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Volunteer Shanghai Islands

Travel to Teach volunteers work in schools located on Chong Ming Island, Chang Xing Island and Heng Sha Island close to Shanghai. The islands are rural, with the population mostly being made up of farming and residential communities set among lush green fields.

Chong Ming Island is third largest in China after Tai Wan and Hainan, with an area of 1041 square kilometres. The island first emerged in 618 due to a change in the water level of the river. Once the most rural area of Shanghai, it is now the subject of a major urban and agricultural master-plan. With the construction of a trans-Yangtze tunnel, the island is expected to increase in population while incorporating specialized agriculture in a sustainable design. It is also a major relocation centre for migrants from Three Gorges Dam area.

Heng Sha Island, or "clean island" lies to the east of the Changxing Island at the outlet of the Yangtze River into the sea. The island covers an area of 43 square kilometres and is the nearest to the East China Sea with a water stretch of only 1.7 kilometres in between.

Changxing Island covers an area of 76.32 square kilometres. It is the closest island to the centre of Shanghai City and enjoys has many names, such as "Longevity Island", and "the Hometown of Oranges". It is reputed as a green jadeite for its pure soil, pure air and pure water. It is the largest production site of green food.

Shanghai Islands
Chong Ming Xi Men Primary School (English Teaching and football coaching)

Chong Ming Xi Men Primary School is located on Chong Ming Island, which is about 40 minutes by ferry from Shanghai. Chong Ming Island is third largest in China after Tai Wan and Hainan, broached the surface of Yangtze River sometime during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 – 907). The school has about 960 pupils, who are from 7 to 11 years old. School hours are from 8.00am to 4.30pm. If you are only interested in being a football coach, you can help students practice football skills in their PE class and build up the school’s football team during after class activity time.

Chong Ming Yang Zi High School (English Teaching)

Chong Ming Yang Zi High School is located on Chong Ming island, which is about 40 minutes by ferry away from Shanghai. There are about 1700 students in the school. The students are from 16 to 18 years old. School hours are from 7.15am to 3pm. The school prefers to have female volunteers.

Heng Sha Secondary School (English Teaching)

Heng Sha Secondary School is located in Heng Sha Island, which is about 1 hour by ferry away from Shanghai. Heng Sha Island lies to the east of Changxing Island at the outlet of the Yangtze River into the sea. The island covers an area of 43 square kilometres and is the nearest to the East China Sea with a stretch of water only 1.7 kilometres in between. Students are aged 12-19 years old. There are 1400 students in the school and about 45 to 50 students in each class. School hours are from 7.00am to 3.40pm. Each lesson lasts 40 minutes.

Chang Xin Primary School (English Teaching)

The school has 685 students, aged from 7 to 12 years old. There are 17 classrooms in total. School hours are from 8.20am to 4.00pm. There are 68 teachers in the school.

Prices are available for any period between 2 weeks and 6 months.

Show prices in:
2 Weeks 4 Weeks 8 Weeks 12 Weeks 24 Weeks Extra Weeks
$795 $921 $1388 $1767 $2903 $95

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.

What you receive
  • 24 hour support
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Pickup
  • Regular follow-up meetings
  • Chinese cultural introduction
  • Transportation between projects
  • Food (Monday to Friday)
  • Teaching introduction
  • Chinese cultural course (Shanghai) or Chinese farm painting course (Feng Jing)
Apart from our fees, you must pay for:
  • Vaccinations and Visas
  • Airfares and all transportation to your project location
  • Health insurance
  • Food at weekends and other personal expenses

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.

(4) Communication:
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.

Dates for the Year 2016:
December: Mon 12, Wed 14, Mon 19, Wed 21, Mon 26, Wed 28
Dates for the Year 2017:
January: Mon 2, Wed 4, Mon 9, Wed 11, Mon 16, Wed 18, Mon 23, Wed 25, Mon 30
February: Wed 1, Mon 6, Wed 8, Mon 13, Wed 15, Mon 20, Wed 22, Mon 27
March: Wed 1, Mon 6, Wed 8, Mon 13, Wed 15, Mon 20, Wed 22, Mon 27, Wed 29
April: Mon 3, Wed 5, Mon 10, Wed 12, Mon 17, Wed 19, Mon 24, Wed 26
May: Mon 1, Wed 3, Mon 8, Wed 10, Mon 15, Wed 17, Mon 22, Wed 24, Mon 29, Wed 31
June: Mon 5, Wed 7, Mon 12, Wed 14, Mon 19, Wed 21, Mon 26, Wed 28
July: Mon 3, Wed 5, Mon 10, Wed 12, Mon 17, Wed 19, Mon 24, Wed 26, Mon 31
August: Wed 2, Mon 7, Wed 9, Mon 14, Wed 16, Mon 21, Wed 23, Mon 28, Wed 30
September: Mon 4, Wed 6, Mon 11, Wed 13, Mon 18, Wed 20, Mon 25, Wed 27
October: Mon 2, Wed 4, Mon 9, Wed 11, Mon 16, Wed 18, Mon 23, Wed 25, Mon 30
November: Wed 1, Mon 6, Wed 8, Mon 13, Wed 15, Mon 20, Wed 22, Mon 27, Wed 29
December: Mon 4, Wed 6, Mon 11, Wed 13, Mon 18, Wed 20, Mon 25, Wed 27
Shanghai Islands

You will live in a shared room at the school. The flat has air conditioning, washing machine, shower, TV, computer with internet, and water dispenser. The schools usually have curfew which they expect you to respect. At weekends you are welcome to come and stay at the Shanghai Travel to Teach flat.

Shanghai Islands
Chong Ming Island

As the largest and most popular of the Shanghai Islands Chong Ming has a lot of attractions. Spend a day at the national forest park, Qian Wei eco-village, Dong Tan wetland, hike past a Confucious Temple or enjoy a picnic by the lake.

Hengsha Island

Hengsha Island (Clean Island) boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in Shanghai. Popular activities include cycling and horseback-riding however it is hare to beat watching the sunset from the best vantage point in the city and enjoying a barbecue.

Shanghai City

A complete contrast to the islands is only a short ferry ride away. Spend your weekends in the international metropolis of Shanghai, with it's unique blend of modern and traditional. Take in the breathtaking view of Pudong, stroll down the Bund, shop at Nanjing Road or explore the old Shanghai, where temples nestle down alleys, along with street markets and classical Chinese gardens.

During the week volunteers will eat in the School cafeteria. Volunteers will receive 3 meals per day in the schools from Monday to Friday. Over the weekend volunteers must purchase their own food. Shanghai city being only a short two hour bus commute or a boat commute away, an an international city there is every type of food and restaurant available from all types of Chinese food to all types of Western food ranging from the inexpensive (but delicious!) street stalls to fine dining restaurants.

On Shanghais Islands there is a humid subtropical climate with four seasons, with highs of 40C in summer and lows of -12C in winter. There are 112 days of rain a year with the wettest month being June.

Shanghai Islands Weather Chart
Volunteer Shanghai Islands Weather Image

There are many airlines which fly direct or with connections to Shanghai. We can pick you up if you arrive on Monday or the Wednesday preceding your start date.

Volunteers will be met in the Arrivals area of Pu Dong International Airport, Shanghai.

You will travel by ferry to the Island you will be working on after your induction. Volunteers are expected to cover the cost of the ticket (18 RMB).



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.

You will get a Travel to Teach certificate stating the time and place you have been teaching.

All volunteers are required to read and agree to our terms and conditions before being accepted onto one our programs.
Read our Terms & Conditions
Download our Teach Terms and Conditions as a PDF File

China Photo Kelsey's Shanghai Volunteer Blog
"Landing in Shanghai seemed like a dream after the approximately thirteen hour flight. As I walked into the arrivals area I got my first taste of how crowded China is – searching through the sea of faces holding signs, I wasn't sure who I should be looking for."
Read Kelsey's blog post from China here!
China Photo Katie, UK
"I was not sure what to expect from the University camp, so I was a bit nervous but still excited on my first day..."
Read Katie's Volunteer Story
Asian Combination Stays
Combine volunteering in China with stays in Nepal, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia or Thailand