Buckland Group - Teach in China with a Caring Organization

Video and Photos

About

Buckland International Education Group is partnered with dozens of educational institutions and cities throughout China. All teachers with Buckland go through our orientation process, which includes an overview of Chinese culture as well as methods for teaching in a Chinese classroom. Along with preparation for teaching English in China, we offer continued support for our teachers during their stay.

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.09 Rating
based on 11 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 81.82%
  • 7-8 rating 18.18%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Benefits 8.3
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 7.5
  • Facilities 7.5
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 11
Default avatar
James
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A fantastic 6 months teaching with Buckland in Tongzi.

I have recently returned from Tongzi in Guizhou, China where I completed 6 months teaching with Buckland. I was initially drawn to Buckland as it was it was the only company I could find that could offer me a placement in a rural location as well as a 6 month contract. The induction week is held in a town called Yangshuo which is about a 2 hour drive from Guilin. It is a truly stunning location with amazing scenery, good nightlife and plenty of activities to keep you busy in your free time during the week. I found this induction week highly informative as I had never done any form of teaching before and was straight out of university. It also was a great chance to meet and get to know the other new teachers joining with you (many of who I am still friends with).

After the induction week myself and 2 others were sent to Tongzi in Guizhou province. It is a small town by China's standards and we were the only foreigners in the entire place! It has plenty of nice restaurants, bars, a few night clubs, coffee shops and is surrounded by mountains. I was amazed with just how welcoming and friendly all of the locals were. I was teaching around 1400 high school students (70 per class). This was a little overwhelming to start with but you soon get used to it. I thoroughly enjoyed the teaching and the hours I worked enabled me to have a great social life. The students were brilliant for the most part and were very appreciative of anything I did with them outside of school (football or hiking for example).

I would happily recommend Buckland and teaching English as a foreign language to anyone! I actually intend on returning to China for teaching with Buckland again at some point next year.

What would you improve about this program?
Buckland could look into the possibility of requesting that more schools place teachers in apartments not on campus. I lived on campus and this was the only part of my experience I would change. I did not like the restrictions that came with living at the school such as an 11pm curfew. This being said it did not stop me from going out after this time and just jumping over the gate when I got back.
Default avatar
Daniel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I love you Owen Buckland!

Buckland was great! Other people contracted through other companies didn't get paid on time and I was always bragging about how I worked for Buckland and so I knew everything was gonna go smoothly. You can email me, cause China is huge and tricky, but Buckland really helped with the whole, being in China experience. The downside, buckland didn't pay quite as well. But at least they made sure you got everything on your contract fufilled and you got paid on time.

What would you improve about this program?
It is pretty damn good.
Default avatar
Darren
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Tongzi

I was posted in Tongzi, Guizhou Province. This is a small city that is rural at heart. I was posted here by Buckland because I said I wanted to be away from heavy pollution. It is significantly less polluted here than the larger cities of China. Thank you, Buckland. I haven't encountered any major problems with Buckland. And the minor problems are almost unmentionable because most of them were related to messy Chinese bureaucracy, which cannot be prevented by Buckland. I think Buckland can improve, like any good company, but they have shown that they are willing to listen to advice and complaints and adapt. I don't know if they are the best ESL recruiter out there, or the worst, because I haven't experienced any others. I can, however, tell you a bit of what I've enjoyed.

First, I will say that if you get posted near a major city, your experience could be entirely different from mine. But, for what it's worth, here are a few slices from my daily affairs that have impressed me the most. To begin with, the people here have been nice to me, though the staring did turn a little stale. Next, I enjoyed learning about China, Chinese customs, Chinese education, etc. I also appreciated the opportunity to travel. Tongzi is located close enough to the major city of Chongqing to make any destination in China feasible. Finally, working 15-20 hours per week and getting paid a living wage is hard to beat no matter where you are in the world. So, overall, I'm happy about my experience with Buckland.

Thanks. I hope this is helpful for anyone out there pursuing this option. And if your skeptical, just think, with your B.A. or B.Sc. degree, it sure beats unemployment in your home country!

PS I just remembered one last benefit of the experience -- with Buckland, I was able to sign up for one semester (4.5 months), which was not an option with other employers that I encountered.

What would you improve about this program?
Buckland could be clearer about the fact that clothes in China are not inexpensive and the quality pales in comparison to clothes in the same price range from Canada/America.

Based on what I experienced, I don't like public education in China. One could see this as a drawback to the program, since it means you might be stuck, like me, in a school that you don't like. However, I see it as a benefit also, because it means one can learn about the ups and downs, in this case the downs, of education in other parts of the world.
Default avatar
John
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Buckland is a great organization for a first timer!

I'm extremely happy with my time spent working for the Buckland Group. I've actually just started my second term with them. It's a really great option for those teaching overseas for the first time. I had never left the United States before coming over here and they were wonderful for transitioning to China. They have a week long orientation with other Westerners to get you settled in. The orientation is in the lovely city of Yangshuo which has a fair amount of Western food and English speakers so it makes it easier.

They are very good on communication. If you have any troubles, questions, or concerns you can send an e-mail and they reply fairly rapidly. I've been lucky and nothing has really come up in my time here. I always receive my monthly wage on time if not early. The town I ended up in is incredibly lovely with many scenic spots within a few hours by bus.

It's hard to sum up my whole experience in this review but the one thing I will say is if you're thinking of coming abroad to teach English for the first time, don't hesitate to go through Buckland. My experience with them has been nothing but positive.

What would you improve about this program?
I wouldn't change this but I thought I should mention that Buckland deals mostly with smaller schools in smaller cities. If you're wanting to experience "real China," they are a great organization to go through. However, if you are looking for a bigger city with McDonald's and Starbucks, Buckland's options are more sparse. I only mention this because I've talked with a few people who were upset they ended up in a smaller town.
Default avatar
Jeff
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Buckland made living in China easy

If you want to travel to China, and stick around for a while, and get paid, then Buckland rocks.

Within the first couple of weeks after arriving at their training center, they help you set up a bank account in China, personally take you to the required health checks, train you how to teach English to Chinese students, educate you about the culture (and even a little Mandarin), and have you teach a practice class to a real group of students and give you feedback afterwards. After that, they arrange which school you'll be going to. After you're at the school teaching, if any issues arise between you & your school that you can't solve, they've got your back. Plus, at orientation I made a bunch of friends from all over the world that I got together with on the weekends or during school holidays.

The gig is pretty simple - teach oral English to students (ages at potential schools range from like kindergarten to 17 year olds) using games. You don't need advanced grammar knowledge or anything like that - just talk, get them to talk, and have fun! Class was a blast, and the kids are generally very well behaved and excited to see you. In fact, the discipline issues that did arise emerged from that excitement! :)

The workload is part-time (not including lesson planning), and no papers to grade in most schools. The pay is good - in fact I think we got paid like 4x more than the native teachers (not to mention the bonuses).

The best thing about Buckland is that they just make the whole China experience relatively hassle free. I heard of some people having some issues, but it's like 2-3% of teachers if that.

The only real complaint I have is that I wish more positions were located in Hainan or in the deep south of China! The other areas are still awesome of course, especially Hunan or Shanxi.

Highly recommended if you feel like getting to know an amazing people & culture. Also, the girls are really hot & cute. Just sayin' ;)

What would you improve about this program?
Ways they might improve:
1. More practice classes. I mean, I felt prepared, but it was still kind of nerve wracking teaching for real for the first time.
2. Yangshuo is an expensive place - I wish the cost of lodging & food were lowered perhaps, or maybe even move the training center to "real" china, not a tourist center.
3. More locations! They've got a lot of schools, but only a handful in the deep south like Hainan, Guangxi, Yunnan, or Sichuan. More please!
Default avatar
Stephanie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Two great years thanks to Buckland

In 2011 following my husband's retirement ,we felt the need to reach out for an exciting new experience and teaching in China came to our mind.

After many hours spent researching job possibilities we came across the Buckland group.Right from the start I was impressed by the clear answers to the many questions I sent them.Within a few days they were able to confirm a possible job and I was soon ready to make the application and start visa procedures.All of this was smooth and easy;

As for our arrival in Yangshuo,this two went very well with an interesting week of orientation.We were delighted with our school assignment:a senior middle school near Xi'an,very close to the Terracotta Warrior site.This was just what we wanted.As my husband was not teaching,it was important for us to be near places of interest.

Our year went well.As we are used to travelling we felt no culture shock and enjoyed China from the start.I loved my students even if at times the big classes were a real challenge;Our housing conditions were not ideal but being in such a great location compensated this.

At the end of the year we decided to go home as we had lots of things to do.We didn't really plan to come back , but after some months we started to miss our exciting life in China so we recontacted Buckland to see if another year would be possible.

So we are now since September 2013 in a very nice school in Hanzhong,Shaanxi province,teaching in a junior high school.Hanzhong is a pleasant town with much less polution than Xi'an. Our appartment is large and very comfortable.Its a very good school and my students,this time younger, are great and have a good level of English.So we feel set to enjoy one more great year here .

We can think of no negative things about the Buckland organisation.They have always gone out of their way to help us.Our salary and travel expenses were always paid exactly on time.

We would just like to mention that we have been a little diappointed by the contacts with the FAO of each school.Whenever we had problems of course they did their best to help us but otherwise we were never taken anywhere or shown around or even invited to activities in the school.This is due to their heavy work schedule.We got by as I speak Chinese and we are a couple.

So we take the opportunity to thank Buckland for these two wonderful years spent in this incredible country.

What would you improve about this program?
It would be wonderful if Buckland could encourage Schools to take time at the teacher's arrival to give them an introduction to the school,the town and places of interest.In both our schools,all we got shown was the local supermarket.
Default avatar
Lin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun Job

I am a 65 year old retired teacher from the states. My dear friends were horrified when I told them I was going to China and ALONE! They had the nerve to take bets on how quickly I would turn around and come home!! But Ha Ha! I LOVE it here! I have been teaching for a year and a half now and I plan to stay at least four more years!!

Actually, from the time I stepped off the plane Buckland was there! I have really never been alone! They have helped me in many, many ways. They are indeed a caring company and most importantly, they are legit!

I have a lot of fun teaching my students. I make up one big lesson plan and use it for two weeks in all my classes. The students are bright but shy and very respectful! Discipline is not usually the problem but rather getting the students to speak up. Also I have a total of about 2,500 students so motivational treats can be a challenge. Simple things like having them wear funny hats and act out a story will have the whole class rolling in the aisles laughing!

Teachers are highly respected in China, as is old age. The Chinese also love meeting people from abroad..So... I get treated like a movie star... with everyone wanting to talk to me and take pictures....It is a fun life for me!

What would you improve about this program?
Access to a laminating machine and a portable projector....papers get rumpled with so many hands and often the school projectors don't work
Default avatar
Michelle
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching in Lixian Vocational School, Hunan Province

This is my first overseas trip so I came here with an open mind and a positive attitude that I will make the most of my year long stay. I have been here 3 months out of a 1 year contract. First impressions were the friendly welcoming people who are generous to a fault. You feel like a celebrity because the majority of people have rarely if ever seen a blue eyed foreigner.
Buckland offer an orientation programme which not only helps you learn about the teaching but you bond with a bunch of foreigners over the shared experience. I would have liked another week of orientation where you do more class work however it is a good way to begin as you live in a tourist destination. The culture shock comes later when you go to your school which with Buckland is in a more rural or small town setting.
I live within the security gated school grounds so I feel very safe and secure. I am here with one other foreign teacher so I am not lonely or isolated. We can walk to town and have 3 different supermarkets to shop at. The biggest change for me apart from everyone speaking Chinese is the diet here. The province is famous for spicy food and I don't like spicy food. I miss butter and cheese the most, having sourced other English foods. I have been lucky because family back home have sent me care packages.
We have joined a bike club and get to ride flash mountain bikes on day and night rides. I love the long rides into the country and even though the group does not speak English we share a common interest and it's great fun and hasn't cost a cent.
The school has about 3,000 high school students. I teach about 900 of them a week. The classes are huge and my biggest was the very first class I had, 69, 16 year old boys! The hours are pretty good compared to the long hours the students do. I have 15 hours a week actually teaching.No more than 4, 45 minute classes a day. Every second week I teach in the weekend at a Buckland English school with primary and intermediate students and the classes are very small at 10 or less students. I am a trained primary school teacher but here in China I actually prefer teaching the high school students. While it is challenging because so many can't speak English and you don't have a translator in the class I am learning Chinese words and doing a lot of acting to get my point across. You focus on the students who are keen to learn and as long as the rest don't interrupt the class continue on. The resources are a blackboard and chalk! I use my laptop and a new printer we were given to print out what I will do or use. This is probably the hardest thing as you feel limited in what you can do. Highlights are the students themselves who hug and kiss you and tell you every day that they love you. I recommend you have a VPN here in China so you can access all the sites we take for granted back home. I forgot to mention I also do hour long VIP lessons once a week maybe twice one on one with a student can be an adult or younger where you read from a text book. This is extra and you get paid once a month on top of your wages.

What would you improve about this program?
For Buckland I would suggest they have more lessons on how to teach in the very big classrooms. I would like to see them extend their orientation so everyone can practice as the students they have are far more advanced than the students in your school.
It would also be so much better if the school had better resources. Internet, interactive whiteboards,etc, would be so much better for the students to learn and their teacher to educate them.