Do you wish to teach abroad in a hip and modern part of China? Then teaching in Shenzhen is the way to go. Originally a small fishing village, Shenzhen now boasts gleaming skyscrapers, wide boulevards, and gorgeous green spaces. The culture of Shenzhen is equally amazing, providing teachers with the chance to visit Hongfa Temple and other traditional attractions, hike Wutong Mountain, lounge about in Xiaomeisha’s sunny beaches, or revel in the booming nightlife. Work and play are a yin and yang here, just waiting to be experienced.
Popular Teaching Jobs in Shenzhen
As China’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Shenzhen is a rapidly developing city. It receives massive foreign investment and, as such, provides plenty of chances for teachers to find their place, be it on a small scale or as highly qualified educator in some of the best universities of China.
Public schools, universities, and tutoring centers. If you’re looking to teach English in Shenzhen, English teachers are needed at all levels in public schools, from preschool to adult learners. Another option to teach is as a homestay tutor, which is generally well paid. If you are qualified in another field, you can teach business English classes in corporate training places. University jobs are also available, and they tend to pay average rates, but they sometimes throw in airfare and housing, so it’s worth checking the terms and conditions.
Short-term vs. long-term teaching jobs. Most of the teaching positions (especially teaching English in Shenzhen) are for a full year, but you could also find programs that are for a few weeks or months The salary range starts at $1000 a month for most public sector jobs, which allows for a comfortable lifestyle. Some international schools even pay up to four times as much, which funds a rather luxurious time in Shenzhen.
Teaching English vs. teaching other subjects. English teaching jobs are widely available and in high demand — they usually will pay for airfare and housing as well. Non-English teaching jobs are limited, but still available in international schools in Shenzhen, especially to teachers who have some level of understanding of Mandarin. You can attend Mandarin classes yourself, which at times is part of your program.
Life for English Teachers in Shenzhen
If you are after vibrant city life, then teaching in Shenzhen won’t disappoint with its urban lifestyle. There is a huge expat community in Shenzhen, and it will be easy for you to find company with other who share your interests and first language.
Shenzhen is your typical urban center, with plenty of eating-out options, shopping opportunities, and hopping nightlife. Restaurants have food from all over China, but it might be difficult to recognize what you are eating, as the names are rarely in English. (Do be sure to try barbecued oysters and the Xinjiang garlic bread.) If you want more, Hong Kong is a mere train ride away, and if you are craving for a bit of home, there are plenty of western bars in Nanshan, Futian, Luohu, and Shekou.
There are numerous attractions outside the city as well, such as the serene Wanly Lake and the majestic Guishan Mountains. Shenzhen may be a hot climate, but it has the most beautiful coastline in China to compensate for that fact. There are gorgeous beaches with large stretches of gorgeous national parks providing welcome relief from the hustle-and-bustle of the city.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Mandarin immersion. An English teacher need not necessarily know Mandarin, but in a place where Mandarin (and sometimes Cantonese) is such a necessary part of daily life, taking Mandarin classes will help you learn phrases to navigate Shenzhen and to order delicious foods in the area.
Harsh climate. Shenzhen is very hot and humid, much like the rest of South China. It might be difficult for people from temperate climates to adjust. There is a brief and mild winter from January to March, but the rest of the time, it will be sweltering. You may spend most of your time in classrooms, but remember to stay hydrated! Teachers usually dress very casually, but women usually cover their shoulders and chests in the hot and humid months.
Work culture. When you receive your contract to teach in Shenzhen, just be aware to read the fine print and do your best to negotiate for your salary and benefits — they need you more than you think. Also, keep in mind that everything is last minute and to expect the unexpected when it comes to scheduling and communication issues.
As one of the most sought after teaching destinations in Asia, and if city life is what you are after, then you should definitely teach abroad in Shenzhen! You will get a chance to see the modern way of life in China and learn some Chinese culture between lesson plans and noodle stalls.