Full TEFL sponsorships available for all English First Teachers

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EF English First, a division of EF Education First, is the world’s leading privately owned education company. Founded in 1965, EF operates in 53 countries around the world. We have vacancies for teaching positions in 60+ cities across China, so if you enjoy the fast pace of cities like Shanghai, or if you'd rather be immersed in the more traditional culture of a smaller city, we have the position for you.

Full arrival support (and beyond!) includes:
•Preparing your legal work visa
•Airport pickup
•Free hotel
•Free Chinese lessons (it is not necessary to speak Chinese to live and work in China)
•Support network of over 2,000 teachers across 60+ cities in China
•Invitations to regular social and cultural events

There’s so much to experience when you live abroad, and EF English First will help you make the most of this great opportunity.

  • Free Foundation TEFL sponsorship
  • Upfront paid flights to many locations
  • Ongoing professional development training
  • Compensation package up to 16,400rmb
  • Over 200 schools located in over 60 cities across China

Questions & Answers

Hi Charles! China visa regulations state that a male must be between the ages of 18-60, while a female's age range is 18-55. Please note, if you would turn one of these ages during the length of your visa, China will not issue the visa. For example, if a man is 59 and his 60th birthday would occur during his year overseas, China would not issue the visa. I hope this information helps. Sincerely,...
Hello, thanks for your interest in our program. Unfortunately, due to local visa requirements, only passport holders of the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa (for China only), China, Indonesia or Russia can be considered for our job openings. I appreciate your understanding


based on 36 reviews
  • Benefits 7.9
  • Support 8
  • Fun 8.3
  • Facilities 7.8
  • Safety 8.7
Showing 31 - 36 of 36
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EF China

When I first came to China I knew that I wanted to teach so I spent a fair bit of time doing my research on what company offers the most support for the best salary.

EF really does a great job. Even before you start they give you excellent directions and help in getting your Z visa. Your recruiter is with you at all times to answer any questions you may have. When you arrive in China the company puts you up in a hotel for two weeks, gives you micro-teaching training, gives you a real estate agent and generally helps you acclimate to life in China.

During your first three weeks at your school your DoS(Director of Studies) will pair you up with a mentor to train you and answer any questions you have to living in the country. The entire office from the administrative, sales, and customer relations are on your side to help you enjoy your time.

Once you've finished your in house three week training you are given your own schedule and are constantly provided with support to grow as a teacher. The company also offers numerous chances at moving up.

All in all the experience has been amazing and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Fun, Professional, & Rewarding

I came to China planning to teach for just a year. I had so much fun and found it so rewarding that I taught for almost 3 years.

-Friendly teachers, really into people and teaching
-Clean, modern schools
-Awesome students who were eager to learn and meet foreigners

-Offices can be a little "cozy" (be prepared to share space)
-A lot of the centers are in shopping malls, so the restrooms are outside the school and quality varies.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Great Learning Experience

I had a great time getting to know my students in the center. They were all highly motivated adult learners with passion for English. EF provided lots of material so I always had new topics to work with but they also gave me the freedom to add my own personal touch to my classes.

Yes, I recommend this program
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China in EFstyle!

Can't beat EF for those who seek an Asian adventure in China. You'll get a fantastic career path and an exotic life.
I worked at EF Shanghai for 3 years. What I miss the most is the incredible team I worked with from day 1. I am yet to find a better team anywhere in Asia. I learnt a lot about training kids and adults and believe this experience will take me a long way. I am now working to set up my own Language Coaching Website where I will be able to teach people how to study any language. I would have been hardly possible without the knowledge I gained at EF.

Jump on board!

Yes, I recommend this program
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EF Kids and Teens in China!

Moving halfway across the world and changing career is a big step to take, but it is one of the best decisions I ever made.

I worked as a Kids and Teens teacher at EF and found it a very satisfying job. It is a 40 hour working week, with around 16-20 hours of teaching. The rest is made up of lesson preparation, meetings, workshops etc. There is plenty of time to relax and chat during the day. The children were aged from 3-18, in classes of no more than 16 (no more than 10 for under 7s).

Lessons follow the EF curriculum, so although you still need to plan them, you don’t have to do so from scratch. The textbooks are nicely designed with lots of activities, songs and games, and you have access to a range of materials including flashcards, puppets, interactive whiteboards, worksheets, computers, MP3s, CDs and DVDs.

Most classes take place at evenings and weekends, when the children have finished classes at their normal schools. On weekdays, most teachers would get in at around 1pm, change into uniform and begin planning classes for the week. There might be a meeting or a workshop of no longer than an hour, and some teachers would have their first class at 4:30. Most teachers would have a class at around 6pm, and everything would be finished by 8:30 (except Fridays, which could go on until 9:30). On weekends, classes ran from 9am-6pm, with an hour for lunch and a tea break in the afternoon.

Foreign teachers at EF are generally adventurous and fun-loving. There is a real team atmosphere in the staff rooms, and always something going on outside of work. The local teachers are kind, patient and professional. You work closely with them when planning some classes, and they are usually happy to help with banking, apartment finding, translating, shopping for bargains, ordering lunch etc.

As a company, EF is very stable and secure, and they abide by Chinese laws. This means you get a proper work permit and residence permit, you get paid on time and you pay tax. The remuneration package for teachers includes health insurance, a flight allowance and paid annual leave. There are chances for promotion/progression to jobs in other areas of the company and teachers are encouraged to take on projects to help them develop their skills.

The downsides are not unique to EF. This kind of work is not the highest paid out there, and the hours can seem long. However, I was prepared to compromise on those in return for the stability of a regular salary and a work permit.

Teaching children in China is hard work, and there are times when an hour of crying 4-year olds makes you wonder why you do it. However, the moment a few weeks later when those little monsters come running in smiling, yelling “HELLO TEACHER, HOW ARE YOU!!” makes it all worth it.

Yes, I recommend this program
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My Experience with EF

Living in China is going to be difficult, regardless of which company you decide to work with. In the transition between your home country and China, EF does a pretty decent job with helping you start up and settle in. They lend you 10,000RMB interest free should you have the need, and they help you find a real estate agent to locate an appropriate apartment. The exploring is entirely up to you :)

The Smart School that I worked with gave me a great deal of support when I arrived. Of course, even if you're not new at teaching, you're new at the school and you'll be quite nervous about meeting new students and how different the way things are run etc... The policy in EF is that they let you shadow different classes for a few days and then co-teach* with different teachers for a few days. It lets you come into contact with a variety of classes and it also lets you glimpse into the various ways the same class can be taught (i.e. you might see the same class twice a day but taught by different teacher). You get a lot of support in the first two weeks and you can ask as many questions as you like to make sure you know what's going on. *(Co-teaching means that you get to teach while the other teacher is watching. They're not evaluating you. They're just there for support. I screwed up my first co-teaching class, stood on the spot and froze, and my co-teaching partner flew in to save my day *phew*)

You will find out that when a teacher is sick, you may end up with more classes than you have expected. That is because EF policy doesn't allow classes being cancelled unless there is absolutely no one available at that time. There are times when I've had 6 classes in one day (even though you should technically have 5 maximum), but I get compensated through other means. I have to say, once again, that I was extremely lucky because I ended up with an awesome team at PSQ (People's Square). What happened was that either I would get an hour off the next day for my extra class, or when the teacher came back they would take one class back from my schedule. But this really varies from school to school, because different teams have different dynamics and they work with different internal policies. In all honesty though, taking a class from a teacher who is sick is not that big of a deal, because when you are sick, your fellow teachers will take a class for you because you need your rest at home.

The core classes at EF are already planned, and you simply take a lesson plan with you into the classroom and start teaching. Of course you need to prep for class, but this generally takes about 30-40 minutes maximum per class, and you teach about 3 different core classes each week. Which means, if you are efficient, core classes only need about 90 minutes on Monday to prep, and you're set for the week. The classes run on a cycle, so very soon you'll start seeing the same classes again, which means it takes you a lot less time to prep for classes as you go along, it gets really easy very soon.

There are also classes that are not core classes in EF, something like interest classes, in which you are free to plan the 50-minute lesson as you see fit, given that it fits the topic of your class. With a bigger school, like my school, you might get another teacher who teaches the same topic, so you can collaborate with them and come up with lessons together. For example, I taught a grammar and a writing class, with my fellow teachers we created a cycle of 24 weeks and 26 weeks respectively, and after the initial cycle, it becomes a breeze too.

There is relatively a large amount of freedom for you to be creative in your class. Even though the core lessons are pre-planned, you can add your own little twist to it as you see fit, as long as it follows the lesson aims and teaches the core concepts. The interest classes are completely your doing. I enjoyed so much of the planning and working out the kinks in my thought process for classes, that sometimes I end up re-writing the whole class after my initial try. It's a big part of shaping you to be a better teacher because you start to realize things that work with certain classes might not turn out so great in another.

EF provided me with a great working environment for the year and I am sure if I had stayed there would be great opportunities for me to move up in the company. Unfortunately, Shanghai is a very expensive city to stay in and the financial compensation wasn’t fitting with my financial goals. I would have been happy to stay because of the great opportunities and the comfortable working environment, but even though I haven’t, it was one of the best working experiences I have ever had :D

Yes, I recommend this program


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About EF English First

How we began: EF English First was founded in 1965 by a young Swedish entrepreneur named Bertil Hult. Our first office was modest and our concept was straightforward: take Swedish students to England to learn English.

Who we are: Almost 5 decades...