ImmerQi | Teach & Travel China Program

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About

Work and live in China for 6 months with ImmerQi's Teach & China program. Find out why 500+ people have taught in China every year since 2005 with ImmerQi.

The program consists of Training & Orientation for the 1st month and a Teaching Internship for the last 5 months. During training, you will meet fellow participants and be given the opportunity to participate in Mandarin classes, culture activities and excursions, including the Great Wall, Olympic Stadium and the Summer Palace. When the training is complete, you will be TEFL certified and travel to your teaching placement. Expect friendly 24/7 support from ImmerQi staff every day. From airport pickup to the welcome dinner to optional travel tours, you will feel at home every day and make many friends.

When this amazing 6 months is up, you will be an internationally certified TEFL teacher with teaching experience.

As an alternative, ImmerQi offers a 6 month work-visa teaching program now!
Highlights
  • Trial your new career before you commit to it long-term
  • Test-drive your knowledge and skills in a challenging, international environment
  • Enhance your CV in China, a market all multinationals have a keen interest in
  • Build your professional network in a place that is encouraging innovation and research
  • Exposure to the Chinese environment, customs and culture will help with future job searches

Questions & Answers

Thanks everyone for the helpful replies! As a general rule, the program accepts people between the ages of 18 and 50. This is because most schools that we work with have this requirement. However, we are always happy to consider people outside of this age range on a case by case basis, or to help them find another China option that is right for them. Hope that helps :)

Reviews

8.45 Rating
based on 47 reviews
  • Benefits 7.2
  • Support 8.1
  • Fun 7.9
  • Facilities 8.2
  • Safety 8.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 47
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Sikha
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The entire experience of the Internship is life-changing and rewarding at the same time!

Making a difference in the students lives and they giving me something to laugh about everyday has been rewarding. Experiencing China on my own terms (ie. taking bus / train rides, shopping at the Markets, touring during the exit weekends, etc.) Priceless! After 9 months of Internship, I strongly believe that taking up this opportunity to teach English as a Foreign Language in China rates amongst the best decisions that I have made thus far.

Students in each Year Group Class at the School have to prepare at least 2/3 two-minute demonstrations per Semester to perform at one of or all of the English Talent Shows. The atmosphere is normally joyous as both students and Teachers part-take of this event. One of the main aims of this show is to help students learn English namely through Music, Poetry, Drama, Public Speaking, etc. The performances also help build students' confidence and competence in using English publicly.

At the Talent Shows, the teachers have to lead by example: demonstrate their 'can-do attitude' by putting up a performance, too. Before the 1st show we dedicated half an hour of our lunch break to practicing and choreographing our act for big day. At the show the Foreign Teachers (that’s the term we go by at the School) put up a stellar performance of “I wanna be like you” from the movie, Jungle Book. We were not so lucky in subsequent shows, though, the flu claimed two of our colleagues, who had solo parts in the musical. Our act fell apart and sadly, we had to cancel. Shameless to say, we were rescued by two students from Y4 & Y5 respectively who gladly filled-in the spot with solo performances! In all honesty, we would have been outclassed if pitied against them!

What would you improve about this program?
In general, it is often difficult to find a position that is the right fit, but this is where Immerqi come in. While it may not always be easy to place Interns as per their school requests, Immerqi could to certain extent (ie. using information from the Interviews and Application Forms) at least prioritise the Province Requests. Being lost in the maze without fellow Interns can cause an Intern grief. Breaking through the Language and Culture barrier is a mean fit. By the time one breaks down some these barriers, it is almost time to leave.
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Susari
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A brilliant time teaching in China

I had the best time teaching English in China for a semester and would highly recommend anyone fancying themselves a would-be teacher / adventurer / gap-year / travel enthusiast look into going with a professional agency that will be able to make this happen for them.
In TEFL you might make great friends from different backgrounds, you might even have intense amounts of fun with your new peers. This is about teaching, though, so keep that in mind. You might be working quite hard some days. I learnt to teach and find my confidence in the Chinese classroom in front of (arguably) the most wonderful four- to fourteen-year-old students. Their enthusiasm was the real highlight for me. I once had a competitive activity (read: game) go so completely off the rails that some of the students were demonstrating "swimming" on the floor while others were "diving" onto said floor. I've had students launch eraser projectiles all over the classroom in an attempted game of ruler-badminton. Another time the Halloween dress-up game (in a cultural lesson) was so fun we completely overshot our time and I was hurried to a "bonus" class for more of the same by the students' demand. That was in a public school and although I think the next door teachers were annoyed with our noise, they were probably enjoying the spectacle too.
I sometimes miss TEFLing so much and wish I wasn't sitting in an office doing my "primary" thing now. I might do another semester in future.

What would you improve about this program?
Provide more Chinese language training or at least more supervision over (or structure to) the two-hour lessons a week. It is essential to making the most out of the China experience.
Default avatar
Navita
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Time to climb

5:30pm and it's time to leave work - a great day of teaching my minions, listening to them speak english after delivering a class is the most rewarding feeling, but the amazement doesn't end there... We are here to teach and travel right? So I run home to grab my bag and head to the train station - three other friends with me (we are practically family by now). We board the 2.5 hour bullet train from Beijing to Tai'an and come face to face with our challenge - Mount Tai (Mount Tai is known as the eastern mountain of the Five Great Mountains of China, a place of worship for approx 3000 years and measuring 5,069 ft tall) We begun our ascent at midnight, pitch black, only the stars and our torches lighting the way - 7 thousand steps up hill to go. The journey is something that I can only try to articulate - masses of stars, some shooting stars and some planets, looking ahead, a stream of lights that simulate an illuminated waterfall, looking behind, so many different people making their way up. Each step lead to a different discovery of ancient Chinese artefact, it was all so magnificent - giant marble arches named 'gateways to heaven', 'the bridge of clouds', stones with ancient chinese engraving, little base camps selling street food, water and trinkets. Around 3 and half thousand steps up there was a little man, long grey beard with a shop selling the most unique items. 6 and half hours later and we make it to the top ! 7 thousand steps done and the feeling of accomplishment is incredible. So many different spots to search, however we waited on 'Life abandoning cliff' hoards of people dotted all around waiting... Waiting for what? Of course the sun to rise ! Peeking like a little lady bird slowly rising, everyone begins to clap - the view was spectacular and the appreciation for how high up in the world you were at that very moment is unbelievable. I mentioned earlier that I went with three other friends that were practically family, may I explain? I had never met these people prior to my internship, two are from Ireland and one is from Australia, we were teaching at the same school and I can honestly say, by sharing so many experiences with them, we are truly friends for life! I feel like I didn't just gain the experience of a different culture and an alternative work ethic, I was also discovering more and more things about myself, truly understanding who I was as an individual. I had met people from all over the world! Denmark, Malta, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Scotland, America ! We became so close and enjoyed many, many weird and wonderful experiences together - things like hiking the great wall, eating scorpions and tarantulas, learning to make dumplings, bargaining in mandarin, translating strange words to students. Reaching out of your comfort zone, being forced to learn a new language, not being able to rely on everything that has been made convenient for us in Western World?! Sounds scary and sounds like a major risk, but it was all worth it - I wouldn't take it back for anything, and I don't think I know anyone who would :)

What would you improve about this program?
More advisors per placement. I feel like our guys (Dom, Duncan and Jane) had far too much on their plate to be able to provide enough support for everyone !
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Cliadhna
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Do not waste your time/money with ImmerQi

This company had little to no regard for your safety and your experience in China, simply put they're only interested that you make them a profit.

Firstly the organization and administration of this company was so unprofessional it's hard to believe they are still running.

They don't tell you where you are being placed until literally 2-3 days before your departure from Beijing which just really highlights the level of incompetency this company has.

The area I was placed in was actually an hour away from where they told me I was going, the town was a huge industrial factory style town with little to no outlets for social time or cultural immersion which is the exact opposite to how they try to sell this course. The town was rife with crime and very unsafe to walk around.

I later found out through the school I worked for that my actual salary was 10,000 yuan but that they were only paying me 2,500 and sending the rest to ImmerQi. ImmerQi tries to makes you believe that this money is enough to live on comfortably in China, this is a flat out lie.

I could go on and on and tell you all about my abysmal experience with this company but my advice to anyone thinking of pursuing down the route of teaching in China is to do it, but not with this company. Especially if you're a native english speaker with a university degree, people who fall into this category can make up to 20,000 yuan a month if you investigate schools and recruitment companies properly. I wish I had.

Response from ImmerQi

Hi Cliadhna, thank you for your feedback.

I’m sorry to see that you were disappointed with your experience.

I do want to apologize on the behalf of ImmerQi if you were made to feel like we did not care about your safety or about you having a good experience. Although we are a for-profit company and do have to support the ten staff that are tasked with running our teaching program (including providing 24/7 support to over 400 interns like yourself per year) our primary goal is to ensure that all interns have a positive China experience. The points you bring up about our company and service have been shared with the team as we continue to evaluate ways in which we can offer an even better experience.

So far in 2015, our feedback scores from our teachers have been 89% positive so experiences like yours are rare, but we know they do happen. Our top priority is stepping in to assist a teacher as soon as we discover that are having issues with their placement or school, so we can only apologize if this did not happen to you.

I would just like to clarify that we do endeavor to make the timing of placement announcements very clear to our participants when they are applying for the program. Announcing placements so late is a conscious decision as we wish to avoid any confusion or disappointment associated with last-minute placement changes, which can be very common when dealing with Chinese schools! I’m sorry that this made you feel as though we were disorganized; I can assure you that careful planning goes into placing over 400 interns per year in schools across China.

With regards to your allegation that your ‘salary’ was of 10,000 Yuan and that ImmerQi took a portion of this, I’m afraid that is simply inaccurate. While ImmerQi does receive a placement fee from the school (as do all agencies placing both interns and full-time teachers in schools in China), this is much less than the amount you suggest and completely unrelated to your ‘salary’. We do make it very clear to our applicants that the program provides a small living allowance, not a salary, as you are here in China on an internship. You were aware of the living allowance amount prior to your arrival in China, so I am sorry you found it difficult to budget for living expenses with this amount, despite the fact that accommodation and meals are also provided. I contacted your school, as I was afraid there had been some misunderstanding, which led them to communicate this false information to you. However, they assured me that they had not spoken to you. They mentioned that perhaps you were comparing you living allowance to a full-time teacher salary at the school.

Lastly, I completely agree that the internship is not for everyone and that some people are better suited to seeking out full-time teaching work in China. This is not something that ImmerQi tries to hide, as we mention full-time opportunities for qualified teachers both during our interview process and in the program terms and conditions you signed. We explain to all our applicants that to qualify for full-time work in China you need to be at least 24 years old, be a native English speaker, possess a university degree, and have at least two years of post-graduation work experience. This means you would not have qualified for full-time work when you joined the program. However, I am really sorry that you feel you were misled in this regard.

I hope that my response clears a few things up for you. Once again, I apologize on the behalf of the whole ImmerQi team that your experience was not what you hoped it would be. As you know, all of us working on the Teach and Travel program are former program participants ourselves. This means that we really do believe the program is a great opportunity for those wishing to discover China or those wanting to find out if teaching is for them. I’m sorry you did not feel the same way and please trust that we have taken your feedback onboard to improve the program for future participants.

Default avatar
Ben
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Experience

I cannot recommend it highly enough!

I know that it is more expensive than other online alternatives but I would definitely recommend the ImmerQi route over an online TEFL course, if only because you get a full month in Beijing (instead of one). Hanging out with other interns for a month is a great way to meet people and meet life long friends, its also super fun! But also learning to teach from a teacher and with your friends prepares you much better for actually teaching in China, you can discuss and ask questions as soon as they occur to you instead of having to email and wait.

The staff are very helpful, really made it easy to get around and settle in and organised a bunch of great activities for us. Duncan Russell specifically was a great help to me. Mandarin helpers are also super friendly and always willing to take you here and there to assist with the language barrier.

In terms of actually teaching. I was sent to Guangzhou, where although it was a Cantonese area, everyone speaks Mandarin/English to you, so if you're going to learn Mandarin then don't worry. It was an incredible school with incredible people and incredible support.

What would you improve about this program?
ImmerQi staff could be less professional and more like friends to the interns.
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Silje-Mari
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I would do it again

Before I left for China I had never set foot in Asia, never been a teacher, and I had never spoken a word of Chinese to anyone. Despite this, I had the best time of my life in China. I have never had so much fun and met so many new and interesting people in my life.

I was placed in Changsha in the beautiful and stunning Hunan province. The food is very spicy, but it's too good to miss out on. The nature is beautiful and the Avatar mountains (Zhangjiajie) is only a 4 hour bus ride away. People don't speak English here unless they're high school students, in their 20's or just happens to know English. There are plenty of foreigners here so I had no trouble getting friends that understood English.

My school (TianHua - Shazitang) was amazing and our assistants and teachers were great, helpful and very understanding. There was no doubt that they had had interns before and knew how to act around us to make the culture shock a bit more overcoming. They were funny, and accepted that we made mistakes and had a bad class once in a while. You know, we're not all born teachers. Even though we made mistakes, we were taken very seriously by the school. From the day one, our assistants told us that we would not be treated like interns, we would be treated like real teachers. We also got a lot of cultural classes at our school; kung fu lesson, paper cutting, calligraphy etc. I loved my school and I'm so happy I was placed there.

The ImmerQi team are professional and they are very relaxed. They will be more than happy to share their experiences with China and give advice to you. All in all they're really cool and not difficult to reach out to, which is really good for the younger applicants that most of the time are kind of confused and have a lot of questions. The advisors on the program were all really helpful, but especially thanks Duncan whom I became good friends with. Even though he was not in charge of my region he always asked how we were doing in Changsha, which was also where he was placed when he was an intern. He helped a lot in finding places I could go to in Changsha and during our training period he helped the interns a lot with their homework and hand-ins.

All in all; I would recommend this program to anyone who would like to try something different, likes kids and has no trouble being a authority person for 6 months of their life. It is challenging, but that's the fun part. To be honest, I would do it again.

What would you improve about this program?
Like I said, I had a great time ad I had an amazing school and no problems whatsoever. I did hear stories from the other interns about a lack of communication between the school and ImmerQi. If you make sure to keep the communication with the school throughout the year and also make sure to constantly get feedback from the interns, I think that would help a lot. I also heard that it was hard for ImmerQi to fix the problems without damaging the relationship with the school?
Read my full story
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Pauline
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

parent review

My son, aged nineteen, joined the Immerqi teaching program in 2015.

As parents we want to know that our young adults will be safe when travelling.

On teaching placement my son had a potentially very serious accident- while out riding his scooter at night he collided with a truck and had to go into hospital with head injuries. I was very impressed with how Immerqi dealt with this. They contacted the emergency phone number of a relative and eventually got hold of me (I had changed my phone number and forgotten to let Immerqi know), and kept me updated through phone calls and emails about my son's progress. They also appointed a person from my son's school to constantly sit with him as he had suffered concussion. The Program coordinator, Duncan, flew from Beijing to Canton where my son was placed to check up on his condition. Immerqi or the placement school also paid for my son's hospital costs for a couple of days until I was able to repay them. After the injury my son was no longer able to continue with the program and had to travel overland to Hong Kong. Again the program coordinator flew down to accompany my son to Hong Kong as he was concerned about my son's fitness for independent travel. In Hong Kong Duncan took my son for a second medical opinion to see if he was fit to fly.
My son had minor issues with his program, it was difficult to get visa information before leaving; he did not like the food- be prepared to possibly budget more for food purchases: he would have liked to have been paid more as he found his wages did not go very far.
However I think these issues are relatively minor, it is reassuring to know the Immerqi took excellent care of my son's health and safety while he was travelling away from home.

Response from ImmerQi

Hi Pauline, thank you for your lovely review and feedback. It's really great for us to hear from parents as well as participants as we understand it can be stressful knowing your child is all the way in China! I'm really sorry about your son's accident and that he had to leave China. However, I'm glad we were able to work with you to ensure the situation was handled as efficiently as possible and that he is recovering well now. Duncan has been giving us updates on how he is doing so thank you for keeping us all informed! In terms of the stipend received, this is unfortunately limited by the fact that the program is an internship and that there are visa restrictions associated with this. However we have worked hard to ensure it is higher than other internship providers in China because we do want our participants to get as much help as possible with their living expenses. With regards to your other feedback, we are always working to improve the program and will definitely try to work on these points. We really appreciate the input! Good luck to your son on all his future adventures!

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Lily
5/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Mixed opinions but overall great lasting memories were made

When I had my initial interview in England with ImmerQi, formerly known as IES Global at the time, they asked where I would like to be located; North, Central or South. I clearly stated that I wouldn't like to be in the North -- so preferably in the South.

I arrived in Beijing and it was great to meet everyone who was also doing the internship. We did many activities and got to know each other. The day came to find out where we would be placed. The happy, excited mood soon changed when I saw that I was going to be placed in inner Mongolia with one of girl. The furthest possible north I could go when i clearly asked for the South.

Everyone went off to their placements and I was left in Beijing for around a week battling with ImmerQi to change my placement location. It took a lot of talking every day and me really putting my foot down in order for them to change my placement. It was stressful but once I was down in the South with friends and had started teaching it was a good experience. Many lasting memories were made.

Response from ImmerQi

Hi Lily, thank you so much for taking the time to review our program. I’m glad that you left China with some good memories and it was lovely getting back in touch with you recently. I’m really sorry you had trouble with your initial placement. We ask all applicants to state placement preferences and really do try to accommodate these as best we can. However, there is always an imbalance in placement preferences (often in favor of the South), which means we cannot accommodate all demands, something we do make all applicants aware of during their application. Since you took part in the program in early 2014, we have also reminded all of our partners to reemphasize this point with their applicants. Placement allocations are dependent on a number of factors such as school preferences, feedback from teacher training, etc., so we cannot always be as flexible as we would like to be. I’m glad in your case we were able to find you a new school to meet your requirements but I am of course sorry that you had to wait in Beijing for 1 week whilst we did so. Sometimes this requires a lot of reshuffling on our part hence the delay. I’m really glad you ultimately had a good experience down South and that you had fun teaching!