Let’s say you’ve been wanting to teach English abroad and China intrigues you, but you’re not sure how big or long of a commitment you’d like to make. China can be an intimidating place! The beauty of becoming a part of our Language Exchange Program in China is that your commitment is up to you—two months? Three months? Four, five, or six? Whatever you choose, it’s the perfect way to get your feet wet in an exciting, strange, and fascinating culture!
Your role in this unique homestay opportunity is to teach English to the children of your host family, plan lessons, and spend quality time with all of them. After you’ve earned your TEFL certification, you will be placed in either Shanghai or Beijing, two incredibly animated cities.
If you’re not yet convinced that this program is right for you, the following are five benefits of joining the Language Exchange (or Au Pair) Program in China. They just might surprise you!
1. The Mandarin language will be at your fingertips
We understand that one of your first concerns as a person interested in teaching in China is that you’ve never spoken a word of Mandarin. We’ve got you covered! As part of your position there, you will be enrolled in Mandarin classes six times per week, taught by a local licensed Mandarin language school. You will also receive access to offline learning resources. Even if you walk away having only learned basic or conversational Mandarin, that’s okay! The goal of this program is language and cultural exchange — it’s not about mastering either in a short-term contract. Regardless, you’ll be leagues ahead of the old you when you say goodbye to your host family in China.
2. Your stipend will keep you comfortable
Because accommodations and three meals per day are included in your stay with a host family, that frees up your monthly stipend of 1,000RMB to spend as you wish. Perhaps this means affording a meal out on the town once and awhile, or perhaps it just means more gifts to bring home to family and friends at the end of your teaching experience. But we think the most exciting aspect of earning a monthly stipend will be to add it to your travel bucket list. Even if you only explore your placement city in Beijing or Shanghai with your two days off per week, or take a quick day trip outside the city, you’re sure to see much more of China within this program than you would on a singular trip coming from the States. Not to mention, you’ll receive three paid vacation days for every three months you work so you can travel China more!
3. Your host family is more rounded than you may think
Though becoming a part of our program in China is certainly an opportunity to see the culture first-hand while you converse, eat, and do everything else alongside a Chinese family, you might be surprised to learn that our host families lead successful lives as professional lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, and more. Many have traveled or lived abroad in other countries, and are sincerely interested in providing cultural and language exchange opportunities for their children—which is where you come in! The parents in your host family might not speak much English, but it’s all part of the experience. What might also surprise you are the new ways you find to communicate when faced with a language barrier. In addition to these facts, your host family will likely have an ayi (housemaid), who is responsible for the chores and cooking. Unlike in similar programs across the world, your role is not to cook and clean. Whew!
4. Your monthly cultural activity is more than a day trip
As if being afforded two days off per week wasn’t enough to do some exploring on your own, you will also participate in monthly cultural activities! But what may seem like another chance to check off some travel bucket list items, is also an opportunity. During these activities, you’re given the chance to network with other exchangers and their skill sets, offer the change to make lifelong friends. Making new friends in professional environments is key, and you won’t know just how impactful it can be until you don’t get someone’s contact information and kick yourself for it later! But back to the activities: day trips to local temples or cultural sites, tea tasting, tai chi, and more. Your hard work as an au pair in China is rewarded.
5. In such a short time, you can completely change your life
Two to six months can feel like a blip in your ordinary life. But when you place yourself in a new environment and out of your comfort zone, time seems to slow down. If you’ve never lived abroad, what you will go through in this time of teaching English in China is almost inexplicable. If you’ve lived abroad and are hunting for your next adventure, then you know what we mean. Every day will likely be a challenge, but those challenges lead to a stronger, wiser, and more cultured you. Teaching English to the children of your host family in China is just the funnel through which your life becomes a better version of what it was before. We can’t wait for you to join us!
Have questions about how you can teach English in China as a part of our Language Exchange Program? Contact us today!