Overview


Our Homestay programme offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Chinese culture and gain a unique insight into life within a Chinese home.

Staying with a carefully screened family for a period of 1, 2 or 3 months during the school holidays, you will spend 15 hours per week giving your host’s child 1-to-1 English tuition in exchange for accommodation and food.

Our host families are extremely welcoming and respectful and they are eager to both learn about their foreign guest’s culture and to teach them about their own. You will be treated as a member of the family and shown around the local area, as well as given the chance to try local foods and learn the language.

We place one applicant per household, however you will be in close contact with other participants and there will be plenty of opportunities to socialise outside of your host family during your free time. Our partners in China are very proactive in organising frequent social activities for participants and they provide round-the-clock support to help deal with any problems.

This immersive experience not only gives you the chance to gain a good understanding of Chinese culture, but also make new friends and explore a fascinating country from a unique perspective!


We have a number of families all over China looking to welcome someone into their home, meaning you could choose a placement in a city like Tianjin, Chengdu, Beijing or Shenzhen.

Please note, due to our in-country partners only having offices in Beijing and Shenzhen, you may not receive as comprehensive in-country support if you opt for another city.

We charge a programme fee for our Homestay programme, which differs depending on how long you wish to spend living with a host family. Prices and what’s included are as below;

Duration Cost
1 month £550/$750
2 months £630/$825
3 months £710/$950

What’s included?

  • Paring with carefully screened host family (includes background and reference checks)
  • Pre-departure orientation and cultural training
  • Access to our Lesson Plan Library and Member’s Area
  • Airport pick up and orientation in China
  • Single room accommodation
  • Three home-cooked meals per day
  • Monthly allowance: 900RMB/first month, 1400RMB/second month, 1800RMB/third month to be paid once participant has completed 80% of required tutoring hours p/m
  • Monthly cultural activity
  • Local support in China, available 24/7
  • Support with teaching

What’s not included?

  • Flight to China
  • Insurance
  • Visa
  • Meals outside of the host family’s home
  • Travel expenses

We offer year-round start dates for our Homestay Programme, meaning that you can choose almost any time of year, though it is preferred that you begin on the 1st of a month and some families prefer to take someone in over the summer. The most popular intakes and their deadlines are as follows;

Programme Start Date Application Deadline
1st July 2017 1st May 2017
1st August 2017 1st June 2017
1st February 2018 1st December 2017

Please note, if you choose to take part during these dates you will tutor the host family’s child for 15 hours per week. If you take part outside of these dates, your schedule will tutor the child for 10 hours per week and volunteer in a local school, community or camp for 5 hours per week. During such periods, you will be expected to tutor for 5 hours per week and spend the remaining 10 hours completing voluntary community work, in the form of language and culture exchange. This is so that you do not miss out on spending time with local people and family members and you gain as much from the experience as possible.

The Homestay placement is a cultural exchange programme, for which you will not be paid, however you will receive a monthly allowance, as follows:

  • First month: 900 RMB
  • Second month: 1400 RMB
  • Third month: 1800 RMB

You are expected to spend 15 hours per week either tutoring the host family’s child in English, or doing voluntary community work in exchange for food and accommodation.

Tutoring will usually take place after school hours, or over the weekend. This may differ from family to family and is something you must organise with them directly. Your host family will provide you with workbooks and explain to you how they would like their child to be taught.

Outside of this time, you will have the chance to explore the city with your host family and take part in family events. You will also have plenty of free time to do with what you please. Many participants choose to meet up with others on the programme, explore the local area, or learn Mandarin. You will also get the chance to attend a monthly cultural activity with our in-country partners and other participants.

In order to be considered for our Homestay Programme, you MUST speak native-level English and hold a UK, USA, Australian, New Zealand, Irish, South African, Canadian or EU passport. You must be able to provide a non-criminal record certificate to be matched with a family.

You must also:

  • Be over 18
  • Be in good mental and physical health
  • Have completed A-levels
  • Be willing to adapt to a foreign culture
  • Be open-minded and interested in learning about other cultures
  • Passionate about helping others to learn English

No previous teaching experience or qualifications are necessary and we do not require you to speak Mandarin. 

Having all completed a placement in China ourselves, we know how important it is to feel prepared and supported both before and during your placement. With our Homestay Programme, you will receive ongoing help and support from our staff with preparation, cultural tips, lesson planning and visa applications.

Upon enrolment onto the programme, you will be given access to our exclusive Member’s Area, where you can find lesson plans, tips and resources, travel advice and a forum where you can speak with former teachers. You will also be invited to our pre-departure Orientation Day, where you will receive teacher training, a language class and advice from former teachers.

To apply, send your CV and covering letter to info@teach-english-in-china.co.uk. Successful candidates will be invited for a telephone interview.

If you pass this stage, we will ask you to complete a full application form which will be submitted to our partners in China. They will then schedule a short Skype interview with you before finding a suitable family.

Please note, we need at least 8 weeks to secure a host family. Please check the application deadlines for the programme you wish to apply for.

“I really liked my host family in Beijing. They were really nice, very happy and always respectful of my privacy. I couldn’t have asked for a better host family. The homestay actually turned out to be better than I expected. I was expecting modest living conditions and a friendly yet business-like relationship with the family, but I found myself living in a very nice home with a loving family”
David, Beijing Placement 2015
“I got along well with my host family. They invited me to accompany them when they went out, whether it was skiing, going to the park or meeting up with their relatives. We could communicate freely and I didn’t feel uncomfortable if I had a problem I needed to discuss with them. I also got along well with the children. Overall, it was a great experience”
April, Shenzhen Placement 2016

Homestay Highlights

Homestay Programme FAQ’S


Yes, our partners in China offer 24/7 emergency assistance during your stay. You can also contact Teach English In China and we will try to resolve any problems you might have.
Most families speak basic English, however we recommend learning a few key phrases and downloading useful apps, such as Pleco before you arrive.
Yes. Most of our participants have no previous teaching experience and we provide teaching support and guidance as part of our programme.
This is something that you must arrange with your host family directly. They will explain to you how they want their child to be taught and will provide you with workbooks.
Yes, most participants have reported that tutoring time has been split into 2/3 hours per day, giving you plenty of free time. Most families will invite you to participate in their family activities, but you will also have the chance to socialise with other participants outside of your host family and our partners in China will arrange frequent social events.
Usually host families will give you a key after a couple of days. Please ensure they show you how to use this.
Yes, all families are carefully screened and must have a background and reference check completed in order to participate. Once you have been paired up with a family, you will be able to speak with them prior to arrival.

We do of course advise you get suitable travel insurance in case of injury or emergency. It is your responsibility to ensure you have this.

Yes. You will need to travel on a short-term cultural exchange (F) visa, which allows you to stay for 30 to 90 days. If you wish to enrol on a student programme during your time in China, you may be able to apply for a student visa.
The programme fee covers the cost of placing you in the programme and the extra activities/services we offer.