Places still available for July & August - book now
Teaching English Volunteer Program in China - Xi'an

Teaching English Volunteer Program in China - Xi'an

Purpose
Improves access to quality education
Start dates
Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
Duration
Choose from 1-24 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours a day
Age
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Accommodation
Volunteer house or homestay
Program fees
From £278 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

This program is ideal for:

Creative, patient and self-motivated volunteers who are fluent speakers of English and want to help children learn the language. No teaching experience is needed, but completing some relevant training, like a TEFL certificate, is encouraged.

Project details

Want to Teach English in China? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching English project empowers volunteers to assist in government-run schools, gain teaching experience and pass on invaluable English language skills to Chinese students. Knowing English and having the chance to learn from a fluent speaker gives local students a huge advantage with jobs in international industries and helps improve cultural understanding.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

English is not commonly spoken in China and fluent speakers and teachers can be hard to find in some areas. Students who learn the language have a big advantage when it comes to jobs in international industries and in cultural understanding.

As a volunteer English teacher, you’ll be based in government-owned schools, helping to teach students aged between 3-21 years old. You can teach classes independently, with a fellow volunteer or as an assistant to a local teacher. Most often your students will be at the beginning of their English studies, so you’ll be focusing on basic words and phrases.

Teaching volunteer work can vary but generally includes:

  • Teaching English language classes
  • Lesson planning
  • Helping with language skills and pronunciation
  • Talking and connecting with students

Please note, during July and August schools have their summer break, so volunteers in this time will work on educational outreach projects in nearby communities.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Teaching English volunteering in Xi'an with IVHQ?

While volunteering on the Teaching English project in China you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Helping improve access to education
  • Enabling students to learn from a fluent English speaker
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining teaching experience
  • Immersing yourself fully in Chinese culture
  • Discovering the ancient sights of northern China

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

Not sure which program to join?

Get personalized recommendations >


'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

CR
Cornelius Riordan
20 Mar 2024

I gained a better perspective of the world, different cultures, perhaps a little about human nature and maybe myself. Volunteering with IVHQ has the added benefit of bringing you away from the overtly "touristy" areas which you would normally find yourself in on a normal holiday. Particularly in China, the difference between rural and urban is immense, and this is a great opportunity to not only make a difference, or to see the world, but to get a more full view of the culture you're immersing yourself in.

...
WC
Wing Ha Chung
15 Jan 2024

Great volunteering experience, well-organized by IVHQ and the local team. Our local contact and the school that we volunteered at offered great help and we treasure our time there. Thank you!

...
CC
Cheuk Kiu Hami Chung
10 Jan 2024

I felt like I grew into a wiser person.

...
TX
Tracy Xu
30 May 2023

IVHQ is so reliable, they have wonderful local support team! I saw how my child grows to be more responsible and independent - it was a great memory for my daughter and I to share.

...
OS
Olivia Shu
30 May 2023

You should come to China! People are kind and sweet and they are so open minded about new cultures.

...
JZ
Jennifer Zheng
11 Apr 2023

Overall, the program experience was great, and I really enjoy my time on the program. The local team is very friendly and when I needed assistance they are always there. During my stay, I was placed at two different schools, high school for week one and kindergarten for week two. Both were valuable experiences and I have learn a lot from them. I feel like both myself and the two schools I stayed at have benefited from this volunteer program. It was definitely an unforgettable experience, and the best way to immerse into the local culture which is a very different feeling from a tourist setting.

As my ticket home was booked for a couple days later, I had a few extra days to stay in Xian and explore the city a bit more and visit places nearby. Although my work on the program had ended, the local team have been very helpful and provided me with many suggestion and information on where I could visit and stay for these few days. Lastly, with this being a positive and unforgettable experience, I will definitely be back in the future or try programs in different locations around the world.

Thank you so much for all the support along the way!

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit

Location

Volunteer Abroad in China with IVHQ

Location

In the middle of China lies the ancient city of Xi’an. It is home to many of IVHQ’s China projects as well as the legendary Terracotta Warriors and one end of the Silk Road. A popular stop on tourist trips to China, Xi’an has much to offer visitors including a rich cultural history and many hotels, restaurants and activities.

Other IVHQ projects are based an hour away in Weinan, an agricultural centre with stunning natural features like the five peaks of the breathtakingly steep Mt Huashan. Still more projects are set in the villages of the Shaanxi province, 1 to 4 hours drive from Xi’an. Volunteers will stay in accommodation near their placements.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of the month and volunteers need to arrive in Xi’an before 4pm on the Sunday before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (XIY). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Xi’an. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the Sunday night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in China prior to your volunteer program, the local team can arrange for you to be picked up on the Sunday before your program begins.

Orientation is hosted by the China team at the volunteer house in Xi’an. Orientation is held on the Sunday evening, and your volunteer program begins the following day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in China – an introduction to China, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering, you will be taken to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays Typical volunteer days on the Teaching English and Special Needs Care projects are as follows:

7:30 - 8:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.
8:00 - 8:30 AM Travel to your placement to join local placement staff. Start time and daily workload depends on the project that you are participating on.
12:00 - 2:00 PM Lunch break. In China, all workplaces have a lunch break for about 2 hours in the afternoon. Some start earlier, some later. You are welcome to stay at your placement with the children or in the office. All placements will offer you food.
4:00 - 5:00 PM Work at your placement usually ends.
4:30 - 5:30 PM Dinner at your placement. You are free to travel back to your accommodation, sight-see or go shopping.

Weekends

During the weekends, volunteers have spare time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Xi’an and wider China. Popular tourist activities and destinations include visiting the Terracotta Warriors and Xi’an City Wall, travelling to Beijing or Shanghai, checking out Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace, walking the Great Wall of China, cycling through rice fields of the Guangxi province, or viewing the incredible limestone peaks of Yangshuo.

Accommodation and WiFi

Your accommodation will be in either a volunteer house, dormitory-style hostel, or a homestay near your placement. All accommodations have been inspected thoroughly by local staff and chosen because of their safety and security.

Xi’an accommodation: You’ll stay in a volunteer house located in a compound of apartments with a security guard and a security gate. You can expect to share a bedroom with up to five other volunteers of the same gender. Bedrooms have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. Living is basic but comfortable and the volunteer house has electricity, running water and western bathrooms with hot water.

If you would prefer to not live in a dormitory situation with shared facilities, there is the option of upgrading to a 3-star hotel located nearby. You will have a private room and bathroom with breakfast provided in the hotel restaurant.

WiFi is available for volunteers to use at the volunteer house in Xi’an. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to keep connected.

Weinan accommodation: Volunteers on the Teaching project in Weinan will be accommodated in an apartment within the school grounds. Living is basic but comfortable and you can expect to share a bedroom with up to five other volunteers of the same gender. Bedrooms have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. There is WiFi available and western bathrooms with hot water. Weinan is a 1.5 hour trip from Xi’an City and you will travel by metro and train.

Village accommodation: Generally on the Summer Outreaching Teaching project, you will be accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel at a summer camp or with a local family in a homestay.

The homestay has electricity and very basic facilities including a squat toilet and due to the lack of heating in these homes, you would usually only be placed in a village during the summer months. Staying with a family is a great way to learn the Chinese way of life, meet local people, eat local food and engage in local customs and traditions. IVHQ gives the family money from your fee for support, food and board. You can expect to share a room with one other volunteer in the homestay.

The village placements are located 1-4 hours drive from Xi’an and you will be driven there by taxi.

Meals

Food in Xi’an blends traditional Chinese and Middle-Eastern cooking. Flatbread, pita bread and barbecued meat are often sold at street stalls and noodles, soups, dumplings and steamed buns are some of the favorite dishes in Xi’an. Meat is a staple of the Xi’an diet however, there are plenty of vegetable options on offer. Unlike other areas in China, food is generally spicy in Xi’an.

You will be given breakfast, lunch and dinner during your stay. Typically, volunteers eat breakfast at their accommodation, with lunch and dinner provided at their placement. During weekends you will be provided with brunch, rather than breakfast and lunch.

Bottled water is readily available in China and you should budget approximately $5 per week for 2 litres a day. Filtered water is also provided in some of the accommodation.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know and the local team will do their best to accommodate you. However, you will need to be flexible and should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of.

Pricing

  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately £273) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $335 Equivalent to $48/day
2 weeks $515 Equivalent to $37/day
3 weeks $695 Equivalent to $33/day
4 weeks $875 Equivalent to $31/day
5 weeks $1,055 Equivalent to $30/day
6 weeks $1,235 Equivalent to $29/day
8 weeks $1,595 Equivalent to $28/day
10 weeks $1,955 Equivalent to $28/day
12 weeks $2,315 Equivalent to $28/day
16 weeks $3,035 Equivalent to $27/day
20 weeks $3,755 Equivalent to $27/day
24 weeks $4,475 Equivalent to $27/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £273) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in China generally find US$50 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
  • Breakfast, lunch during the weekdays and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Weekend lunch
  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Check what's required to visit China

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Beijing
Population 1.4 billion
Languages Standard Mandarin
Currency Chinese Yuan (CNY)
Time zone UTC+08:00

Weather and climate

The climate of China is extremely diverse; subtropical in the south to subarctic in the north. Xi’an has a continental temperate climate with four distinct seasons; dry winters, a warm but variable spring, hot, wet summers and cool and rainy autumn. The warm season lasts from May to August with an average daily high temperature above 26°C (78.8°F) and monsoon rains are heavy and frequent. The cold season lasts from December to February with an average daily high temperature below 9°C (48.2°F). The coldest time of the year is mid-January, with an average low of -7°C (-19.4°F) and high of 3°C (37.4°F).

Apply for free

Other projects you may be interested in

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!