Want to immerse yourself in China?
The short-term Language Exchange Program in China offers you an affordable way to gain practical teaching experience and a unique, close-up look at Chinese life and culture. You’ll be able to experience the real China by immersing yourself in the local culture, traditions, and cuisine as an au pair with a Chinese host family.
The ultimate exchange
Develop or improve your Chinese (Mandarin) oral and written communication while teaching your native language.
Teach about your cultural customs while learning about theirs.
Learn how to cook traditional Chinese cuisine and teach your host family how to make your favorite dishes.
The world is your classroom
Become a global citizen while exploring if an international career path is for you.
Immerse yourself in Chinese language, culture and lifestyle.
Get all the documentation and help you need to get your visa so you can stay and explore legally for as long as you choose.
Explore like a tourist & live like a local
Live with a local Chinese family, eager to show you their way of life.
Be based in either Beijing or Shanghai where the rest of China is at your doorstep.
Dive into your new country with monthly cultural immersion activities and networking events.
You’ll get all of this:
- Placement with a Chinese host family in Beijing or Shanghai
- Monthly allowance of 1,000 RMB (approx. $150 USD)
- Completion bonus of 1000 RMB per month (excluding the 2-month program)
- Personalized pre-departure and post arrival support
- Homestay accommodation (private room) and all meals
- Required visa documentation and assistance in applying
- 24/7 in-country support from bilingual staff
- Networking events with alumni community
- Paid vacation days
- 6 Mandarin classes per week at a local licensed Mandarin language school, and access to offline Mandarin learning resources
- Monthly cultural activities included in the program, with other program participants
- Airport pickup
- Welcome dinner
- Arrival information pack
- Comprehensive orientation
- An experience that changes lives and lasts forever
I consider this experience a wonderful and extraordinary life lesson and I would not hesitate to do it again. Apart from getting to know the language and the lifestyle of China, I have grown as a person and as a traveller.” ~Elliot (U.K.)
Pricing & eligibility
Application fee is $50 USD and everything else is free.
Flight and visa expenses are not included.
Must be a native English speaker or proficient in English from North America, Western Europe, South Africa, or Oceania and eager to learn about Chinese culture.
Must also be between 18-29 years of age and hold a TEFL certificate. Get one online here.
How it works:
Ready to explore China? Choose a start date & apply today.
You can choose to stay 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 months.
- October 2018
- November 2018
- December 2018
**It can take 2-3 months to find you the perfect family.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be an au pair?
Technically, yes. But unlike other cultures, Au Pairs in China are not expected to undertake any sort of heavy housework. Primary responsibilities are teaching English to the host family’s children and to serve as a positive role model at home. Of course every family has different needs, however both the Au Pair and the host family sign a contract agreeing on the terms of the arrangement for the duration of the program. This contract serves to ensure both parties understand their responsibilities and boundaries, and allows our partners to resolve any conflicts that may arise.
How long are the short-term language exchange contracts?
Participants can choose to stay 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 months in China.
Where will I be placed?
If you’re coming solo, you’ll be placed in Beijing or Shanghai.
If you’re coming with a friend, we can also place you in Hangzhou (1 hour from Shanghai) and Zhongshan (Southern China near Guangzhou).
What will my schedule be like?
You’ll teach for a total of 30 hours per week including teaching, lesson planning and spending time with the host family. As lessons won’t be in the classroom, you’ll need to be creative!
You will receive two (2) consecutive days off per week and be given an additional three (3) days paid vacation for every 3 months of your program.
You will also undertake six (6) Mandarin classes per week, excluding the first full week which is orientation and settling in with the family. Each class is 45 minutes with a 15-minute break. Sometimes 2-3 classes will be paired together.
What are the included monthly cultural activities?
Each month, participants will have the opportunity to take part in an organized activity that provides an additional opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and to socialize with fellow participants. Activities can include professional networking events and seminars (organized by a Chamber of Commerce), day trips to local temples and cultural sites, or leisure activities (e.g. rock climbing, tea tasting, tai chi).
What are the provided meals like?
The host family will provide participants with 3 meals per day, 7 days per week. Most often these will be meals shared with the host family and will be traditional cuisine. If the host family cannot provide a meal, they will provide participants with food to cook or money to buy food. The participant will cover any expenses associated with dining out personally.
If a participant has any allergies or dietary restrictions, they should advise this during their application.
What is the provided accommodation like?
The host family will provide a private room for you, which should include:
- A comfortable bed with linen
- A desk
- A chair
- A closet
- Adequate lighting and air ventilation
- A shared bathroom
What kind of visa should I get?
You will have guidance when applying for your visa, but you will be required to enter China on an X2 (Student) visa, which is the suitable visa type for foreigners on a cultural exchange in China. You’ll be issued an Invitation Letter with supporting documentation to obtain the visa.
What should I expect from orientation?
Following airport pick-up and transfer, you will spend your first night in a 3-star hotel in your placement city. The following day you will be picked up and taken to the orientation. Orientation includes do’s and don’ts in China, how to be a responsible traveler, etiquette in China, health and safety, how to use public transport, preparing for being an Au Pair at your host family, establishing communication channels and practical living tips for using ATMs, transport, phones, etc. Plus, you will also receive a welcome pack (metro card, sim card, mandarin phrase book), and Peking Duck welcome lunch, and finally drop off at your host family.
Is it easy to send money home from China?
Not exactly. The Chinese government has restrictions on foreigners sending home money, and it’s not possible to exchange money at a bank without a Chinese friend to do it for you. However, you can easily find people willing to help you do this. Many people manage to exchange money on the black market and send it home via Western Union to pay their student loans, so it’s difficult, but not impossible.
I heard there’s no Facebook in China. Is it true?
Yes, it’s true. Legally. The Chinese government has banned almost all social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Most blogging platforms are also blocked. However, there are two ways around it. You can either join a Chinese social media site like QQ, or blogging platform like Weibo, and do it the legal, local way. Or, you can purchase a VPN (virtual private network) for about $5/month to disguise your computer and make it look as if you’re back home on your comfy couch.