Summer volunteering opportunities in China

Are you looking for volunteer abroad opportunities? Are your dreams of volunteering abroad constrained by expensive fees? Then look no further and join our summer volunteering abroad program in China.

  • Teach English to enthusiastic Chinese students during summer
  • Develop teaching skills while improving your resume and future career
  • A meaningful summer for you- that can change you and others
  • Have a meaningful summer that can be life-changing for you and others around you.
  • Take advantage of the Chinese language learning opportunities.

The beautiful country of China is a great place to explore, volunteer, and learn. Though modernizing at a rapid rate, China is still rich in ancient culture and traditions. When you join our summer volunteer program in China, you'll explore this great country and witness the stark contrast between the new and the old, the rich and the poor, and the yin and yang of Chinese culture. This is without a doubt a colorfully diverse and rewarding opportunity.

By volunteering in a summer English program in China, you will be a part of a fascinating transformation within the lives of the students to whom you dedicate your time, energy, and compassion. Global Crossroad offers an amazing volunteer opportunity in summer in China. We invite you to join our summer camp, share your love and passion for children, and make the upcoming summer unforgettable.

Summer Volunteer Program Itinerary (sample)

Day 1: Arrival for Summer Volunteering Program In Shanghai

Arrive at Pu-dong International Airport in Shanghai. You will be greeted and picked up by a Global Crossroad’s representative and transferred to a hostel in Shanghai.

Day 2: Orientation & Training

On the second day, you will be orientated in regards to the English summer camp, its objectives and goals, accommodation, food, local culture, traditions, dos & don'ts, customs. There will also be a basic introduction to spoken Mandarin language. You will also be able to ask questions.

After orientation, you will receive training on how to teach English to young Chinese children of three to 10 years of age. The summer camp is a special and intensive English teaching volunteer program in China. The camp is mostly focused on improving overall English understanding, especially in conversation. Chinese students are very eager and excited to learn English. The training will mostly focus on how to achieve the goal of the summer camp and how to teach in English to young Chinese students.

After the initial orientation and training, you will be assigned to a school where the summer English camp in China will be held.

Day 3-31: Teaching in Kindergartens in Shanghai and nearby Cities

Teaching English to young kids is the core part of the summer volunteer program in China. Depending on the program that you choose (lasting either one month or two months), you will be teaching English (mostly conversational English) to young students, starting in kindergarten through 5th grade.

In the camp, you will be using your skills and sharing your teaching experience with smart, energetic, and enthusiastic Chinese students who are always happy and eager to learn English. Though there will be teaching materials and books in the camp for you to use, we encourage you to bring any teaching materials that you think will be helpful for the students.

Depending on the enrollment, there will be five to 20 kids to a class. You will teach for 30-45 minutes per class. Most of the summer camp classrooms are equipped with teaching aids such as computers, overhead projectors, and even touch display screens. The class will be well furnished and have air conditioning.

You will start your day with coffee and a Chinese breakfast. After breakfast, you will arrive at the camp at 9:00 am. After preparation, the teaching session will start at 9:30 am. Each class will last for 45 minutes and there will be a 15-minute break between classes.

After the morning session, there will be a one-and-a-half-hour lunch break for students and teachers. You will be served delicious Chinese food every day. The lunch break is long enough for you to rest, relax, read, or even take a short nap. After the break, the afternoon session of the summer camp starts at 2:00 pm and lasts until 5:15 pm, with regular classes and breaks similar to the morning session. After 5:30 PM, the day will be over.

A standard work-week for the summer volunteer program in China includes between 30 to 40 class hours, with two days off. You will teach Monday to Friday.

Saturday and Sunday - Free time:

After five days of teaching and making memories, you will have Saturdays and Sundays off. This is a time for travel and exploration. China is a great country, rich in history, nature, culture, and tradition. The country is modernizing fast and there are endless opportunities to see this change in action. Use the weekend to explore this incredible country full of friendly people and adventure.

Tips for your summer teaching in China

Using songs: If possible, try to sing a lovely song, preferably a nursery rhyme or good morning song with actions and sounds. You can bring your own CDs or you can easily download songs through the domestic Internet once you arrive to teach at your volunteer program in China.

Using games: Funny alphabet songs and colorful flash cards are great. You can stick the letters to the wall and start a little competition to see who can run to the wall to touch the correct letter announced. Always remember to encourage your students!

More games online: Use as many free ESL games online as possible to pique the interests of the kids.

A Typical Day for the Summer English Camp in China

Morning Session

  • 7:00- 8:30 - Wake up at 7:00 and get ready for coffee and a delicious Chinese Breakfast
  • 9:00- 9:30 - Arrive at camp, go over materials, and prep for class.
  • 9:30-10:15 - Start teaching, sharing, and learning.
  • 10:15-10:30 - Take a short break to prepare for the next class.
  • 10:30-11:15 - Teach English, and share your passion with students.
  • 11:15-11:30 - Take a short break to prepare for the next class
  • 11:30-12:15 - Teach English to the eager students.

Afternoon session

  • 12:30-14:00 Lunch Break - Lunch break. Eat a delicious lunch, chat with local teachers, students, and camp organizers, or rest and relax.
  • 14:00:14:30 - Return to the camp and get ready for the next class.
  • 14:30-15:15 Teaching
  • 15:30-16:15 Teaching
  • 16:30-17:15 Teaching
  • There will be a 15 minutes break in each class
  • 17:30 free time

Skills and Qualification:

  • This program is open only to native English speakers (citizens of US, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland and other English-speaking countries with English as a mother language).
  • There are NO teaching or academic qualifications needed to join this summer volunteer program in China. We welcome college or university students who want to be future teachers or are eager to teach young children in China..
  • This is also a wonderful opportunity for retired teachers who want to share their experience and explore the world.
  • Ages 16-60 Years

Prices and Dates

Currently, we offer a four-week and an eight-week summer English camp in China for $399. Depending on your interests, you are free to choose the program that suits you best.

Four-week program: July 1 – July 31, 2019
Eight-week program July 1- August 30th, 2019

Program Fee:

The program provides you with the following benefits

  • Airport pick-up/drop off (upon request)
  • Accommodation (hostel or flat, depending on specific school and venue of teaching)
  • Food (Breakfast & Dinner at Hostel, Lunch Stipends provided)
  • One day Shanghai sightseeing program (including Entrance fees and permits)

Program  Fee Does Not Cover

  • Visa
  • Airfare
  • Insurance (Insurance is mandatory to join the program. It costs $3.69 per day)
  • Any room or food expenses before and/or after the start of the program
  • Personal expenses, like soft drinks and food


The English camps in China are located in Shanghai and nearby cities. If we get a large number of teachers, we may run the camps in the other cities. Therefore, we expect location flexibility from our volunteers.

Most Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How do I apply for the program?
  • To apply to the volunteer program in China, simply fill out the application form.

  • What happens when I apply?
  • Once we receive your application, we immediately forward it to our country coordinator in China, who will go over your application very carefully. He may ask for your résumé, photo, or more information to screen or process your application.

  • Is there a selection process? When do I get a notice of acceptance?
  • Yes, there will be a screening process to select the right candidates for the camp. The Chinese schools that run the summer camps have some expectations and requirements when it comes to teachers. Therefore, we screen the teachers to meet the needs of the camp. We may also set up Skype interviews as part of the selection if necessary. You will get an acceptance letter from our China coordinator within seven days of applying.

  • When should I apply for this program?
  • We strongly recommend volunteers/teachers to apply at least two months in advance. When you apply in advance, it helps you to get ready and have peace of mind. To visit China, you need to prepare your airfare, visa, vaccinations, among other things. Since these require time, it is best to apply in advance.

  • What is the age limit required for volunteers?
  • The program is open for any native English speakers between the ages of 16 and 60

  • Can I apply if I don’t know any Chinese?

  • Knowledge of Chinese language is not needed to join the program.
  • Do we get a certificate after the camp? 
  • If you are thinking of developing your career as a teacher or if you want to improve your resume, we will be happy to issue a certificate for joining the volunteer program in China. We will send it to you with the official Letter Head of Global Crossroad. If you need this, you should inform us when you apply, since we need to get this certificate printed out and posted to you while you are in China.    

  • What type of visa should I apply?
  • The summer camp teaching program in China is volunteer based. It is not a paid teaching program where you need a work visa. Since you will not receive a salary, and you are just coming to China to help and travel, please apply for a tourist visa (L). We do not manage visas, so please apply for a tourist visa from your home country. However, if you need an invitation letter (although it is not usually required to go to China for volunteering and travel), please let us know.

  • Do I need travel insurance? Who provides health insurance?
  • Travel insurance is extremely important to protect yourself during your international travel. We do not accept anyone in the program who does not have travel insurance. You can buy the insurance of your choice, but Global Crossroad does offer insurance (in partnership with one of the world’s leading travel insurance providers) at $3.69 per day.

  • If I have to arrive late, do you offer airport picking-up? 
  • Yes, we offer airport pick-up for each volunteer. We will pick you up even during late hours. Please make sure to send your flight information to us. One of our local staff members or the coordinator will be waiting by the exit, holding up a sign with your name. If for some reason you can’t find our coordinator, just call him. You will find the phone number in the summer camp information e-book that you will get when you are formally accepted to the program.

  • Is program safe? 
  • China is one of the safest counties in the world. Global Crossroad has been running volunteer programs in China for the last 10 years. There has never been a single incident that threatened the safety of our volunteers. We make sure that our volunteer programs in China are very safe. We run the summer English camps in established schools that are equipped with all modern facilities. The camps are managed by local camp coordinators who will be with you during the entire camp period to make sure that things are running smoothly. In addition, we only use safe accommodations.

  • Is there Internet in China? How do I contact home during the program?
  • China is a high-tech country. There is Internet access and all ways of communication in modern cities like Shanghai. You will be able to contact your family through Skype and other apps like Whatsapp.

  • In what kind of room will I stay?
  • You will stay in a nearby hostel and either share or have your own room. All rooms are equipped with air-conditioner, 24-hour hot water, cable TV, free WiFi, phone access, and security guards who are on watch 24/7.

  • What about pocket money? Can we bring dollars?
  • The summer volunteering in China programs cover most of your expenses (room and food). However, you may still need extra money to travel on weekends or for other personal expenses.

  • What qualifications do I need to apply to the summer volunteer camp in China?
  • You should be a native English speaker with clear pronunciation and have the desire to teach kids. You should also have a clean record and background check, be between the ages of 16 and 60 and be in sound health.

  • Do I need to submit any documents?
  • Yes, a passport and a recent photo with your résumé.

  • Is there any screening process? How long does it take to make final decision?
  • Yes, the final decisions for volunteers in China will be released within seven days after the application. Sometimes, we will have to arrange a Skype interview to further help with the decision.

  • How far advance do I need to apply? 
  • At least 2 months in advance

  • Once accepted, what preparation do I need to do before coming to China?
  • First, you should have a valid passport with at least six months of validity. Then, you should purchase a return flight based on your itinerary. And last but not least, get some pocket money with you, say, $200-300 based on your personal situation.

  • When do I need to arrive?
  • You can arrive on July 1st. Early arrival is welcome, but we won’t offer free accommodation.

  • Where I will be flying to?
  • Shanghai. We may run the camp in other cities, depending on the needs of the schools. If we need to run the camps in other cities, you may need to fly to another airport. We will let you know in advance.

  • Who will receive me at the airport?
  • A Global Crossroad staff member holding a sign with your name will greet you at the exit.

  • Where will I live?
  • We will book a hotel or hostel where foreigners are officially allowed to check in with the local police station.

  • Will this be shared or private accommodation?
  • In most cases, shared. But we will offer private accommodation if requested.

  • What kind of food will be served? When?
  • Breakfast (6:00-8:00 am) and dinner (6:00 – 7:00 pm) will be offered at the hotel dining area. Lunch stipends will be offered.

  • Is there Internet (wifi) or how can I get wifi and how much it cost?
  • Yes, there will be free WiFi at the hotel and work areas.

  • Will there be any weekend activities for the teachers?
  • Yes, when you are not volunteering in the China teaching program, you can learn Mandarin. We will also provide some local sightseeing tours if requested.

  • Where will the camp take place?
  • The camp will be run in Shanghai and nearby cities, which might also include Beijing, Shenzhen, Qingdao, and others.

  • How many students will be there in the camp?
  • There will be between 20 and 100 students.

  • What will the daily schedule look like?
  • Sample Work Day
  • Morning Session
    6:00- 8:00 Breakfast
    9:00-Arrive at School
    9:30-10:15 Teaching
    10:15-10:30 Break
    10:30-11:15 Teaching
    11:15-11:30 Break
    11:30-12:15 Teaching

    Afternoon session
    12:30-14:00 Lunch Break (outside coffee shop, sightseeing, etc.)
    14:00-Back to School
    14:30-15:15 Teaching
    15:30-16:15 Teaching
    16:30-17:15 Teaching
    17:30 Free time

    • Monday-Friday: Five hours of work (per day) with free time in between
    • Saturday: Free day  
    • Sunday: Free day
  • What can I Do in my free time?
  • You can go sightseeing, learn Mandarin, and take part in other activities.

  • Is there any other important information that I need to know?
  • Volunteers are expected to be very flexible, as teaching in the summer camp in China is different from teaching in a regular school. Summer camps are intensive English teaching programs with a specialized focus on conversation skills. Teachers are expected to be flexible, eager, patient, and willing to use different tools to teach. If you love children, then you’ll love this opportunity.

Benefits of working in English summer camps

A volunteering abroad opportunity

The Volunteer Summer English Camps in China are the best opportunity for you if you dream of volunteering and traveling the world but can't afford expensive fees.

An opportunity to share your love and passion

During your volunteer program in China, you will teach young (primary school aged) students who are eager to learn English from native English speakers. By sharing your love and passion, you are shaping their lives and changing your own.? If you really love teaching children, this is an amazing opportunity for you

An opportunity to establish your career

If your future dream is to become an English teacher in China or (or anywhere in the world), the summer camps are ideal practicing grounds. The programs are a catapult for beginners. Whit this opportunity, it is also possible to know whether this is the area in which you want to settle in the future.

A stepping-stone for future work in China

Enrolling in a summer English camp in China offers you a chance to prove your capabilities. You may find, after working in these programs, that employers were satisfied with your performance. After the session is over, directors can opt to offer you a permanent job in the school.

A fantastic time to interact with Chinese students and teachers

When you join the summer English camp in China, you will have the chance to meet and interact with Chinese students, parents, and teachers. These interactions facilitate the exchange of ideas and give ample learning opportunities to understand more the Chinese culture, traditions, and values. The summer camps will give you a great opportunity to explore this country.