Teach English in China: Financial Snapshot
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Teach English in China: Financial Snapshot

Salaries for teaching English in China have an extremely diverse range of 12,000 to 30,000 CNY a month (or more); therefore, ESL teachers will want to consider the additional benefits included in the contract, as well as the cost of renting apartments and buying food in China before making any financial commitments. Your Oxford Seminars Job Placement Advisor can help you determine the quality of contracts as they vary greatly in this country.

Living and Teaching in China
China: At a Glance
China: Living in China
China: Teaching ESL in China
China: Financial Snapshot

Expected Apartment Costs

Banking in China
Food Costs In China




Expected Apartment Costs

In some rare instances an ESL teacher may not have accommodations included with their new job.  This may not be a concern for some and it usually means the teacher will earn a higher salary than those whose housing is provided to cover the additional living expenses. The price of housing is very affordable in China and that includes apartments in major Chinese cities. An acceptable apartment in a central location of a major city will cost roughly 2,000 to 10,000 CNY/monthly, location depending.

Banking in China

Setting up a bank account in China is a fairly easy process, as most banks will be happy to help out. In order to set up a bank account, bring a valid passport and current contact information. Banking in China is much like in North America; there is 24-hour ATM access and many banks offer online banking to their customers. Most bank accounts include an ATM card, but it is hard to get a credit card attached to a new bank account. In addition to going to the bank to set up an account, a bank is a great place to convert foreign currency into Chinese yuan.

Some teachers have reported difficulty transferring their savings out of China at the end of their contract due to daily transfer limits, so it is imperative to carefully plan out-of-country money movement ahead of time. The PRC has complex laws and regulations for financial processes in the country. Moving funds out of the country is only permitted in accordance with strict rules, and should not exceed 50,000 CNY per day.

Food Costs in China 

Much of the grocery shopping in China for fresh produce and meat happens at the street market. This can be an exciting place for new English teachers in China as it is not uncommon to see an item with no price information on it; this is usually a ticket for some bartering. It is now fairly easy to find supermarkets in larger cities, but beware: although they may be more convenient, these stores can be much more expensive than the market.

Below are some examples of typical Chinese food prices (may vary by location).

1 kg of tomatoes
8.76 CNY 
1 kg of chicken breasts
28.40 CNY
1 kg of beef round
87.62 CNY
1 kg of apples
12.86 CNY
1L of milk
14.16 CNY
Loaf of bread
12.55 CNY
1 kg of rice
7.11 CNY

Other East Asia / Southeast Asia Countries:

Cambodia ~ China ~ Hong Kong ~ India ~ Indonesia ~ Japan ~ Korea ~ Kyrgyzstan ~ Laos ~ Malaysia ~ Nepal ~ Taiwan ~ Thailand ~ Vietnam