So you want to teach abroad in China, but you’re worried about finding the right job or falling for a scam. You’re concerned about not getting paid enough, hating your school, or having to quit and run back home.
Here’s the Brutal Fact: Most teachers in China have a few “throw away years” before they start getting things right.
They have crappy jobs, fall for scams, or get themselves stuck in contracts at schools they hate.
These scammy “churn and burn” jobs prey on first-year teachers who have never been to China before, work them to the bone, and then hire a whole new crop the next year.
But what if you don’t have time to waste on a “throw-away year”? What if you just want to have an incredible experience in China the FIRST time around??
Yeah, I said it.
I ended up underpaid on a factory-lined highway where I was the only foreigner for miles. My school wasn’t even legally allowed to hire me, and if I wanted to leave early I could owe my school up to $8,000 which was my entire salary for the entire year… Whoopsies!
How did this happen to me?? I’d studied abroad in China for 7 months. I was fluent in Chinese. I had traveled all over the country to off the beaten path places like Yunnan, Gansu, Qinghai, Tibet, and Xinjiang. I had lived on my own in Beijing for a month and taught English at a training center.
I thought I knew everything and I STILL got screwed over.
How is that even possible? If anyone was going to be successful in China, it should’ve been me, right?!!!
There were so many things I didn’t know. I was too trusting, too naive, and too overconfident. But arriving at my first school in the middle of nowhere was a nice big slap of reality, straight in the face. Maybe I didn’t know as much as I thought I did…
Thankfully, I eventually figured things out. A few years later I was working as a high-level college admissions consultant in Beijing, making four times the salary with my own private office. I had a job I loved, saved up $40,000 USD in two years, and traveled all around Asia during my 20 vacation days.
I wish I could go back in time and give myself the advice I know now, but unfortunately, time travel isn’t a thing (yet). So instead I’ve made it my mission to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
After five years of living and working in China, I’ve cracked the code and I want to teach you everything I wish I knew my first year.
With Teach Abroad Squad, you won’t fall for any of those scammy jobs or programs that prey on first-year teachers. I want to bring you up to my level, and teach you all of the things I wish I knew before I moved to China.
I’m the founder of the Teach Abroad Squad and the blogger behind the award-winning China travel blog, Adventures Around Asia.
Over the last six years, I’ve been helping hundreds of people take the leap to go on the adventure of a lifetime and teach abroad in China!
A few years ago I realized that the more I wrote about my own experience working in China, the more prospective teachers started to email me asking TONS of questions. So I wrote more posts, started a free mini-course, created ebooks, and spent literally all day answering a stream of never-ending emails. But the more helpful advice I created, the more questions I received!
Eventually, I realized that blog posts and e-books just aren’t enough. What you really need is a guide: someone to walk you step by step through the entire process from start to finish. Who wants to sit there reading blog post after blog post, when you can get personalized guidance from a dedicated coach you trust?
Teach Abroad Squad is my proven step-by-step system to help you find a high-paying job, become an incredible teacher, and survive (and thrive) in China.
Let us make sure you have the adventure of a lifetime the FIRST time around! (Without years of trial and error)
“While I was the Content Director at Go Overseas, Richelle was always our go-to writer for any questions about teaching abroad in China. Whether it was teacher salaries, job types, or navigating visas and scams, Richelle always had well-researched, practical, and relatable advice for our readers.” – Jessie Beck, Former content director at Go Overseas
12 Intensive Modules, 5 Butt-Kicking Bonuses, and 24-7 Lifetime Access!
“I originally joined because I was overwhelmed by all the information out there and I was getting lost in the sea of it all. Then I came across Richelle’s Instagram and blog and realized this is a real person giving real stories of life in China. I felt really good about enrolling in TAS because I knew I’d need help and have questions to ask. Joining the Teach Abroad Squad gave me more confidence that I won’t be going into teaching abroad blindly.” – Sarah Anderson
“The thought of moving to China alone can be so overwhelming, but TAS goes over everything you need to know to be successful during your time abroad. The biggest takeaway was how to avoid scams and what to look for in contracts. I’ve heard so many horror stories about companies promising one thing only for it to be taken away or changed later. I now know how to read contracts, negotiate salary and vacation days, and how to handle any complications down the road.” – Hilary Hancock
Take the first step of your China adventure today!
Not sure if Teach Abroad Squad is right for you and your unique needs? Hop on a free 20-minute call with me and we can talk through your teach abroad worries, and see if Teach Abroad Squad is the right next step!
I already have a job and a TEFL, will this work for me?
Ideally Teach Abroad Squad is best for people who are ready to make a change: whether it’s finding an amazing job, or switching to a better position.
If you already have your job and TEFL, there are still tons of amazing lessons you can gain from the later modules: how to teach, budgeting, classroom management, survival Chinese…
However, the course is designed for people who are ready to find a new, amazing position in China. You’re definitely welcome to join if you already have a job and a TEFL, just know that you won’t be able to benefit immediately from those portions of the program.
Do I get access to everything at once, or do I have to wait?
Yes, you get access to everything right away! You can attack the material at any pace you want (I recommend staying in order). People have said I’m crazy for having such a flexible 30-day refund policy and giving full access, but I know how life-changing Teach Abroad Squad can be when you learn and implement it.
Can I download all the videos and other cool stuff?
YES! Everything is digital and downloadable. Enjoy!
I'm not teaching abroad for another year. Is it too early to join?
Definitely not. Honestly, the earlier the better when it comes to preparing for your teach abroad adventure.
Teach Abroad Squad is designed to be taken at any time, whether you’re still a year away, or you’re already in China right now. While there is definitely actionable advice for people who are already in China and need to switch jobs or get out of a disaster, it will be much easier if you take the course a year (or more!) before you plan on leaving.
Teach Abroad Squad will help you plan your timeline, and teach you about things you can do RIGHT NOW to make yourself a better candidate in China. You’ll also have access to the Facebook group sooner rather than later, which means more time to make friends, ask questions and develop connections with other teachers.
Remember, you also have lifetime access to the course, so if anything changes, you will have access to updated videos and information. You can also go back and re-watch any of the course videos when it gets closer to the date you plan on leaving.
I'm not a native speaker. Will this work for me?
If you are a non-native speaker that is certified to teach public school in your home country, Teach Abroad Squad can help you find an incredible job at a high-level training center or international school.
Just be aware that if you are not a certified teacher in your home country, you will not be able to teach legally in China. While you can still invest in Teach Abroad Squad and gain help and guidance, Teach Abroad Squad is primarily for those who are legal to teach abroad in China.
If you have any questions about whether or not TAS is right for you please contact email@example.com with your questions!
Do I get lifetime access?
YES! You get these videos FOREVERRRRRRRRR
If I update or make changes to the course, you will get these updates as well.
How long does it take to go through the course?
It’s up to you! Binge it like Netflix and it will take you 3-4 weeks, or watch it slowly over time and it will take you 3-4 months.
We have 12 modules, and each module has 1-5 videos. Each video is between 20 minutes to 1 hour, and we have 25 course videos in total.
You’ll also have the bonus material, including one 40-minute Survival Chinese video, and the monthly Q&A calls which last an hour.
What is this "Approved Jobs List"?
Great question! We have a curated Approved Jobs List full of jobs for you to choose from. These jobs and recruiters are all approved directly by Richelle, and fit the “Good Job Checklist”.
They all pay well and on-time with above-average salaries, offer comprehensive benefits packages, and have good reviews from past teachers. It is up to you to scan through the list and apply directly to the ones that interest you.
This gives you complete control over the jobs you’re applying to. We don’t force you to sign with a school or “place you” at a school that’s not a good fit. Instead, we give you all of the information and allow you to decide which jobs fit you.
That said, if you need some help choosing which jobs to apply to or which contracts to accept, you are welcome to post in the Facebook group for advice, or talk through it on a Q&A call!
If for some reason you find your own job outside of the approved jobs list, that’s great too! Feel free to run your contract details by us in the Facebook group and we can help you decide if the job is a good opportunity.
Wait... so you don't "place me" at a job?
Personally, I hate job placement programs. I had a bad experience with this my first year in China, which is why I want the job decision making to be solely in your hands.
Rather than forcing a job on you that might not be a good fit, we give you a comprehensive “Approved Jobs List” full of trusted recruiters and positions, allowing YOU to make the decision.
After Module 1 you should have a clear idea of what types of jobs, cities, and schools you’re interested in, and you can use that information to select jobs that fit you and your needs.
If you need some help or guidance in making a decision, you can always post in the Facebook group or talk through it on a group Q&A call. Otherwise, it’s up to YOU to decide which job you want!
What's this TEFL discount thing?
In order to teach legally in China, most of you will be needing a TEFL certification. If you don’t already have your TEFL, I’m offering a 40% discount for MyTEFL, my favorite online TEFL. This HUGE discount is only for course members and is a special deal only found on the Teach Abroad Squad!
MyTEFL’s 120-hour online TEFL course usually runs $300, but with the discount, you can get it for just $180, saving you $120 USD!
Once you’re a Teach Abroad Squad Member, you’ll be given the discount code so you can purchase your online TEFL.
I HATE my job in China. Can you help me change schools?
Great question! If you’re in a situation like I was my very first year, I feel for you. I know what it’s like to feel stuck in a school you don’t love, and I’m going to do everything in my power to help you get out.
Firstly, we have an entire module (Module 6) that covers this “worst case scenario”. We talk about how to switch schools, your legal rights in China, what happens if your school doesn’t give you a release letter, or if they’re not paying you on time.
In Module 5, we’ll also cover how to analyze your contract. This will give you the skills you need to pinpoint elements of your contract that will help you with an exit plan. This way you’ll know exactly what you need to do to leave legally, and how to notice if your school is not following their end of the contract.
My goal is to make sure you know all of your legal rights and responsibilities so that you can switch jobs without having to leave China.
Also, if you have any major problems or concerns, you can always post to the Facebook group for advice!
What's the difference between this Facebook group and your free Facebook group?
For those of you that are already members of the free Facebook group, China Teach Abroad Community, you might be wondering what the difference is.
While Richelle is very involved in CTAC, it is a community-driven Facebook group. If she sees a question, she’ll stop by and answer it, but as the group grows, the focus is more on the community: teachers helping teachers.
The Teach Abroad Squad Facebook group is much different. Here you will have direct access to Richelle. She hosts Facebook live bonus training and live Q&A office hours. Richelle even refers directly to modules and videos to help answer your questions further.
This Teach Abroad Squad Facebook Group is also a tighter-knit community, full of teachers who are part of the “squad”. This group is much smaller, full of teachers all going through the same process together. This makes it much easier to form friendships, plan meetups and travel together once you’re all in China!
How does the weekly Live Q&A work?
Every Monday I’ll hop on a Facebook Live in the Teach Abroad Squad members-only Facebook group and answer questions you’ve submitted that week.
On Wednesdays, I will post a Questions thread in the Facebook group where you can submit your questions in advance! I’ll also pull from comments and questions in the Facebook group I think are relevant. If for some reason we don’t have many questions, I may pick a relevant topic to discuss!
For the Monday Q&A, you can also submit resumes, intro videos, job offers, and contracts for review. I’ll review these live using Screenshare, so you can get personalized feedback from me!
If you do submit a full contract for review, I will need you to give me specific sections you’d like me to look at since many contracts are 5-10 pages long.
Please keep in mind that these Live Q&A calls and video reviews will only be shared with Teach Abroad Squad members in our private Facebook group, but if you would like me to black out personally identifying information I’m happy to do so!
How do the live office hours work?
Do you really need some direct coaching and advice? Once per month, Richelle hosts Live Office Hours on Zoom. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re already in China, you can always join to chat in-person with Richelle!
Don’t have a question? No problem! You can still join the group call and listen in on all the questions other people ask. These group calls are also a great way to get to know other group members!
Richelle, what if I buy and want a refund? What's the policy?
If within 30 days, if you are unhappy for whatever reason just email our customer support and you will receive a full refund. My team and I stand behind Teach Abroad Squad 100%, which is why we have such a lenient refund policy.
You don’t have to prove to me that you actually took the course. I’m not going to ask to see if you did the homework, or ask you WHY you’re refunding. Just contact us within 30 days and you’ll receive a 100% refund.
I have a question, who do I ask?
We pride ourselves on having epic customer service. If you have any major questions, you can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org