Useful tips for ESL teachers moving in China!


Changing jobs and moving between apartments are very often for ESL teachers in China. What’s the most painful thing when an ESL teacher is moving out the apartment or relocate in China? It must be the packages. If you take the whole packages with you to take trains and planes. It must be cost of money and painful.


When an ESL teacher comes to China as a newcomer, he/she may only take one or two luggage with him/her. As I mentioned in other articles, there are almost everything that you want to get in China. Therefore, one or two luggage is a wise choice for a newcomer. However, if an ESL teacher has lived in China for a while, then the package is not only one or two luggage. Recently, one of my friends has been moving from Shenyang to Shenzhen.  She has only lived in Shenyang for five months. When she moved, she packed 20 boxes and two luggages.  It could not be possible for her to take the whole stuff with herself. She found a shipping company who can ship the boxes and luggages for her. When she arrived in Shenzhen, the boxes and luggages have waited for her. What she needed to take is only one backpack. The shipping company helped her a lot when she moved to Shenzhen.


Shipping packages with a shipping company is the best way that I can image when someone is moving. If an ESL teacher only moves from one place to another place in one city, a moving company may be the best. However, if an ESL teacher moves out of the city, shipping company is the best way no question. When you find a good shipping company or moving company, then all you need to do is to pack your packages. Sometimes you can get the pack boxes from the shipping company or moving company.


When an ESL teacher moves out from one apartment, she/he may need to withdraw the rental contract early. Then, what should ESL teachers do when they withdraw a rental contract early?


Generally, the items about withdrawing contract early should be included in the contract. However, sometimes the landlord may have different rules about it as far as I know. Many foreign friends told that the landlords haven’t return their deposits even if they followed the contracts.  Deposit is a must when you rent an apartment in China. Generally it’s one-month rental fee.  If you haven’t given three months notice before you leave, you may not be returned the deposit. Therefore, when you sign a rental contract with the landlord, please read it carefully and make sure that you can get your deposit back when you return your apartment. You’d better take your Chinese friends with you when you sign a contract with the landlord.  And let them ask the landlord what you should do when you want to withdraw early from the contract. If you have done everything right but still could not get the deposit back, then what you should do? I recommend you to ask help from the policeman.  This may cost you some time, but may protect your rights.

When you withdraw a contract, you also need to pay off the utilities such as electronic, gas, water and Internet, and clean up the apartment before you move out.

Sometimes, the school may arrange apartments for ESL teachers. Some may provide co-accommodation; some may provide a private apartment.  If the school arranges apartment for you, then things are getting easier. The school can help you solve the issues about the apartment when you’re moving.


There is another scenic that you share an apartment with other friends. When you want to move out, you may break out the contract with them. This may get complicated, since it depends on your roommates. If you can find another one to take your rental contract and your roommates also agree with that, then it’s easy to solve the problem. However, if your roommates have problems with that, you may need to pay extra rental fees or find out other ways with your roommates. No matter which situations you are in, jumping out of a contract is always making more work to do.


Free accommodations or accommodation allowance is always included in the package of benefits when you sign a contract with the schools. If the schools provide seven-day hotel for you, you may find an apartment after you land in China. Otherwise, you may don’t like the apartment that the school arranges for you. Some schools may provide co-accommodation for you, which is very close to your teaching place. If you do not like, you can negotiate with the school and change it to accommodation allowance. Therefore, I recommend that you should find an apartment after you arrive in China. I have mentioned that how to find a right apartment in China in other article, if you want to know more, you can do a search at .


Sometimes, you may don’t want to take all your stuff with you when you’re moving. Then you can post your stuff at some Chinese websites or Wechat groups to sell. There are also some Apps that you can use to sell or change used stuff.  If you want to buy some used stuff, you can also use the websites, local wechat groups and Apps. There are other useful services that you may use, such as storage service when you’re leaving, or packing service.