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Teach English in Guilin, China

Nestled in the southern part of China, Guilin boasts some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the country. Famed for its dramatic karst mountain scenery and the winding Li River, the city has been a source of inspiration for poets, artists, and travelers for centuries. With its serene landscapes juxtaposed against a backdrop of modern urban development, Guilin presents a harmonious blend of nature and civilization. For those who wish to embark on a teaching journey in China, the city of Guilin offers not just a job opportunity, but also a chance to immerse oneself in an enchanting world of beauty and culture.

Reasons to Teach English in Guilin

  1. Natural Splendor: Teaching in Guilin gives one the privilege of living amidst one of China's premier scenic spots. Weekend excursions can include boat rides on the Li River, hiking up the iconic karst peaks, or exploring hidden caves adorned with stalactites.

  2. Rich Cultural Experience: Beyond its natural beauty, Guilin is steeped in history and culture. Teachers can visit ancient villages, attend traditional performances, and participate in local festivals, gaining a deeper appreciation for the region's heritage.

  3. Growing Demand for English Education: With Guilin's tourism sector thriving and its businesses expanding, the demand for English speakers has surged. Schools and learning centers are on the lookout for qualified English teachers, providing ample job opportunities.

  4. Affordable Living: Compared to major Chinese metropolises, Guilin offers a more affordable cost of living. This allows teachers to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, save money, and still indulge in local delicacies, shopping, and travel.

  5. Warm and Welcoming Community: The people of Guilin are known for their hospitality. As an English teacher, you'll find yourself welcomed into a community eager to exchange cultural insights, making your teaching experience even more rewarding.

  6. Gateway to Explore China: Guilin's strategic location makes it an ideal base for exploring other parts of China. Whether you fancy a weekend trip to the rice terraces of Longsheng or wish to travel to nearby cities, Guilin provides easy access to various destinations.

Understanding Guilin's Education Landscape

Guilin, though more renowned for its picturesque landscapes, has been steadily modernizing its education sector to cater to its growing population and economic needs. The city has a mix of public schools, private language institutions, and international schools. With the surge in tourism and global business interactions, the emphasis on English education has grown significantly. As a result, there's an increasing demand for native English-speaking teachers in Guilin.

Local schools typically focus on rote learning, but with the influx of international educational methods and curricula, many institutions are shifting towards more interactive and holistic teaching approaches. Private language centers, in particular, prioritize communicative language teaching, ensuring students not only understand English but also can communicate effectively.

Eligibility and Requirements to Teach English in Guilin

The requirements to teach English in Guilin will be similar to the standard requirements for teaching English in China, however, here are the specific requirements for Guilin:

  1. Bachelor's Degree: Regardless of your field of study, a Bachelor's degree is a fundamental requirement for teaching English in Guilin.
  2. TEFL/TESOL/CELTA Certification: A certification in teaching English as a foreign language is typically expected, especially if you don't have an educational background in teaching.
  3. Native English Speaker: Teachers should be native speakers and hold passports from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or South Africa. Non native English speakers can still work in China as a subject teacher, or teaching assistant/manager.
  4. Clean Criminal Background Check: Schools in Guilin will require a clean criminal record.
  5. Medical Examination: A health check is usually a part of the visa process to ensure you're fit to work in China.
  6. Teaching Experience: While not always mandatory, some institutions might prefer candidates with prior teaching experience.

Salary and Benefits for Teaching English in Guilin

Teaching English in Guilin can be both a rewarding cultural experience and a financially sound decision. Here's what you can expect:

  1. Salary: Depending on qualifications and experience, teachers can expect to earn between 12,000 to 20,000 RMB per month.
  2. Housing: Many schools and institutions offer free or subsidized housing for their teachers. If not, they may provide a housing allowance as part of the compensation package.
  3. Contract Completion Bonus: It's common for schools to offer a bonus upon successful completion of a contract term.
  4. Airfare Reimbursement: Some institutions offer to cover or reimburse the flight costs to and from China.
  5. Health Insurance: Basic medical insurance is typically provided by the employer.
  6. Paid Holidays: Apart from national holidays, teachers may also receive paid leave, especially during the school's winter and summer breaks.
  7. Professional Development Opportunities: Some schools invest in their teachers by offering workshops, training sessions, and even advanced certifications.
  8. Cost of Living: The cost of living in Guilin is relatively lower than in major Chinese cities, allowing teachers to save a significant portion of their salary if they choose to.

Living in Guilin

Nestled amidst the iconic karst mountains and pristine rivers, Guilin stands as one of China's most enchanting destinations. But beyond its postcard-worthy sceneries, living in Guilin offers expatriates and teachers a unique blend of traditional charm and modern convenience. Here's a glimpse into life in this mesmerizing city:

Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities

Guilin's landscape is a dream for nature lovers. The Li River, with its captivating cruises, and the verdant Reed Flute Cave are just a few examples of the outdoor wonders that residents can frequently indulge in. Hiking, biking, and boat trips are weekend staples for many living here.

Cost of Living

Compared to metropolises like Beijing or Shanghai, Guilin offers a significantly lower cost of living. This allows teachers to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle while also saving money. Local markets provide fresh produce at affordable prices, and dining out is often a delightful and economical experience.

Cultural Experiences

From the ancient Jingjiang Princes' City to the bustling East and West Streets, Guilin offers a deep dive into China's rich history and culture. Traditional tea houses, temples, and local festivals give residents a chance to immerse themselves in the authentic Chinese way of life.

Modern Amenities

Guilin has seen rapid development in recent years. Today, it boasts modern shopping malls, cinemas, gyms, and international restaurants. Expats will find many of the comforts and conveniences they're accustomed to back home.


The city has a well-connected transportation network. Buses and taxis are the primary modes of transportation within the city. The Guilin Liangjiang International Airport and the high-speed train system make traveling in and out of Guilin smooth and convenient.

Community and Networking

Guilin's increasing popularity as a teaching destination means there's a growing expatriate community. This provides ample opportunities to network, share experiences, and make lifelong friendships.

Facts About Guilin:

  1. Historical Significance: Guilin's history dates back over 2,000 years, with the city's name translating to "Forest of Sweet Osmanthus" due to the large number of fragrant osmanthus trees in the area.
  2. Size and Population: While not a mega-city, Guilin has a population of approximately 5 million residents.
  3. Climate: Guilin features a subtropical monsoon climate. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters are mild and short. The city is particularly stunning in the autumn when the landscape is bathed in golden hues.
  4. Tourist Hotspot: Thanks to its incredible landscape, Guilin attracts millions of tourists each year, making tourism a significant part of its economy.

Teacher Stories

Sarah from Australia

"Stepping into Guilin was like entering a classical Chinese painting. As an Australian used to the vast open spaces of the outback, the dense karst mountains of Guilin were a mesmerizing change. I began teaching English at a local primary school, and every day was filled with enthusiasm, not just from the children's eagerness to learn but from the community's warmth and welcome. Weekends were a treat, with boat rides down the Li River and hikes up Elephant Trunk Hill. My time in Guilin wasn't just about teaching English; it was about immersing myself in a culture so rich and deep that I often felt like I was living in a beautiful dream."

James from the UK

"Coming from the hustle and bustle of London, Guilin offered the perfect escape. The city is the epitome of serenity, with its calm waters and towering peaks. I taught English at a language institute in the city center. The students, ranging from young kids to adults, were always curious about Western culture, which made classes engaging and interactive. Exploring the local tea houses and participating in traditional Chinese festivals gave me insights into a world I never knew existed."

Naledi from South Africa

"Being in Guilin felt like a fusion of my South African roots with ancient Chinese tradition. The open landscapes reminded me of home, yet the architecture, food, and language were novelties I eagerly explored. Teaching at an international school here, I found that students were respectful and always eager to share their stories. We learned from each other every day, and outside the classroom, I enjoyed the tranquility that the city's natural beauty offered."

Connor from New Zealand

"As a Kiwi who thrives in nature, Guilin was a paradise. The city's breathtaking landscapes were matched by the warmth of its people. I taught English to high school students, and beyond the syllabus, we often discussed the similarities and differences between our cultures. Their curiosity about the world outside and my interest in their traditions formed bonds that I cherish to this day. Guilin is not just a city; it's an experience, a memory, and for me, it became home."

Moving Towards Teaching English In Guilin

In the heart of China's most iconic landscapes lies Guilin, a city that offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Teaching English in Guilin is more than just an occupational choice; it's a journey into the depths of traditional China, enhanced by the modern comforts the city provides. From the echoing laughter of students to the tranquil moments on the banks of the Li River, every experience in Guilin leaves an indelible mark on the heart.

For those looking to embrace a teaching career that intertwines with cultural immersion and nature's embrace, Guilin beckons. Embarking on the journey to teach English in Guilin is not just about imparting knowledge but also about personal growth, making lifelong memories, and building bridges between cultures.