homestay in China with the

Homestay Tutor Program

Homestay in China

As the official Lopair representative for UK and Western Europe, we offer short and long term homestay placements in China in partnership with China’s leading au pair agency. Live with a Chinese host family, experiencing local life while studying Chinese and participating in cultural activities. 

As an extra bonus, all participants who apply via Abridge Academy will receive a free, accredited TEFL course, China travel guide and three nights of free accommodation for your post-program travels, as well as the opportunity to join our facebook groups, where you can get to know participants from all our programs and discuss travel plans!

Short Term Program

Ideal for your university holidays (but available all year round), the short-term homestay tutor program lasts 6-8 weeks and is the perfect opportunity to experience Chinese culture first-hand.

Short-term participants volunteer as tutors for their host family, teaching English and helping with light housework up to 35 hours per week. In return, you’ll receive free return flights to China, homestay accommodation, Chinese language lessons and fun cultural activities!

Long Term Program

Perfect for gap year students, or for those hoping to spend longer over their summer holiday in China, this program lasts 2-12 months and is offered in various cities across China.

Long-term participants volunteer as tutors for their host family, teaching English and helping with light housework up to 30 hours per week. In return, you’ll get a monthly allowance, accommodation, Chinese language classes and fun cultural activities!

Application process

Application
form

Start by completing our simple application form

This enables us to check that you meet the essential eligibility requirements as well as find out about your interest in the program and any relevant experience.

Initial
interview

If you pass the initial screening process, we’ll invite you to an informal Zoom interview to discuss your interest in the program and confirm eligibility.

This is also an opportunity for you to ask us any questions you have about the program.

    Onboarding
    £40 deposit

    Once you have been provisionally accepted onto the program, you can begin your preparations! This includes:
    • Preparing documents such as a “dear family letter” and police record check
    • Starting your online TEFL training course
    • Joining our free online Chinese classes and activities *COVID exclusive*

    Family Matching

    The next step is to discuss with the Chinese team about your experiences and interests. They will then contact suitable host families, with whom you will have informal interviews. 

    This is both an opportunity for the potential host families to assess you, and for you to get to know them.

    Placement
    $150 deposit or flight contribution

    Once you have been successfully placed with a host family, the placement process in completed through signing an agreement, completing the medical check, applying for a Chinese visa and paying the 150 USD deposit (short term program) or $400-600 flight contribution fee (long term program).

    Pre-departure

    Once your place has been confirmed on the program, you will be sent an email with all the details of the next steps, including flight booking and visa application information.

    locations

    Beijing

    The capital and cultural hub of China, Beijing is home to all its must-see sights. Spend your spare time hiking the Great Wall, exploring the Forbidden City, or cycling through ancient alleyways. There's plenty to see off the main tourist trail as well, and your host family will be more than happy to show you around while introducing local customs and cuisine.

    Shanghai

    The financial heart of China, Shanghai stuns foreign visitors with it's impressive skyline and fantastic shopping opportunities. But explore beyond the westernised centre to discover ancient temples and local restaurants, sampling traditional Chinese culture hidden within this modern metropolis.

    Hangzhou

    Just a short train ride from Shanghai, Hangzhou offers a more relaxed way of life in a comfortable, well-developed city. Centred around the beautiful West Lake, Hangzhou is famous for its greenery and parks. Participants can stroll along the waterfront, explore ancient temples, and hike among traditional tea plantations.

    Shenzhen

    A modern, financial city, Shenzhen offers all the western comforts in a less touristy city than Shanghai. Located on the border with Hong Kong, Shenzhen was once a large manufacturing centre. Now it is home to some of China's biggest technology companies and is a major innovation hub, providing participants with unparalleled insights into the Chinese business culture.

    Common F.a.q

    Short and long term participants will be expected to tutor their new brothers and sisters English as well as help with light household chores. You will agree a timetable and responsibilities with your host family before or shortly after your arrival, thus ensuring both parties are in agreement with the expectations of the program. 

    You will get some time off to explore each week, and many host families have been known to take their au pairs/ tutors on trips to nearby cities.

    Due to generous funding provided by host families, the program responsibilities and visa requirements, all applicants are required to meet the following eligibility criteria:

    • Fluent English speaker
    • Aged 18-29 on your intended start date
    • Open to the Chinese culture and lifestyle
    • Enjoy working with children
    • Clean criminal record

    Additionally, the short term program requires that you are a university student or recent graduate with a passport from the UK/ USA/ Ireland/ Canada/ Australia/ New Zealand. 

    It is important to check that you are eligible for the program before applying, as those who do not meet the essential eligibility criteria will not be considered.

    Absolutely not, don’t worry! You will be provided with full in-country support as well as 5+ hours per week of Mandarin lessons. If you don’t speak Chinese, you will be placed with a host family with a sufficient level of English for basic communication.

    If you are interested in being placed in the same city as your friend, please mention their name on your initial application form. Although every effort is made to accommodate your request, it cannot be guaranteed. Please note that we can only accommodation one participant per host family.

    The majority of participants do not know anyone before they come, don’t worry! We put you in touch with other participants (from all locations) before departure via a dedicated facebook group, enabling you to get to know each other and plan post-camp travels if you wish.

    During the program, you will also have the opportunity to meet new friends through language classes, cultural workshops or meet-ups.

    The vast majority of participants have never visited China before, including many gap-year students. Therefore, it is totally understandable to be nervous about going to a country so far and so different from home!

    However, China is a very safe country to visit. Laws in China are very strict, so there are very few issues with violence or drugs. Hospital facilities are of an international standard, and you are provided with comprehensive insurance covering private medical care. 

    Our partners in China are also committed to ensuring participants’ safety in-country and are members of both the China Au Pair Association and International Au Pair Association, following international guidelines for au pair programs. By living with a local family, you are already in a more supportive environment, thus making the program ideal for those with less experience travelling abroad. All families are thoroughly screened and interviewed before being accepted onto the program. We also have local coordinators in every city, who organise regular meet-ups as well as visiting you in your family to ensure you are settled. They are also your first point of contact if there are any issues. 

    We aim to make the application process as smooth as possible. However, matching you with a suitable host family is our number one priority. Since this can take a while, please apply at least 2 months prior to your desired start date.

    The program includes flights or a monthly allowance, accommodation, 5+ hours of Chinese language classes per week, 1+ cultural class per month, family activities/ trips, comprehensive insurance, pre-departure and in-country support. Additionally, Abridge Academy provides you with a free 70 hour, internationally accredited online TEFL course, China travel guide and three nights of hostel accommodation to use as you wish during the program or your post-program travels.

    All flights are booked on your behalf through our partner travel agency, which significantly reduces your upfront costs. 

    Short term participants are required to pay a $150 deposit prior to flight booking, which is returned upon successful completion of your program. 

    Long term participants are required to pay a flight contribution fee of $400-600 depending on your country of origin. Scholarships are available for outstanding long term participants, you will automatically be considered for this as part of the application process.

    Our programs are already well-funded, covering your in-country costs as well as either return flights or a monthly allowance. However, you will also need to budget for your own travel/ spending, visa fee, vaccinations, etc. We therefore encourage participants to apply for additional funding which may be available through their university or college. We also offer competitive scholarships covering the flight contribution fee for outstanding applicants for the long-term program, you will automatically be considered for this if eligible. 

    If we are unsuccessful in matching you with a host family, you will receive a full refund of your £40 deposit. 

    Please note: if we are unable to match you due to factors such as you changing your availability, failing to turn up to a family video call or turning down a family placement, unfortunately this deposit is not refundable. However, we can defer your place instead to a time in the future which better suits you.

    At the initial application form stage, applicants can express a preference for particular locations. As far as possible, we try to accommodate this. However, we cannot guarantee this as our number one priority must be to place you with the best host family.

    Host families are typically relatively well-off, and so live in comfortable apartments in well-developed cities. Participants will be provided with their own room, often ensuite.

    Successful applicants will be issued with visa invite letters, which you can use to apply for a student (X) or cultural exchange (F) visa at your local Chinese visa application centre. Further details and support will be provided to successful applicants.

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