These resources are designed to complement the course
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Comprehensive Information About China
WikiTravel China (a very thorough guide to all things China)
The U.S. Embassy’s Guide to Teaching English in China (a great overall introduction)
Choosing a Location
Wikipedia List of Chinese Cities (a comprehensive list of major Chinese cities by population)
Chinese Cities Listed by Tier (1st – 5th tier)
The Best Cities in China to Teach in (According to the person who wrote this!)
Top 100 Universities in China (Official Rankings)
Project 211 Universities (schools which get extra funding)
The Visa Process
The Chinese Embassy in the US’s Guide to the Visa Process (See the Z Visa)
The China Visa Application Service Center – (The starting point in the visa process for people from certain countries. If your country is listed in the drop down list on this site, you begin here)
Visa HQ Visa Agency (the only visa service agency I’ve used – they did a good job for me, are reputable and based in many different countries worldwide)
Important Things to Bring to China
Nutribiotic Defenseplus Tablets – An absolute savior! Without this your stomach will have a very rough and uncomfortable first few weeks or months in China. If you take this, you will have few if any stomach issues. Very highly recommended!
Maximum GSE Liquid Concentrate – This will ensure you are using clean water. A little goes a very long way in purifying water.
Useful Links – Before Leaving For China
Trawick International’s Safe Travels International Medical Insurance – This is what I chose for my family after extensive research. It’s the best deal we found and they’ve been awesome whenever we needed them. The “Safe Travels International” plan is a primary insurance and would be appropriate if you have no other insurance. But if your school will provide you with some local coverage then you’d instead want the “Safe Travels International Cost Saver” plan which will protect you if you travel to other cities and countries or if medical bills exceed your employer provided coverage.
Skyscanner (great for comparing international flight prices)
Kayak (another good site for international flights)
AVG Antivirus (Free download, Homepage or get our Exclusive Deal: Save 10% on AVG Internet Security 1 PC 1 Year License. ) and Malwarebytes to protect your computer – their free services work fine, but require you to remember to regularly do checks yourself and may not be as robust as their paid packages.
Recommended VPNs for China
Special Discount Offer: Purchase Express VPN through clicking on the image to the left and receive a 35% discount and 30 day money back guarantee. Most of the people and businesses I know in China use Express and I’ve heard only positive things. Highly recommended! (Update May 2017 – I now use ExpressVPN, it is the only one of the 3 here that functions smoothly)
I use Astrill and have always been happy with them. I chose them before Express was on the scene. If I ever change, I’d probably use Express. (Update May 2017 – I switched to ExpressVPN because it is working much better in China now)
Useful Sites in China
Taobao.com (the largest online shopping site – terrific beware of counterfeit items)
Jingdong.com (Taobao’s main competitor – known for not allowing fakes to be sold)
Amazon.cn (Great for books and a random imported things – Can use it in English, sort of)
Hotels.cn (A great place to book hotels in China – This links to their English site)
Ctrip – (Book hotels and flights in China)
12306 (The Chinese government’s site for buying train tickets – Just an FYI, they will save your personal info)
Resources for Learning Mandarin Chinese
Rocket Chinese – The award winning system – A comprehensive system for those who want to get awesome Chinese.
Skritter – The best way to learn to write Chinese characters online or on your phone
Golden Chinese: Conversational Mandarin for Beginner-Intermediate – (5 Stars on Amazon!)
Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide – (The Highest Rated Chinese Grammar Book)
Chinese Breeze Graded Reader Series – The Most Interesting Way to Learn to Read Chinese
Dirty Chinese: Everyday Slang from “What’s Up?” to “F*%# Off!” (Dirty Everyday Slang) – For Those Who Really Want to Go Native
Pimleur Chinese – Good for pronunciation
ChinesePod – Podcasts and more
The Chairman’s Bao – A simplified Chinese newspaper written for those learning Mandarin
Popup Chinese – A spectacular resource full of podcasts, videos and news
FSI Mandarin Chinese – The Foreign Service’s Mandarin training program. Outdated but free and still an incredible resource
Coursera – Lots of free courses on the language, culture, history, etc. of China
Pinyin.info – A great guide for understanding the Chinese phonetic system of pinyin
Anki – a program which makes remembering things easier
Hello Talk – An amazing app which connects you with language partners
Wechat – A must have while living in China because everyone uses it! – China’s version of Whatsapp
Resources for Teaching ESL (English as a Second Language)
Dave’s ESL Cafe Idea Cookbook – tons of ideas for the classroom
Riddles for Kids – Always a fun challenge
Do’s and Don’ts for Teaching ESL – excellent advice for new ESL teachers
Conversation Question for the ESL Classroom – a massive list of questions and topics to facilitate discussion
Words to Describe – A terrific and useful resource for helping students find the right descriptive words.
Travel China Guide – Guide to Chinese Culture
China Highlights – Chinese Culture Guide