Individual Volunteer Placements

  • Jiangsu 2016

In response to requests from our school partners and volunteers, Stepping Stones has expanded its volunteering options in 2014 to include English teaching placements at schools in Shanghai and rural China. We provide diverse location choices: Shanghai suburbs, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan, Hunan and Gansu provinces.

Volunteers will teach English, for a minimum of one week, to migrant or “left-behind” children at a Stepping Stones partner school in Shanghai or rural China. Location and costs will depend on the availability of each volunteer. Stepping Stones will provide all volunteers in this program with teacher training and information about the area and school you will be teaching at.


  • To bring outside support to neglected students;
  • To encourage English learning among students in remote rural areas.

Learn about some of our opportunities in remote areas


What do our previous volunteers think?

In terms of English education, the big challenge is pronunciation, both for the students and teachers. Teachers desperately need professional development particularly in terms of pronunciation. And the migrant schools greatly need to encourage the students to use oral language and to think outside the box and beyond the script” (Johan Vink, migrant school in Wuxi, June 2016).

It was amazing to see the students’ confidence in their language skills grow in such a short period” (Lucy Miller, migrant school in Jiashan, Zhejiang, June 2014).

"What an experience! After an excellent training session from Stepping Stones and armed with lesson plan examples and flash cards, I set off to Anhui to teach for a week. The school management and English teachers made me feel very welcome from the moment I arrived. I was nervous before my first lesson, but the smiles from all the children soon put me at ease. These children are eager to learn English and to grasp the opportunity of interacting with a foreign teacher. I know that they learnt a lot from me, but I learnt even more from them. Out of my 8 years of living in China, this adventure was one of my top highlights. Fun memories of my students and some great lifetime penpals!" (Sarah Robertson, “left-behind” children boarding school in Anhui, December 2014).

II highly encourage anyone, and especially those who only have experience in the eastern cities of China, to volunteer in rural areas. Open your eyes and mind to the depth of Chinese life and culture that can be found across the country, and contribute a gift of language and knowledge that students will carry with them for years to come” (Olivia Bergen, Gansu, August 2016).


How to get involved?

  • Potential volunteers interested in these individual placement options in Shanghai or rural China should select this option in our online volunteer registration form and indicate in the additional comments section about the length of placement sought and available dates. In general, at least one week is required, and longer periods are preferred.

  • Please note: Unfortunately we are unable to assist with visas, insurance or travel costs; volunteers need to manage those aspects themselves.

  • For more information and questions regarding this exciting program, please email our Volunteer Manager, Morgan Banaszek, at