Teaching ESL in Yiwu or elsewhere!?


I have quite the dilemma right now..I'm currently in America and I will be relocating to China in December. Originally, I was hoping to be in an expat city such as Nanjing or Hangzhou (a tier 2) but after applying to quite a few ESL positions, I received a few offers.

The first is in Nanjing with a company called First Leap which offers a really great, hands on 2 weeks training in Beijing where I'm able to meet fellow expats and learn about the company. They offered me 11k after tax base +3,000 housing allowance as well as some bonuses and a flight to China. I was really excited about this offer as it was the first one I received and I spoke with many teachers who raved about the company. Only downfall is I only get 3 sick days the entire year contract.

Fast forward a few weeks and I have received about 5 offers, most of which are offering more than First Leap. None of them really offered the benefits and bonuses that First Leap did so I said no to the majority except for one. I received an offer from a company called Scholastic in Yiwu offering me 21k after taxes and a free, nice apartment. They also offer a lot of paid time off during the year as well as bonuses/flight etc. The only issue is the city. This will be my first time teaching in China and it's important for me to be around fellow expats and enjoy my experience (I'm not by any means a huge partier, but i do enjoy a beer out occasionally and traveling around China on my time off). The only things I have read about Yiwu is that it's boring etc. I know that Hangzhou is 30 minutes by fast train which is great..

Does anyone have experience as a first timer in China or in Yiwu? I love the package that Yiwu is offering but I also don't want to arrive and be one of the only expats and be bored most of my time. I love nature and lakes/mountains so that's what attracts me so much to Hangzhou.

Please give me some opinions of what option I should go with!! For me, money isn't everything. Yes, salary is very important as I have student loans to pay and i do want to travel in my free time, but I also want to meet people and enjoy my time in China. Any help is much appreciated!! Thank you.

I'm considering the same offer and Am in the same dilemma. Have you gotten any feedback?


Stay in yiwu, boring is for sure, as yiwu city is small and for business mainly. but with the help of high speed train, just take 40mins to hangzhou, 90mins to shanghai.

There are not many expats from developed countries, most of expats is from developing country such as middle east, africa,south america.

Hey. Which city have you chosen.

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