Volunteer English Teaching in China

Share your passion for education in China

The volunteer program to teach English in China focuses on teaching conversational English to Chinese students. IFRE presently works with Chinese public schools, most of which are located in rural parts and serve the children of farmers and lower class people. Non-native English speakers can also join this project.

Skills/Qualifications Needed

No qualification is needed to join the volunteer teaching project in China. However, volunteers should have enough knowledge of English to effectively teach the basics to Chinese students. Non-native speakers can also join this project if they can speak, read, and write English. No salary or benefits will be offered to volunteer English teachers in the China project.

Volunteer Responsibilities

In China, there is a growing demand for an English language education. With the economic growth, the importance of English increasing as well. Many of the schools in China have established an 'English corner,' a place specially designed for teaching and learning English. These schools are very eager to welcome teachers who speak English proficiently.

Unfortunately, only private, expensive schools in city areas attract teachers who speak English at a native level. Most poor schools remain in a quest for quality teachers for their English classes and especially for native English speakers.

Therefore, as a volunteer English teacher in China, you will teach English at these underresourced and rural schools. Free accommodation and food may possibly be arranged, as these schools do not offer a salary.

Room/Food/Daily Life

Volunteers will live in a volunteer house. Our volunteer house is located in a beautiful area of Chengdu city. This community is very safe, clean, and accessible to local transportation. Within this community, there are many business, families, high ranked government officials, and people with a high social status. The house is near the supermarket and the shopping mall, and you can easily walk to the local bus station if you choose to go into town.

There is an internet café, a restaurant, a police station, and a supermarket just 1 to 3 km away. Our home accommodation offers volunteers a wonderful place to rest and relax after a day's work or weekend travel. This is the ideal setting for individuals looking for a "home away from home" and the perfect arrangement for sharing your daily experiences with fellow volunteers or the local staff.

Depending on the season and flow of volunteers, you may be placed with a local host family or with the family of our in-country coordinator. Our host family homes provide similar amenities as our volunteer home, but you will also have your own room. Staying with a host family offers a valuable chance to learn more about Chinese people and their culture. When we selected the home base and the host families, we were primarily focused on the safety and comfort of our volunteers.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided throughout the duration of all China volunteer projects. We offer three meals a day of local cuisine (Chinese food). Typically, volunteers eat breakfast and dinner at the home base and have lunch at their project. We offer fresh, nutritious, and safe local foods to our volunteers. We also work extremely hard to maintain our facilities in an overall pleasant condition.


  • What is the typical schedule during this project?

    There’s no typical day schedule for this project. It’s open most of the year, but not during the Chinese Lunar New Year.

  • What is the name of the school I would be placed?

    We work with a number of schools in the area. Volunteers will learn the name of their school when they receive their placement details.

  • What is the age range of the students in the school?

    The age range depends on the school in which you teach. We will inquire if you have a preference. Our volunteer teachers work with students from a kindergarten age to adults.

  • How many students are in the school? How many of them are in each class?

    This depends on the school in which you are placed. There are one-on-one classes, as well as classes with up to 50 students. On average there are 20 students in a class.

  • Will I be teaching the classes on my own or will there be someone assisting me?

    Some schools have teaching assistants to help with translation if required.

  • Do they have teaching curriculum?

    This will depend on which school you are placed in as some schools have a designated curriculum and lesson plans, whereas other schools may require you to create your own. In many cases, you will be teaching English lessons orally.

  • How many hours a day do I need to teach?

    Normally around 4 to 5 hours a day.

  • Do I need to bring teaching materials? Or does the school have teaching materials which I can use?

    Most schools will provide volunteers with all the teaching materials necessary to teach the students.

  • Is teaching available all-round the year? When will it close for how long?

    Teaching is available all year round in training schools. Public schools have up to two months off in the summer and a month-long winter holiday in February.

  • Is there any other important information about this project?

    While we strive to provide the most accurate information possible, shifting field conditions may cause alterations in placements.