Voluntary work in China

Information & guidance about volunteering projects in China

Voluntary work in China means getting the incredible opportunity to visit a vast country brimming with forward thinking modernity, ancient palaces from long gone dynasties and rural land that leave you questioning everything you presumed about one of the largest countries in the world. The sheer size of the country is demonstrated by its diversity to satisfy your every whim, as every kind of volunteer, whether a traveler, explorer, backpacker, museum obsessive or sophisticated foodie will find something for them as a result of China’s diversity, which is second to none.

Where to volunteer in China

Shanghai is the most populated city in the world, located in the east of China near the Yangtze River Delta, what was once a fishing village is now an incredibly popular tourist destination and global financial hub, known for its modern skyline, historical and cultural landmarks. Voluntary work in Shanghai can include placements in orphanages, teaching English or volunteering with children, and after a day on placement, volunteers can immerse themselves in the amazing Chinese culture.

Beijing is located in the north and home to the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace; voluntary work in China’s capital can learn about the extensive history of the country, and explore the city’s historical buildings and landmarks. Volunteering in Beijing offers placements similar to those in Shanghai, such as working with children with disabilities and roles in orphanages.

Xi’an is another popular location for those seeking voluntary work in China; located in the northwest, Xi’an is one of the oldest cities in the country and home to popular tourist spots including the Shaanxi Grand Opera House and Huaqing Hot Springs. Placements in Xi’an can include those centered around childcare, or teaching English.

Chengdu is another choice for volunteering in China; the city’s history dates back to at least the 4th century BC, and the history of this time is still prevalent as artifacts from that dynasty are the focus of the Jinsha Site Museum. The city is also home to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a conservation center where visitors can view endangered giant pandas in a natural habitat, making it a popular location for volunteering with pandas in China.

Volunteering projects in China

China’s one-child policy and social preference for male babies has unfortunately resulted in child abandonment becoming a major issue in the country, leading to the rise in voluntary work in China’s orphanages. Volunteers are needed to help orphanage staff with taking care of the children, playing with them and helping them with school work. This kind of voluntary work in China is available throughout the country.

English teaching volunteers are highly sought after in China, as a globally linked economic and business powerhouse, the Chinese are encouraged to learn English, resulting in teaching English becoming one of the most popular choices for voluntary work in China. As a native English speaker, volunteers work with child or adult students to practice conversational English.

For those interested in volunteering with animals, voluntary work in China can take the form of panda conservation, which is an important project as previously panda populations were dwindling. Conservation efforts work to save the endangered species, and may include volunteers preparing food, cleaning enclosures or observing the pandas for research.

Voluntary work in China can vary from a few weeks to a couple of years! The lengthier placements tend to be English teaching programs, whilst panda conservation and orphanage placements usually last no longer than a couple of months.