China is the country with perhaps the highest demand for English teachers in the world, and there is no better place to begin earning your TEFL certification than in the capital city of Beijing. For hundreds of years Beijing has been the seat of the Chinese government, from the imperial days of ancient China through the present regime. The most exciting city of what is quickly becoming the most important country in the world, Beijing offers the perfect global environment for foreign teachers from all over the world to launch their educational career.
TEFL Programs in Beijing
Earning your TEFL certification in Beijing will qualify you for some of the best English teaching jobs available in the city, and the country for that matter. While some institutions will hire native English speakers even if they are not TEFL certified, the most fruitful ESL job opportunities at public, private, and international schools are almost always held for certified ESL teachers only.
TEFL certification in Beijing typically takes upwards of one month, and programs require between 120 and 180 hours of classroom instruction. Class sizes are usually small, so that teachers-in-training can benefit from highly personalized instruction and attention from their professors. Topics covered throughout TEFL certification courses include: classroom management strategies, grammar, phonetics, and the latest in teaching methodologies. Many TEFL programs in Beijing will also include opportunities to practice teaching in front of a real classroom of Chinese students as part of the required coursework.
Additionally, outside of the classroom some TEFL programs in Beijing will also offer orientation outings in your new home, the opportunity to enroll in Mandarin language lessons, and frequent cultural exploration activities throughout the city. Upon completion of your TEFL courses in Beijing, you will become a certified ESL teacher and have the opportunity to teach English not just in Beijing, but anywhere in the world. Many TEFL certification programs in Beijing will include lifetime job placement assistance as an additional perk for participants, so keep this in mind when searching for the perfect TEFL program in Beijing for you.
Life in Beijing
Living in Beijing can be quite a significant adaptation for newcomers not accustomed to the crowded cities of the East. Over 20 million people live in China’s bustling capital city, and the chaos can prove both exhilarating and overwhelming at times. Once you acclimate to the continuous stream of stimulation, the city has a ton to offer in the ways of culture, entertainment, and historical intrigue.
Perhaps the most famous attraction in Beijing is the Forbidden City, which still remains standing in tact at the heart of the city. This was the residence of China’s emperor since the fourteenth century and remains a cornerstone reminder to the greatness of the ancient Chinese civilization. Other places well worth visiting during TEFL courses in Beijing include Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, and the National Center for the Performing Arts. The Great Wall is just a short bus ride away too!
Getting around Beijing is easy. In fact, the Beijing Subway serves more riders annually than any other public transportation system in the world. It is a very affordable option, and can efficiently take you almost anywhere you need to go across the city. Beijing is also a primary transportation hub for the whole country, and China’s new high speed rail can take you to other cities such as Shanghai in a matter of hours!
Salary & Costs
TEFL courses in Beijing tend to cost between $1,000 and $2,000 in terms of tuition, but it is possible to make this initial investment back fairly quickly once certified and teaching English in Beijing. Schools in Beijing compensate foreign ESL teachers well, paying a salary between $1,500 and $2,500 a month, while also sometimes covering costs of housing and airfare.
On top of this, Beijing is a highly affordable city to live in for teachers coming from most industrialized countries. Although it is gaining fast, China is still a developing country and so prices for many commodities will be relatively low. Just be wary of falling into tourist traps!
Accommodation & Visas
Most TEFL programs in Beijing will assist participants in finding accommodations, and some will even provide students with housing of their own living with other TEFL trainees. If you are looking for your own apartment, keep in mind that rent in the city center can be almost double what you would pay in the outskirts of Beijing. New apartment complexes continuously sprout up all over the city, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a comfortable place to live during your TEFL certification in Beijing.
China’s visa policy is fairly strict, although the government is also very efficient in processing the paperwork and providing your proper documentation on time. If you are only staying in Beijing for a one month TEFL program, then you will likely have to obtain either a student or tourist visa. If you are seeking full time employment as an ESL teacher in China, then the visa situation becomes more complex and you should communicate with your employer about what type of visa you will need.
Benefits & Challenges
Live in a City with Ancient Roots. China is one of the oldest continually thriving civilizations on the face of the earth. While earning TEFL certification in Beijing you will find yourself living in a place which was the heart of the empire for nearly half a millennium, and the opportunities to explore the traditions and history of Chinese culture are immense.
Live in a City with Modern Prospects. As China becomes a more boisterous economic power, and as the Chinese government becomes increasingly significant in the development of international affairs, Beijing is increasingly at the center of the global spotlight. It is one of the most important cities in the world, and the prestige is palpable.
Develop Valuable Educational Skills. A lot of ESL teaching is intuitive, but a lot effective teaching techniques come from careful practice and diligence too. By embracing the value of TEFL certification in Beijing, you can help unlock your own potential as an educator, and be well on your way to touching the lives of pupils around the globe.