The WorldTeach China Global Leadership Year program focuses on the intersection of globalization and learning in the 21st century.

As one of our China Global Leadership Year volunteers, you will live in and experience a country that makes up 20 percent of the world’s population and is on the brink of becoming the world’s largest economy. What does this mean for the future of global trade and the global workplace? In what ways does China’s modernization impact Chinese society overall and its next generation of entrepreneurs, teachers, and professionals? How are traditional cultures and norms being impacted during this period of rapid industrialization and urbanization? These questions will be among those posed and explored during your year in China. Serving as a full time teacher in a local school in Hunan Province, you will also participate in experiential reflection projects, either on your own or in collaboration with other volunteers. As a China volunteer, you will develop highly-coveted 21st century skills and Chinese cultural expertise while participating in ongoing Chinese language training, making you more competitive in the global marketplace. In return, you will serve as a teacher and role model for high school and middle school students who are facing a highly-competitive educational and employment market themselves.

Placements will take you to a town or city in the Hunan province. With a population of more than 65 million people, Hunan Province includes the large and vibrant capital city of Changsha as well as smaller, but still urban, town centers.


WorldTeach began its presence in Hunan in 2003, building a strong and longstanding relationship with the Hunan Provincial Department of Education. Over the years, WorldTeach’s reputation has grown and our teachers have been among the most sought-after English teachers in the province. In this time, we have been able to solidify relationships and logistical structures in order for you to be able to focus on your teaching and learning experience. Our program is evolving alongside China and its people as the country strives to become one of the biggest economic powers in the world. In this evolution, you, as a China volunteer, will need to balance teaching, reflection, and professional development, serving as a window to the English language for your students while also objectively observing the environment in which you and they live.
Be prepared for an exciting time. Be creative and persistent in the classroom. Step outside your comfort zone and make a real effort to immerse yourself in your community.
- China Alum


This program will include a multi-faceted professional development component. Volunteers are expected to participate in reflection  according to areas of interest and career objectives while considering the overall theme of how 21st century globalization is affecting education and learning.

While in China, your role will be to teach English in middle schools throughout Hunan province for 16-20 hours per week. Middle Schools in China include grades 7 through 12. The class sizes in China are one of the most jarring things to experience with an average of 50-60 students per class, and behavior management specifically addressing this is covered during orientation. You will also engage in extracurricular activities and cultural excursions, perhaps leading an English club or other optional classes where you’ll have more freedom to teach about subjects you or your students find interesting, such as English songs and dances.

As a volunteer, at the heart of your experience, you are a teacher, fulfilling the requests of our government partners. In addition, the China Global Leadership Year program has professional development components including:

  • Intercultural Development Inventory © (IDI) assessment and coaching program (optional)
  • Experiential Reflection Project that deepens your understanding of how the intersection of globalization and education impacts students’ futures or learning.
  • Live or recorded webinars focused on the forces of globalization and their impacts on education and national development
  • Accredited TEFL certification (optional)
  • Mandarin Track (optional for additional fee)
  • Career mentoring session upon program conclusion
  • Network of over 7,000 WorldTeach alumni


Your housing placement in China is likely to be individual unless a school gets more than one teacher. Since all volunteers are placed within Hunan province, you are relatively close to each other. It is certainly possible to visit other volunteers with some simple planning. WorldTeach is not alone in teaching English in Hunan so some placements may have other foreign English teachers as well.

You are provided with teacher housing on the grounds of the school, and most schools have apartments set aside for foreign teachers. They are furnished and often quite large. The space you have to yourself would normally house a family of three, and comes with kitchens, internet, and warm showers. They do not have heat, however, so the winter months can be chilly.

The volunteer contribution to the China Global Leadership program is $4,990. This amount in conjunction with local partner funding goes towards:

  • Participation in WorldTeach’s Global Leadership professional development curriculum
  • Pre-departure preparation
  • Guidance through a rigorous visa acquisition process plus visa fee*
  • Housing
  • Living stipend of 3000 RMB/month
  • Supplemental overseas health and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Comprehensive orientation, mid-service, and end of service training conferences
  • 24-hour in-country field staff support
  • Access to a remote teacher quality support
  • Alumni services and networking 

*Visa fee of up to $140 USD for regular processing of China Z Visa

Many volunteers are able to successfully fundraise all or a significant portion of their program expenses. Please refer to our fundraising page for more information about fundraising possibilities.

Participants in the China Year program must:

  • Be a native-level English speaker
  • Be TEFL or TESOL certified* OR have at least 2 years of education-related, post-college work experience
  • Have completed their undergraduate degree by May 15th and have physical diploma in hand by June 1st. If you are a graduating senior, please verify when your diploma will be issued to you with your Registrar.
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 60
  • Be highly flexible, mature, and have a genuine interest in teaching English

*Applicants for the China Program can get TEFL certified through a modified WorldTeach TEFL Certification Program during pre-departure.