Housing in China

China Travel Guide

Housing in China

Housing in China - ESL in China

As a teacher, you will most likely live in a small apartment – either on your own or with another teacher. If you need your own flat, you should negotiate this before signing your contract. Housing is sometimes provided free of charge with your salary package, but schools rarely pay for your utilities. Your apartment will be fully furnished including the necessary kitchen appliances.

Direction of the apartment

Most Westerners in China don’t care too much to which direction an apartment faces. For the Chinese, however, the direction is an important factor. For one, feng shui dictates certain blessings that are associated with directions. The second reason is that the direction of your apartment might determine the TV signals that you receive.

Utility bills

The tenant usually pays gas, water, electricity, and telephone charges. The total monthly cost of these is generally around $65 USD which is the average for one year. Expect higher electricity bills during winter and summer. Those charges can be paid to any convenient stores like Kedi, Lawson or Convenience 21; or also at the post office or the bank. Just bring your bills with you.


China uses a standard of 220 volts and 50 cycles. Plugs come in at least four designs: three pronged angled pins (as in Australia), three pronged round pins (as in Hong Kong), two flat pins (US style but without the ground wire) and two narrow round pins (European style). You will be able to buy most kind of adapters in China, but it is a good idea to bring a few with you to start.


The tap water is not drinkable or must be boiled before drinking. It is recommended that you use water dispensers with water jugs. The base unit can be purchased at any supermarket. Water containers can be delivered as needed.


Gas is billed bimonthly. Most kitchen burners use gas.

Cable or Satellite TV

Most buildings are cable ready, and give you access to Chinese channels (about 50 channels), and only one in English (CCTV 9). Some apartments have satellite TV installed but it is quite rare. However if you do want to install it, installation fees cost from $280-570 USD.

Phone & Internet

There will be a separate bill for the Internet charges. Usually you need to pay $70 USD for the installation of a broadband Internet connection and every month you pay $20 USD for the leasing.

If you liked this article, please share!

Contact Us

US & Canada: 201-467-4612
United Kingdom: 0203-286-9794
Australia: 2-8011-4516


Reach To Teach
1606 80th Avenue
Algona, Iowa, 50511

Teacher Testimonial

C. Venter - 2017 - Teaching in China

Thanks to the help and hard work of my recruiter at Reach To Teach, my journey to China was such a smooth and nearly stress free process. I have now been happily living in China for 6 months. Thanks, guys.

Read More Testimonials »

Teacher Testimonials

R. Busony - 2017 - An ESL Teacher in Taipei
Reach To Teach Recruiting LTD

Reach to Teach is absolutely the best tool to have going into the teaching industry in Asia. I worked with Carrie Kellenberger when going to Taiwan and she managed to give me more than I asked and did frequent check-ups.

Weeks before my dep...

Read More Testimonials »

Teacher Testimonials

Anabel Gabriela - 2018 Teacher Testimonial
Reach To Teach Recruiting LTD

They made what would have been a very complicated process easy. I always felt like they really cared about me and I never felt intimidated emailing or calling when I was confused. Highly recommend!

Read More Testimonials »