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TEFL and climbing in China
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Feb 2, 2014
Me and my fiancee have applied for many positions in China, hoping to start teaching in September. We have obtained our TEFL cert from International TEFL Academy, and both have a bachelors degree. So far we have had decent luck finding schools and getting positive feedback from them, however the actual hiring process does not begin until May for the next season. We have specifically looked into Yangshuo, Guiling and Hong Kong. These locations are especially appealing to us because we would love to be close to a larger population of people, but also have access to the country and great climbing. Because of this we are hoping to stay mainly south west China, also due to its proximity to other awesome countries a little further west. So I am posting here to see first off, if there are any other climbers that have any experience teaching in any of these cities, and if so, how was your experience at your school? and also how was finding time to climb, did you purchase a car/moped? Any advice or recommendations on locations to check out, schools to look into, or crags we may not have heard of are all welcome, and thanks in advance, MP!
wpfister Pfister
Joined Feb 7, 2013
63 points
Feb 2, 2014
Try asking Jonas: Rob Dillon
Joined Mar 22, 2002
1,045 points
Feb 3, 2014
I taught English and climbed in Yangshuo for a month back in 2011. There is a huge ex pat scene there, and if you just show up in town and go to some of the schools in person you're sure to find a place that meets your needs. I taught at MeiCheng English College ( and they paid me 4000 RMB (that's like $650) plus room and board for 30 hours of teaching per week. I made it out to climb a few afternoons and every weekend. To get around, I rented a bike which is really cheap, and if you speak some Chinese or can learn at least how to ask politely for a bicycle then it's even cheaper. It's a great way to get around town, because traffic is insane, and you can keep biking on the trails right up to the base of most crags.

I dont have TEFL, but Im sure that will help you. Meicheng had a school there in town but also contracted with high schools and middle schools around the country to send foreign teachers to them. I think those jobs were only available for folks with TEFL and were longer term. You might be able to find something in Yunnan or Guizhou, where there is some more obscure but good climbing apparently.

I can't help you with Hong Kong, that's a whole different thing than mainland China. But send me a message if you want advice/help with the visa process, Ive been to China a couple of times and I know that it can be a headache.
Max Dismukes
From North Quincy, MA
Joined Jan 17, 2014
215 points
Feb 4, 2014
Don't get pre-arranged employment! You can easily get stuck in a situation that is less than ideal, to say the least.

Arrive a month or more before hiring season. Check out as many schools in your chosen area as you can. If possible, see if you can observe a class or two and speak directly with their foreign staff.
There are schools that will offer a great experience, and others that will make you hate life -- terrible conditions, awful discipline, shady going-ons, super-dodgy foreign teaching staff, etc. This goes for schools in rural and urban China, HK, and Taiwan.

Buxibans, or after school/weekend language schools, will hire just about anybody with a pulse -- especially white folks. You _will_ get a job if you put a tiny bit of effort. Do both yourself and your prospective employers, students, and parents a favor by finding a good fit.

One school in the Yangshuo area that has a pretty good rep is Omeida:
Longyue Rd, Yangshuo, Guilin, Guangxi, China, 541900
+86 773 882 7999
The owner, Omar, is a nice guy and has hired many, many climbers in the past.

You can buy or rent bikes/mopeds from locals or through a never-ending stream of out-bound expats. It's pretty straight forward and easy to do once your feet are on the ground.
Joined Apr 22, 2010
852 points

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