Teach English in China with New Life ESL
97% Rating
(34 Reviews)

Teach English in China with New Life ESL

Support. Honesty. Transparency.

This is what makes up the foundation of New Life ESL’s mission. Looking for a reliable teaching position in China is no easy feat. Between scams, visa run arounds, and two-sided contracts, you may not have a solid idea of who to trust when seeking a trustworthy school. From the beginning of your application, we will provide you with proper, clear guidance, and 100% of the information needed to make your transition into the Middle Kingdom as stress-free as possible. New Life ESL is China’s only all-American recruiting agency with years of teaching experience and living experience in China. Let our social media and web reviews be a guide to show you just how satisfied our teachers are.

Asia » China » Zhengzhou
Asia » China » Xian
Asia » China » Tianjin
Asia » China » Shenzhen
Asia » China » Shanghai
Asia » China » Qingdao
Asia » China » Ningbo
Asia » China » Nanjing
Asia » China » Harbin
Asia » China » Hangzhou
Asia » China » Hainan
Asia » China » Guilin
Asia » China » Guangzhou
Asia » China » Dalian
Asia » China » Chengdu
Asia » China » Beijing
Asia » China
6-12 Months
1 Year+
Salary / Benefits
Contrary to popular belief, there is no “set” monthly salary for English teachers in China. Offers are strictly based on qualifications, city tier, and individualized contracts tailored specifically for you by your school.

Program Reviews

  • Benefits
  • Support
  • Fun
  • Facilities
  • Safety

Program Reviews (34)

23 years old
Jinan, China
University of Texas- Austin

New Life helped me see the World!


“Support. Honesty. Transparency.” That’s New Life ESL’s mission. I’m living proof that they follow and live up to it. From the beginning of my application process, Brendan was with me the whole way explaining contracts, introducing me to new schools and making sure that I was choosing the right school. When I didn’t like one school he found me two more. When I didn’t like those two he found me four more!
However, his “job” didn’t stop there. He generally cares about each of his clients, kind of like an older brother.
When I arrived to Beijing, he met up with me and gave me some more tips about teaching in China. He hooked me up with some phone apps to help find transportation and food. He even gave me my first hongbao (red packet) of wechat money.
Working in China wouldn’t have been easy without New Life ESL and I am grateful for them! My kids are too ;)

How can this program be improved?

Doesn't need to be. It needs more clients, like you who are reading :)!

31 years old
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Northumbria University

An experience money can't buy!


After hearing about the benefits, chance to travel and quality of life teaching English in china. I decided to do an online search. After subscribing to a few mailing lists and sending a few emails. I was contacted by Brendan. I explained that this was just an idea I had and maybe I wouldn't take the plunge and move until maybe a year down the line, or maybe not even at all. This didn't stop Brendan's enthusiasm shining through! Undeterred by my lack of commitment, he still took the time to explain all the different possible options available, we talked about visas, schools, training centres and general life in China as a whole. A year later after a couple of Skype interviews I packed up and arrived in China. I chose to teach in Foshan as I already knew some people who had been working there. I was overjoyed with my new job and life in Foshan. Brendan took the time to get to know about me, then set me up with a great Kindergarten. He then helped me to find an apartment, advised me about opening a bank account here and gave me some great tips about planning and teaching for kindergarten children. This would have been a very daunting and problematic transition to make on my own. New Life ESL took me by the hand, guided me and didn't let go until I felt comfortable in my new life!
They are an amazingly caring, considerate team with outstanding attention to detail.

New Life ESL you rock!

How can this program be improved?

I don't think it can...

27 years old
Northwestern Oklahoma State University

NL ESL helped me so much!


My new life began in August 2017 a few months after I found New Life ESL. I originally found them on Instagram after looking for photos of China. Sent them a quick message on IG and Monica replied shortly after.

Then process started quickly and smoothly. Monica arranged a call with me on Skype. There she discussed the process, how New Life would help me, and answered all of my questions.

I interviewed with 4 of New Life’s partner schools, all in different cities. I originally wanted a position in Shanghai but selected a position in Nanjing. Nanjing is much cheaper than Shanghai. Plus it still has a large expat community. And life is easy here.

I want to tell you all that I think the folks at New Life ESL are all great. And they want to help you. That’s their mission. If you are ready to come teach in China then choose NL ESL!

How can this program be improved?

No complaints. They're lovely people. Wish them the best!

28 years old
Tufts University

Finally, I'm in China and have no regrets!


I first applied with New Life ESL a couple years ago. Teaching ESL in China was something I had heard mutual contacts had done before in Boston. I had always wanted to travel and it seemed like a fun idea to get out, travel, teach English, and experience China for a year.

Unfortunately a family issue kept me stateside for some extra time but once everything came together, I messaged the NL team on Facebook and got things going!

Monica, Brendan, and Derrick run a great business. These 3 owners answered EVERY question I had about coming to China. Found me a great position at a middle school in Shanghai. They even helped me find a cheap flight to Shanghai! These guys are great and I will forever recommend NL to anyone that wants to teach in China or Asia.

Life in China is perfect. I've been here for a few months, teach 20 hours a week, and even started studying Chinese. This is a really good life. If you ever make it out to Shanghai, be sure to try the soup dumplings. Thanks, New Life!

39 years old
Oklahoma City
University of Central Oklahoma

Teaching in China is cool


Monica put me in touch with several potential employers in China, and I had a wide range of places throughout China to choose from. I had my choice of working for the public schools, training centers or international schools. The process of moving to China and becoming legal was complicated but I had help every step of the way. Monica at New Life ESL knows them all and helped me to choose the right fit for me! She was able to answer all my questions and provide feedback very quickly despite the time differences from the US and China. Living in Shenzhen is awesome on every level!

34 years old
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

So happy!


I'm overjoyed with my new job and life in Beijing. Brendan took the time to get to know me and then setup a great school and interview. The help didn't stop there, he helped me find a house, offered suggestions and tips for those new to the area etc. I have to say it would have been very difficult to make this transition on my own but with New Life ESL it was EASY. Truly a dedicated, honest and caring team.

Thank you New Life ESL!

29 years old
Binghamton University

New Life in Hanzhong


As the title implies, I have begun teaching English in Hanzhong, Shaanxi. I have had a a deep interest in language learning for more than a decade and now it seems surreal that I have the honor of attempting to spark the same passion for learning here in China! I am grateful to New Life ESL for providing me the opportunity to embark on this new career path. I worked with Brendan to get here and, from the beginning, I was impressed with how dedicated he was to guiding me through the process, educating me about important aspects of life in China, and giving me a timetable around which I could smoothly plan my transition. Work with New Life ESL if you want to feel confident about your plans.

27 years old
Boulder, Colorado
University of Colorado- Boulder

New Life ESL will make your teaching dreams come true


I applied with New Life in March for a position with an international school position but only just got here in August. I had plenty of time to go through the interview process, secure my Visa, and take care of everything I needed to do back home. Brendan and I talked very frequently. Almost everyday either on Skype, Facebook, email, or WeChat. He answered all my questions and helped me get mentally prepared for my new career in China.

Almost 3 months here and everything has been great! I work at an excellent public school in Guangzhou with a great staff. My kids are great. The food is great. I've made so many new friends from everywhere and I'm even learning Mandarin!

I will recommend New Life ESL to anyone that wants to work with a legit American company going through this process. They still stay in contact with me to this day and I'm thrilled to be part of the team. Thanks New Life!

35 years old

First Time In China! :o)


I've only been here for a little over a month. So far, I've had the opportunity to visit some really nice restaurants, shopping centers, and enjoy the city's greenery. I love being outdoors and the walking to and from the metro (and literally everywhere) is forcing me to finally be able to meet those health goals I kept putting off back home.

None of this would not have been possible without the help of New Life (Thanks Monica!), who helped me to cut corners trying to get here. I'm glad I took the initiative to attempt something I have been wanting to do for some time, but did not know exactly how to make it happen. :o)


25 years old
University College Plymouth St Mark & St John

Teaching Abroad


A friend of mine has been working in China for the past few years and she told me about Teach English in China New Life (TECNL). I applied through the company and quickly heard back from them. They wanted to get to know me and what I was looking for first. After that they put my in touch with Sea Dragon who asked me for an interview. Sea Dragon were great, a little slow, but they have had sixty new teachers join the company all within 2/3 weeks its not going to be perfect. TECNL have stayed in contact with me through the whole process and once I arrived in China have messaged me a few times to make sure everything is going well.
I would defiantly recommend both TECNL and Sea Dragon for anyone wishing to come out to China to teach.

32 years old
Berkeley, California
University of California- Berkeley

Fantastic Experience with New Life ESL


If you are applying for a teaching position in China, do yourself a favor and have New Life help find you a job. If you're like me, you are probably doing all your research online - finding positions, reading about what it's like to live overseas and how best to make it all happen. I didn't know anything about the ESL industry and it's difficult to wade through all the garbage on the internet. One website tells you one thing and another will tell you the complete opposite, it's hard to know who and what to rely on.
Because New Life is a small company created by expats who taught overseas, they know the ropes. They will pay attention to you and your needs, and place you with a school they have already vetted. This is very important! Most recruiters in China just want to fill positions, the quality of the schools is not necessarily a high priority.
I worked with Derrick, so friendly and he was consistently available to answer all the questions I had. And I had tons of questions! The transparency of our interactions was refreshing. I landed in an awesome school that cares very much about their employees. I wouldn't work with any other recruiter and highly recommend New Life.

8 months old
University of Liverpool

Spot On


Hello guys,
I'd seriously recommend this agency. I was recruited by Brendan. All the way through the recruitment process it felt like I was the only person he was dealing with. He always had time for me, he was there when I had even the simplest of questions and he listened. He asked me what I wanted from a job and matched these criteria perfectly with the school I am working in now. When unluckily all my documents got lost in the post (visa+ passport) and I was panicking, he was there, consoling me and presenting my misfortune to the school. I felt like he was completely on my side. I managed to sort out the documentation in due time in the end.
Also, he went out of his way to connect me with the teachers who had already worked in the location of my destination prior to my arrival; in order to erase any doubts I had. Well, I had doubts. The job sounded too good to be true. Having dealt with quite a few agencies and read many horror stories about China I was sceptical at best.
I am here now. I’ve been here for nearly 6 months and I’m still living a dream. My job is perfectly tailored to my needs and wants. Let me tell you a bit about it. I hate waking up in the morning; so he got me a job with afternoon starts. I prefer smaller groups; none of my groups is bigger than 16 kids. I travel to work by a taxi and the school reimburses me. I am treated with an utmost respect. The kids are sweet and loving. I have a lot of free time so I can plan my lessons and create materials for them. My imagination, not time, is my limit. Not once have I been stressed or angry at work. And for that all I get paid a really decent money as for China. Every month, despite having literally lavish meals in the restaurants and getting whatever I fancy, I still manage to save more than I ever could on a bigger salary and a serious budget in the UK.
I consider myself very lucky to have found Brendan. My life is amazing because he took time to listen. Even now, after having found me the job, he periodically checks if everything is OK. He collects reviews about schools from the people he got jobs. This way he can eliminate the dodgy ones. The guy would never put you up with a dishonest employer, he himself warned me about certain malpractices concerning tourist visas.Also,he suggested installing VPN prior to my arrival and even got me a good deal on one. Without that it would have been much more difficult to survive here.
Take it from me; a person who rarely leaves good reviews. Hope to see you here soon. It is a New Life indeed.

34 years old

Go for it


Firstly, let's be clear. Going to teach overseas, particularly going somewhere with stark cultural differences to your home country, is always going to be a 'roll of the dice' to a certain extent. You need to do your research and choose carefully the people or organisations that are going to be in your corner long after contracts have been signed.

I've had a fair amount of experience with recruiters, both positive and negative (mostly the latter), and I sympathise with those who are keen to just bypass the process completely and go for the direct hire positions. However, if you had the experience I did with New Life, you wouldn't ever consider going it alone again. Good recruiters are rare, but they do exist. You've just found one.

Now, I want to stress that I'm not some fresh-faced graduate straight out of university. I'm a well-qualified linguist. I'm also a skeptic, if not a cynic. My standards are high and I like to give credit when they are met so comprehensively. Believe me, if the opposite was the case, I'd be equally vocal.

Brendan did a great job of tailoring the opportunities he provided to my needs. He didn't try and railroad me down a particular path that was convenient for his workload at the time of my application. This is something you'll develop a sixth sense for when dealing with most other recruiters. Unfortunately, you often have to expect not to be treated as an individual. Let's be frank - in a market as vast as this, you're likely seen as just another warm body with a degree (maybe just a warm body.. maybe just a body, who know?). Not so with New Life. Not in my experience, at least. They listened and applied zero pressure. I honestly got the impression that if they had nothing on their books that they felt was suitable for me as a candidate, they'd have told me so.

They were also able to put me directly in touch with an experienced teacher currently working at the school I am now at, a teacher who was nothing but honest and generous with his time when it came to answering my many questions. This was a teacher who had trod the same path I was about to, not a shill employed to promote the school. All of this I found very encouraging. In hindsight I was right to feel that way.

My accommodation is absolutely fine. Not much more to say. It's not a flat/block owned by the school that all foreign teachers are shoehorned into. It was rented for the purpose, and we (me+girlfriend) had some input into what was being arranged. It's paid for by my employers and is both quiet and spacious. I live less that five minutes walk from my school. My work/life balance and overall quality of life is pretty high in the grand scheme of things.

Our branch principal handles much of our day-to-day needs/requests/queries/confusions. She has been beyond excellent. If all such schools had someone like her at the helm, English teaching would be a lot more popular. Problems, sometimes quite serious ones, were sorted within a matter hours. Pay is never late. Our teaching schedules are generally not messed around with with little or no notice. Perhaps most importantly (for me, anyway), we're allowed to plan our classes off the premises and office hours are absolutely minimal. I'm waiting for some sort of sting in the tail, but it's been many months now, so I can only assume it's not coming.

So, I've no hesitation in recommending New Life. I can't vouch for their work across the board, but I can tell you that my experience has been an overwhelmingly positive one. If we do choose to move on at the end of our contracts, it won't be due to any deficiencies in the school or the recruiters. I can say, however, that New Life will be a likely first port-of-call as and when we next seek employment. If you're in that boat right now, whether just starting out or having been 'around the block' a few times, give these guys a try.

Whoever you go with, I hope you have the best time. Good luck!

26 years old
King's College London

ESL Experience


From the get-go, Brendan was on hand a responsive in helping to place me in a teaching job I'm Beijing for the summer.

He listened to what I really wanted and was attentive and conscientious in putting me in touch with a school of my choice.

I cannot reccommend ESL enough, the notorious email spam I got from other recruiters paled in comparison. You get the impression that Brendan really cares where you go and about your experience in China.

26 years old
Beijing, China
Rutgers University

Made My Dream a Reality


I have always dreamt about teaching abroad and this company made my dream a reality. I wanted something different then teaching English in a traditional classroom with 25-30 students. I was looking for an organization that I could bring my experiences in teaching and help grow the organization. Brandon knew of a school that would be a perfect fit for me! He fascinated introducing me to the company and was there throughout the whole process to help and offer guidance. When I arrived in Beijing, he met me at the airport and brought me to my hotel which to me was above and beyond! He even spent his eveing showing me around Beijing and helping me get acclimated to my new surroundings. I would highly recommend this company for anyone interested in teaching abroad!

28 years old
Xi'an, China
William Jewell College

Teaching English in China with New Life ESL


I went through Monica at New Life ESL when my partner and I found our first jobs overseas in China this past fall. We had spoken with recruiters before, and it turned out that some of them were difficult to reach, questionably organized, and willing to say just about anything to secure a deal and move on to the next candidate.
Monica is very experienced and well-informed about what it means to be a teacher in China. She was happy to answer any questions we had throughout the entire process, and worked very diligently to find the best possible match for us in terms of working hours, type of school, and location in China.

Apart from helping kick-start communication with potential employers in China, Monica is also able to advise new travelers to China about bureaucracy, culture, living situations, food, and the Internet.

As an American organization, New Life ESL is especially well-suited to assisting Americans through the particulars of making a long-term stay in China a reality, and I'd recommend them to any westerner ready to trade hemispheres while teaching cool students and learning more about the world first-hand than they ever imagined possible.

Final note: much to its credit, New Life carefully selects its partner schools to ensure certain essential factors (a legal working status - "Z visa," opportunities to speak with current or former teachers prior to making a decision about a school, etc.) are in place and being provided to potential foreign candidates.

New Life personnel are easily reachable through their website, and I recommend that you begin a conversation immediately, if you've ever thought about teaching abroad.

30 years old
Zhangqiu, Shandong province, China

After five years...


My name is Anastasia and I am currently (December 2015) 28 years old.

I had been teaching English as a foreign language for the last five years in my home country, Greece before I came to China. I was a private tutor and my schedule usually consisted of more than six hours per day (including Saturday) of constant teaching in the students' houses. The pay was nothing extraordinary for a country that has the Euro. Add to that the economical crisis that came to Red Alert in the summer of 2015 and leaving was a one-way route in life for me.

Now, I must be honest: my life in Greece was far more comfortable for me than for most of the people in my age. Where they had no future and job hunting was limited to government programs that never paid on time and rarely the total amount, I was sure to have an income which would allow me to pay for my own social life... because I was still living with my parents. And I had no social security, because paying for it would swallow more than 50% of my income.

When the capital controls were imposed during the summer of 2015, I was already in the talks of leaving Greece and going to China to teach. The idea came to be from a friend, who had managed to find a job a year previously. Having already had agreed to teach many students that year, I didn't grab the opportunity immediately; the year was already scheduled for me. But, for the whole school year 2014-2015, I was thinking about it. It was my fifth year of going from house to house with no breaks and no guarantee that my students would even be there when I arrived, because the ballet schedule had changed and the family had forgotten to notify me. Five years of the same routine can take a toll on you. And take a toll on me they did. I longed for something different, even for a little while. The capital controls was the last push and my parents agreed to support me in this decision, even if China was "too far away from home" as they said. It was the ideal time, the golden opportunity that might not appear a second time.

I arrived in Beijing not knowing any Chinese and with a suitcase. Looking back, I don't want to live through the first month again, but also, I know it was worth it. I'm on my fourth month here and I feel secure and comfortable. I have made friends and I have become better in my classes. The totally different educational system of China is gradually being ingrained in my mind and I know that next year I will be a better teacher.

Because I am definitely going to stay for at least another year in China. Maybe even two.

And I know that no matter, I can get a good opportunity because the people in New Life Esl are searching for me. When they first told me "this would be perfect for you!" the cynic in me just shrugged and applied the words to them being what agents usually are: supportive and enthusiastic, so that they will get the money when the job will be done. I went for it out of desperation and longing for something new.

I know now that they know what they are doing and really, they are doing this for me. I haven't paid them anything from my pocket and I would trust them with my future, for their most important qualifications are the ones that should be for any agent worth their salt: knowledge and honesty. They told me that it would be the perfect beginning for me and it was. They told me that the school would get me the working visa and it did.

To the rest of the school year and for many years to come, New Life Esl. I hope we'll continue working together.

~ Anastasia

How can this program be improved?

The agents should provide technical information to the new and unknowing schools about visa. And make clear to the teacher what it is required for it from the beginning. It would have made my first two months here so much easier and less stressful.

52 years old
Dalian, China

John in Dalian


My apartment is on the 27th floor, so I have a fabulous view. I make about four times what the average person makes in China, which is not a lot by Western standards, but I do save lots. The hours of teaching that I put in per week are about 25, but the preparation time is minimal: maybe only two. This gives me ample time to do whatever: study, read, explore, etc. The cuisine is great. I tend to have one or two meals at home, and I go out daily for authentic Chinese food--not the deep-fried garbage that North America knows. Going out is also cheap. Where I might spend $10 in Canada for a meal, I would spend two dollars in China for the same. But if you are coming to China, I encourage you to think about air-quality matters. You might look at the article in Wikipedia concerning air quality in China. In terms of air quality, the best regions to teach are in the North-East or the South-East--along the ocean. But even this should not detract you from coming as the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages! Brendan was wonderful: approachable, knowledgeable, concerned, and thorough. My experience with my employer was also first-rate: coming to a foreign land necessarily includes a host of hurdles: healthcare (I recommend that you get your own before you come to China), language, communication (phone and internet), finding accommodations, and many miscellaneous matters. Having someone to guide you through at the beginning is a huge stress reliever. Every day I have to pinch myself: no, John, this is not a dream! You are living the Life of Riley, and having a blast doing so! See my diary of sorts of my first Sunday (it is attached).... (I wrongly stated that the Chinese characters on either side of the cross concerned a political slogan; not at all, they simply say "Merry Christmas"; but the irony is still there, for, not unlike Western society, Chinese society has morphed what is sacred into hall-markish commercialism.)

27 years old
Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona State University

Livin the Dream


I just got back from living a year in Jinan, China and I really miss it. I miss the bomb food for cheap prices. I miss the funny Chinese people and the weird and interesting foreign friends I made from countries like South Africa, Italy and Australia. I miss hopping on a train and staying at a hostel in cities like Hong Kong and Shanghai for the weekend. I miss not hearing about Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton everyday.

I am glad a friend suggested I work with New Life ESL. They have been helpful and knowledgeable in the process and found me a good to work for that I can trust.

43 years old
Guangzhou, China

amazing people


Hi, my name is Tulin. This is my 3rd year in China and second school placement with New Life Esl. With their support I was not hesitant about such a big change in my life. Monica filled me in with details that helped me a lot before I came here. They were there every step of the way and available any time if I had any questions. My second school that I was placed in Guangzhou was even better and i think I will be here for another few years. I'm so glad that I came to know such cool people as my agent. Love you guys!

About The Provider


New Life ESL is the only American recruiting company placing YOU at a great school in China. By teachers, for teachers, we're here with you every step of the way to make sure your New Life in China is a great experience!!

Being teachers in