At BUNAC we believe that each volunteer should be treated as an individual. All participants will have a one-to-one orientation interview by phone. It is not a formal interview, but a chance for us to get to know more about you and your reasons for volunteering. We’ll explain how the programme works and what you can expect, as well as going over issues such as health and security to help prepare you for your time away. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask us any questions you might have.

If BUNAC rejects your application at any stage you’ll receive a full refund of your programme deposit. We have a 7 day cooling off period, so if you feel that you’re not suited to the programme and you contact us within 7 days of attending the Orientation Interview you can cancel and receive a full refund (minus £50 administration fee). More information regarding cancellation refunds is included within the Terms and Conditions which are printed with the application form.

As part of our responsible approach, each participant must provide a police background check before they travel. For this programme the required check is called a Basic Disclosure, which you apply for through Disclosure Scotland. A Disclosure is a document containing impartial and confidential criminal history information held by the police and government departments about an individual. All residents of the UK are able to apply for this in their own name via the Disclosure Scotland website. The check costs £25 and takes approximately 14 days to process. Once received you should send the original document to BUNAC. If you already hold a CRB from an existing or recent employer issued within 3 months we can accept this as an alternative to the Basic Disclosure.

BUNAC is pleased to work with Interhealth, a charity which specialises in providing health advice for overseas volunteers. Your programme cost includes membership to Interhealth and as part of your application process you will complete an on-line medical screening to ensure that you are suitable for the challenge of working in a developing country. Following the screening you will receive comprehensive medical advice regarding inoculations specific to your destination along with some general travel health advice. Your programme cost also includes post-trip clean bill of health screening and on going remote health care advice through Interhealth.

The inoculations you may require will vary depending on your destination and also your personal medical history so it is very difficult to provide a guide to the typical cost. However, please be aware that whilst some injections are relatively cheap others (specifically anti malarials) can be very expensive. Interhealth will provide you with further information following your screening.

Flights, Visas & Insurance

BUNAC’s preferred travel agent is STA Travel and they will be able to help you book your flights to and from China.

Give them a call on the BUNAC dedicated phone number 0871 468 0666 or get in touch at

If you’d prefer to make alternative plans then you’re more than welcome to as long as you arrive in time for the start of the orientation. Please make sure you provide BUNAC with proof of your return trip so that we can arrange your airport pick up.

As Teach & Travel China is a cultural exchange program based on the Teacher Intern role, you will enter China with an ‘F’ visa. BUNAC will provide you with the appropriate visa forms and guidelines. The documents are returned to us and we submit them to the China Embassy on your behalf. Visas are issued at the discretion of the Chinese Embassy. The cost of the visa and extension at the time of writing is £275.

Yes. BUNAC’s fully comprehensive insurance policy has been arranged with Endsleigh, one of the UK’s leading insurance companies. The BUNAC policy is compulsory for this programme. You can find out more about the insurance here.

Volunteer Placement

Definitely! During your placement you’ll generally have weekends free to travel and the half-term holiday. You’ll also have a couple of weeks at the end of your teaching placement before your visa runs out. China is a unique and fascinating country and our local partners will be able to give you advice on where to go and what to see. Experiencing Chinese New Year is a great way to either begin or end your placement!

You will learn the skills required to be confident and successful as a Teacher Intern, including lesson planning, classroom methods and administration procedures. The ELC Certificate in TEFL is delivered by the English Language Company, a school accredited in Sydney, Australia for the purpose of teaching English as a second or foreign language. In order to successfully complete the training programme participants must:

•attend all input sessions
•attend all teaching practice (unless otherwise advised)
•adequately prepare for teaching practice
•complete and submit all assignments on time
•demonstrate a basic understanding of English language teaching methodology
•demonstrate competence in the use of basic classroom techniques
•demonstrate good language awareness
•behave cooperatively and constructively with colleagues and trainers
•conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times
•speak only English during core hours of training.
It is expected that all candidates who make a concerted effort during the training programme will be able to succeed. However, all must realise that this will require a dedication to the programme as it is a certified qualification.

A participant who fails to meet the assessment criteria for the programme will not be awarded a statement of attainment at the course end. He/she will subsequently not be able to take up his/her teacher intern placement. If a participant does not complete his/her practical experience he/she will not be awarded the ELC Certificate in TEFL.

Duties will vary from school to school, but as a general rule you should expect to be in the classroom for 20 hours per week filling the role of teacher or teacher assistant. There will also be preparation time, meetings and assessment as needed.
•The emphasis of teaching is on "conversational English" and the culture of your country. Many teachers may teach English composition, reading and literature
•Some teachers may assist in subject fields such as music, history, geography, or science courses in some international schools, depending on background and skills
•You may be expected to assist to write lesson plans, take attendance, correct homework and even assist in academic counselling if necessary
•You may assist in the administration of the school and prepare materials for classroom teachers
•Even though the role is that of ‘Teacher Intern’, you can expect to take lessons by yourself.

The schools in which you will work will vary as in all school systems. Generally schools are well equipped, even though there are aspects that are rudimentary by western standards.

•The number of students will vary between 2,000 and 10,000
•The students are generally weekday boarders
•Schools offer many after school activities for students
•Class sizes will vary and may be up to 50 students
•Schools generally have good equipment and resources, even though English resources are limited
•Buildings are generally modern
•Recreation facilities are generally of a high standard
•Foreign teachers are not common in schools
•You may help to promote your department at open days and year-end celebrations.

You will have the opportunity to choose which region of China you would prefer to be based in. Our Chinese partner will do all they can to match your preference, but we cannot guarantee a specific area.
•North China includes the provinces of Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Beijing, Inner Mongolia and Hebei
•Central China includes the provinces of Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Henan and Hunan
•South China includes the provinces of Sichuan, Fujian and Guangdong

There are other cities and provinces not listed. We recommend you check a map of China to get an idea of the different regions.

You will be advised of your specific school placement during your TEFL training. It is the schools that determine the placements through selection based on your application and progress during the teacher training.

The accommodation will vary between schools as each has a different format. You can expect to share communal facilities. By western standards, the accommodation may be considered basic, but by Chinese standards the accommodation provided to foreign teachers is spacious and comparatively of high standard. Meals are generally served in a dining hall (you do not need to prepare your own meals). There is usually a separate staff dining hall. Western meals are not served and you should endeavour to become competent in using chopsticks. If there is not a dining hall/canteen you will be given an allowance for food.

Chinese food is fresh, but milk, potatoes, bread and coffee are very rare. Rice and tea are staples, but every meal offers a variety of dishes. Unlike the west, Chinese meals are similar throughout the day. Western food can be purchased in the cities, but the quality may vary and it is relatively expensive. Food will vary in quality, but is usually fresh.

You should budget for the cost of the international airfare, visa, insurance and the personal expense in China. Teachers receive an allowance whilst working of RMB 2000 per month, plus a completion bonus of RMB 2,500 at the end of each term. All food and accommodation is included in the programme so the allowance will cover basic costs. It is expected that all participants will require additional savings to draw on, (£200 per month minimum) with the amount dependent on the amount of additional travel and entertainment expected.