Upfront Cost-min

Upfront Cost to Teach English in China

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So you are thinking about the future and the great opportunities outside of your countries borders. The great earning potential a teaching job in China offers and the rewarding experience of teaching and travelling to a new and exciting country.  But then you wonder, what are the costs involved in relocating to teach English abroad? Well, it’s not cheap and there are upfront costs to consider. Although most of the upfront costs will be reimbursed, you will need to make sure that you can afford the initial investment needed to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

At Pioneer & Beyond we don’t charge any fees and we will reimburse you for the flight, the visa, and in some cases the TEFL certificate but there is an upfront cost to keep in mind when you relocate to teach English in China. Please find further information and useful links below:



TEFL (if applicable)

If you don’t already hold a teaching qualification you will need to obtain a minimum of a 120-hour TEFL certificate. The cost varies depending on whether you opt for an online course or an in-house course.

Criminal Record Check

You will need to obtain a clean criminal record check before you apply for your Z visa. Check out our “How to Guide” and the associated cost here!


Regarding the cost of the working visa, there are two things you have to take into consideration.

1) Document legalisation

2) Z visa application

The cost varies depending on your country of residence. Check out the cost for each country here:






South Africa

New Zealand

The majority of the schools we cooperate with now offer a visa reimbursement, an amount that gets paid on top of your wages every month.


Medical Check

Check with your doctor or local GP.



Flights vary in price depending on the time of year, the day of the week and how far in advance you book. Your return flight will, either be reimbursed at the end of your contract, or the school will offer you a higher salary to make up for the cost.

You can compare prices using these websites:


Google Flights 



Security Deposit

When you sign a contract with a school, we do ask for a £200 security deposit. The money will be returned in full when you are in China (first 10-days of teaching). As soon as you pay the deposit, we will order your welcome package worth £150.


On arrival

Spending Money

You will need to bring some pocket money to be able to live, shop and eat during your first month in China. You will receive a monthly salary and therefore your first paycheck won’t arrive until the following month. The recommended minimum is to bring the equivalent of a minimum wage in the city you are going to, but it also depends on your lifestyle.

To get a better understanding of the cost of living in China, check out our blog!



The school will offer you either free accommodation or a housing allowance (an amount paid on top of your wages every month).

Free accommodation

If you get offered free accommodation there won’t be any upfront cost when you arrive in China, you can move straight in.

Housing Allowance

A school representative will assist you in finding appropriate accommodation within your budget. If you get offered a contract with a housing allowance, you will need to bring enough money to cover the first month’s rent, a deposit and the agent’s fee. Sometimes the school can help you by offering a loan, they will pay some money towards the upfront cost, and the amount will then be deducted from your monthly wages in instalments.


As you will receive a welcome package from Pioneer & Beyond, you won’t have to bring or purchase beddings, pillows, a duvet, or slippers. Also, remember that the visa, flights and your TEFL will be reimbursed* when you are working as an English teacher in China with Pioneer & Beyond. As the saying goes, You have to spend money to make money. 




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