Lexi Ward

As China continues to make its meteoric rise from developing nation to global economic force, more and more people from around the world are working in Chinaor are thinking about working in China. China's rapid development has led to high demands for people with skills in a range of job sectors. Before you start to work in China, there are a few fundamental considerations that you must take note of prior the big move. In the video below, EF recruiters Zach and Heather go over the fundamentals and discuss job opportunities in China, salary expectations as well as the practicalities of saving and travelling in China.

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In this video, we are going to talk about working in China. We'll discuss the types of jobs that you can get in China, the salaries that can expect to receive with these jobs, and we'll talk about the sort of things that you can spend that salary on, such as travel.


Hello, we were just talking about our English teaching days and how we were both interested in working in China and that's kind of how we found our jobs as English teachers. We just really wanted to come out here and then try to explore the world. Finding a job in China to support that was our main goal.

How we found our jobs

For me, I was kind of looking at different options for travel and then looking at jobs in China. There were a few different industries that were accessible to foreigners, and these jobs still are available here in China. Teaching English is probably the biggest, and if you are entry level, then it has a better salary than a lot of other jobs when you get started so it is a great option.

Securing a working visa

Back in the day, I heard a lot of stories about people who tried to show up the whole, you know, stick over their shoulder with all their stuff tied up, with their resume in hand and they just got the job when they arrived. You could maybe still do that today, but the only problem is that once you get your job, you would probably have to turn right around and go right back home to get your working visa. What most people don't realise before they work in China, is that you have to get your visa from your home country. So even if you show up on a tourist visa, you would have got to go back to your home country to get your visa.

How to get your visa

I definitely would not recommend a lot of the old options. For example, some people refer to something known as "a Hong Kong run". A Hong Kong run is where you come to a city and go outside of mainland to get the visa. But this is not as easy as it once was and very unlikely to work these days. Now it's better to be in touch with the company and look into getting your working visa ahead of time. It's just safer too, justmake sure that you have got a good contract squared away before you arrive.

National Holidays

Now some of the perks of working in China are the different kinds of holidays. Instead of Christmas and New Year's, you've got spring festival, you've got Mid-Autumn festival, Tomb Sweeping Day (what does that even mean right?). Mooncakes, that's what I like about the holidays, every holiday has got its own food and it's fun to learn about it.

As well as national holidays you will have other annual leave that is coupled with your job so you can get a lot more travel time overall. Days off with the company, and days off just because China has extra days off.


What I've really liked about being in China is if I wanted to go to Vietnam, I'd have to fly all the way to Vietnam and once I'd ran out of money, come all the way back the US. But since I started working in China, it's really nice, because I can work, and I can take these short breaks and really cheap flights, or even train rides out to other countries or neighbouring locations. With a job in China, your kind of in this hub for getting there I think. This job in China opens a lot of opportunities for savings for travel, for meeting new people.

Working with people from around the world

I've met loads of people while working in China. Of course, lots of Chinese people, Japanese people, lots of different Asian cultures, but what is really funny to me is that I have met so many South Africans. I had never met a South African before until I started working in China, and that's just one example, of you know world cultures that you run into, and you're working with these people, and learning how to work in a truly multicultural environment, it's a great career path.

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Lexi Ward

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