Children at a school in China which is also placement for our teaching volunteers.

Volunteer Teaching English in China

Travel to China and get practical classroom experience helping children improve their English

At a glance

  • Work with children in rural areas on the outskirts of Shanghai, focusing on teaching English and helping local teachers.
  • Get practical experience putting together lessons and activities to get the children speaking English and learning new words.
  • Seize the opportunity to explore a different culture, eat your weight in dumplings, and experience local traditions.

Start Dates: 


See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

One Week


16 or over

Is teaching in China right for me?

This project is perfect for anyone looking for teaching experience. You’ll get practical experience in a different classroom setting, and work with qualified teachers. If you’re interested in becoming a teacher, this is a fantastic addition to your resume. Plus, it will give you plenty to talk about in a job interview or college application.

Besides gaining teaching work experience in China, this project will also help you develop other skills. These include management and planning, which you can apply to any career you pursue.

Even if you have no experience but are still interested in teaching English, sign up! You’ll receive a full induction from your project supervisor and you won’t be left in the dark when it comes to teaching. Our staff are on hand to give you advice when needed and we run regular workshops for all Teaching volunteers. You can also take a look at our extensive online database for ideas.

Our volunteer Teaching placements in China run throughout the year. You can join at any time from a minimum of four weeks, and stay as long as you like.

Young students put up their hands to answer the Projects Abroad volunteer teaching English in China

What will I do on the Teaching Project?

As a Teaching volunteer, you'll be based in a kindergarten or school and work alongside teachers. You'll get involved in work such as:

  • Teach English to children and make classroom learning fun
  • Assist teachers with extracurricular activities such as music, sports, and art
  • Work with teachers to prepare lessons with clear goals

At your volunteer Teaching placement in China, your work will focus on the following areas:

Improve the English levels of school children

Your main role is teaching English in a kindergarten or school. You’ll help students get to grips with the basics through pronunciation exercises and spelling bees. Encourage them to speak by playing fun games and singing songs.

It’s also helpful to make resources like flashcards and posters to help teach English. These things are a wonderful addition to the school, and can be used by teachers for years to come. 

Help local teachers with after school classes

Your teaching experience doesn’t have to end when regular classes finish. You can get further involved at the school and help teachers with extra-curricular activities. Depending on your skills and interests, you can run music, sports, and art classes. These classes are a huge benefit to the kids, and give them a safe space to be creative and active. Teachers will also appreciate having an extra pair of helping hands!

Take the time to prepare lessons

Every lesson needs a clear plan and a goal. Knowing how and what you need to teach every day will give you confidence. It also ensures that the students get the most out of having you in the classroom. Planning is an important skill, and this experience will be a valuable addition to your skill set. We'll help you do this by providing workshops and access to example lesson plans.

Where will I be working in China?


You’ll live in the Chinese city of Shanghai. Among the neon skylights and high-rise buildings, this city is constantly teeming with people going about their day-to-day lives.

You’ll experience a more traditional setting when you’re at your Teaching placement on the outskirts of Shanghai. In this rural area, you’ll work at kindergartens and elementary or secondary schools.

The people living in these areas don’t have the same access to education that people in cities do. By working with our partner schools, we’re helping students get the education they need to be more be successful later in life.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our China Arrival Procedures page.

A typical day on the Teaching Project in China

A typical day starts with making breakfast and a packed lunch in your apartment’s communal kitchen. You’ll then take a train to school from the city center. Your journey will be around an hour.

Your work day starts at 9am and ends between 4pm and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Depending on your schedule, you’ll either start lesson planning or head straight into your first class. You’ll teach with the school’s English teacher, helping children with pronunciation and keeping them engaged in the lesson. Classes run for between 35-45 minutes each, and you’ll teach between 10 and 15 classes a week.  

Between 12pm and 1.30pm, you’ll take a break for lunch. This is where you can spend time with the teachers and relax. In the afternoon, you’ll assist with extra-curricular classes.

Over the weekend, explore the city with the other volunteers or set out on your own. Sample traditional Chinese dishes and wander through markets in between visiting temples and museums.You can also plan trips to places like the Great Wall of China, an experience you shouldn’t miss!

A Teaching volunteer in China helps her student learn the lines of an English play

What are the aims and impact of this project?

The aim of this project is to raise English levels in rural schools and give teachers more support in the classroom.

Many Chinese teachers and parents believe their education system puts unnecessary pressure on children. It involves a lot of memorizing and repetition of content, which is tedious for students. This makes it difficult to retain any information and actively learn. In addition, students in rural don’t have the same opportunities to learn from foreign English teachers that students in cities do.

With your help, we can make sure that students in rural areas have the same opportunities to learn and succeed with English. We’ve identified three sustainable goals we hope to achieve with our Teaching Project in China:

  • Increase English levels
  • Improve classroom support
  • Encourage learning through creativity

Help us achieve these goals by volunteering to teach English in China.

A group photo of the students and Projects Abroad volunteers teaching English in China

Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.

Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

Food and accommodation

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns during your stay in Shanghai. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.

The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your program fees include three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.

Leisure activities and free time

China is a vast country so it’s no surprise that it offers a wide variety of different tourist activities. While you’re volunteering, there will be plenty for you to do in the evenings and over the weekends.

What’s extraordinary about China is the contrasts of ancient and modern, rural and urban. You’ll find gleaming skyscrapers, like the Oriental Pearl Tower, only a short distance from the tranquil Yuyuan Garden.

There’s plenty to explore in the city, but it’s also worth taking a trip to the countryside. There you can trek along the breathtaking silk route or visit a Buddhist monastery.

A trip to China wouldn’t be complete without touring the country’s many natural wonders and World Heritage Sites. This includes the Great Wall of China, the Yangtze River, and the Terracotta Army.

With plenty of other volunteers in China, you’ll have the opportunity to travel with others and explore as a group. Or, if you prefer, you’re welcome to do your sightseeing independently. 

Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

When you apply you only pay a $295 deposit, which comes off the total program fees.

Things are changing rapidly these days. If you have ANY questions, please call us at (+1) 619 320 2424 and we’ll fill you in on the latest updates.

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