Dreaming of teaching English abroad but not sure where to start? You’re in the right place!
Once you’re TEFL qualified, then comes the exciting bit of deciding where you want to teach English abroad. Depending on which corner of the globe is calling your name, you’ll get different pay opportunities, benefits and types of student – just like any other teaching job at home. So whether you’re looking to teach English abroad in popular locations like Vietnam, Thailand or China, wanting to earn big in high-salary destinations like South Korea, or searching for a tropical paradise like Taiwan, our A-Z of destinations will quickly become your teaching English abroad Bible!
Pick a country from the drop down to discover EVERYTHING you need to know about TEFLing there!
For teaching English abroad, all you need is a TEFL qualification, to be a native English speaker and a sense of adventure! For some jobs teaching English abroad, a degree is required, as well as some having age restrictions.
Theoretically you can teach English abroad anywhere, as long as you have a TEFL qualification! Obviously there are destinations where teaching English abroad is safer, easier and with more demand for English teachers. Teach English abroad in Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, or China are hugely popular for fresh TEFL graduates because there’s a big demand for English-speaking teachers, (plus the obvious world-class beaches, insanely beautiful temples and super friendly locals!). There’s also a large demand for teaching English abroad in Europe, particularly for UK graduates, where the places you can teach ranges from sunny Spain to mysterious Russia.
Money is often the biggest concern of people teaching English abroad. There’s the misconception that it costs loads to get TEFL certified and teach English abroad, but that’s not the case. The costs of living are far lower and tax, airfare and accommodation may be provided or subsidised by your employer – so take this into account when comparing jobs. Entry level jobs teaching English abroad will likely pay anywhere between £300 ($500) up to £1200 ($1600) a month (plus benefits such as flights and accommodation). Some of the highest wages for entry-level candidates are to be found in the North Asian nations such South Korea and Japan. Employee benefits offered are related to demand, and right now the demand in many countries is very high so keep this in mind.
If you rate quality of life and life-changing experiences above the money you earn, then the world is your TEFL oyster! Divers and surfers looking to teach English abroad should take a look at Indonesia and Costa Rica – anywhere on the Pacific. If it’s mountains then consider Nepal, North Asia, Chile, Peru, Bolivia or Ecuador. If you’re a spiritual type seeking a balanced way of life then consider any of North and South East Asian countries.
The key is to categorise what’s important to you and match your list to potential countries, for example:
Don’t forget – if you start teaching English abroad somewhere and find out it’s not for you – the beauty is that you can move to the next country!
How long you spend teaching English abroad for is all down to you! You’ll basically take on a contract, normally a minimum of 6 months and up to 1 year at a time. As to how many contracts you take on whilst teaching English abroad, only you will know what feels right. If you’re doing one of our TEFL Internships, you could be teaching from 2-9 months. The majority of people teaching English abroad stop after a couple of years, most likely because the original goal was to travel – so that wanderlust itch has been scratched! However long you spend teaching English abroad, you’ll bring back all your skills learn, making your CV look really appealing to future employers!
Teaching English in Thailand – A stunning country with a huge demand for learning the English language, Thailand is a hotspot for those looking to teach English abroad.
Teaching English in Vietnam – With high TEFL salaries and a low cost of living, there’s no surprise this beautiful country is high on the list for people teaching English abroad.
Teaching English in China – With an estimated 300 million people currently learning English it’s not a surprise that there are more TEFL jobs in China than any other country in the world – and so more demand for those teaching English abroad!
Teaching English in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan – These economies are growing fast with most of their wealth coming from the microchip. The demand for English has risen sharply.
Teaching English in Brazil – The are many opportunities to teach in large corporations, and thousands of language schools scattered around the country from the small villages to big cities.
Teaching English in Ecuador, Argentina, and Chile – The Spanish speaking, developing economies of South America. Language schools are very common providing many teaching opportunities.
Teaching English in Central America and the Caribbean – Costa Rica has the most opportunities with large numbers of private language schools in San Jose. There are a lot of jobs in the wider continent.
Teaching English in Mexico – There are immense numbers of jobs teaching children as well as many positions in universities and the business sector. English language tuition in Mexico is huge!
Teaching English in Ex-Soviet States – the desire to speak English and be associated with the rest of Europe demand is massive – Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and even Russia.
If you’re from Britain or Ireland, your skills will be in high demand in Europe where the local desire to learn “British English” is high. Because you have an EU passport, you’ll be able to find jobs teaching English in Europe relatively easily because you don’t need a visa. Spain, Italy and Portugal are very popular destinations – think Mediterranean scenes and winter sun! Greece, Turkey and Poland also stand out as having loads of TEFL job opportunities. Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary have now embraced the English language and so are the newest nations to be desperate for English teachers.
North American English is in higher demand in Asia and Latin America where trade links with America are stronger. However, if you’re from North America you might find it harder to find a TEFL job in Europe, this is simply due to the reluctance for schools to get involved in the visa sponsorship process. It’s not impossible though and one way to get around this is with schools requiring North Americans to teach American English.
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