually with other foreign teachers.

Whatever program you decide to choose in China, you must always remember that you are representing your country in China. You will constantly get stared at by the Chinese if you are somewhere with few foreigners, so you have to be comfortable with that notion.

Coming to work for Aston has been a great experience and I always urge anyone with a sense of adventure to come and try out the Chinese life!
I write about my life in China and my experiences teaching at Aston here, if you'd like to know more:

Yes, I recommend this program
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Great Summer!

I'm a manager at Binzhou Aston and recently recieved this letter from a foriegn teacher who spent the summer with us and wanted to share her experience with others, here it is:

I worked for a month as a foreign teacher at Binzhou Aston English School’s summer camp, with the guidance of Kit and Ben: the managers there.

Even though I am a seasoned traveler, leaving for a culture as different from mine as China, caused me a great deal of pre-departure jitters. Kit and Ben smoothed those jitters away with plenty of pre-travel advise, worked hard to help me to know the other foreign teachers before I got there, and did wonders to help me arrange transportation and lodging from Beijing to Binzhou. Working as a foreign teacher there was an awesome experience. The managers’ knowledge of Chinese Culture made it easy for me to get around on my own if needed and helped me feel at home. They made my visit very pleasant by making sure I was doing my job, but still enjoying myself.
My trip to China as a foreign teacher was an amazing life experience. The bonds I created with the kids I taught were wonderful. The opportunity to “teach the teachers” helped me to step up my own professionalism.

I would be pleased to work for at Aston again, and would strongly encourage anyone considering teaching kids in China to take a long look at Aston English School. They are the best!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Xilinhot Aston was great!

I came to Xilinhot (also called Xi lin Hao te) as a completely new teacher, with no teaching experience whatsoever. I was pretty nervous as a teacher and the school was just opening in the city when I arrived so they needed me to give a good impression to parents there.

This was the toughest part for me, but one of the owners of the school (one of a group of westerners who own most of the Aston Schools in Inner Mongolia) helped me a lot through the first weeks. He'd give me lots of one on one teacher training and taught "tandem teaching" classes with me whenever there was a class I was worried about. This was really helpful as a new teacher. Even after the owner left for one of his other schools he got a Chinese Teacher trainer there to keep giving me help and feedback. That has helped me become a much better teacher and I've since gone on to work another contract for Aston in a different city, then for a different company in Taiwan, and now teaching English in Spain.

How can this program be improved?
If I'd change one thing it would be to have gone to that city over the spring and summer term instead of the winter term as it did get very cold there in winter, and the grasslands are supposed to be much nicer in summer.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Aston 1 in Xi'an

Aston English School has by now I believe 5 locations in Xi'an. I taught at Aston 1 which is on East Street in the center of Xi'an inside the wall. I shared an apartment within walking distance of the school. There was a great mixture of western amenities (Walmart, McDonald's, Starbucks) within a very Chinese city. The city is beautiful but dirty and with poor air quality most of the time. However, once you venture beyond the main locale, it is a beautiful part of China, nestled in the Qing Ling mountains. The school itself could use an overhaul in terms of cleanliness and functionality but the staff are helpful and accommodating. I had no major issues with my apartment, one of the few with central heating. Aston pays on time and does not try to get teachers to work overtime or against their contract, a rarity in China or so I am told. Although I don't believe I'll go back to teaching children, if I do I would choose Aston again.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Good schools, average management, boring city

Generally well organised set-up.

Good pay.

Great housing, with all amenities.

Top level management inconsistent; scheduling problems, reluctant to pay over-time, poor day-to-day communication.

Chinese staff not made to feel valued - huge turnover as a result.

No, I don't recommend this program
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A good entry to China

Aston English is a good way to get started teaching in China. The pay is not the best for teaching jobs, but it's higher than typical other second- and third-tier city foreigner salaries. Aston mostly operates in second- and third-tier cities, so it's both a great way to make your salary go farther and catch some glimpses of the "real China."

The social scene depends on the city you go to. Aston mostly teaches on the weekends, so typical weekend bar sorties are usually out of reach. However, lots of foreigners teach at similar private schools, so it's not hard to find a group to go out together on a weeknight. Depending on the foreigner population of the city you're in, that is.

Aston Education Group itself only owns a few schools, in the larger cities such as Jinan, Xi'an and Dalian. Most other cities' Astons are franchise-owned. This means that it's a good idea to search around the web for reports from the specific Aston school you're considering going to, because different franchises have different attitudes towards the education goals of their schools.

Bottom line, I recommend Aston to people just getting started in China who don't want to go to a major city like Beijing or Shanghai. Go to a second- or third-tier city, take advantage of the free language classes, and make friend with your Chinese coworkers. Spend a year at Aston easing yourself into the Chinese culture and teaching, then seek out a higher-paying school at a larger city who wants to see a little experience. Or stick around Aston and move up the ranks quickly -- they have a pretty high turnover rate, which means higher positions are constantly opening up if you're ok with relocating within China. And why wouldn't you be?

Yes, I recommend this program
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Aston English Review

Overall, Aston is a great company with great ideas. They continuously look for ways to improve their curriculum and the teaching resources they offer are first rate. The learning tools range from books, CD's, DVD's, and in the Aston A+ schools, the rooms are equipped with Smart boards, CD-Roms, play equipment and arts and crafts. While you do have to write up your own lesson plan, there is a guidebook you can use to help you and with all of the resources offered, it's hard to run out of things to do. The only thing the schools seem to lack are flashcards! Why are there no flashcards? I spent so much time making flashcards that would usually get ripped by students during my lessons.

For the most part the staff is friendly and helpful, but I did find there was a disconnect between the different management levels. During my time teaching, several things weren't taken care of that should have received attention immediately, although they were addressed eventually. (Bare in mind, there are different managers for different schools depending on what region you're in). If you ever have a problem with the program, it's typically more effective to email or phone the foreign general managers or the recruiters. They take action and get things done, rather than let the problems pile up.

The pay is pretty standard for teaching in China and you don't have to pay for your apartment, only utilities. The contract's not bad. You get an end of the year bonus and there are several different contracts you can choose from (20 vs. 25 hours a week, etc). Nights and weekends are the busiest, but during the day you usually have free time. At my busiest, I was teaching 15 hours a week, spent 2 hours working on lesson plans, had 2 hours worth of demonstrations and another hour for the weekly meeting. I was on the 25 hour contract. You also get two weeks paid vacation (for a year contract), plus local Chinese holidays. Fair warning, there aren't many Chinese holidays.

The learning environment is fun and most classes are half-an-hour to an hour. Classes are small (typically no more than 8 students) and there's lots of room for being creative in class. If you teach at Aston A+ you'll get to partake in 'club activities' which usually happen every several months and can be anything from playing laser tag to going to a fun dinner.

Working at Aston really was a great experience. It wasn't hard (although frustrating at times due to a lack of communication), the learning materials made class fun and I met some really great people. I also saved a fair amount of money and had plenty of free time to take up extra hobbies or travel. While I experienced a few mishaps during my time teaching, they've all been addressed since and I recommend Aston's program for anyone looking to teach in China.

Yes, I recommend this program


About Aston Recruiting

Aston English is the flagship division of The Aston Educational Group one of the largest ESL operators in China with over 125 schools in 80 cities across 23 provinces. We currently have schools in 7 of the top 20 cities for foreigners to live in...