There is often a misconception that moving abroad to teach English as a foreign language is quite expensive, but this simply isn’t true! You may need to dip into your savings for your flights, but you’ll soon earn the money back and there are plenty of countries where you can easily live off less $30 a day and still have the time of your life. Let’s take a look at the 7 cheapest TEFL destinations for 2015!
It’s no secret that Thailand is one of the most popular TEFL destinations in the world, and despite becoming more and more touristy, the country has remained relatively cheap. If you’re looking for a room to stay when you first move over, it’ll cost you about £3-£6/$6-10 a night; and if you eat like a local and stick to street vendors for daily meals, you can fill up for less than £3/$5 a day. One thing to remember is that in Thailand, alcohol actually costs more than food, so avoid going for a beer every night if you’re trying to keep your costs down.
One of the most beautiful countries in Central America, its dangerous reputation means that it’s relatively tourist-free, and so is a great, cheap destination to TEFL in. Accommodation is cheap: a one bed city centre flat will set you back by about £200/$322 a month (including bills), or you can make like most other English teachers and share housing together, cutting costs even further. Pick up a kilogram of rice at a food street market for £1/$1.80 and you can make yourself some filling traditional Honduran food – or if you’re feeling rich, go out for a nice meal in a restaurant for just £3/$5! Top tip: if you find yourself with some spare cash and free time, entrance to the national parks are low at £1.85/$3; or go diving in either the (equally) beautiful Caribbean Sea or Pacific Ocean for just £18/$30!
Europe is extremely popular for TEFLers, so it may be surprising to find that Hungary is one of the cheapest places to teach English in the world, and with a rich history, unique culture and beautiful cities, you’re sure to have an amazing time.
Whilst the capital of Budapest is slightly more expensive, it’s still extremely reasonable: a city centre apartment will cost around £250/$400 – around 50% of the average teaching salary in Hungary – so you’ll have lots of money left over to enjoy yourself in the evenings, and at prices like these (a beer in a nice bar is only £1/$1.60) why wouldn’t you?! Even the public transport is cheap: for just 80p/$1.40, you can get a one-way ticket on the buses, and it doesn’t matter how far you travel as long as you use it one go, so make use of it!
Venturing into South America, here we are at the home of Incas, Peru! With incredible scenery, culture and alpacas aplenty, Peru’s low-cost standard of living is just an added bonus. Setting yourself up with a small apartment of your own will cost around £120 a month, and that’s in the larger cities like Lima and Cusco. When it comes to food and drink, a set lunch (almuerzo) will set you back around £1.70/$2.75, washed down with a large bottle of Cusqueña beer for £1/$1.60 – extremely reasonable. Buses, whilst being the most common form of transport amongst locals, are also the most uncomfortable – don’t be surprised if you’re sitting next to a chicken or an alpaca (did we mention Peru has alpacas?!) Whilst incredibly cheap at around 40p/$0.65p one way, you’re probably better off living within walking distance to work – and you can’t get cheaper than free.
Heading out to TEFL in Poland? Wise move; and if you’re a European resident you’ll be able to even further benefit from the cheap flights with low-cost carriers – yay!
The price of a pint is an excellent way of determining whether you’re getting a good deal for your money. In Poland, an average bottle of Tyskie beer will cost you around £1.20/$1.94, and you can expect to pay as little as £4/$6.45 for a two-course meal in a restaurant. During your time off, no doubt you’ll want to explore the rest of Europe, and the good news is you can do these extremely cheaply and easily from Poland: an overnight train from Krakow to Bratislava, Slovakia is just £48.50/$80 with a sleeper; or you can travel between Warsaw and Krakow for £18.85/$13.70 one way, which takes 3 hours.
In recent years, the tourist industry in South East Asia has been booming. I’m sure your Facebook thread features at least 4 people with photos of them tubing in Laos, partying on Khao San Road or sitting on the most idyllic beach you’ve ever seen. Plus, if you are planning to teach in South East Asia, then you could choose the cheapest TEFL destination of Vietnam!
To give you an idea of what to expect cost wise:
Delicious street vendor Pho Bo Noodles: 40p (14,000VND)
The cheapest beer in South-East Asia, Bia Hoi: 20p (7,000VND)
In Ho Chi Minh expect to pay less than £120 per month for accommodation including bills.
You should at least be on an airline website by now…
Relatively new to the TEFL world is beautiful Indonesia. Street-food meals will set you back a whopping 60p (10,000 Rp) or if you fancy pushing the boat out and dining in a restaurant, expect to pay around £2 (30,000Rp). Better start saving now! if you need to get around to your school or the other islands in Indonesia, the bus is the cheapest form of transport in Indonesia with an 8 hour journey costing only £4.50 (70,000Rp).
Find out more about the cheapest TEFL destinations (and how much you can expect to earn in country by downloading our FREE Guide to the world’s best TEFL destinations)