China Tier 1 Cities

Tier 1 cities are the biggest, most populous, and most modern in China, while Tier 2 cities fall somewhere in between, and Tier 3 cities are the least developed. The primary use of this city-ranking system is in the financial industry, where it serves as a helpful resource for potential outside investors. The GDP, quality of infrastructure (Tier 1 cities have the best and biggest airports, for example), and geographic position are all taken into account when classifying cities into tiers (how convenient it is for trading and travel).

Megacities on the coast, home to major trade ports, exceptional airports and prime firms (both local and foreign) would undoubtedly score better than smaller cities that are a decent distance from an international airport or aren’t significant producers.

You can bet that a city with a population of 15 million or more has some of the greatest educational institutions and thriving expat communities in the whole nation. These centers for Chinese language instruction are home to a plethora of exciting activities, exciting people, and exciting food from all over the world.

Although the competition is fierce and the work pressure may be harsh, the salaries offered here are the highest for ESL instructors in all of China. In addition to having the greatest overall standards of life, these cities also have the highest prices of living in the nation.

China Tier 1 Cities

Beijing, China's capital, is the country's second-most populous metropolis and the undisputed political and cultural epicenter. After more than three millennia of development, this city boasts not only the most cosmopolitan and multi-cultural character in the country, but also the country's most famous and unmissable tourist attractions, such as the spellbinding Forbidden Palace. This correlates to the highest salaries at the most prestigious international institutions and colleges. A year spent teaching in Beijing is equivalent to just two months spent teaching anyplace else since the city is so massive and has so many attractions. Visit our Beijing Teaching Guide to find out more.

Shanghai, the most populous city in China, can provide you with a teaching experience that will blow your mind. This pulsating metropolis is a sensory overload, but it also has the potential to be the most thrilling and memorable classroom setting ever. This is the holy grail of teaching positions in China for some foreign educators. Shanghai is without peer, with China's biggest expat population, an abundance of world-class cultural landmarks, convenient access to the rest of Asia, and surprisingly low living costs. You may earn well as an ESL instructor in Shanghai, particularly if you've landed a position at one of the city's top schools or colleges, provided you can control your expenditures. To learn more about this fascinating city, check out our Teacher's Guide to Shanghai.

Originally a fishing community, Shenzhen is now one of China's most alluring Tier 1 choices. A large number of English language instructors choose to live and work in the city due to its proximity to the shore and low cost of living. There's no doubting that if going out, shopping, and traveling are high on your list of priorities, then Shenzhen is the best place for you to live as a teacher. Shenzhen is famous for its beautiful outdoors, since it is surrounded by spectacular wildness and has about two dozen great beaches, and the continual sea breeze keeps pollution low, which surely helps attract foreign instructors. Check out our Guide to Teaching in Shenzhen for additional information about relocating here and getting settled here.

Canton - Guangzhou is one of the most powerful cities in China since it is one of the most populous and one of the most economically successful. As the most important city in southern China, it has a prime location on the coast of the South China Sea, only a stone's throw from Hong Kong and Macau. Guangzhou, unlike its other Tier 1 members listed above, is admired for its extensive parks and laid-back atmosphere. This Tier 1 city, which is heavily affected by its international sector, has a charming European vibe, a fantastic length of shoreline, a rather perfect temperature, and amazing travel chances. If you're interested in teaching abroad and would want to learn more about Guangzhou, check out our Guangzhou Teaching Guide.

SUMMARY: Teaching in a Tier 1 city in China is not for everyone: the speed of life, daily commute and general atmosphere might be daunting to the unaccustomed ESL instructor. Yet be that as it may, China’s megacities have a way of crawling under one’s skin and becoming addictive places to live. It can be challenging to give up the fast pace and exciting noise once you've become accustomed to them. We find that foreign instructors fall into either a love or hate camp when it comes to teaching in Tier 1 cities — living in a metropolis with more than 15 million inhabitants just eradicates any type of middle-ground. This is either your lifetime teaching abroad dream OR your darkest nightmare.

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