University ESL Teaching Jobs in China

ISAC University Teaching Program

University ESL Teaching Jobs in China

Teach English at a University in China

The ISAC Teach in China Program (university stream) offers job opportunities for foreign teachers to work at Chinese public universities. Basically, we help our partner universities connect and set up interviews with international teachers. Successful candidates will be offered a position at a university in China as language teacher. You will be teaching your mother tongue to university students aged between 18-24. Currently, we are accepting applications for the Fall 24 semester (starts Sept. 2024).

Most university foreign language teachers work 14-20 classes per week, with no or few office hours required. Working schedule is Mon. to Fri. Depending on your class schedule, you may have another day off during the weekdays. Your university will provide accommodation, travel allowance, medical insurance etc. University salary in generally is lower than private schools, but considering the less workload, university’s hourly pay is good. University is also a fairly easy place to save money because accommodation is provided for free, plus food is very reasonably priced. If work-life balance and saving some money is what you are looking for, then university is an ideal place. In addition, the activities (various sports activities, entertainment, gym, biking etc.) on campus also makes life more colorful and easier to make friends.

We welcome both new and experienced teachers to join us for the 2024-25 school year!

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job details

University ESL Teaching Jobs in China

Job Description

  • Teach English Speaking, Comprehensive English, Business English, English culture, Manners etc.
  • The teaching focuses on the relevant courses to a group of Chinese students
  • Assess students’ performance including assignments, tests and exams

Working Hours

  • Teach 14 to 20 classes per week, each class about 45-50 minutes
  • No office hours; manage your time yourself
  • A lot of spare time for your travel plan
  • Access to Mandarin Chinese courses

Salary Package

  • Most unis provide salary about RMB 8,000 to 12,000 per month
  • Higher salary usually given to teachers with higher degree and more experience

Contract Length

  • One academic year (10-11 months)
  • Paid winter vacation
  • Paid summer vacation (when you renew your contract)


  • Round-trip international flight
  • 2200 RMB travel allowance
  • Private accomodation

job requirement

University ESL Teaching Jobs in China

Native Speaker

You can only teach the language of your home country;

Age Limit

Less than 60 years old due to the visa regulation of P.R.C

Teaching Experience

Minimum of two years teaching experience*


Bachelor degree or above

Teaching Certificate


*Note that universities also accept applicants who has no teaching experience but has TEFL certificate. Please read Q&A for more information.

Program Q&A

We have met many teachers who have been working at a university for many years, and there are many reasons for so:
1. Teachers have less than 20 classes per week, there is no office hours; You work Mon-Fri, but usually you only work about 3-4 days a week depending on your class schedule;
2. Your host university will provide almost everything you need including apartment, travel allowance, medical insurance;
3. Although the overall salary is not high, the hourly pay is better than many jobs as you work less hour;
4. University teaching jobs provide one of the best work-life balance among all ESL jobs. Less work pressure, more activities on campus and probably more fun working with the new generation of China;
5. Working at a university you build connections with your employer. China is still less developed than many western countries; there are many exciting opportunities for you to explore in the higher education level.

One reason is lower working hours. University teachers have about 12-16 classes (rounds up to about 10-13 hours) per week and no office hours. For public schools, the working hours are about 36–40 hours per week (usually 18-20 teaching hours plus 18-20 office hours). That’s why most university salary falls into the 8,000-10,000 range. Of course, you need to consider what to do in your spare time. So university jobs are perfect for those who wish to have more spare time for their own plan (study or learn a new language) or side project. In short, university jobs have better hourly rate, less overall working hours and lower total amount.

Another difference is accommodation; universities tend to provide a more spacious on-campus accommodation. It’s common to see a two-bedroom apartment provided for foreign teachers, but less common for public school/private sector jobs. Most university campuses are out of downtown in a quiet neighborhood, with easy access to the city center and close-to-nature environment. You can always check each job position to ensure you are aware of the location, surrounding areas and facilities.

As you can see from our job list, there are so many universities and cities! Which one is the best fit for me?

University positions are very similar in terms of salary and hours. One variable is location and the other is university ranking. From ISAC’s experience, for teachers who are new to China and new to the higher education, being open-minded is the key for your success here. Big city or small city, top level university or vocational college, they all have got pros and cons. A vocational college in a small city does not mean it is going to be a bad experience; on the contrary, many teachers in a small college enjoyed the experience of being close to everyone at school, being popular on campus and being appreciated by others for their work done because there are only a few foreign teachers at that school (See Brian, Esther, Connie). Top-level university has got motivated students, great facilities. But the cons are that it’s more difficult to stand out. Imagine that you work at a university with 30 foreign teachers and half of them have PhD degrees.

Our suggestion is to get to know the city and the university, know what is included and what is not and go for it. The most important thing is to get all required documents ready for work visa application. After a year or two at one university, you will have a better idea where you are heading for the benefits of your career and life.

University positions are very similar. They provide similar salary package; better salary goes to candidates with higher education and jobs with more working hours. So it is really your choice which university to opt; ISAC provide as much information so that you can make a fully-advised decision.

For example, Nanchang University, a very good university in China and the best in Jiangxi Province, but it is less known to the foreigners because Nanchang is not an international city (about 3 hours away from Shanghai by high speed rail). If you are looking to academics and students quality, NCU is better than many colleges in Beijing and Shanghai. But the city is less international with less foreigners. If you choose NCU, then you should expect a less westernized life in Nanchang. Nanchang is the capital of Jiangxi Province, a city with 5.5 million people, 2 subway lines and 3 more to come, but still it is an inland city and has less foreigners than Shanghai and Beijing (Less foreigner population sometimes is not a bad thing).

Yes, working at a university saves money. Most Chinese make about 5000-8000 RMB per month. Food is rather cheap on campus. Eating outside is also not expensive. From our experience, foreign teacher can expect to save 2/3 of the salary, but again, it really depends on how you spend your money.

Unfortunately no, you need at least a bachelor’s degree to apply for a work visa.

Yes. A new teacher needs to have one of the following:
1. TESOL/TEFL/CELTA Certificate on a 120 hours or more training
2. Valid teaching certificate issued from your home country
3. You majored in Education or Linguistics, and that should be shown in your diploma or transcript.

ISAC encourages teachers to teach their mother languages. For example, if you are from France and grow up in a French speaking environment, French teacher is the best option for you.


You must have either one of these:

  1. Formal teaching experience for 2 years or more
  2. A TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certificate or teacher’s license from your home country
  3. Diploma in Education or Linguistics

For university positions, you will work about 3-5 days a week depending on your class schedule.

Yes, however, the cost needs to be covered by the teacher. We do have teachers who bring their partners and children. It really varies case by case, and it is possible especially if your partner will be teaching at the same/nearby university.

ISAC and your host university will guide you through your work visa application including what to prepare, where to go for medical check, and for document authentication etc. We know that the Z visa application process can be daunting at first sight, but you don’t need to worry as we got all the expertise to make it a smooth process.

Host University

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