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Teaching Oral English in China with the full support of Buckland Group!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Host School or Placement

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Compensation & Benefits

    10

  • Support Services

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

  • Community

    10

Excellent teaching experience in China with Buckland

From the application process and the visa paperwork, to the orientation and the school placement, Buckland International Education Group provided us with an excellent teaching experience in China.

When we applied, our recruiter, Ping, was incredibly helpful and informative. She answered our many questions in a timely manner. She even went out of her way to Skype with us multiple times to ensure we were comfortable moving forward with a position at Buckland. Thank you, Ping!

Buckland provided us with all the visa paperwork information, along with detailed instructions on how to complete the work visa requirements. This was a complicated process, but Buckland helped us every step of the way. Buckland was upfront with not only the visa process, but what would be expected of us once we arrived in China.

We arrived late in Guilin on a connecting flight from Shanghai and Buckland had already arranged a private transport to their office in Yangshuo. We arrived at the office around three in the morning and were shown to our private accommodations. The next day, we filled out some paperwork and were then given a private tour of downtown Yangshuo from Buckland’s training teacher, Robert Hale. We enjoyed walking through the city, sampling the street food and taking in the beautiful surroundings.

Buckland provided us with an excellent week of orientation, covering Chinese culture and language, teaching methods, lesson planning, and a crash course in how to teach in a Chinese school. On the second day of training, we took a bus to Guilin for our health check. Buckland was very helpful in getting this crucial part of our visa taken care of. After a few days of training, we were ready to go!

At the end of our training, Buckland prepared a small class of local high school students for us to instruct. We were told to have a 40-minute lesson prepared and given another “Bucklander” to prepare with. The students were sweet and helpful. It was nice to have a “practice run” before shipping out to our school.

Buckland provided us with delicious lunches every day during our training sessions. One of our fellow teachers was a vegetarian, so Buckland went out of their way to prepare a vegetarian buffet with not only delicious food, but dietary health education as well. On the last night of our orientation, Buckland hosted Foreign Affairs Officers from many schools across China. We had the opportunity to meet them, chat about their schools, and enjoy a delicious BBQ.

Buckland then placed everyone in our orientation group according to their preferences and available schools. Buckland worked very hard to make sure everyone was happy with their placement and their salary. We were both placed in Xi’an city in the Shaanxi province in a primary school, teaching grades 1-6. Buckland arranged our flight from Guilin to Xi’an and ensured our Foreign Affairs Officer would pick us up at the airport.

We have very much enjoyed working at the Fangxin Primary School in Xi’an. Our Foreign Affairs Officer, Apple met us at the arrival gate and has not stopped helping us since we landed. The administration has been very welcoming and accommodating. They provided us with a beautiful apartment, fully furnished; we even have free cable TV and HBO! Every time we’ve needed assistance, our school has made it a priority to help us. We’ve been treated to more delicious lunches than we can handle; Chinese people love to feed you. We couldn’t have asked for more!

Between swimming in the rivers in Yangshuo, traveling to Chengdu to see the pandas, and exploring the ancient city of Xi’an, Buckland and our school have been there for us. We cannot thank everyone enough! We certainly would recommend working with Buckland International Education Group and teaching English in China. Ganbei and good luck!



-Addie and Justin

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Host School or Placement

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Compensation & Benefits

    10

  • Support Services

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Community

    10

China review

In 2004 I had the crazy idea to retire from being a lawyer in England and set out on a new and exciting adventure in China. A few challenges initially presented themselves. I needed to obtain the full support from and permission of my children and family. Fortunately, they were all very positive about the challenge ahead. Or perhaps they just wanted me to leave ha ha. The next challenge was to secure a suitable teaching position with a company I could trust. I set about researching. I was very lucky to come across Buckland International. The reviews I read were mainly positive and the questions I posed to them were answered almost immediately. The application process with Buckland couldn’t have been any easier. Ping (the recruiter) and the office staff were extremely efficient. My visa and contract were handled with due care and precision.
The day of departure from England, as you can imagine, was charged with emotions. I almost didn’t leave. In fact, I spent 40 minutes crying in the toilets at Heathrow airport. Quite embarrassing for a grown man ha ha. As you have probably guessed I did eventually get on the plane. Buckland met myself and another new teacher at the airport and took us to our accommodation in Yangshuo. The next day we started the orientation week. This involved meeting the new group of teachers, Buckland employees and our course leader. All gave us a warm and friendly welcome.
The week involved lessons and advice on life in China and how to make the best of it. We were given advice and support on how to prepare and deliver lessons. This came in particularly useful for the first few weeks of teaching at my school. We were also given the opportunity to prepare and present a class to real students. Perhaps, most importantly the week gave me the opportunity to make many new life-long friends.
I won’t talk too much about Yangshuo itself. I am sure you will do some research on the internet. However, I will say this. The guide books and travel guides do not do the town justice. It is breathtakingly beautiful. I arrived at night in total darkness. I awoke to a vista of mist shrouded mountains, magical rivers teaming with happy tourists on bamboo rafts and a town containing a delightful mixture of Eastern and Western cultures. I have twice returned to soak in more of the beauty. I cannot recommend it too highly.
At the end of the orientation week I sat with Yuki (one of the members of Buckland team) and we went through the best options with regard to my first school placement. Her advice and honesty were much appreciated. School chosen it was time to say goodbye and leave.
I chose to teach in a High school in a fairly remote part of China. The school were exceptionally welcoming and friendly. When I arrived they took me for some fantastic meals and a tour of the countryside. I was very lucky. I had a brand new apartment in a beautiful and friendly town surrounded by mountains and beautiful countryside.
After a few days of relaxation and acclimatisation it was time to meet the students and begin teaching. If you have taught in England you will be surprised by the class sizes. On average my classes contained approximately 70 students. I know what you are thinking. How on earth can I teach 70 students? The honest answer is that the students are incredibly friendly and respectful. This makes your life much easier. You will need a good sense of humour and patience. You will need to expect the unexpected and not stress about the little things.
I can assure you that if you come with an open mind you will have a wonderful experience. I have enjoyed my time so much that I am now beginning my third year of teaching in China. I can honestly say I have never experienced a problem that cannot be easily overcome with a smile and a handshake. Contrary to what we see in the media at home China is a wonderful country and the Chinese are the friendliest people you will ever meet.
I hope you grasp the opportunity to come and teach with both hands.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Host School or Placement

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Compensation & Benefits

    10

  • Support Services

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Community

    9

Great experience in China

When I decided to quit my job teaching English in a college in England I expected it might take me a few weeks to find a job overseas. Four days after I quit I had an offer from Buckland and a few months later I was landing in Yangshuo for the orientation period. That was six years ago and I have never regretted it. I was picked up at the airport, driven to Yangshuo, put up in a nice room. (It was quite nice but a bit basic, but since then they have converted some rooms above the Buckland offices and they are very nice.)
The orientation period was short and covered a lot of ground - living and working in China, Chinese rules and regulations, dealing with your school, lesson planning AND included a session of teaching to actual Chinese students with feedback on how well I had done. As I’d already been a teacher some of it was already familiar but there was plenty of information that was interesting and useful.

A little over a week after I arrived I was on a plane up to Baiyin in Gansu province, a city with only three or four foreigners at any given time.
I’ll admit that when I was asked to go to Baiyin and when I read the previous teacher’s write up I didn’t want to go. It sounded horrible. One day there convinced me that I was wrong about that. I stayed for three years and still visit my many Chinese friends there from time to time.
While I was there I had a number of apartments and while none of the later ones were as nicely furnished and comfortable as the first one they were all perfectly acceptable and all had everything promised in the contract. Not only that but if I needed anything not in the contract my schools were only too happy to help me obtain it - sometimes even providing it for me free of charge.
The schools were great, the kids were great, the place had everything I needed (though maybe not everything I wanted - you will quickly start craving for bookshops for example, wherever you are!)

From time time to time I had small problems - things wrong in the apartment, issues with the schools, questions about my visa but everyone always tried to get anything like that sorted out quickly and if the school couldn’t sort it out there was always the option of a quck call to the Buckland office. The staff in the Buckland office are great. Whatever the problem they will make every effort possible to sort it out for you. That goes for everything - from problems with your schedule to problems with your apartment to problems with money. I’ve worked for them for six years now and have yet to have a problem that hasn’t been sorted out quickly. The problems I have had have almost always been the result of different cultural expectations between me and the school.

After three years in Baiyin there were some changes in local education policy that meant they no longer wanted foreign teachers and I had to move. It coincided with Buckland needing someone to take over the training of new teachers during orientation so I moved to Yangshuo. Here I teach in Middle school and - a couple of times a year - do the training for the orientation groups. I also support teachers throughout the year if they need any help at their schools. If it’s a teaching question I can usually deal with it. If it’s something I can’t deal with myself I can liaise with the office to help sort it out as I understand all the things that might bother a teacher and can go in and explain it more clearly than a phone call or email would.

And here? Well I love my school and just like in Baiyin the kids, the teachers and everybody else are all great. I love living here as much as I did in Baiyin and I intend to stay in China, and with Buckland, for a long time yet.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Host School or Placement

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Compensation & Benefits

    10

  • Support Services

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

  • Community

    10

Amazing experiences in China

I had always wanted to live abroad in a place like China, but I thought it would be something really difficult and even frightening. In fact, I was nervous about the whole thing up until the day I got to Yangshuo (Buckland's headquarters are there). However, my fears were all unfounded. Buckland makes the whole process as smooth as silk. After my application was accepted, they helped me throughout the whole visa process, guided me on what to bring, and upon my plane's arrival there was a taxi waiting to pick me up at the airport. They dropped me off right at the headquarters, where I then met the staff and was led to my hotel rooms. Buckland spends a week training all the new teachers together in orientation groups. Besides being very helpful and informative, it's a blast! Imagine a couple dozen foreigners new to China all together in one tiny town! Yangshuo is a beautiful place full of crazy mountains, shops, bars, and even nightclubs. It's a good transition - a village halfway between the West and East. Only in Yangshuo can you cruise down a river on a bamboo raft in the morning, and grab pizza and mojitos in the afternoon. So back to the practical stuff. Buckland's training involved a few days of lectures from the Chinese staff members, and experienced teachers as well. They teach you how to cater your lessons to the needs of Chinese students and what to expect, how to handle discipline problems, and how to really thrive in China. They even have every teacher do a real lesson to a classroom of real students, upon which the Buckland staff will observe and give you great feedback. After the orientation, Buckland will talk with you and the schools, playing match-maker and arranging the best fit for everyone involved. They'll place you in a school in a different province, like ShaanXi or Hunan or several others. You go with another teacher, and they arrange all of the transportation for you. The school picks you up, and welcomes you in. To be honest I was the most nervous about teaching my actual students at the school. It ended up being so awesome - the kids are all so attentive, kind, and good listeners. They all honestly really love getting to attend the foreigner's English class, and it's not hard to teach them at all. You basically just have to teach them some vocab or grammar structures using games like Pictionary or Role Play, etc. It was so much fun. I ended up extended my contract even! I would highly recommend going with Buckland if you want to teach English in China. They're super supportive, and go the extra mile to make their teachers' stay in China the most comfortable and hassle free. The salary is decent, the support is superb, the training well done, and China is of course one big epic adventure. I'm honestly jealous of you guys who are just starting out on this adventure! Good luck!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Host School or Placement

    10

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Compensation & Benefits

    6

  • Support Services

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    6

  • Community

    5

Two great years in China

First, a few words about my background.I was born in Manchester ,UK but have lived many years in France as my husband is French. When my husband retired we decided we wanted to do something exciting and a teaching job in China really appealed to us.I had a teaching certificate and over the years had done quite a lot of one to one teaching. So in the spring of 2011 I started to do serious research on internet to find out possibilities.At first sight there seemed to be many,but soon I realized that it would not be that easy .I finally came across the Buckland Group website.I was impressed by its clarity and received an answer right back.Just two days after e mailing my details I received confirmation that I had been accepted on the program starting late August.From that moment I was sending them questions nearly every day.Ping ,in charge of recruitment always patiently and clearly answered my mails and most times I got the reply the same day.Subsequently I signed the contract and they forwarded me all the documents needed for our visas which we obtained without any problems. So towards the end of August we arrived in Yangshuo.Its a beautiful place and all the Buckland staff were very kind and helpful.The orientation week was very useful to prepare us for teaching in China and also to prepare us for any culture shock we might meet with.Towards the end of the week we received our assigned school,a high school near to Xian.This was just what we had requested.My husband loves history and it was one of his dreams to visit the world famous Terracotta Warrior site which turned out to be just a few miles from our school, We were met in Xian by Frank who is the Buckland representative for Shaanxi province.As any Buckland teacher working in Shaanxi will confirm ,Frank is a great guy who always goes out of his way to give support and help. Our school was old and our apartment was very basic by western standards but it did have all the equipment stated in the contract.Teaching large classes of 16 year-olds was a challenge for me but the majority of great students made up for a few difficult ones.I soon became good friends with the Chinese English teachers. Our year passed quickly. We were able to visit quite a few places and also enjoy Xian at weekends.We loved China and Chinese people were always most kind to us. After one year back in France,we found we were really missing China so we contacted Buckland to sign up for another year and arrived back in China in September 2013.This time we were sent to Hanzhong a town in South Shaanxi which has a nice climate and good air.Here I taught younger children in smaller classes.Our apartment was very nice so in fact we actually enjoyed it even more than the first time. The fact that we have worked for two years with Buckland and plan to do so next year should prove how satisfied we are with the Buckland group.For anyone who wants to teach in China and be well looked after by a trustworthy and caring organisation,my husband and I strongly recommend the Buckland group.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Community

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Support Services

    10

  • Compensation & Benefits

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Host School or Placement

    10

Beers N Noodles Adventure

When deciding on something such as 'teaching in China’ there are never too many questions you can ask and reading reviews written by both current and previous teachers is the perfect way to begin. I have been teaching in China and with Buckland’s for nine years. I’ve taught in eight schools in Guangxi Province, Gansu Province, Fujian Province, Shaanxi Province and I am currently living/teaching in Jiangxi Province. Buckland's really are great to work for. When I was here fourteen years ago I found Buckland's in Yangshuo and after returning to Australia I spent many years debating on whether to give up my life in Australia and move to China. So I spent a lot of time searching for 'Recruiters'. I found Buckland's to be the safest and best by far. You do hear of some teachers who have 'had a bad time here in China' but they are usually teachers who sign directly with their school and have no one to turn to for help. Buckland’s will ALWAYS be there for you and no question is too big or small for them. If you do come and work with Buckland's you must remember this. They love to hear from you and NEED to hear from you otherwise they have no idea there is either a problem or that you are happy or unhappy. Did you find the Training and Orientation Week helpful? The training was fantastic and heaps of fun. You will receive many tips and hints on how to teach and you will even get to do practice lessons at one of the local schools. You will meet many new teachers with who you will keep in contact with for the rest of your China experience. You are all new and will need each other for help, share teaching tips and lesson plans and a general chat from time to time. The training is held in beautiful Yangshuo which is a 'soft' way to be introduced to China. It is full of western tourists and has several streets that have only western bars and eateries and is a most wonderful welcome to living in a new country and culture. Will you actually teach in the Yangshuo area? It is doubtful as there are only a few positions available. But why choose Yangshuo when you have the rest of China to choose from! Do you receive the promised amount of hours per week? Its not actual ‘hours’, it really means how many classes/lessons you teach per week. Each lesson goes from thirty to forty five minutes and your school can not make you do any more lessons than that in your contract and if they do and you agree they must pay you ‘a set amount extra’. For those who want to earn extra money for travelling etc then tutoring is the only way I know of. The students are already busy enough with their school and extra school activities so it is doubtful you can earn extra money from your school. Special promotional work how often does this happen? I have never had to do any promotional work since arriving and have never known of anyone who has had to. Depending on what it is I would also never allow it to disrupt my holidays with such things. You must remember we are paid a LOT of money compared to everyone around us so the schools like to show us off and big dinners are the usual way. How is the accommodation at the school? Your accommodation is very comfortable and although it is simple by our western standards you will have everything you need. Your apartment will come complete with bed and bedding, television and DVD player, air conditioner/heater in the bedroom and/or living room, washing machine, fridge, western toilet and bicycle. Security and should I Bring My Own Computer? Whether you bring your own computer is your own decision, most Buckland’s associated schools will have a computer provided…BUT…it will most likely come complete with Chinese XP and Chinese Office 2000. If any of my new apartments come with a computer I always pack it and store it as I’d rather use my own laptop. Your apartment will be secure as most are located at the school and every school has a big gate and beside that big gate lives a Gate Guard who is there twenty four hours a day and depending on which floor you are on, your windows will have bars on them. Will I Get The School of My Choice? How it normally works is you tell them what and where, north and south, small or big school, high school, middle school, primary school etc. They can only do their best to get you what you want or as close to. For those who have never been to China along with those who may have been here but only for a short time, there is a big difference between the north and south of China along with the east and west but most of us will teach in what we consider north and south. I have lived in both and the four main differences (to me) are; food, people, geography and weather and I personally prefer to live in the south. Chinese English Teachers different Levels of English In one of my schools I simply wanted my schools address written in both English and Chinese. This was to make things between Australia Post and China Post easier. It actually took over a week as at first the Chinese English Teachers couldn't understand what I wanted and once they did, no one wanted to write it for fear of making a mistake. In the end an English Professor from the Teachers College got involved and it took him less than two minutes. In some schools the English Teachers only know enough to teach from the book and say hello, good morning and how was your weekend. If the conversation goes any further it becomes too difficult for them. In other schools I’ve taught in all the teachers English was fantastic. What is the cost of living like? The cost of living in China depends totally on what you are like as a person and what you want your life to be like here. I haven't cooked for myself in nine years but when I visit a friend’s home we cook as group. They have what is known as 'fast food' here in China which is a buffet type thing. The food turnover is almost instant so the food is usually fresh and hot. It normally costs between 5 and 20 Yuan depending on what you choose to eat. Some schools have canteens where you can eat for around 4Yuan per meal and in some of these schools the foreign teacher will get to eat for free. For dinner I usually eat at small hole in the wall eateries or roadside stalls and my meal will normally cost between 5 and 15Yuan. If I choose to eat in a ‘nice eatery’ then my meal cost will rise to between 20 to 40Yuan. A bottle of beer costs 2 to 5 Yuan and the same bottle in a club can cost you anywhere between 10 to 30 Yuan, as I said it all depends on what type of person you are. Bills and living costs: In most schools you will have no bills (some you will). Your only real expenses will be food, your mobile phone and travel. Last of all, Is China For You! You will be paid well, everything is cheap which includes transport that can get you anywhere you want to go, sometimes with more than a little patience. You will be safe and very well looked after. You may not end up teaching in a place as beautiful as Yangshuo but everywhere you go in China you will find beauty. The Chinese people are the friendliest and most beautiful people I've spent time with during all my travels. I feel very much at home here and will stay for many more years. Sadly though, some people just can't handle China and find it too dirty or too loud or not a society they want be part of. Some love it at first but once the reality of day to day living hits they lose their tolerance. Just as China is culturally and geographically different between provinces, people are also different. We all have dreams we want to fulfill and doing a little research and thinking prior to taking the first step goes a long way.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Host School or Placement

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Compensation & Benefits

    10

  • Support Services

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

  • Community

    10

The lucky American teaching in the Middle Kingdom

When I was first looking into a way to stay in Asia and work here as an employed expatriate instead of a tourist on vacation in my Second-Home of Thailand, I did what many people do: I went to Dave's ESL Cafe on the 'Net, looking into teaching work in China as the Middle Kingdom perpetually requires Native English Speakers to teach Conversational English to students from Kindergarten age up to High School, Grades 9-12.
While I was doing this in January 2011, I discovered Buckland International Education Group and sent off an e-mail to them. This inquiry was answered at once by Ping, a lovely lady who couldn't be any more professional and friendly about it. Before I knew it, I was getting packed up in my apartment in Chiang Mai and flying to Bangkok to fly up to Hong Kong. It was sad for me to leave Thailand but I was VERY Excited about all that would await me in Chung Kuo--CHINA!
Once I got on a bus and made it into Yangshuo, I was overwhelmed immediately by being in one of the loveliest places on the entire planet. Even better than that, however, was the treatment that I received after getting from the bus station to Buckland's lovely HQ via taxi.,
They taught us with superior skill but likewise with a sense of fun.
When it was time to depart Buckland and Yangshuo, it was depressing but once I got into Shaoyang in Hunan Province, well, that is where the REAL adventure began!
Coming to a city you've never been to before and standing in front of fifty-to-one hundred students you've never met before is terrifying beyond belief but at the risk of sounding a little on the pompous side, you DO eventually get used to it.
The REAL magic is when you get to know your students and hit it off with them--that's when the days, weeks and even months of your term truly DO go flying by at top speed. At the end of a term, saying goodbye and leaving is NEVER an easy task to accomplish. No.
Despite this, I DID enjoy going from Hunan Province to Shaanxi Province where I met the FAO at the international airport in Xi'an, Frank. As anyone who's worked with Frank knows, he's an absolute sweetheart of a gentleman who goes well out of his way to assist you. He and I hit it off straightaway and remain close friends to this day; we even met in Boston a couple years ago when he was in the States on business and not all that far away from my home on Cape Cod, a couple hours away from Boston. We had a GREAT reunion!
I did two terms in the small city of Pucheng, two more in the neighboring city of Weinan, a term in exquisitely-attractive Ankang, a term in Hanzhong and then I ended up here in Yong Zhou, back in Hunan Province.
This is probably the best school I've worked at with MANY great students who really DO want to improve their English, the school grounds are beautiful, the school food really IS delicious and Yong Zhou has plenty to do when one ISN'T teaching. In addition, it's not all that long a ride via the train at the nearby Yong Zhou Train Station To Guilin or Shenzhen to go into Kowloon/Hong Kong. Best of all, my FAO at the school--Mr. Jack--has to be the BEST FAO that I'VE ever dealt with. He couldn't be any kinder, often helping me out with matters I couldn't do as quickly or as correctly on my own. It's ANOTHER reason I'm happy to be back here for yet ANOTHER term until it all wraps up sometime in June.
To put it another way, my feelings are that if you DO want to teach English in China via a legitimate, trustworthy organization and work at schools that WILL provide you with an apartment, a certain amount of classes per week, help you arrive and depart the city you teach in and get to see the gorgeous parts of this astounding country that Typical Tourists NEVER see while you are treated as a dignified guest by locals who DON'T see Westerners all that often, please check into working with Buckland.
I personally believe that you will have an excellent experience with them if you do and it WILL open the doors to MANY successful pathways in a country as large and as expanding as China has become remarkably in the last few years.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Community

    6

  • Day to Day Life

    7

  • Support Services

    7

  • Compensation & Benefits

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Host School or Placement

    7

Buckland is a Safe Choice for China

I am on a one year contract with Buckland and I have have felt secure in China from day 1. They picked me up at the airport and took me to the headquarters for a week of Chinese culture training. From there they flew me to Xi'an where I met Frank, my direct company contact who has been nothing but perfect since I met him. I live in a small town about six hours north of Xi'an where I would define life as simple. The people are friendly but conservative. My apartment is acceptable by western standards and the internet has always worked well. The school is old but functional by Chinese standards. The class size averages about 50 students a class. The English level at the high school is basic at best. It is a comfortable life in Jingbian, there are many restaurants, basketball is often played, and locals will love you. The bottom line is Buckland has so far fulfilled everything agreed upon in the contract. Don't expect to live in luxury but know that you will be well taken care of by the staff and the school they place you in.