Many would say Shanghai is glamorous, ‘worldly’, and the icon of luxury for China. With its gleaming skyscrapers and tree-lined avenues, there is no doubt that Shanghai is beautiful and holds an air of distinction. However, there is more to this wondrous city than just its unique architecture and good-looking skyline. It is a city of possibility for people of all walks of life, from Chinese migrants to European or American expats, still growing each day to reach new heights. For a teacher in training, it is the destination - students are eager and willing to learn - and you will never find a dull moment in this city that never sleeps.

The standard 120-hour course is the main course type offered in Shanghai. While it is a world-class city, with a large English-speaking, expat population, there is not a huge variety in types of courses. Though, the 120-hour course is of course the most widely accepted certification among schools and employers in the ESL community, both in China and overseas. With 120 hours of training under your belt, and at least 6-8 hours of in-classroom practice, you will be prepared to tackle the challenges that arise in the ESL classroom.

In addition, some programs will offer the resources to help you get on your feet in China. Course instructors will cover cultural topics, such as customs in the workplace and survival language courses. All in all, the course is not only about learning to teach English, but to also better understand your students and their lifestyles both in and out of the classroom.

When and Where to Look:

Courses are available year-round in China, as its ESL market is massive and sometimes unstable. Some traveling teachers, looking for employment on a whim, will be able to arrive in China and find multiple start dates for TEFL courses. However, if you do plan to find work through a recruiter, it is always best to plan ahead and take your TEFL course before the start of the semesters. The Chinese semesters begin in late February/early March and early September. Note that Chinese New Year typically falls around late January or early February, and schools/offices have about 4 weeks off.

Qualifications:

In order to enroll in a TEFL course (and apply for teaching jobs in China), you must be a native English speaker. Other than being a native speaker, the requirements greatly vary, depending on where you plan to teach. Some schools or employers will ask that you hold a college degree and some teaching experience, but this is more common at universities and international or private schools.

Post-TEFL Resources:

After completing your TEFL course, you will need to decide on how to implement your certificate. In Shanghai, ESL teachers most commonly find work at a private language academy or public school. Language schools are always hiring, often looking for foreign teachers to teach about 20 hours per week. This is also a popular choice among English teachers, as the pay is a considerable amount and these schools sometimes offer benefits and housing.

If you plan to teach at a public school, requirements will be a bit stricter. Government-run, public schools require that their ESL teachers have an advanced degree and some years of experience. As opposed to the language schools, public schools are more stable in terms of schedules and pay. Teachers will often sign onto an initial year-long contract, which allows for legal stability, unlike one at a private school. While pay may be less, you will be secured in your job for the length of your contract.

Cost of Living:

While the cost of living in Shanghai will be less than in a major U.S. or European city, it is among the highest in China. For a teacher, living in the city center, your monthly costs will average around 6,000 RMB (~$1,000 USD). However, rent prices are growing in the popular expat neighborhoods, such as Jing’an District and the French Concession, so living outside the city center will lower your costs. However, you can still find affordable food in Shanghai, in almost every neighborhood. Opt for a small family-run restaurant rather than splurging in high-end XinTianDi for example. Lastly, Shanghai has an excellent subway system, with a single journey costing about 2 RMB. Utilize the metro system instead of spending funds on taxi rides around town (which can get very pricey!).

TEFL Courses in Shanghai

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 programs
246 reviews
Gotoco
Free Summer TEFL Program Across China
China
9.09 •246 reviews

Interested in traveling abroad this summer? We provide an experience...

TEFL Heaven
TEFL Heaven: Chase China with Guaranteed Paid Job!
China
10 •3 reviews

If you are looking to dive into a new culture rich with heritage and...

Teacher Link
Teacher Link's 4 Week Residential Classroom Course (120 hours)
China
9.45 •58 reviews

Teacher Link's unique TEFL course fully prepares you for the classroom...

EF English First
Full TEFL Sponsorships for all English First Teachers in 2020
China
8.02 •41 reviews

EF English First, a division of EF Education First, is the world’s...

Teaching Nomad
Teaching Job + 120 hour TEFL ($249 USD value)
China
9.58 •12 reviews

Get $100 USD off your TEFL course after completing it, taking a job...

International TEFL Academy
English Teaching Jobs in China with TEFL Certification
China
9.6 •10 reviews

Interested in getting paid to travel world? By earning your accredited...

Teaching Nomad
Shanghai 120-hour Classroom TEFL Course
China
9.17 •12 reviews

Teacher Link and Teaching Nomad offer a unique classroom TEFL course...

UNI-Prep Institute
Teach English in China with a TESOL/TEFL Certificate
China
9.75 •4 reviews

Are you looking to teach English in China? The first step is to get...

Shanghai Meiji
Teach English to Children in China - Fresh Graduate Program
China

This program is designed for fresh graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree...

Shanghai Meiji
5 Month TEFL Internship Program
China
1 •1 review

This program is a fantastic opportunity for new aspiring teachers or...

EF English First
Trinity Certificate in TESOL Program in China - apply now!
China

The CertTESOL (like the CELTA) is accepted by the British Council as...

IH Teach English
IH Teach English Shanghai, China
China

Take your CELTA teacher training course in Shanghai! Shanghai is China...

Teach to Travel Academy
TEFL Course in China plus Guaranteed Job Placement
China

Obtain Guaranteed Paid Job Placement in China and employment contacts...

Teaching Programs in Shanghai

A TEFL Certification will help you acquire the skills and qualifications to teach abroad in Shanghai
  • New Life ESL
    Teach English in China with New Life ESL
    China
    9.68 •37 reviews

    Support. Honesty. Transparency. This is what makes up the foundation...

  • Reach to Teach
    Reach to Teach - Teaching Jobs in China
    China
    9.46 •13 reviews

    Reach to Teach has positions with English language learners of every...

  • Endeavor Group
    Teach Abroad in China with with Endeavor Group International
    China
    9.8 •5 reviews

    Start your journey to China today. Teach abroad with Endeavor Group...

  • Opportunity China
    Opportunity China: Teach English in China
    China
    9.62 •13 reviews

    Opportunity China is a gateway to exciting and enriching teaching...

  • Ameson Education & Cultural Exchange Foundation
    Amerson Year - TEFL Course and Teach in China
    China
    9.4 •5 reviews

    Ameson Year in China (AYC) is a unique opportunity for recent college...

  • Set In China
    Teaching Jobs in China
    China
    9.82 •11 reviews

    If you are a native English speaker or you have very good English...

  • China Homestay
    Teach in a homestay! Get free room, meals, culture activities and monthly stipend!
    China
    9.4 •5 reviews

    China Homestay is the biggest homestay provider in China. It is...

  • Great Wall TEFL
    Great Wall TEFL - Teach Kids in China
    China
    10 •6 reviews

    Great Wall TEFL partners with only the best, most professional English...

  • Top Notch: ESL
    TopNotch: ESL - Teach English Abroad in China (paid)
    China
    10 •4 reviews

    Come to China to gain experience teaching English to students at...

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What People Are Saying

I had an amazing experience with Gotoco teaching in Shanqiu all summer 2019. The students were so happy and willing to learn, and I made so many great friends through the program and locally in China...

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It was a very self-fulfilling experience, and a pleasure to meet people from all over the world. It was a unique experience. I have learned a lot about the Chinese mindset and China in general...

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A lovely way to spend part of your summer, I was sent to Ningbo for a survival camp and really enjoyed teaching my classes, you ended up really bonding with the kids there and learning a lot about...

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