After the success of programs in Shanghai and Mian Yang, Travel to Teach's latest Chinese program is in the city of Su Zhou, in Jiangsu province on China's Eastern Coast.
Su Zhuo sits on the banks of the Yangtze River and was founded over 2500 years ago on a series of lakes, streams and marshes. Today water still covers over 40% of the city and Su Zhou is criss-crossed by a series of canals. Surrounded by traditional Ming and Qing dynasty homes and crossed by beautiful stone bridges these canals and the cities pagodas and classically designed gardens have made it a great tourist attraction and even earned it the nickname the Oriental Venice
However, Su Zhuo is also a rapidly developing city of over 5 million people and the result is a place of huge contrasts. Standing on one of Su Zhou’s many footbridges, volunteers can witness scenes of traditional Chinese life as gondolas coast between the white-walled and grey-roofed traditional Su Zhou-style houses; walk a few hundred meters though and you can find yourself in one of Chinese richest and most developed cities.
Volunteers will teach English at the Jiangsu Provincial Experimental Primary School: Founded in 1995, the school has grown considerably over the years and now has 33 teaching classes with nearly 1,400 pupils. The school, has gradually transformed itself into a distinct sci-tech educational center. Each class has about 40 students. Each lesson lasts for 40 minutes.
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Read how your fees are spent or compare our
prices with other volunteer organisations.
View our prices in other volunteer locations's or combine your stay in with stays in other locations as part of a combination stay.
Our application process typically takes two or three weeks, but can
be speeded up if there is a need for that. When we receive the initial application from you, we will send you our
full application form.
(1) Complete the Initial Application Form:
The first stage of the application process is to fill out the brief initial application form. Upon receiving this we will send you the full application form.
(2) Complete the Full Application Form:
Fill out the application form. After receiving this we will assess your suitability and place you on one of our programs.
(3) Placement info:
We will return detailed placement information and an invoice. If you accept the placement you should clikc the link to say so. The fee can be paid with credit card through PayPal or by bank transfer.
Once you have made your traveling arrangements you should mail your time of arrival and the means of transportation and we will confirm pickup.
You can join our Chinese programs for any amount of time between 4 weeks and 6 months. We recommend a trip of 3-6 months since it offers the best value. Regardless of the length of your stay, you will have time to get to know a new culture, come to know its people, and form relationships that will outlast the duration of your stay.
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April: Wed 1, Mon 6, Wed 8, Mon 13, Wed 15, Mon 20, Wed 22, Mon 27, Wed 29
May: Mon 4, Wed 6, Mon 11, Wed 13, Mon 18, Wed 20, Mon 25, Wed 27
June: Mon 1, Wed 3, Mon 8, Wed 10, Mon 15, Wed 17, Mon 22, Wed 24, Mon 29
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August: Mon 3, Wed 5, Mon 10, Wed 12, Mon 17, Wed 19, Mon 24, Wed 26, Mon 31
September: Wed 2, Mon 7, Wed 9, Mon 14, Wed 16, Mon 21, Wed 23, Mon 28, Wed 30
October: Mon 5, Wed 7, Mon 12, Wed 14, Mon 19, Wed 21, Mon 26, Wed 28
November: Mon 2, Wed 4, Mon 9, Wed 11, Mon 16, Wed 18, Mon 23, Wed 25, Mon 30
December: Wed 2, Mon 7, Wed 9, Mon 14, Wed 16, Mon 21, Wed 23, Mon 28, Wed 30
Volunteers will share a flat in Su Zhou City. The flat is a 5 minute walk away from the school where volunteers will be teaching and each volunteer will have a bedroom with air conditioning. The volunteer flat also has a washing machine, hot shower and a TV.
There are historical sites all over Su Zhuo including the 2,500 year old Pan Gate, Xuanmiao, Cold Mountain and Huqiu Temples - all of which date back over 1500 years - the leaning Yunyan Pagoda and numerous other bridges, temples and pagodas dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. There are over 200 of the cities famous gardens including Lingering Garden, Humble Administrator's Garden and Lion Grove Garden which are all World Heritage Sites.
Other activities include walking the cities bustling back streets, the Tiger Hill and Panmen scenic areas and sitting in one of the cities hundreds of tea shops. Shanghai is only an hour and forty minutes away and makes an easy weekend trip.
From Monday to Friday volunteers will receive 3 meals a day at their school. On weekends the volunteers are responsible for purchasing their own food. Like most Chinese cities there is a huge variety of food available in Su Zhou, ranging from street food at around 1 to 2 dollars, through to expensive restaurants.
Situated in a Temperate Zone the Su Zhou area enjoys a favorable geographical and ecological environment. The climate in the area is generally mild and warm, marked with the distinct changes of the four seasons. It is a common phenomenon that it is raining while the sun is shining. Rains of this type are generally called "plum rains".Jiangsu Weather Chart
Su Zhou volunteers will initially arrive and receive their induction period at our programs in Shanghai before traveling North to Su Zhou. The journey takes around an hour and forty minutes.
Jessie Duanmu is the Director of Travel to Teach China. She obtained her Master's Degree in Education in the UK and has been teaching English and Mandarin in primary and secondary schools for 9 years. She has a great love for travel and has been to France, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Canada, US, South Africa, Norway, Ireland, UK, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia. In her spare time, she loves cooking, dancing, Chinese instrument, golf, table tennis and swimming.
You MUST obtain a 90 Day (3 Month) Class L Tourist Visa in order to enter the country.
If you are planning to work in Cambodia then you will need to obtain a police records background check before starting your placement. For details on the application procedure in your home country please take a look at: www.travel-to-teach.org/CRB-information.php
At all other locations you will be required to abide by the Travel to Teach Child Protection Policy.
Courses or boosters usually advised: hepatitis A and B, typhoid; tetanus-diptheria.
Vaccines sometimes advised:Japanese B encephalitis (if visiting rural farming areas), rabies, malaria.
There are no required vaccinations needed to enter the country but please consult your doctor before traveling. More information is available from the WHO's (World Health Organization) travelers health information site or CDC.gov traveler’s health information.
One of the conditions of entry onto our programs is that volunteers have travel insurance. Most importantly the insurance needs to include medical treatment and repatriation in case of unforeseen accidents or illnesses. Volunteers should purchase insurance independently and bring a copy of their insurance certificate with them for their local co-ordinator to check before starting their program. Read our terms and conditions.