Free Summer TEFL Program Across China

Video and Photos

Teach art classes with Gotoco
Teach art classes with Gotoco
Field trip with the students from Gotoco
Field trip with the students from Gotoco
Yangshuo group adventure with Gotoco'ers
Yangshuo group adventure with Gotoco'ers
Gotoco'er with her students
Gotoco'er with her students
Summer camp in China with Gotoco
Summer camp in China with Gotoco
Sports and activities classes with Gotoco
Sports and activities classes with 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 240 reviews
  • Benefits 8.7
  • Support 8.6
  • Fun 9.2
  • Facilities 8.5
  • Safety 9.2
  • Instruction 8.4
  • Support 7.9
  • Value 8.8
  • Academic Rigor 7.7
  • Job Assistance 8
Showing 136 - 150 of 240
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Rebecca
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gotoco program

I’ve found it an enlightening experience and I’ve personally met amazing lovely people who I hope will be forever my friends. Not only, but the place was amazing and breathtaking and being with the kids has been a rewarding and satisfying experience. I’ve certainly grown in confidence and as a person. Also, my knowledge about Chinese culture has increased as well as my interest for it. I absolutely recommend the program to everyone. Also the challenges the other participants and I have found along the journey helped as the lack of organization contributed and helped us to create a strong bond among us and made us responsible by putting us in the position of having to manage time between teaching and outdoor activities. Amazing lovely unexpected experience!!!!

What would you improve about this program?
Definitely the organization of the summer camp. A lesson plan should be provided as well as a weekly plan of the activities the teachers and the kids are going to do during the week.
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Ben
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Cheap way to see China

This was a fun and cheap way to see a lot of China. The people who run the program are all very nice and well-meaning. The accommodations and the food are all fantastic. The teachers there and the facilities are all great as well. The days are very long, you typically work about 12 hours per day. The program will tell you that the tells are much shorter than they are. For example, I am aware of several programs which say they are 9am-6pm every day but they are actually 8am-9:30pm every day. This is just one example of the exceptionally poor communication. You will be unaware of what you're doing at any given time until 5 minutes before you have to do it. You will be waiting for a response from the program directors for days unsure of exactly what to do. They will tell you things and then tell you something entirely different 3 days later. In all honesty, it doesn't make the program any more difficult or less fun, it's just pretty annoying and causes a few issues when trying to plan things.

What would you improve about this program?
Communication needs to get better. The participants should be aware of exactly what they're going to be doing ahead of time.
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Niayesh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

Interacting with Chinese students and learning about Chinese culture, sightseeing the beautiful nature of china and delicious Chinese food plus homestaying with a really nice Chinese family
We also discovered Jinan parks and springs
This was one the greatest experience that could happened to me and I might not explain this again
I am really grateful for this experience
It was full of happiness and I have learned valuable things
Thank you so much

I would recommend Gotoco to everybody who knows english as teaching in China would give people experience that they can not easily find
They can visit china for free and buy a lot of cute things
It was full of valuable experiences
It was beautiful and a great chance to get to know the Chinese culture and people
It has given me the independency skill
It has given me Independence and leadership and a great confidence . I would definitely recommend it to my friends as it is was a rich programme i have seen the nature, and culture.

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Carlotta
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best summer ever

This is the best way I could choose to spend my summer!! I met awesome people from all around the world that are now my friends and I had the opportunity to learn from the kids their habits and traditions. During this experience I had the possibility to visit Yangshuo and to do several activities. The school I was teaching in offered the possibility of joining several outdoor activities that offered the children and foreigner teachers a different way of learning. All the Chinese teachers were doing their best to help us despite our lack in Chinese language and we also learnt some basic Chinese from the kids.
This is definitely a unique experience and challenging as well but in a way that I could only benefit from it. I'm more confident and less shy now and definitely more responsible. As for me it was the first time in another continent I also learnt how to deal with the immigration processes at the airport and train station.

What would you improve about this program?
I would try to improve the organization of dahuwai camp in Yangshuo.
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Emily
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience!

I really enjoyed my teaching experience in China. I was considering volunteering abroad for awhile but didn't know where to start, which was why I found GOTOCO so useful because they guide you through the application process and attempt to assign you to a school that matches your requirements. The application process was pretty smooth - aside from some visa issues that were more so the result of changes to protocol rather than any issue with GOTOCO, and the teaching went really well. The accommodation provided was very comfortable and high-quality, and the school and its staff were organised and helpful. I was able to meet many amazing people from lots of different cultures as a result of this program and couldn't be happier!
The only main issues I had was that I only found out my school in April despite applying in October, however I found the communication with the team to be very fast via email and they did try their best to answer any questions I had. Also, the school I taught at had very limited vegetarian options despite stating that I would be fine, so try and ensure the school you are given definitely are willing to provide a variety of food options if you are veggie/vegan! - coming from a veggie who survived on rice, salad and watermelon for two weeks ;)

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would visit Yangshuo! I didn't go because this trip was the first time I had travelled alone and wasn't sure how well I would adapt. However, I adapted really well to China and loved the culture and teaching experience, therefore I really wish I had taken up the offer and further explored China.
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Agata
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Dongguan Foreign Schools of Languages

Please tell us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?
My most enjoyable moments are really making friends with some of the children, being able to chat to some of them for a very long time, and seeing them progress and learn something. Making new friends with fellow teachers, and going on all sorts of adventures with them was the absolute highlight.

How would you say the overall experience has benefitted you?
I am more confident, have gained teaching experience, have experienced some of Chinese culture and the customs in China in general, am now used to cockroaches big spiders, the heat, and operating in an environment where there is no English spoken most of the time. I've improved my leadership, time management and organisation skills, as I followed my lesson plan and taught 6 40-minute lessons a day.

What was the best thing about your experience in China?
It was an unforgettable experience to be a teacher in a foreign country and to be able to have an influence on the children's lives.

Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?
This is a character shaping and character changing experience, you discover a completely new side of yourself in such a foreign culture, it can't really be explained, you have to live through it.

What was your funniest moment?
Going to the hospital with a friend who had a tick on this stomach, and despite being with a Chinese speaker who explained everything well, the friend was recommended a CT scan.
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James
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gotoco 2019

The Yangshuo trip was very fun, meeting up with everyone else on the programme and exploring the beautiful scenery of the town. All activities were great but could of been organised better, but will be very difficult as the group was very large and people would often be late or change their minds.
Working in the Chinese school was very strange and confusing at first, there was very little information about what we would be doing up until the first day of teaching. However, once it got going, it was a very rewarding and fun experience.
Even though things would seem very confusing at first, it all works out and teaching in China is very fun, rewarding and a great experience that you would never forget.
The programme has given me experiences I will never forget. Being completely out of my comfort zone on the other side of the world made me more confident and created great memories.

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Madi
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Melon Language School

Gotoco is an amazing company that helped me have some of the best 6.5 weeks of my life! They are very helpful throughout the entire process and always answer emails in order to make your experience as easy as possible.

I was put into a program where I stayed with a host family who were the owners of the school and I could not have asked for a better experience there because of them. They were welcoming and treated me like part of the family. They always wanted to experience new things and showed me so much Chinese culture. Dinners consisted of exchanging stories from our countries and learning from each-other.

Teaching there was really enjoyable and the students loved me. I was welcomed by all of them everyday and they were so fascinated to learn from me and to learn about Canada. In addition, I took part in many travel opportunities including going to Shanghai, Hangzhou, Qingdao City, and exploring every part of the city I was in, Jiaozhou.

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Jennifer
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

Gotoco offers different amazing opportunities for those who want to travel to China and learn more about its culture and language. During my program in Beijing, I taught two adorable and energetic children from my homestay. At first, I was worried because I did not have much teaching experience. The kids also spoke very good English, so helping them improve their English skills was a little bit of a challenge for me. However, I had a fun time experimenting with different ways of teaching and keeping the children engage, stepping outside of my comfort zone and gaining confidence in myself.

The host family was very nice and welcoming, taking me out with the kids to watch movies or go to local restaurants to try various Chinese cuisine. They even brought me to Shenzhen with them for the Spring Festival.

I had a wonderful time on my program through Gotoco. Gotoco provided a great opportunity where I could travel to another country and discover myself in new ways.

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Franchesca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Just go for it!!

The whole process of applying and preparing for the trip was laid out for me in easy steps, with constant support along the way.

Having participated in the program, I've definitely learned a lot about myself and how to be more independent and confident in my abilities. I have more world and traveling experience, I tried new foods and found new favorites, I've explored cities that I didn't know the names of previously, I've gotten to meet so many new people and learn more about them--I've just grown so much. Even when times were hard or I got frustrated, I learned that I was able to figure out the situation and overcome it, which has made me a stronger person!

My program was an activities camp, so I had the opportunity to rock climb, go sailing, learn archery and golf, visit a museum and an observatory, and more. It was always really enjoyable and rewarding when the kids worked up the courage to try and have a conversation in English with me! Most of the time they would be hesitant to speak with me as their English levels were very low, but some of the kids were more brave and made an effort to sit with me at lunch and ask me questions, and bond with me during the program.

I would definitely recommend applying for a program through Gotoco if a) you're looking for an easy and fun way to explore China, b) you want to do something that will look great on your CV/resumé and make you stand out, c) you're interested in getting your TEFL certificate for FREE which can open up many doors for you in the future, or d) you don't know what to do with your summer and just want something interesting to fill that time with. There's so many reasons to go, and even if you discover that teaching isn't your thing (it's definitely not mine!) or China is too much for you long-term, it's still an incredible experience that you will remember forever and be grateful for.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
The first few days of the camp I was a bit frustrated because of the culture shock and not having another foreign volunteer at my program to socialize with (he dropped out last minute; it wasn't Gotoco's fault). I wish I had just lived in the moment and thrown myself into the program right away instead of wasting time being unhappy. Also--connect with the kids as much as you can, even if you don't speak the language! Don't be afraid to make fun of yourself!
Default avatar
Izabela
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

GOTOCO china

Gotoco provides an amazing opportunity of spending a self fulfilling summer. I really enjoyed teaching and actually plan to do it in the future in my gap year after university. The TEFL qualification that you earn through the programs really is an invaluable qualification you can fall back on. As you are in a completely different place the people you meet and the bonds you make are really strong. I have met one of my best friends during my summer in china, something i never thought id do.

Spending so many weeks somewhere so far away may seem very daunting at first but the memories you make during this time are worth missing a few weeks with home friends. I feel like the independence and the self reliance that is tested when your so far away is really character building. My and my friend from the program travelled to nearby cities together which was very fun and Yangshou was the most beautiful place I have seen in my life.

What would you improve about this program?
More support and communication between GOTOCO and the partner schools.

Harry
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time at GotoCo

What was the best thing about your experience in China?

It's hard to choose one thing that stands out as the best from my experience in China, however I feel that the entire experience revolved around teaching the children, and allowing them to grow within my care. I loved putting on the performance at the end, and seeing the children display what they had learnt. The children excelled and being able to actually gauge their progress was very rewarding.

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

I would definitely recommend participating in this program to a friend as I have found it both informative, hugely educational, and wholly rewarding. I am genuinely moved to have been a part of the education process for these children, and having a TEFL qualification means I can help children communicate better with the world, no matter where they are. Also, being able to learn more about another culture from within it in a educational capacity has taught me to be more curious about the world in general.

How did you find the recruitment process?

I found it easily accessible and the people I interacted with were very helpful and kind. I would happily recommend the program to a friend. However, I would make the relationship between the family and the tutor more transparent, in terms of money paid to house the tutor, and the specific expectations. It might be better to arrange a tutoring schedule with the tutor and the parent through the school, as this would sidestep and language barriers.

What would you improve about this program?
Wonderful program in general, I would liked to have had more contact with my hosts prior to meeting them, but as I said over all a great program, little to improve!
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Megan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I loved the week-long trip to Yangshuo

I loved the week-long trip to Yangshuo! I really enjoyed preparing the class for the end-of-year performance. It has made me a lot more confident and has allowed me to be put outside of my comfort zone. The best thing about the experience was making new friends along the way. I now have new friends both in China and in the UK. Meeting some great friends and getting to visit Asia for the 1st time. I met and the different groups of children I had the pleasure of teaching. All of the Chinese teachers were so interesting and helped me learn lots about Chinese culture. The children were active and enthusiastic in all the lessons, and it was very rewarding watching their English improve over the course of the summer school. It has given me confidence in moving abroad and working in Asia.

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Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I loved getting to know my class

Being able to travel around at the weekends were a highlight, and I also loved getting to know my class. By the end of my trip, we had visited the attractions multiple times, and so the novelty of them had worn off. This was perhaps something I would change. We were taken around the outdoor activities and told to listen to the narration given by the guides, so that we could speak to the children about the attractions. We couldn't understand the speaker, so when we went round the places with the students, we weren't able to discuss it with them. Visiting China was amazing, and I would absolutely love to go back. The experience give fascinating insight into Chinese culture which, and the experience of teaching was also very enjoyable. Yangshou was a stunning place to live and was probably the highlight of my placement. I have never been somewhere so beautiful, and being able to spend time there and get to know the city was amazing.

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Robert
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My favorite memory of my trip

My favorite memory of my trip was when my host family brought me to a small village outside of town. We climbed a mountain before dawn in order to watch the sunrise. It was truly spectacular to see the sun rise over the rugged terrain. My favorite memory of my trip was when my host family brought me to a small village outside of town. We climbed a mountain before dawn in order to watch the sunrise. It was truly spectacular to see the sun rise over the rugged terrain. I think the experience made me a much more worldly person and truly opened me up to traveling more places. The idea of going to China by myself was initially daunting, but now I don't feel intimidated by traveling to far away places on my own. The best thing was the relationships I made with the people there. I am excited to stay in touch with them and hope to travel back and visit again.