AboutJobsAlertsCoursesGuidesBlogProfilePost Job

Teach English in Xiamen, China

Xiamen, a coastal city located in the Fujian province of southeastern China, exudes both historical charm and modern allure. Often referred to as the 'Garden on the Sea', this island city boasts a picturesque seascape, with beaches caressing the edge of verdant parks, historic temples and contemporary skyscrapers. Once a major port in ancient maritime history, today's Xiamen is an amalgamation of its rich heritage and modern developments. With a subtropical climate, the city is graced with warm summers and mild winters, making it an appealing destination for many. Not to mention, its status as a Special Economic Zone has opened the gates for global influences and international opportunities.

Reasons to Teach English in Xiamen

  1. Breathtaking Scenery: Teaching in Xiamen is an opportunity to live in one of China's most scenic coastal cities. From the enchanting Gulangyu Island, free from vehicular traffic and filled with historical European-style architecture, to the sprawling beaches, teachers will find inspiration in the city's beauty.

  2. Cultural Melting Pot: Xiamen's history as a major port has infused the city with an eclectic mix of cultures. This presents a dynamic environment to not only teach but also learn about various world cultures.

  3. Modern Amenities: Despite its historic charm, Xiamen offers all the conveniences of a modern city, from advanced transportation systems to international dining and shopping outlets.

  4. Warm Community: The local population in Xiamen is known for its hospitality. As an English teacher, you'll often find yourself embraced by the community, forming deep connections that go beyond the classroom.

  5. Booming Education Sector: With its growth and international exposure, there's a rising demand for English education in Xiamen. Schools and institutions are actively seeking qualified teachers, making it a prime location for English teaching opportunities.

  6. Proximity to Other Destinations: Xiamen's strategic location makes it a gateway to other parts of Asia. On weekends or school breaks, teachers can easily explore nearby countries and regions, enhancing their overall Asian experience.

  7. Quality of Life: With its relatively clean air, less hustle and bustle compared to mega-cities, and a wide array of recreational activities, Xiamen offers a quality of life that's hard to match in other urban settings.

Understanding Xiamen's Education Landscape

Xiamen, with its progressive growth and increasing global exposure, places significant emphasis on its education system. The city houses a myriad of educational institutions ranging from public schools, private institutions, to international schools and universities.

As the demand for English continues to surge, fueled by Xiamen's active international business environment and its aspirations to become a hub for global interactions, English language institutes have proliferated across the city. Notably, many institutions in Xiamen now offer bilingual programs, and international schools here cater to both expatriate and local students who seek a curriculum grounded in global perspectives.

Eligibility and Requirements to Teach English in Xiamen

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

  1. Bachelor's Degree: As is standard across China, a Bachelor’s degree in any field is a prerequisite. Some prestigious schools or institutions might prefer degrees in Education or English.

  2. TEFL/TESOL/CELTA Certification: A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages), or CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification is generally required, with a preference for courses that include actual classroom teaching experience.

  3. Criminal Background Check: A clean criminal record is a must. The background check should usually be notarized and authenticated by both the teacher's home country and the Chinese embassy.

  4. Medical Examination: A comprehensive medical check ensuring you're fit to work.

  5. Teaching Experience: While not always mandatory, some schools and institutions might prefer candidates with at least two years of teaching experience.

  6. 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.

It's important to note that while these are the standard requirements, they can vary slightly depending on the institution or the specific nature of the teaching position.

Salary and Benefits for Teaching English in Xiamen

In Xiamen, as with most cities in China, the compensation package for English teachers is competitive, particularly when compared to the cost of living.

  1. Salary: English teachers in Xiamen can expect to earn anywhere from 12,000 to 20,000 RMB per month. Those with more qualifications or experience, especially at international schools, can command even higher salaries.

  2. Housing: Many teaching positions include free housing or offer a housing allowance. If provided, accommodations are typically furnished and located close to the school or teaching institution.

  3. Health Insurance: Comprehensive health insurance is typically provided by the employer.

  4. Paid Holidays: In addition to public holidays, teachers can expect paid vacations, which might be during the summer and/or winter breaks.

  5. Contract Completion Bonus: Some institutions offer bonuses upon successful completion of the teaching contract.

  6. Professional Development: With the city's focus on quality education, there are often opportunities for teachers to engage in professional development workshops and courses.

The exact salary and benefits will vary based on the institution, one's qualifications, and the terms of the contract. However, the overall compensation packages in Xiamen are designed to attract and retain high-quality educators.

Living in Xiamen

Xiamen, also historically known as Amoy, is a coastal city located in the Fujian province of southeastern China. It boasts a unique blend of modernity and tradition, as skyscrapers coexist with ancient temples and traditional teahouses. Living in Xiamen offers a rich and fulfilling experience, with its subtropical climate, pristine beaches, and a tapestry of cultural attractions. Let's delve into what life in this vibrant city is like.


Xiamen experiences a humid subtropical climate. This means warm summers with frequent rain and relatively mild winters. The city's coastal location offers pleasant sea breezes which can be especially refreshing during summer months.

Cost of Living

Compared to cities like Beijing or Shanghai, the cost of living in Xiamen is moderate. While housing and some imported goods can be pricier, daily essentials, public transport, and local cuisines are relatively affordable. Moreover, with the competitive salary packages for English teachers, most find that they can live comfortably and even save a significant portion of their income.

Culture and Leisure

The city boasts a plethora of attractions:

  • Gulangyu Island: A car-free island just off the coast that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's famous for its beaches, winding lanes, colonial architecture, and piano museum.

  • Nanputuo Temple: An ancient Buddhist temple founded in the Tang Dynasty, offering serene views of the sea and surrounding city.

  • Xiamen University: Known for its beautiful campus, it's a popular spot not just for students but also visitors.

Local delicacies include seafood dishes, peanut soup, and oyster omelettes, which can be savored at the city's numerous eateries.


Xiamen has a robust public transportation system, including buses and a metro system that connects major parts of the city. The BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system offers a quicker mode of bus transport, with dedicated lanes. Taxis are also widely available and reasonably priced. For intercity travel, Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport offers flights to major cities within China and some international destinations.

Community and Expat Life

Given the increasing number of international businesses and schools, Xiamen has a growing expat community. There are various expat groups and events that one can join to socialize and network. English is also relatively widely spoken, especially among the younger population, making it easier for native English teachers to navigate and establish connections.

Safety and Healthcare

Xiamen is regarded as one of the safer cities in China. Like any major city, it's always advisable to exercise common sense and be aware of one's surroundings. The city also offers modern healthcare facilities with some hospitals having dedicated international departments.

Teacher Stories

Jamie from the UK:

"When I first stepped foot in Xiamen, I was captivated by the city's blend of history and modernity. I initially planned to teach here for just a year, but that quickly turned into three! Xiamen has a charm unlike any other Chinese city I've been to. The locals were welcoming, and my students were eager to learn. Gulangyu Island became my weekend getaway, and I spent many evenings just walking along the coastline, taking in the city's beauty."

Rachel from South Africa:

"Teaching in Xiamen was my first experience living abroad, and it's one I'll cherish forever. The school I worked for was supportive, and the staff became like family. Outside of teaching, I immersed myself in the culture - trying out the local delicacies, practicing Tai Chi in parks, and even picking up some conversational Mandarin! It was a growth experience in every sense."

Ethan from Australia:

"Xiamen's landscapes and culture provide a daily source of inspiration. As someone who's passionate about photography, I found endless subjects to capture - from the ancient structures of Nanputuo Temple to the daily life on the bustling streets. Teaching gave me a routine, but the city gave me stories. I've made lifelong friends, both from the expat community and among my local colleagues."

Maeve from Ireland:

"Coming from a small town in Ireland, Xiamen felt like an entirely different world. The tropical climate, the variety of food, and the sheer scale of the city were all new to me. But teaching English here made me feel grounded. My students were curious not just about the language, but also about my homeland, and it led to some heartwarming cultural exchanges. I've taken a piece of Xiamen back with me to Ireland."

Moving Towards Teaching English In Xiamen

Xiamen, with its coastal charm, vibrant culture, and modern amenities, is not just a city but an experience. Xiamen is not just a place to teach but a location to grow, explore, and build lasting memories.

If you're contemplating teaching English abroad, Xiamen offers a unique blend of professional and personal development opportunities. Its education landscape is progressive, and there's a genuine enthusiasm for learning English, making it a rewarding place for educators.

As you move towards this journey, remember that Xiamen, with its welcoming locals and supportive expat community, will make you feel right at home. Embrace the adventure, savor the local delicacies, explore the historic sites, and let Xiamen's magic unfold. Your teaching story in Xiamen awaits.