While Guangzhou is currently just behind Beijing and Shanghai in terms of population, it looks set to one day eclipse both of them. In fact, counting some of the surrounding areas, its population is already second only to Tokyo! Guangzhou is growing so fast mainly because of its location. China’s history has shaped the country so that Beijing and Shanghai have been handed the power, but nowadays it’s shifting south, to Guangzhou, which has a fantastic business location between Macau and Hong Kong, and close to South-East Asia. Guangzhou will likely take Shanghai’s role as the business centre of the country within a few generations.
Not only is Guangzhou in a great location for business, it’s well connected by major transport links both by rail and by air. You can fly all around Asia from the international airport, and the railway lines connecting Guangzhou to other parts of China are among the fastest in the world. It’s also a very short distance from China’s beaches – in particular the growing tourist mecca of Hainan.
Another reason for the city’s popularity is its weather. Guangzhou is warm all year round, with mild winters and a summer that lacks the oppressive heat of some other cities. It can, however, get a bit humid in the summer, as it is a sub-tropical region. Because of Guangzhou’s location, the people here have been exposed to foreigners more than the rest of China. Foreign traders and business people have been visiting this area of China for centuries, thanks to its proximity to both Macao and Hong Kong, making it easier to find Western products and to get around without being stared at as much as elsewhere.
It’s not only traders and businesspeople who flock to Guangzhou, it’s also rising up as a tourist destination for travellers to Asia. It is also becoming known as a great place to teach English. Guangzhou is producing more ESL jobs than either Beijing or Shanghai, with wages to match and a standard of living that’s much lower. Many jobs in Guangzhou are currently offering salaries to match Beijing and Shanghai in a city where it’s still possible to eat dinner for only 7rmb!
If you’ve never heard of “Guangzhou” before, then perhaps you know it better by the name given to it by traders of years gone by – Canton. As you may have guessed, this is the region of China where Cantonese is most commonly spoken, so beware – those “Learn Chinese” tapes and books may not be of much use down here. Cantonese is a different language to Mandarin but many of our teachers on the ground tell us they get plenty of opportunity to practice their Mandarin here also.
Many of our teachers have chosen Guangzhou as their top choice to start their teaching career in China, especially in more recent years. TFA are always hiring for a wide variety of teaching positions in this popular location. Check out our Jobs board to learn more about what positions are on offer. If you are new to teaching, you can look at our many opportunities for English Language teaching and if you are coming from a more experienced teacher background, check out our International School Jobs board with a wide selection of highly sought after positions teaching in your specialist subject.
Guangzhou is one of Chinas’ fastest growing cities. We have placed many teachers of all levels into this popular city over the past 5 years, ranging from beginner ESL teachers up to those teachers with professional teaching qualifications and years of experience in their specialist subjects. We work with Private Academies, Public Schools and International Schools in Guangzhou so do check out our Jobs page for more details on what is currently on offer and get in touch to set up a skype call with one of our friendly placement specialists so we can get things moving for you!