Once a remote fishing village, Shenzhen has become one of China’s most important cities and a global financial hub. As the focus of the government’s reform and opening up policy, the coastal village neighbouring Hong Kong was made a Special Economic Zone and has since undergone dramatic changes. Since being declared an SEZ, the city’s economy has boomed in an impressively short amount of time, with the population increasing from 300,000 to just short of 13 million in 40 years. Today, Shenzhen is one of China’s wealthiest, liveliest and progressive cities, giving Shanghai and Beijing competition as the city of choice for young Chinese professionals and expats – which isn’t surprising given the pleasant climate, seaside location proximity to Hong Kong.

Teaching English in Shenzhen

teach english in Shenzhen

A new and increasingly popular location on our Private School Programme, teaching jobs in Shenzhen get snapped up very quickly. The positions we offer are for native English speakers to work within a highly respected private teaching organisation with branches across the south of China. To successfully apply for a teaching position in Shenzhen, you will need to be enthusiastic, interested in China and eager to learn.

Successful applicants can expect to be responsible for independently planning and leading lessons with small groups of students ranging in age and ability. You’ll teach for up to 20 hours per week and plan lessons and attend training sessions in between. This totals 40 contracted hours per week. Teaching hours take place from Wednesday to Friday 2pm-8:30pm and Saturday and Sunday: 08:30am-5:30pm. All teachers will work with a Chinese speaking teaching assistant to help overcome any language difficulties in the classroom.

The school offers high performing employees excellent prospects for professional development within the business, whether that’s into senior teaching roles or management positions. Salaries range from 12,000 – 15,500 RMB per month depending on experience, and all teachers have the chance to earn bonuses or salary increases that are calculated based on performance.


All teachers working in Shenzhen are offered accommodation close to the teaching site as part of their placement. Teachers have their own room within a shared apartment, usually with one other person. All school accommodation is fully furnished, has a western toilet and is of a good standard. No rent is charged for the accommodation, but teachers are expected to pay their utility bills (approx. 350 RMB per month).

For those not wishing to live in school accommodation, the school offers a monthly housing allowance per month and assistance in finding a suitable apartment. If you choose to find your own accommodation, you can expect to pay between 3,000-5,000 RMB per month (depending on location and living arrangements).

The City

Despite being a relatively new city, Shenzhen is full of exciting things to see and do. It offers the perfect mix between city and nature, with a booming city centre, long stretches of beach and stunning nearby scenery… not to mention the fact that it’s just a short train ride from Hong Kong.


Meridian View Centre: Located on the 69th floor of Shenzhen’s Diwang Mansion, the Meridian View Centre offers visitors a spectacular view of the China-Hong Kong border. Populated by a sea of towering skyscrapers made unique by their outstanding architectural design, this is a must-see for any visitor to Shenzhen looking to marvel at the beauty of this mega-city.

Nanshan Mountains: If the chaos of the city is getting a bit much, an escape to the nearby Nanshan mountains for some much-needed R and R. Clean air, blue skies and lush greenery make Nanshan a fantastic weekend getaway destination.

Shenzhen Museum: Shenzhen may not have been much before being transformed into the metropolis we know today, but that doesn’t mean its history isn’t worth delving into. Believe it or not, Shenzhen’s distinct past is really quite remarkable, and Shenzhen Museum captures this well. Here you’ll learn about life in the township prior to 1978 and the subsequent government reforms. The museum houses replica streets and temples which give visitors an idea of what Shenzhen once looked like.

Window of the World: Need a taste of home? Look no further. Shenzhen’s ‘Window of the World’ offers a small slice of Europe, America and more with miniature replicas of famous landmarks from around the world. This may not be Shenzhen’s best attraction, but it makes for a fun escape from your new norm.

Dameisha and Xiaomeisha beaches: A visit to Shenzhen wouldn’t be complete without spending some time at the beach. Owing to its location, Shenzhen has escaped the worst of China’s pollution, which has hit hardest in the north. Visitors to either of these beaches can enjoy soft sand, clear waters and a bit of peace and quiet. What better way to unwind after a week at work?

Cost of Living

Item RMB Item RMB
City bus 1-2 Beer (shop bought) 3-5
Taxi (first 3km) 10 Beer (at a bar) 15+
New bike 350+ Water 1.5
New E-bike 2500+ Coke 3
Cheap meal 10-15 0.5kg fresh veg 3-5
Average meal 25-40 1kg chicken 15
Expensive meal 100+ Gym (per year) 1000


Before Shenzhen became the mega-city it is today, it was inhabited by Hakka and Cantonese people. Traditional local dishes are Cantonese style, and though the vast majority of the Shenzhen population is now formed of people from all over China, there are still many restaurants serving must-try authentic cuisine.

Cantonese Dim Sum: This well-known style of Chinese food is loved by Chinese and foreigners alike. Diners can choose from a large selection of dumplings and dim sum dishes such as sticky rice leaves, which are served in small bamboo steamers or on plates.

Cantonese Congee: Congee is a typical Cantonese dish that’s popularity has spread across the country. It’s made from rice, water and various other ingredients that give it a gentle flavour and watery texture.

Seafood: As a coastal city, it wouldn’t be right if seafood didn’t feature heavily on local menus. Here you can enjoy deliciously fresh seafood dishes chosen directly from the tank.

Plain Chicken: It’s not as boring as it sounds, trust us. In fact, it’s quite refreshing. A whole chicken is cooked, cut up and served with a special sauce made from salt, soy sauce, ginger and vegetable oil. Very refreshing on a hot Shenzhen day!


As a major Chinese city, there is always something going on, both day and night. The city is full of western style bars and clubs perfect for post-work drinks or a night out. You can find these in two main areas; Huaqiao Town and Ocean World Square of Shekou District. If partying isn’t your thing, you can enjoy a bit of evening sightseeing by bus or ferry. Otherwise, take a stroll in Shenzhen Square, where you can listen to and watch folk songs and dances or join in with sports like bowling, ping pong and tennis.

Are you ready to start your adventure in China’s southern metropolis? Find out more about our Private School Teaching Programme, or Apply Now!