What's it like to be an English teacher in a second-tier Chinese city?

"What's your city preference?"

"Shanghai, Shenzhen, Mmmmm, maybe Beijing? No, not Beijing, the pollution! I can't breathe! Lol"

As a recruiter, each time when I ask a candidate what's his or her city preference, generally, that's the answer.

For most of the ESL teachers whose first time come to China, he or she may only know Beijing and Shanghai as two first-tier cities in China. If someone did extra research, they may know Guangzhou, Shenzhen as the Silicon Valley, Chengdu as the home of panda, Hangzhou as the home of Jack Ma.

But China is huge, when we are talking about a second-tier city in China, we are talking about a city with at least 10 million population and several subway lines.

What's it like to be an English teacher in a second-tier Chinese city?

Recently, we asked our teacher Simon from Quebec to film a video for us, to share his life and working experience as a TEFL teacher in the second-tier city - Xi'an.

Simon studies communications at the University of Ottawa, before starting a career as a television host, actor, and writer. He focuses on the language culture field for about 25 years, and loves nature, history and explores all the unknown things. In the children's eyes, he is an optimistic, cheerful "big boy". Willing to accompany the children to explore together, to play together.

We met Simon in 2018, Simon was quite cautious while looking for the ESL teaching job in China. But when I start speaking French with him, Simon gave us his trust. "Vous vous parlez francais? C'est uncroyable!!"

The first month in China was very hard for Simon to experience culture shock. But 1 year passed, Simon becomes a very famous teacher locally in Xi'an and built a very good social work.

It's hard for an agency to ask a busy teacher to leave us a review online, our teachers prefer to send us a voice message "You are amazing! You are Mr. Handsome!" on Wechat. But Simon wrote us a serious review on GoOverseas.com, he even did an interview with the GoOverseas team members to share his experience with us.

You could find his review and interview record here:


Simon filmed a video for us for sharing his life and working experience in a second-tier Chinese city - Xi'an.

Here is the video: