#Trending: The 10 most popular TEFL destinations in 2019

Teaching abroad is an amazing way to travel the world, meet loads of different people and immerse yourself in wonderful cultures. With a TEFL qualification, you’ll have the opportunity to teach and travel in so many different countries, but we understand how difficult it can be to decide where to start. We’ve done some digging to find the most popular countries to teach English in 2019 to help you with your decision!

10. Cambodia

Sculptures of demons of Asia - Cambodia

Pros:

  • No degree or teaching experience required – great for newly qualified TEFL teachers to get experience!
  • Year-round hiring – pack your bags and head to Cambodia anytime
  • There is a rich culture and history for you to explore
  • A TEFL qualification is often the only requirement for teachers
  • Visas are easy to obtain upon arrival, so no need to worry about getting them before hand
  • Low-cost living – great for those on a budget!
  • Stunning nature – you’ll have the option of exploring cities, beaches, forests, rice fields, mountains and jungles during your time here!
  • Travel – it’s so easy to travel to other countries in Southeast Asia with overnight buses and cheap flights whilst in Cambodia.

Cons:

  • Lower wages that many other TEFL destination (expect around $600-$1000 USD per month, depending on location)
  • Generally you’ll be tied into a 12-month contract (although to some, this could be a pro)
  • Accommodation and flights aren’t included in most contracts – you’ll need to arrange this yourself
  • Most schools recruit and interview locally in Cambodia, so it’s harder to get a job before you arrive.

Click here to check out our Cambodia internships!

9. Italy

Picturesque fruit store in Rome

Pros:

  • Good starting salaries (expect around $1000-$1500 USD per month)
  • Varied weather – think hot, dry summers and cool winters (sounds perfect to us!)
  • Amazing food – If you don’t end up TEFLing in Italy it’s worth heading there just for the food!
  • They have rich history, culture and traditions to immerse yourself in
  • There is a high demand for English teachers – you should have no problems finding a job here
  • Long lunches due to the laid-back nature of the Italian culture – plenty of time to enjoy all that food
  • A vibrant nightlife that goes on into the early hours
  • Travel – you’ll be able to catch trains, buses and coaches to other European cities!

Cons:

  • A degree is generally required to teach English in Italy
  • You’ll need a minimum 2 years’ full-time experience for most jobs
  • They have a very competitive teaching market, making it harder to land a good job, but with the right TEFL course you should be fine
  • Italy is more expensive to live than a lot of other popular TEFL destinations, making it harder to save if this is your goal
  • The visas here can be hard to get unless you are an EU citizen
  • Your accommodation and flights aren’t generally included
  • Much like Cambodia, most Italian schools recruit and interview in country, so you’d have to look for jobs once you arrive
  • The peak hiring months are limited to September, October and January.

8. UAE

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque at dusk in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Pros:

  • You’ll get an excellent salary (expect around $1,800 – $5,000 USD per month) – you can easily save on these wages!
  • Jobs can be secured before landing in the UAE as most schools will interview in advance
  • Your accommodation and flights are generally included in package
  • Tax-free salaries – winner!
  • There in an incredible shopping experience with some of the worlds largest shopping centres
  • The UAE is very culturally diverse and attracts so many ex-pats a year – making friends in this country should be easy!

Cons:

  • There can be a social divide between locals and ex-pats making it hard to fully immerse yourself in the rich culture on offer
  • A degree essential, not only for teaching positions, but also for your visa
  • You’ll need to have previous teaching experience to get any jobs in the UAE
  • Although most visas are included in your employment package, this is a very long process that can take months and lots of paperwork
  • Bureaucracy in the UAE is very different than most other TEFL destinations and can be hard to adjust to
  • Lack of women’s rights are very apparent in the UAE which may be something to bear in mind.

Click here to browse and apply for jobs in UAE on our sister site LoveTEFL.

7. Mexico

Colorful alleys and streets in Guanajuato city, Mexic

Pros:

  • Mexico has incredible food with lots of vegetarian options too – Yum!
  • Visas are easy to get and often processed after accepting a position, so you don’t need to worry about getting a visa before you find a job
  • You don’t need a degree, generally
  • Jobs can be secured in advance, in some cases
  • Year-round hiring – hop on that plane anytime!
  • Beautiful sunny weather – make sure you pack your swim shorts and bikinis, you’ll be in for a hot summer
  • You can expect a rich culture that’s thousands of years old – get ready to be immersed in cultural festivities and festivals all year
  • Mexico is also one of the most affordable countries to TEFL in!
  • Travel – TEFLing in Mexico means you will be able to travel around Central America with ease!

Cons:

  • You’ll probably end up on a low wage (expect $500 – $800 USD per month)
  • You’ll generally be expected to pay for your own visa and go through the process on your own, although, this is easy!
  • Your accommodation and flights aren’t often included
  • Although Mexicans are very friendly and welcoming it can be hard to fully integrate into society due to the cultural differences
  • If saving money is your goal, Mexico might not be the best place for you, but you will have enough to live comfortably.

6. Vietnam

Lantern Street, Hoi An, Vietnam

Pros:

  • You’ve heard us say this a lot already, but the FOOD! Vietnamese food is to die for – plus it’s cheap too!
  • Much like the rest of Southeast Asia, Vietnam also offers low cost living
  • There are short-term job opportunities available – we know this could seem like a con to some, but this will give you good flexibility
  • You’ll find loads of other ex-pats, so it’s really easy to make new friends
  • There is the option to secure a jobs before arrival in Vietnam – taking that stress away
  • Travel – exactly like Cambodia, Vietnam is a great base to travel the rest of Southeast Asia.

Cons:

  • Although degree is required for visa purposes
  • Lower wage (expect $1,000 – $1,500 per month)
  • A strict curriculum to follow in schools removes the flexibility to develop your own lesson plans, but you can always teach English privately
  • There can be very large class sizes
  • Early mornings – you can expect to start school at 7am, in some cases
  • Accommodation and flights aren’t generally included.

Click here to check out our Vietnam internships!

5. Thailand

Shiva statue on Koh Samui

Pros:

  • Like most of Southeast Asia, Thailand also has low cost living
  • High demand for English teachers making it easier to find a job
  • Lots of ex-pats – time to get out there and make friends!
  • No experience generally needed to secure a job
  • You’ll feel very welcomed – Thai people are generally very friendly and helpful
  • Help with your visa is provided from your school – we all know how stressful visas can be
  • Paid holidays are generally included in your contract
  • Travel – again, you’re in Southeast Asia already. Take advantage of it and travel, travel, travel!

Cons:

  • Once obtained, visas in Vietnam can be a little more difficult – you’ll have to report to immigration every 90 days
  • You can incur hidden visa extension fees
  • A degree is required
  • Lower wages (expect $950 – $1,500 USD)
  • Although some schools will offer you accommodation, flights are very rarely included.

Click here to check out our Thailand internships!

4. South Korea

Gyeongbokgung palace in spring, South Korea

Pros:

  • Good wages (expect $1,800 – $2,500 per month)
  • Jobs are generally secured beforehand through telephone calls and Skype interviews – which means less stress when you arrive!
  • Accommodation and flights are included in your work package
  • Year-round hiring
  • Paid holidays – yay!
  • Work-life balance here is amazing – expect to work-hard, but play harder!
  • An incredibly low tax-rate, as a TEFL teacher you can pay as little as 3.5% tax
  • No experience is generally needed to secure a job
  • Bonuses are often included in your contract too – winner!

Cons:

  • You’ll need a degree to secure roles and for visa purposes
  • Unpredictable scheduling at work is often the case in South Korea, with changes being made last minute
  • Pollution and traffic are very bad in the major cities – this could take some getting used to.

Click here to browse and apply for jobs in South Korea on our sister site LoveTEFL.

3. Spain

La Vila Joiosa, Villajoyosa, Costa Blanca

Pros:

  • Good pay (expect $1000 – $2,250 USD per month)
  • Lots of holidays!
  • Spain offers a good work-life balance, although you will still need to work hard, you’ll have plenty of time for fun too!
  • The FOOD, again! If you’re a tapas fan, you’re in for an absolute treat
  • Lots of ex-pats – get out there and make friends for life!
  • No degree required
  • The weather – hot, dry summers and cooler winters (we’re sold already!)
  • Travel – you’re in Europe, make the most of it!

Cons:

  • Like Italy, visas can be harder to get unless you are an EU citizen
  • Lots of roles in Spain offer an an hourly pay rather than a salary which may mean unpaid holidays
  • As you’re often on an hourly rate you may need to work in different locations each day to get your hours up
  • Accommodation and flights aren’t generally included – you’ll need to arrange this yourself.

Click here to check out our Spain internships!

2. China

Buddhist housing, China

Pros:

  • Good wages (expect $1,250 – $2,850 USD per month)
  • Low cost of living – with these wages and the low cost of living, you’ll have plenty of savings!
  • Accommodation and flights are generally included in your work package
  • Paid holidays and sick days!
  • Good transport system
  • HUGE demand for English teachers – China currently has over 400 million English language students in the country. Wow!
  • Your visa will generally paid for and processed by your school

Cons:

  • A degree is required for visa
  • No internet freedom – many sites are blocked by the Chinese government
  • Over-population, you’ll find most places you visit or teach in China are super busy
  • Pollution, this goes hand in hand with over-population and it’s hard to get away from here
  • Cultural differences here can be hard to adapt to – if you’re thinking of heading to China you’ll need to get used to spitting!

Click here to check out our China internships!

1. Japan

Daigo-ji temple in autumn

Pros:

  • Good wages (expect $1,500 – $2,500 USD per month)
  • Jobs can be secured before you arrive via Skype interviews and even face-to-face interviews held in U.S., Canada and U.K. at least 3-6 months in advance – Yay for less stress!
  • Accommodation is often included and at a high-standard
  • Year-round hiring!
  • Large, modern cities, unlike anywhere you’ll have ever been before
  • Old and new culture – although Japan is very modern, they have also kept a lot of their old culture and traditions
  • Japanese people are very welcoming and friendly, we’ve never been anywhere more friendly!
  • Cleanliness – you’ll be shocked at how clean EVERYWHERE in Japan is!
  • Japan is an absolutely stunning country, so we’re sure you’ll never want to leave but if you do, you’ll have easy access to China and Korea.

Cons:

  • Cost of living – Japan is one of the most expensive cities to live in so be prepared to start budgeting now
  • Lack of work-life balance, Japan has a culture of working extremely hard and you will be expected to work just as hard as the locals
  • Huge language barrier, but that’s what you’re there for!
  • A degree is required for visa purposes.

Click here to browse and apply for jobs in Japan on our sister site LoveTEFL.

These are only some of the options to teach English abroad, there are so many more options for you to choose from. All that’s left to do is get your TEFL qualification and hop on that plane!

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