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Teach English in Shanghai

Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper by population in the world. Located in the Yangtze River Delta in eastern China, it sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River in the middle portion of the Chinese coast, it serves as the most influential economic, financial, international trade, cultural, science and technology center in East China.

Shanghai is one of the four province-level municipalities in China, it borders Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces to the west, and is bounded to the east by the East China Sea.

In addition to its modernization, the city is a jumble of East and West, modern and traditional, a strange collection of cultures, which confuse first time visitors. New skyscrapers and old Shikumen together draw the skyline of Shanghai. Western customs and Chinese traditions intertwined and formed Shanghai's culture, making a visitor's stay truly memorable.

Facts and Figures

English Name Shanghai
Chinese Name 上海 (Shànghǎi)
Government Municipality
Population 23,019,148 (2010)
Area 6,340.5 km2   (2,448.1 sq mi)
Density 3,600/km2   (9,400/sq mi)
Major languages Mandarin (simplified Chinese, Putonghua, Shanghai Hua)
Monetary unit Renminbi (Chinese yuan, CNY)
International dialling code +86 (0) 21
Drives on the right
Time zone China standard time (UTC+8)


Ideal candidates must be English native speaker, and should have:

  • a bachelor’s degree or higher;
  • TEFL/TESL Certified or Professionally Trained;
  • no criminal record and
  • good mental and physical health.

Basic Benefits of Teaching Jobs In Beijing

Monthly salary CN¥8,400 – CN¥25,000 (approx. US$1,300-US$4,000) based on qualifications/experience     Currency Exchange
Medical insurance, transport allowance for work, bonuses and travel allowance
Airfare round trip airfare (economy class)
Free accommodation or Monthly housing allowance (CN¥4,000/month (approx. US$1,800/month)
Working Hours 40 hours/week, 5 days a week
Paid public and school holidays
Medical insurance, transport allowance for work, bonuses and travel allowance

* Salary is negotiable, dependent upon the responsibilities and relevant work experience.
* The Chinese school year runs from September to January, and then March to June. Christmas is not an official holiday in China, so most schools remain open. Major public holidays usually last seven days at a time, and the winter holiday including Chinese New Year lasts about a month.

In addition to the school's employment package, Prospects Asia also provides the supports below:

  • VISA application;
  • Emergency contact in China during the contract period.


Shanghai is a popular tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as The Bund, City God Temple, Nanjing Road, Xin Tian Di, Shanghai Museum, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, World Financial Center and Yuyuan Garden, as well as the extensive and growing Pudong skyline. It is a popular destination to sense the pulsating development of the country, it has been described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of mainland China.

Culture Shock

English teachers in China arrive with a wide range of expectations. Some come to China with ESL degrees specifically to teach English. Others see teaching English as a means to experience a new culture. There are those who teach to support themselves while looking for other jobs in China, or while doing research in other fields. Each individual brings his or her own unique perspective to the job and will have different reactions to new circumstances. While China is developing rapidly and is increasingly open to global markets, it is still very different from the west. Do not expect to encounter the same standard of living, even in the big westernized cities like Shanghai. Having realistic expectations and a flexible attitude will help prepare you for the stress that can accompany living and working in a different culture. It's important to stay optimistic, stay open minded and keep in mind that it will pass.