Teach English in Hefei: The Complete Guide

Learn about the capital city of Anhui Province and what to expect teaching here

Hefei at a Glance

Hefei (Chinese: 合肥), the capital city of Anhui province, pronounced as [hœ-fey] (IPA: /ˈhœˈfeɪ/). Hefei is also known as, Luzhou (Chinese: 庐州, pronunciation: [ly-joh] or /ˈlüˈdʒoʊ/), which is its ancient name.

Hefei is a city with over 2,000 years of history and deep cultural background. Historically speaking, Hefei used to be a key battleground in the Han Dynasty due to its strategic geographical location, and was extremely important in terms of economy and military status.

In addition to its past glory, today's Hefei is also in a period of rapid development, and is ranked as one of the China's Top 100 Cities in terms its comprehensive strength.

Where Is Hefei

As a sub-central city of the Yangtze River Delta City Group, Hefei is situated in Eastern China, between the Yangtze River and Huaihe River. Lying in the bank of Chaohu Lake, Hefei is at the center of Anhui province, at 31°49′21.30″ N and 117°13′18.25″E with an area of 11445.1 square kilometers.

Because of these factors Hefei has an obvious regional advantage of linking the east to the west, and connecting the north to the south.

See the following picture to directly get an idea of where is Hefei.

Location of Hefei, China

Population of Hefei

According to the official information, in 2019 the total permanent population  was 8.189 million. Among them, the proportion of the urban population has reached 76.33%. The population density in 2019 of Hefei was around 715.5 people per square kilometer through calculation.

Weather in Hefei

Hefei is located in medium latitudes and belongs to the subtropical humid monsoon climate, with the four distinct seasons. In general, Hefei keeps a mild climate and appropriate precipitation within every year.

The average annual temperature is 15.7℃, and the average annual precipitation of Hefei is around 1000 mm. In addition, Hefei's air quality is not bad, its number of days with good / excellent air quality of 2019 is 254, with a rate of 70.4%.

How to Get to Hefei

As discussed before, Hefei has an excellent geographical position. Now Hefei is becoming a national comprehensive transportation hub in China, and you can get to Hefei easily through different modes of transport.

In Hefei, there is one airport called Hefei Xinqiao International Airport, and seven railway stations in operation, including Hefei South Railway Station, Hefei Railway Station and so on. Shanghai is the closest tier 1 city to Hefei, and the distance between them is about 403 kilometers (250 miles).

Hefei Xinqiao International Airport
(Photo from Skytrax)

Teach English in Hefei, Anhui

With the rapid development of its science and education, Hefei is now an emerging city with ample opportunities for expats who are seeking for a teaching job.

In the past few years, there has been a significant growth in the demand for foreign teachers in international schools, kindergartens and training centers. And, such growth is probably going to continue in the future due to the internationalization of education.

International School Jobs in Hefei

There are about 13 international schools in Hefei, including Ray International Academy, Hefei World Foreign Language School, Hefei Thomas international schools and so on. Unlike normal Chinese schools, the majority of these international schools adopt international curriculums like Advanced Placement, A-Levels or IB. Some of them  also have foreign students.

Basically, foreign teachers in Hefei's international schools are asked to make plans for teaching, evaluate students, provide learning support and prepare students for international examinations.

Kindergarten Jobs in Hefei

Though international or bilingual kindergartens in Hefei are not as many as those in tier 1 cities (i.e. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen), you can still find jobs in several kindergartens. Lots of international kindergartens also  emphasize on international curriculum and programs, aiming to develop children's global vision.

To become a kindergarten teacher, it is not enough to have teaching skills. Enthusiasm for children, outgoing and a patient personality are all very important factors.

Training Center Jobs in Hefei

Apart from international schools and kindergartens, Hefei has plenty of training centers that can offer teaching jobs to expats. These training centers vary from large education chain brands such as Education First (EF) and Meten English to small 'local stars' like V-Ron International English.

Generally speaking, working time tends to be more flexible in training centers, and you may need to teach students from a wide age range sometimes, from little kids to mature adults. But the majority of the training centers in Hefei focus on teaching English for children and teenagers.

How Much Do You Get Paid to Teach in Hefei?

Normally, teaching in international schools and kindergartens you will earn more than teaching in training centers. According to TTJ's Hefei City & Salary 2020 Research Report:

Type of SchoolMonthly Basic Salary 
Training Centers¥13,375 ($1,912) - ¥18,000 ($2,573)
International Schools¥17,958 ($2,567) - ¥27,208 ($3,890)
Kindergartens¥16,906 ($2,417) - ¥22,963 ($3,283)

Besides the basic salary, most training centers, international schools and kindergartens also offer housing allowance (or a free apartment) and flight allowance as benefits.

Hefei ESL Job Requirements

From TTJ's Hefei City & Salary 2020 Research Report:

A bachelor's degree is required by all international schools, kindergartens and training centers.

75% of international schools will only consider candidates who have at least two-years of teaching experience as qualified, while 50% kindergartens and 50% training centers will consider recruiting freshmen with teaching certification such as TEFL or TESOL.

In addition, for 62.5% international schools, 100% kindergartens and 75% training centers, being an English-native speaker is a must for their teaching jobs.

Living in Hefei, China

If you are a person who wants to live in a city with a good ecological environment, then Hefei may be a suitable choice for you.

Hefei is among the first batch of cities that were evaluated as National Garden City in 1992, and was ranked as top 9 in the ranking of healthy and habitable cities in China, and therefore, top 1 among China's central cities from Green book of eco-cities: the report of the development on China's Eco-cities (2017). Good weather, convenient transportation, beautiful parks and advanced infrastructure, all make Hefei a wonderful city for people to live in.

Things to Do in Hefei

There are many attractions for you to visit and lots of interesting things to do in Hefei.


As one famous National Garden City, Hefei has more than 15 parks and the majority of them are free. For example, Shushan Mountain Forest Park is a great place for mountain climbing and visitors can appreciate Sakura, Chinese rose and bamboo, etc. while climbing. Xiaoyaojin park is another good choice for relaxation and amusement. There, people can enjoy activities such as drinking tea in the teahouse and going boating on the lake.

(Photo from 669pic)

Historical Sites

Hefei is one of the famous historical cities in China, and it is known as the old site of three kingdoms (i.e. Wu, Wei and Shu) era and the hometown of Bao Zheng, a Chinese politician of the Song Dynasty. These historical and cultural landscapes, like sites of the Battle of Fei River and the memorial hall in Lord Bao's tomb are perfect to sense the rich history of Hefei.

Living in Hefei, historical sites of three kingdoms in Hefei
(Photo from 669pic)

You can find more information on websites such as Lonely Planet, Tripadvisor and TravelChinaGuide.

Cost of Living in Hefei

Overall, you can have a good quality of life in Hefei without spending a lot. From Nomadlist and NUMBEO, we can find that the cost of living in Hefei is relatively low compared with other tier 2 cities such as Dalian and Xiamen.

For an expat, living in Hefei, expenses may come around to ¥6,345 ($906) per month on average, which is less than a quarter of the cost of living for an expat in New York City.

The list below details some basic information that you may find useful.

  • Rent for a one bedroom apartment in the center of Hefei: ¥2,100 ($300) / month
  • Having a meal in McDonald's: ¥42.5 ($6)
  • Having one bottle of Coke / 0.33L: ¥2.25 ($0.3)
  • Taking a taxi (Start): ¥8 ($1)

Where to Live in Hefei

Hefei is ranked as one of the top 3 most attractive Chinese cities for foreigners in 2018. Even though expat communities in Hefei are not as large as those in Beijing or Shanghai, it is not difficult to find and join one. Shushan District is the main gathering area for expats in Hefei, and bars such as Lento Bar and Funky Yard are popular hangouts among expats.

Hefei Subway Map

There are three operating subway lines: Line 1, Line 2 and Line 3, with a total of 80 stations. Line 4-15 are still under construction or planning.

You can find more information in the map below.

Living in Hefei, Hefei metro system
(Map from TravelChinaGuide)

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