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 61 - 75 of 232
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Gianna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fanatastic opportunity to try teaching and explore China

I think the program is a great way to experience Chinese culture first-hand and not from a tourist's perspective. Teaching on the summer camps is a very fun and rewarding experience.
The opportunity to go to Yangshuo at the end of the trip is a great way to meet other volunteers from around the world and explore a stunning rural area of China.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Zhuhai Youngster Club. The training week at the beginning was a good way to get to know our Chinese hosts before the summer camp began. I also felt that it was a good way for the volunteers to engage with the lesson plans and discuss any ideas that we had about the teaching.
The summer camp itself was very enjoyable. In the lessons we often played games to help the children learn vocabulary, which they enjoyed. The teaching was a good way to improve my self-confidence at public speaking and it was rewarding to see the children's confidence at speaking English improve over the course of the camp.

The afternoons were spent playing sports such as Badminton, Tennis, Golf, Skiing and Kayaking. I enjoyed being in the outdoors and being able to relax with the children outside of the classroom environment.

What would you improve about this program?
Let people know about their programme sooner, so there is more time to sort out the visa application.
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Jared
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best summer of my life

As the title says, I’ve never had a better time. You should be prepared to work very hard, as I worked long hours 7 days a week (though this does change depending on where you are sent), but it was very rewarding and the Gotoco staff are very helpful. If you have any issues at the camp, they will do their best to mediate - and I know some people who got moved if they didn’t enjoy their school.

The week in Yangshuo at the end is the perfect way to close your Gotoco experience - 24/7 fun. It has a great mixture of outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, cycling, swimming, etc.) and a good touristy town centre, with plenty of restaurants and bars. The activities are all arranged by Gotoco, and they are extremely flexible - if you don’t like their activity, and would prefer to do something else, they will do their best to help you.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Throw yourself into it. The more you put into this experience, the more you will get out of it.
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Maya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I have absolutely loved the Gotoco experience

I have absolutely loved the Gotoco experience and would recommend it to anyone considering applying. There have been so many highlights, from watching a Guzheng show, going tea leaf picking to even attending a Chinese wedding! Gotoco offers the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in Chinese culture which has been so valuable. I have become a lot more independent since participating in the trip and I feel a lot more confident in travelling abroad now. I also feel that my leadership and communication skills have developed during the experience. The location of the programme was also brilliant with Yangshuo being an absolutely beautiful area. I have met some great friends during the programme who I hope to stay in touch with. I cannot recommend this programme enough!

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Anna
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gotoco 2019

This is a great opportunity to explore ‘real’ China. The local knowledge provided by the interns and other colleagues working at the camp was also invaluable. Not only did this make it so much easier navigating China and we were exposed to aspects of Chinese culture that you wouldn't be as an average tourist. This made my experience seem really aunthentic! Getting home cooked Chinese meals was definitely one of the highlights of my trip.

Yangshou was a great way to end my time in China - it was one of the most stunning places I've ever visited and the activities organised by the staff there was a great way to meet other Gotocoers. It was really nice to come together at the end of the trip and share our experiences.

I enjoyed my month being exposed to the chinese culture.

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za
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Indescribable

There is no way I would have been able to get this experience if I was travelling around China on my own. This is the best possible way to get to know Chinese culture and learn about the country and the people as, by working with them, you actually get to know them yourself.

People think that all you have to gain from a programme like this is to discover whether or not teaching might be for you. This is completely wrong. I loved my experience teaching but teaching was only one element of my time abroad. Lots of what I learned was not teaching related, and my personal growth was impacted in other ways.

Additionally, Gotoco programmes provide a really good balance between immersing yourself in a different culture, and having people from home around you, so that you don't feel uncomfortably out of your depth.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Felt fulfilled after teaching :0

I didn't even like kids when I left. But during my trip I grew to appreciate the students I was teaching and was shocked by how much they were able to impact me. Through this, teaching became a rewarding and enriching experience.
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Mia
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Good thing to do

Good experience thanks to the other students/foreign teachers on the programme but the school was very disorganised and it is more work than you think. However, I made good friends who I will definitely remain in contact with and the foreign teacher coordinator, Eric, was lovely! Eric helped us with anything we needed and spent his weekends showing us around the city: taking us to good food places, bars, historic sites and on hikes with great views. I would really recommend making the most of your weekends exploring and if you have time after your programme to go travelling around China.

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Jade
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Recommend!

I had an amazing summer volunteering with Gotoco in Yangshuo, China. Although I had never taught English before, I had such a fun and memorable time meeting and working with new kids and the teaching assistants. From this, I was able to learn about and explore the side of China that I would not have been able to see as a tourist, for example learning about cultural differences, trying new foods out and learning a little mandarin. I also improved my independence and organisation from leading classes of up to 30 students on my own, and navigating China without being able to speak the local language. The only suggestion I have to Gotoco is to improve communication with the volunteers during the application process. Overall, I definitely recommend participating!

What would you improve about this program?
Communication was fairly slow during application process.
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Lucy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unique and amazing experience

The experience I had in China through gotoco was everything that they promised and more. Although there are still costs such as flights, vaccines etc. the fact that they offer you food and accomodation for free makes it so much more affordable and allows you to spend a much longer period in China. I spent 6 weeks as an intern in an English speaking center in Shanghai. It was a great and unique experience as I was able to get to know many of the chinese students who showed me aspects of Shanghai I would never have seen if I was there just as a tourist. The work aspect of the trip also helped me to develop skills I know will benefit me in the future. While there, I also got lots of free time to get to know the other participants and to explore China. Apart from some slow communications I had no problems with gotco and they were very helpful in ensuring everything went smoothly. I would highly recommend taking part to anyone!

What would you improve about this program?
Improve some of the communication from the company to the participants
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Catherine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Residential Summer Camp in Changshu

I worked with children aged 6 to 10 at a residential summer camp in Jiangsu procince in East China. The camp promoted environmental awareness and citizenship responsibilities. Although I didn't do any conventional English classroom teaching per se, I accompanied the kids through an important process of learning outside the classroom and becoming more independent and developing their personalities.

Together with a big team of both Chinese and foreign counselors, I led and assisted various activities such as sports or arts and crafts. What I loved most about the camp was how close you got to the kids and how much trust they built up to you within two weeks. You'd see them grow and learn very quickly and although it was very exhausting and tiring at times, it was a very rewarding experience I will not forget.

Gotoco made it so easy and accessible for me to participate in this program and always offered great support, both before and during the program.

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Andrius
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Zhouyue

I would describe it as a once in a lifetime opportunity, it was simply breath taking to wake up each day surrounded by mountains, to eat mangos and swim in the Yulonghe river, take mopeds to secret beaches and waterfalls, and make some amazing life long friends. I am starting a teacher training course in September so teaching the children in the camp has really boosted my confidence, leadership, communication and team working skills. it has also shown me I could easily move and work abroad as a teacher. Meeting and teaching lots of different children of all abilities, meeting the other teacher and teaching assistants, learning about Chinese culture, living in a small remote village and doing just as the locals do are some of my highlights. :)

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Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gotoco Summer 2019

Gotoco is a great point of contact between schools in China and people who want to teach. It can be difficult to find places in China where foreigners, especially students with no qualifications yet, can work. By also offering the TEFL qualification it makes Gotoco even better.

I was based in a small village called Chaoyang, in the Yangshuo area, at Zhuoyue English School. I adored the kids in my classes as well as my TAs. Living in Chaoyang for 7 weeks was incredible, the scenery never lost its wonder and the locals were all very friendly. Our course coordinator (our boss?) at the school was a sweetheart and brought us mangos and took us to fancy restaurants on the weekend, couldn't ask for more.

My favourite memories of the trip are scootering to and from Yangshuo, only 20mins away and roughly £5 for the scooter rental for the full day (7am-12am)! An absolute steal!! Tea picking and tai-chi were also a lot of fun.
We were fortunate enough to be given free Chinese lessons twice a week as well which helped us pick up basic phrases such as ‘how much is this?’ (多少钱) and ‘have you eaten yet?’ (how you say hi to close friends, 你吃饭了吗)

I have discovered I really love teaching and am now confident enough in my own abilities to know I could become a real teacher in the future. I have also gained the confidence to navigate a foreign country by myself and can't wait to travel more of Asia and the world!

The time I have spent in China is unforgettable and the friends I have made are irreplaceable :)) If I have enough time and money next summer I would love to teach in China again.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Century Eggs, or rather fermented eggs haha
At least they weren't spicy
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Thomas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gotoco

It was a really exciting and challenging experience, great opportunity to develop yourself and meet likeminded people. I spent my summer program in Dongguan, in the south of China, somewhere I had never heard of before being accepted there. The school I was teaching at was full of friendly, helpful staff, and the children were all very eager to learn! Outside of the classroom, there were plenty of opportunities to explore the local area, such as going on a mountain hike, visiting traditional Chinese gardens and going for meals. The location was also close enough to Hong Kong that I was able to visit during one of my weekends off from teaching, and it was certainly worth the travel. At the end of the program, almost everyone went to Yangshuo together, which was the perfect end to the experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Try everything. Even if you’re a bit unsure about something, just go for it.
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Nicholas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A fun and unique summer experience

My experience with Gotoco was amazing; it is an excellent opportunity for learning and development whilst having a lot of fun at the same time! The program I was on was centered around Beijing but also had a 2-week international development course in Wuhan. Wuhan was really interesting as it offered a variety of activities such as mandarin lessons, day excursions and cultural activities such as Tai Chi and Calligraphy. Teaching in Beijing was indeed eye-opening as it forced me to recognise my use of language and helped me further understand English. Fun overall experience that I see as an amazing opportunity. It depends what you want, you’ll get as much out of it as you put into it so I think it depends on the individual also. Regardless, it is definitely worth your time and consideration.

What would you improve about this program?
It would have been better had the structure been made a bit more clear at the start.
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Natalie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

BoB Vocational Training School

Teaching at the BoB Vocational Training School in Shantou was an unforgettable experience, full of opportunities to explore the city and its surrounding areas, and to learn about Chinese culture. The Chinese teachers were very supportive and provided some training days before the programme began, and both of the phases of teaching ended in Bilingual Festivals. This is when most of the classes perform a song/play in English (with or without their foreign teacher) in front of a large audience; truly an amazing ordeal.
I ended my trip to China by staying in Yangshuo for 5 days with the majority of people from my programme, as well as volunteers from other programmes across China. This was my favourite part of the trip as we were able to explore on our own; we even hired e-bikes to ride around the mountains!
During my 7 weeks in China, I have made many lifelong friendships and definitely will visit again.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take every moment as it comes. There will be good lessons and bad lessons, as well as good days and bad days, but don't let this ruin the trip for you. It is an amazing experience that you should really make the most of.
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Justina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing program!

I enjoyed this program very much! I particularly liked the style of my Yangshuo program which was Teach And Travel. We got to explore Guilin and Yangshuo. This program allows you to not only see some amazing nature views but also to try your hands in a teacher's role. I gained confidence in myself and got to practice how to create lesson plans and just overall activity plans. I also got to practice how to make kids be attentive in the classroom. The program was really fun and the kids were great! The coordinators of the program were very welcoming and friendly. And the application process was very easy. Even though I did not get accepted into the first offered program (I failed the interview part), they offered me a different program straight away which was an even better choice for me (because for the start/end dates)

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment was playing with the kids in the water. We were kayaking and then we started splashing each other with water and it was so much fun and the funniest part was when we looked at each other and we were all wet.