Teach English in China with New Life ESL
97% Rating
(37 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.

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.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 37 reviews
  • Benefits 9.5
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.1
  • Facilities 9.2
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 16 - 30 of 37
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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!

Yes, I recommend
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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.

Yes, I recommend
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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!

Yes, I recommend
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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.

Yes, I recommend
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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.
Yes, I recommend
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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.)

Yes, I recommend
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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.

Yes, I recommend
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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!

Yes, I recommend
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New Life was more than helpful in helping me find my job in China. I seriously talked to Monica for 1hr then hoped on a plane 10 days later. Brendan was great in helping me find the right job for me too! They introduced me to a wonderful employer who took care of me in everyway. The job was great and the students were awesome! My living arrangments were very nice and i met some awesome people in Beijing. Even though I had nver met them face to face Monica Brendan and I became instant friends. Thats how nice, fun, open and honest they are. They even came to vist me while I was in Beijing and we had a blast. WEa re still in contact today and I highly recommend using New Life to begin your new life in China!

Yes, I recommend
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Thank you so much!

I could not recommend New Life ESL and Brendan highly enough. They found me an amazing job in Dalian and I am loving every minute of my new life here. While other companies do not treat you as an individual New Life ESL could not be better at this. I could always talk to Brendan and he helped me through every stage of the process from my interview to sorting my visa. This help is really important when moving abroad to somewhere I had never been to before and the New Life ESL team was excellent from start to finish. I had the opportunity to meet up with Brendan in Beijing and I am very glad I did, he has become a friend and I appreciate all the help he gave me. My advice would be if anyone is thinking of teaching in China then do it, and do it through New Life ESL, so you get fantastic help and a fantastic job!

Yes, I recommend
Laura Lopez


With the help New-Life China I was able to make true one of my new year's resolutions. I wanted to move to China and work there for at leadt a year. I had a job offer from a language school but after some time I found out I couldnt trust them. So I started looking for other options and came across their website which perfectly described everything in detail. I sent in my application and withing a couple days I got a response. After another couple of days I got interviewed by Brendan. And after a week I already had a job offer to work in Beijing. My employer interviewed me and I completely knew I could trust him straight away. After two weeks I already had a visa and a plane ticket to a life-changing experience. The team of New Life are efficient and genuinly care about their applicants. I felt like I knew these people for years. When I personally met Brendan, I felt I talked to a friend who I hadn't seen in a couple years. The New Life team are people who are not afraid, or lazy to go the extra mile to help you and I am grateful that I found them.

Yes, I recommend
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Thank You New Life ESL!!

New Life ESL helped me to find an AWESOME teaching job in China, and I highly recommend using them if you are interested in having the time of your life!
I write this from my beautiful apartment in Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi province. From my window, I can see the school I work for, people walking along the river, and the fruit stand and veggie cart at which I have become a regular. I can hear the calming sounds of the river and the children playing outside as I hang clothes to dry on my balcony. Tomorrow, I will sleep in and go to work in the afternoon. I'll walk the flower-ridden sidewalk and get there early enough to play with the kids before class starts. Next, I'll use the Activ-Board to teach about Art or Drama or Science or World Culture in English. I'll sing songs and play games and facilitate crafts and read stories using lots of body language. The kids will thank me and hug me when class is over. The school has lunch and dinner catered for free for its teachers. After work, I'll linger with the Chinese teachers, talking and laughing about our day. They'll teach me a few more words or phrases in Chinese, and then I'll walk home. I spend my days off relaxing in Nanchang, finding a nearby adventure, or taking the express trains to other cities. I plan my trips to Thailand and Vietnam and the Philippines. I try to find the right way to tell my family back home that I don't think I'll be back after only a year...

Before I came here, I talked with Monica from New Life ESL. I had doubts and she helped me through them. She encouraged me to take this leap and she set me up with the perfect school and city for me. I'm thriving and I'm happy here and it wouldn't have happened without New Life ESL.

How can this program be improved?
New Life ESL usually meets its new teachers when they land in Beijing, and unfortunately our schedules didn't match up in a way where they could meet me. I wish I had been able to meet them in person! Maybe next time I head to Beijing...
Yes, I recommend
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China is Epic!

The best decision I've ever made was coming to China. However, it was a hard decision to make. This was because I didn't know what city to work in and I didn't know which jobs were good. That is where New Life ESL really helped me. Brendan works with many different schools and teachers across China. So from his knowledge I was able to find a great job in Qingdao. It's a 2nd tier city but it still has 9 million people and everything a person could need.

My first week here was pretty hectic. Getting all of my paperwork and physicals and of course meeting tons of new people. But I soon settled in and now that I have been here for about 6 months, it really feels like home! It's also nice to have Brendan available for questions all the time! I was actually able to visit him in Beijing and he showed me a great time! I can't stress enough how helpful it was to use an American company like New Life. Just to know they are there to help is a big relief.

The best advice I can give to someone thinking about teaching in China is to just do it! If you have the right people looking out for you, everything will be fine and dandy!

Yes, I recommend
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Great program!

I'm glad I took the leap of faith that I did.  Maybe there are some shady operations out there; who knows.  But New Life ESL isn't one of them.  I was set up with a Z visa, brand new apartment, and a very fair salary and contract.  Of course nothing is perfect, but there is really nothing bad I can think of to say.  The school, "Best Learning" is a pretty solid operation and the little kids are a pleasure to work with.  Everything is on the up and up and I have no complaints to speak of.

How can this program be improved?
Nothing comes to mind at the moment
Yes, I recommend
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New Life ESL will take care of you

My experience with New Life has been very positive. The staff will answer all your questions and make sure that everything runs smoothly for you. There are many recruiters in China who don't really care about you and place you in a dodgy school with no support. If you want to avoid that, then contact New Life. They will answer all your questions and you can easily reach them through Skype. Their website is very informative and I would suggest you browse it through first to see if you got what it takes to move overseas and become a teacher.

I can recommend New Life ESL to anyone who is ready for an adventure!

Yes, I recommend

About New Life ESL

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 China...