How does the application process work?To apply just click here, you will need to provide
• your CV/resume
• a photo you are happy for our partners to see, preferably you doing an activity (e.g. sport, music) with your face visible
• a 200 word personal statement; let us know why you want to go to China, why you want to volunteer at the summer programmes and what makes you the right fit for our programmes
On your application, indicate any preferences you have for your location, e.g. urban or rural, and we will do our best to match you to your ideal programme, although we cannot guarantee to meet all preferences.
We will review your application and get back to you within two weeks. If you do not hear from us within this time, do not hesitate to email us–recruitment[at]go-to.co
Successful candidates will have a consultative Skype interview with prospective programmes before we let you know where you will be heading next summer. We will confirm your place on our programmes as quickly as possible, with final offers usually made from March-June as this is when the summer camps confirm their teams.
We judge all applicants on their merits and do not discriminate against candidates in any way. Please click here to apply now
How much choice do I have over location?We welcome you to tell us your preferred locations and we will work with you and the partner schools to find the best match for you. However, we cannot guarantee your preferences for your specific availability will be met as we run a competitive selection process.
We have projects available on over 70 projects across China. These include programmes in cities such as Qingdao, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Lanzhou and Beijing, as well as more rural programmes in Yangshuo (Guangxi province), across Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces. Your exact location will be confirmed once we determine the best project for you, based on your availability, out of the many programmes we work with all over China, and you have interviewed with them. Once we have selected a programme for you, we will send you full details online and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you have.
I am not currently at university, may I still apply?We are passionate about making these opportunities available to whomsoever is interested in coming. We focus on recruitment efforts at universities because students are always excited about joining our programmes and usually have the time available in the summer, not because we only accept university students.
We are very happy to consider applications from those without a university background or those that have graduated already. Besides students, we particularly welcome applications from those on gap-years and pre-university students. However, if you are under 18, then we will need express guardian permission before you come to China. We always make sure you join a likeminded team with shared interests and similar stages in life.
We have no particular requirements other than that you be open to an adventure and excited about teaching. We do our best to set up placements for people from all sorts of backgrounds. We are also very happy to arrange customised programmes for those that are in groups or in non-typical age groups.
I’m a Chinese national, should I apply?While our programmes are primarily designed for those that know little about China to learn about China, we are always grateful for any assistance that Chinese nationals wish to offer us. We can recruit in a number of roles—predominantly in our office co-ordinating our projects during the summer and developing our programmes in China. There are also roles available as English teachers for Chinese nationals, but please email us before applying for more information.
If I was granted a conditional provisional offer, instead of a full offer, what does this mean?What are the conditional provisional (CP) offers?
If we think you are a great candidate for our programmes, but we aren't able to offer you one of our few guaranteed roles, we will make you a CP offer instead. These offers are only made to those select people that we would really like to invite to join us in China but cannot make a guaranteed 'full' offer to. A shortage of placements on our side or a factor in your application can mean you are given a CP and not a full offer.
If you choose to accept the CP offer, you will eventually need to make a commitment deposit of £100/$150USD, this deposit means you are committing to join us for your stated dates if we make you a placement offer. Your deposit will be returned to you after you complete a programme, or in case we haven't been able to place you then you may request a refund after 15th June. We will do our best to place you if you accept this offer so you will need to keep a period of 4-5 weeks in July available for that, if we make you an offer before 15th June and you decide to not come on our programme then the deposit cannot be returned.
We usually make these CP offers because we are running low on places or because of a factor to do with your application, such as those listed below. We are committed to make sure every great candidate has the chance to undertake our placements which is why we make these offers. If you wish to take part in our programmes, then please accept the offer. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Application factors that could lead to a CP offer:
We are running low on suitable places
If we don't have sufficient places at present for your profile, then we will make you a CP offer.
Dates and application preferences:
It may be that your stated preferences on the application form, or your available dates aren't compatible with our programmes (most of which run throughout July)
Most of our programmes are entry level roles, but it may be that you didn't demonstrate sufficient evidence of relevant transferable skills and experiences in your application
Local visa and legal compliance rules:
As with the J1 Visa scheme in the USA and other similar cultural exchange visa programmes worldwide, international diplomacy and local laws complicate the process of making placements in China. This means that many of our schools are obliged to only offer places to candidates that meet certain age, nationality (e.g English speaking countries), work experience requirements and current work status requirements. International diplomacy and bilateral agreements mean that we generally aren't able to seek visas (except in exceptional circumstances) for applicants outside of our UK, North America and Europe base.
Question about requirements for Nationality, Country and Language LevelQuestion:
I am not British, Canadian or American, can I apply? Do you have native English level requirements? Is this open to people from all countries and nationalities?
Yes, of course. We want to give everyone an incredible summer opportunity. The only requirement for all programmes is that you speak advanced-level English. If you're studying at a UK, US or Canadian university, then your English will definitely be good enough for our programmes in China. If not, that is also fine - we will just check your level based on how well the application form and CV/resume is written. We have around 100 programmes, all with different requirements - some of them require a very high level of academic English (higher than that of many native English speakers), others require only a conversational level. Many of our schools recognise that sometimes the best teachers of English are those that already learned it as a second language to an advanced level! If your level of English is not high that is fine, we will still have a programme for you.
So far, we have had brilliant participants from 40+ countries around the world. They have contributed greatly to our programmes and had brilliant summers. So, please apply!
What happens if my availability changes?If your availability changes at any point, please update your dates of availability on the application form—when you submit an application, you are then informed how to update these details in the first email we send to you.
Once you are given an offer to join us in China, please do keep the dates you put on your application form free as we will be looking for a fun, engaging programme for you between these dates. Any changes of availability after that point will have to be approved by us.
When do the programmes run?Our programmes run in the Chinese summer holidays between late June and September, ranging from two weeks to three months, with a few programmes starting earlier in May and June. There are various start dates, though generally we take volunteers on at the end of June, in the middle of July or at the beginning of August. The vast majority of programmes run from the end of June to early August, so keeping this period available will give you the best chance of joining the right programme for you.
When is the deadline for applications?You can apply anytime, but the sooner you apply the better because we make offers on a rolling basis throughout the year from September onwards.
There is no cut-off point for applications, in special cases we can even place people on programmes as late as July (for a July start). However, if you want to be sure of a place, it is best to apply right now—please click here to do so
When will I find out where I will spend my summer?We will get back to you on your initial application within two weeks, before setting up an interview with the school as quickly as possible.
However, your final destination within China will normally be confirmed from March-June, as this is when the programmes confirm their summer plans and let you know that they'd like you to be a part of their team.
If you have any concerns about these timings, then please don't hesitate to contact us. We'll also be in touch with you throughout the year to make sure you're prepared for your trip to China!
Everyone here at Gotoco hopes that you are keeping safe and well, wherever you are during this global struggle. Rays of hope come from China, where it appears the virus has been more-or-less contained for now, while countries that were perhaps slightly slow to respond (including in Europe and the US) are responding strongly now and beginning the mass mobilisations they need to swiftly peak their outbreaks.
2020 isn’t all bad news, major global traumas like this force massive shifts in how we live. The wake of World War II brought global and drastic social progress including moves towards:
- Women's empowerment and liberation
- And wonderful initiatives like the NHS in the UK.
So too will COVID reshape our societies. Concepts that were ideals last year are now credible and being shaped into policy around the world:
- Exciting experiments have begun with the universal basic wage, such as this one in Spain.
- Remote working is now widespread—how much better could our lives be if we can reduce commutes and unnecessary office hours through this to allow more time to cherish our families, friends, and hobbies?
- The environment has been given breathing space, dolphins have been spotted in parts of Southern Italy in clearer seas, skies above polluted cities are clearer, some consumerism has been reduced and eating habits changed. We hope that consumer preferences may be radically altered once normality returns.
- Forays into provision of free basic healthcare may change certain countries forever, and some people are now taking the health effects of smoking more seriously.
- Education is moving online too; a milestone this week came when Eton, one of the UK’s oldest and most successful schools opted to offer free public access to their online learning:
- There are fantastic developments in industry too, including Gotoco co-founder Danny Parrott’s own brother who is leading a revolution to make incredibly expensive intensive care equipment available to all (http://globalvent.org/). They have already begun to release free, open-source designs and to produce ventilators that can be made out of simple, locally available components by small factories all over the world. Once this pandemic ends, they will turn their attention to dialysis and other expensive ICU kit to make quality healthcare more accessible around the globe.
Though 2020 blind-sided the world with catastrophe, we are beginning to look beyond it. We hope that the light at the end of this tunnel may be that of a more equitable, co-operative, genuinely 21st century, modernised world.
So, what's happening at Gotoco?
Like all of you, we are taking each day as it comes and staying abreast of updates as they come in. We were made aware of the gravity of this situation very early, back in January, when we had to turn our Beijing office into a remote team and evacuate winter camps teams! We have done our best to be very sensitive to the effects of the current pandemic and want to do everything we can to support our community.
As I'm sure you're aware, the pandemic is having a limiting effect on global travel, and we want to make sure you're up-to-date on how this affects your planned summer in China. Now is the beginning of April, there is still plenty of time left before summer, and we still aim to run as planned in summer 2020. Developments are coming so fast now that each day feels like a week; it took China 2 months to get through and re-open and we hope that the rest of the world can have a similar or even better trajectory. We hope the peak will soon pass in your countries so together we can plan for a summer of fun.
Coronavirus and your Summer in China
We currently still aim for our summer programmes to go ahead, especially given the effectiveness of containment of the virus in China. There are various restrictions in place limiting global travel at present, but we expect these to be resolved in time for the summer. On current projections, China looks like it will be the first country to completely contain COVID, so for anyone hoping to leave home this summer we think China is still a great plan!
The safety, health and enjoyment of all Gotoco'ers is of the utmost importance to us so we'll keep monitoring the situation and will provide an update on if programmes can go ahead in May 2020 (or earlier if the situation allows). If there is a risk to health, then we won't go ahead with summer programmes as we put our participants' health and wellbeing first, and in that instance we would offer:
- an option to defer your place to another year with TEFL certification this year;
- alternative placements in other countries;
- the option to withdraw fully. However, we do not expect it to come to this and I encourage you to continue with the application as normal.
Your deposit is held with consumer protections in a secure system, it will be returned if the virus is still a problem in May 2020, please check this link for more info
Support your Community
Wherever you are in the world, we urge you to follow local government and health advice, including washing your hands regularly and practising social distancing, to slow the spread of the virus and reduce the pressure on healthcare providers.
If you are able to, we also encourage you to volunteer to help those in need. If you're in the UK, you can sign up to volunteer to help the NHS on this link: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS