Teaching in Guangzhou
Guangzhou is a rapidly expanding city, and whilst it 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!
Location – Business Centre and Tourist Hub
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 and is a great location for teaching English, especially for jobs teaching adults Business English.
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. It’s not only traders and businesspeople who flock to Guangzhou, it’s also rising up as a tourist destination for travelers to Asia.
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 businesspeople have been visiting this area of China for centuries, thanks to its proximity to both Macao and Hong Kong, and so it is easier to find Western products and to get around without being stared at as much as elsewhere.
Teaching Jobs and Cost of Living
It is also becoming known as a great place to teach English. Guangzhou is producing more TEFL jobs than either Beijing or Shanghai, with wages to match and a standard of living that’s much lower. Many teaching jobs in Guangzhou are currently offering salaries to match Beijing and Shanghai (12,000-14,000rmb) in a city where it’s still possible to eat dinner for only 7RMB!
We have placed hundreds of teachers of all levels into Beijing over the past five years, ranging from beginner ESL teachers up to those with professional teacher qualifications and years of experience teaching in their specialist subjects. TFA are always hiring for a wide variety of teaching positions in Beijing, this fascinating world capital city.
Language – Cantonese not Mandarin
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!