Free Summer TEFL Program Across China

Video and Photos

Yangshuo group adventure with Gotoco'ers
Yangshuo group adventure with Gotoco'ers
Summer camp in China with Gotoco
Summer camp in China with Gotoco
Gotoco'er with her students
Gotoco'er with her students
Sports and activities classes with Gotoco
Sports and activities classes with Gotoco
Teach art classes with Gotoco
Teach art classes with Gotoco
Field trip with the students from Gotoco
Field trip with the students from Gotoco

About

Interested in traveling abroad this summer? We provide an experience in China, with full immersion, teaching experience and cultural exchange that cannot be rivaled. Our projects allow you to flourish but are also connected with our mission to provide positive social impact. Our work has been recognised through the 2019 China Social Impact awards, an award granted through the United Nations & British Chamber of Commerce in China.

What you get:
- Free placement service and access to support network
- Funded TEFL training and certification
- Free 5 day holiday to Yangshuo
- Free accommodation and meals during your project
- Free visa and flight assistance

- Check our instagram @gotocochina for all the 2019 highlights

Gotoco is a social enterprise focused on boosting cultural exchange and exploration opportunities between China and the West. Gotoco works with over 100 programmes in 70 urban and rural locations across China. Join us!

Highlights
  • Free/funded (*no fees for participation!).
  • TEFL Certification included.
  • Travel around China (dual location projects - all culminating in a stay at our mountain base in Yangshuo).
  • Free 5 day holiday to Yangshuo
  • Free accommodation and meals during your project

Questions & Answers

Reviews

91%
based on 232 reviews
  • Benefits 8.7
  • Support 8.6
  • Fun 9.2
  • Facilities 8.5
  • Safety 9.2
  • Instruction 9
  • Support 8.4
  • Value 9.2
  • Academic Rigor 8.8
  • Job Assistance 9.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 232
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Mark
10/10
No, I don't recommend this program

GOTO a great experience!

Cover your rent/food bills, provide a great opportunity into the local culture and get the chance to gain a teaching qualification while teaching English to classes as big as 15 students. You meet some great people and have some very different experiences, scenery is amazing, especially around Guilin and Yangshuo. You can also interview business owners in the afternoon and the ability to discuss perspectives into local socioeconomic news.

You can rent scooters in the afternoon and visit many of the unique high-street shops, part of our daily schedule was taking the students into the city centres to interview travellers from outside of China, such as Australia and America. This was a great opportunity for the students to practice their English whilst also being able to talk to other travellers from outside of China.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Fermented egg and chilli. I thought it was green pepper.
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Ryan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great opportunity!

Really enjoyed my summer in China with Gotoco. The work was really meaningful and the locations were beautiful. The kids were very sweet and made it much more rewarding.

joined a program in Beijing working with Wall Street English and adult learners of English. While not directly teaching students, I was able to gain valuable insights into the teaching process. This program has benefitted me by giving me a glimpse into Chinese culture and life. I have met so many new people from all over the world. With some of the lower level students, it was very difficult to explain concepts in English to them, but through trying different ways and acting out words, I was able to become a better communicator and teacher. I think Gotoco will give you a valuable experience in China at very reasonable cost (there is only the cost of the plane ticket and visa), and is a great chance to explore China as a university student.

What would you improve about this program?
The application process was quite challenging towards the end
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Anon
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great way to experience a totally different culture!

Really good way to see China would strongly recommend the experience to others.

Had some issues at the first camp I was at but Gotoco helped with my movement from this camp to another very quickly and smoothly. They tried their hardest to keep me in the area and when that wasn't possible sent me to a very nice location in Yangshuo.

Please tell us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?

My most enjoyable moments were going to yangshuo for the first time with my school. The surrounding nature was beautiful. I also enjoyed going tea picking with my class at the school.

What was the best thing about your experience in China?

My favourite part of the experience was making friends with the Chinese councillors as well the foreign ones. Additionally I enjoyed bonding with the children at both of my school's.

Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?

Because experiencing Chiba is something I think more people should do. Whilst the first placement was not as described the program handled this problem fairly well in sending us to a new place.

How would you say the overall experience has benefitted you?

I have picked up a fair amount of Chinese by myself as the first school did not provide Chinese lessons. I have also gained valuable experience in teaching children which will be useful in future work.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would make sure I started studying Mandarin before going to China to make the most of this opportunity to practice the language.
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Ion
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unexpectedly Great

Learning how to travel in China was one of the most important things I learned on this trip.
It's an overall good experience to be forced to take responsibility for your actions, especially while travelling. With the language barrier, it's important to be culturally aware but also forces one to step out of their comfort zone. There were some difficulties with communication, but solving the issues and surviving is just part of traveling sometimes.
Teaching was a great experience and I had great emotional support to get through, even when the materials got lost or didn't exist along the way. Even with the difficulties in management or curriculum, we were able to get through them and give the kids a great experience.
Riding motorbikes in Yangshuo was one of the greatest feelings I had on this trip to China. Nevermind going places, just having one's own bike and riding it wherever was very rewarding and made up for moments of the trip that were not as great.
I've made long lasting friends through the people in this program, something I didn't expect to do. The people in this program will forever be close to my heart.

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Amber
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

amazing way spend a summer in China!

I had the best summer and met amazing people. Residential summer camps in China are super fun to be at. Gotoco is a great company for the opportunity to go and teach English in China and get a TELF. Plus, the stay at Yangshou in the hostel was a great experience and such an interesting place to visit.

I don't regret going in the slightest! I loved my summer camp although, it was in it's first year, so it was a little unorganised at times but so much fun. Because my camp was so new, there were some issues with how gotoco advertised the experience and how the camp actually was and what the camp expected of us, so another gotoco participant emailed gotoco and we got most things sorted after a meeting with the camp director. It was no problem for me after that! My only problem is gotoco's emails being slow and there not being a phone number to call for questions. I waited about a week for replies and all other gotoco participants I talked to also had slow email responses also.

Despite this, gotoco is a great way to go to China in the summer. I got to China with the correct VISA, I had an amazing summer, learned so much and received a TEFL!

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Andrew
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Program

I did my placement in Beijing, China for four weeks helping out as a teaching assistant in Wall Street English. I would highly recommend trying to get a placement in a big city because there is so much more to explore. Beijing has the Great Wall and the Forbidden City both of which are excellent tourist attractions. Another benefit is that I have met so many new people from all over the world. On the teaching side of things, with some of the lower level students, it was very difficult to explain concepts in English to them, but through trying different ways and acting out words, I was able to become a better communicator and teacher. I think Gotoco will give you a valuable experience in China at very reasonable cost (there is only the cost of the plane ticket and visa), and is a great chance to explore China as a university student.

What would you improve about this program?
I would improve the initial options when accepted onto the program. Perhaps it was because I applied so late, but when I applied, I was only offered the spot in Beijing. I would have liked to have been offered multiple different placements to choose from.
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Edouard
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Glad I did it

The first thing to note is that your experience will vary widely depending on where you are posted, something you do not get much choice about. Mine was with a fairly large group on a proper campus, which was good, but also there was not much to do locally. The length of the programme also affects how it goes - two weeks was more than enough for me, and a two-month programme will be very different.
The teaching was fairly straightforward but hard work, everyday I had to draw up lessons plans and then deliver the lessons, in English, general British culture and in food. If you like teaching or want to teach, you'll enjoy it.
Yangshuo was the highlight of the trip. While it is a relatively sort stay (4 nights, often 3 days), it is very lively and social and you get to meet lots of other gotoco people. However, it is not much of a reward compared to what you get on other programmes, where you are often paid a lump sum.
Like similar programmes, it does provide a start (or end) point for travelling more widely in China, which is brilliant.

What would you improve about this program?
Payment would be nice, and there does need to be better vetting of the different programmes available.
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Christopher
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Go for it!

Had an amazing time living and teaching in Beijing. Gotoco were fantastic and provided help and support throughout the application and during our stay in China. If you want to spend a productive and fun summer this is the programme for you. We stayed in a lovely hostel which was less than ten minutes from the centre of Beijing and the organisation we worked for was full of wonderful people who would be extremely supportive. During the stay we visited loads of different places in Beijing and had an amazing time exploring the city. The food in Beijing is fantastic and even for vegetarian people there are always an amazing array of options. The teaching itself was extremely fun and rewarding. The staff of Gotoco was very welcoming and friendly and even invited us out for a meal on our first weekend there to make sure we were settling in alright.

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Rachel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing summer

Gotoco made travelling to China much easier and less daunting than it would have been on my own. The application process was smooth and they sort out any queries fairly quickly. Such a great way to earn a TEFL qualification and develop new skills. I was matched well to a programme I enjoyed, met interesting people and saw places I'd never heard of before. My accommodation was located in a caravan park so I didn't get to live like a real local and the kids' parents were paying very high fees to attend our summer camp - but the facilities were very good (apart from the days they switched off the water and the electricity). I massively improved my confidence teaching drama, singing, dancing and baking as well as leading outdoors activities and joining in with the painting and drumming classes. Most of the local teachers at the camp did not speak any English, so communication was challenging but we always had at least one teacher that could help us out. Also, the trip to Yangshuo was class - really worth the visit. I understand that experiences vary depending on which camp you are sent to and how organised they are but personally, I had an extremely fun and enriching experience which I'd highly recommend.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Learn a bit of Mandarin beforehand. Enough to order food, taxis and chat to locals. The city I lived near to had no English speakers at all and it made ordering food a nightmare.
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Noah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GOTOCO

I was at the camp for just over one month, and I can honestly say that every day I woke up happy to be at camp. There was never a time at which I felt like I should’ve been somewhere else. The camp staff and coworkers were a blast to be around. They were fantastic with the kids, and also helped the other English teacher and I assimilate into the new cultural territory with. I can not recommend the experience enough. I’m glad, to put it lightly, that I took a leap of faith to come to China this summer. My experience gave me a personal look at Chinese culture and has sparked an interest to stay in China for a longer period of time. Of course, Gotoco was instrumental in orchestrating the experience from application to camp completion. It is impossible to describe the fun that I had in my month at camp using words alone, but I can definitely reiterate that it was worth it and that I can’t imagine a better way to have spent that part of my life.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The first morning after arriving at camp I was a bit nervous, but I overcame it by simply engaging in friendly conversation with my new coworkers. That completely erased my nerves, and I realized that I was surrounded by people who seemed to only care about creating a fun camp atmosphere.
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Daniel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Guizhou Gotoco

Teaching and being with the kids was really amazing. It was so great to see the difference inn them at the end of week, and how much more confident they were. I have made a friend for life in the other foreign teacher at the camp. I absolutely loved Yangshuo and being with him for a few days was great. We had some amazing laughs and the whole atmosphere at the camp was just very happy and uplifting.

It's a great way to explore a different part of the world which would otherwise be quite difficult to see. My programme was incredible, and the whole trip was life-changing. I love travelling, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone else who is adventurous or just wants to see the true China.

I have hugely gained confidence and independence in the travel after the programme. I have made some amazing friends that I will never forget. I've had some life-changing experiences, that have shaped me. I have impacted the lives of countless children and that gives me a lot of pride.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I ate some pretty crazy stuff while I was in China. Chicken heads with the eyes and beak was pretty weird, rabbit skull, various other bits like intestine, brain, heart, kidney etc. I think the locals found it quite funny watching me eat all these things too!
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Felix
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A challenging but rewarding experience

The programme enabled me to visit a part of China I would not have otherwise visited and having an occupation upon arrival gave me the confidence to travel to China solo after the end of the programme, something I probably wouldn't have done otherwise. My favourite part of visiting China was befriending Chinese people and the Yangshuo trip. Having an organised camp enabled me access to an intense experience with Chinese teachers, the sort of local interaction that is difficult to achieve when simply travelling alone. Working days are quite long as even when you are not teaching you will be expected to interact with and oversee the children on the camp but this opens the door for a more immersive experience and provides constant exposure to Chinese culture.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
To accept that things may change last minute and that customs and expectations are different in China.
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WAFIA
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Feedback

My advice is be adaptable in every situation and have fun. Also, make the most of your time and enjoy every moment of it. I really enjoyed working as part of a team and making a difference in people's lives. Wanting to do something good that benefits others. I liked helping others and building good healthy relationship among my co workers. Also getting to know the students and learning each other's cultures. It was a great opportunity and gain a qualification. I would definitely recommend this trip to my friends and university students. It's worth it. And an unforgettable time. Everyone really had a great time and fun. If you get a chance go for this programme. It's something you can never experience anywhere else. Just go for it and see if you like it

What would you improve about this program?
Rooms and food. Overall it was fine but so many bugs.
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Matthew
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience for teaching

It is a great experience in showing you what kind of person you are when you are thrown into a experience that is different to anything you would normally do. It is also a great opportunity to meet likeminded people with similar interested as well as mixing with people from different walks of life as yours. Furthermore Gotoco is also as close to being a real teacher as you can get with little experience, making it a great way to see if teaching is an option for you after university and to gain experience for your CV.

Teaching the children was the best experience on the trip as it gave me the opportunity to see what the real life of being a teacher was like.

Exploring Shantou and Chenghai was also a great experience as they are city that have not been touched by tourism and the people haven’t met many foreigners there, so everything felt very real and authentic. It also made you kind of like a celebrity and everyone wanted to speak to you have take photos with you. In the first week we were there we went to the park to play some American football and got surrounded by other 100 Chinese people wanting to join in.

Hosting the bilingual festival was also a highlight for me as it meant I got to interact with the kids and parents very regularly, which was very interesting. Finally, the downtime with the other participants was a lot of fun because we were allowed to do whatever we wanted as long as we were in the scheduled lessons. So things like chilling on the roof and having a laugh while overlooking Chenghai at night is a definite highlight for me.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Just throw yourself into every new experience the program can give you and you will come out with amazing stories.
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Lauriane
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A really rewarding experience

I really enjoyed discovering Chinese culture: visiting places after class, eating local food, learning Chinese custom. I also really enjoyed spending time with other gotocoers in Yangshuo, as well as spending time with the teaching team during my placement.
I think the highlights of my experience are the trip to Yangshuo and the teaching part. The relationship you develop with Chinese students and the other Gotocoers is very rewarding. I would recommend Gotoco to a friend because the experience is unique and really enriching. Even if it is not an easy experience because days are long, teaching is tiring and being in a completely different country with a really different culture can be complicated, the overall experience is really gratifying.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
The visa application process was a bit complicated for me because I did it on my own. So, I would probably apply through an agency.