POPULAR TEACHING DESTINATIONS

Every year, thousands of people move away from their home countries to teach abroad. They move away for many reasons. Teaching abroad offers decent work experience and good pay and it also allows individuals a chance to travel to exotic countries. Moreover, you don’t need a lot of skills to teach abroad. Every country has its own rules and guidelines for international English teachers, but there are also several common denominators that can be assumed for each country.

    • You must be a native English speaker.
    • Most teaching destinations these days require a university degree.
    • Previous teaching experience is not necessary, but it does help your chances of getting a job.
    • TEFL and TESOL certification aren’t required everywhere yet, but more and more schools are requiring them.
    • If you are looking for work in public school systems, you will likely need to take a TEFL course or be a certified teacher with teaching experience .

How To Write An ESL Resume That Will Get Noticed

TEACHING ABROAD IN ASIA

Owing to a high demand for teachers, the best countries for teaching abroad are in Asia. Finding a job in Asia is easy, especially if you are from North America. There are a number of websites, job placement agencies, and recruiting companies that can help you with your search.

TEACHING ABROAD IN EUROPE

If you’re looking for work in Europe, keep in mind that it is very difficult to get a work permit if you are not a citizen of the European Union. If you are from the UK, however, finding a job shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Two major tips to keep in mind when you are job hunting:

1. Do your homework on any company or school you are interested in working for.

2. Remember that the interview process works both ways. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask for references, and don’t pay anyone to secure a job for yourself.

With these details in mind, please read on to learn about some of the most popular TEFL destinations in the world.

Useful Articles about Teaching Abroad

Five of the Most Popular Teaching Destinations in the World

TEACHING IN SOUTH KOREA 

South Korea schools are well known for offering teaching positions that come with amazing benefits, making it a popular destination for many teachers heading to Asia. Public and private school options are widely available in South Korea. It has reined as the most popular teaching destination for many years because the salary packages are terrific. If you’re not bringing home $10,000USD at the end of your first year in South Korea, you probably living the high life in Korea.

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • Bachelor’s degree

PROS

  • Excellent pay. Basic salary is around 1.8 million Won ($1900 USD) a month
  • A low cost of living
  • Airfare is generally offered by most schools
  • Housing or housing subsidy
  • Health insurance airfare

CONS

  • Minimum one year contract
  • Long workweeks – 40+ hours a week.
  • Korea is also well known for dodgy schools, so do your homework and check out the schools you are applying with before you sign a contract.

Guide to Teaching English in China_.jpg

TEACHING IN CHINA 

Over the past ten years, China has become a popular choice for English teachers. Five years ago, it was easy to find a job without a degree. These days, however, it’s getting harder and harder to find a job without the proper qualifications. Competition is fierce and good schools are hard to come by.

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • College or university degree
  • A 100+ hour TEFL Certification – The Chinese government is cracking down on teaching in Asia. Reputable schools now ask that teachers have at least a 100-hour TEFL certificate in order to be considered for a teaching position.
  • You must be 24 years of age
  • You must have two years of post graduate work experience

PROS

  • Most schools offer paid holidays
  • Some schools offer benefits
  • It’s still possible to find work without a university or college degree
  • Extremely low cost of living
  • Accommodations or Housing Assistance
  • Visa sponsorship
  • Some schools offer airfare reimbursement
  • Some schools offer end of year contract completion bonus

CONS

  • Be cautious when you’re searching for jobs. If you’re interested in teaching at a school that offers all kinds of benefits, make sure you do your homework.
  • Not all schools are legit and many schools have been accused of all kinds of abuse, including holding on to a teacher’s passport and refusing to pay for return flight tickets.
  • A teaching salary is more than adequate to live on comfortably, but you might not be able to save or travel as much.

TEACHING IN CAMBODIATeach in Phnom Penh

Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, is a city of over 2 million that includes thousands of expats from all over the world. You can expect a low cost of living and a huge salary range. Unqualified teachers have made as little as $300-$500USD for a part time teaching job, while teachers with experience and credentials can earn as much as $2,500USD per month

There is a huge range of different salaries and it depends on a huge range of factors! From the age and level of the students, the teacher’s qualifications and experience, the city that you live in and more! I’ve heard people being offered salaries as low as $300 for a part time job teaching kindergarten and I personally know people that earn in excess of $2000-$2500 a month teaching full time in a good school.

In fact, most teachers will find a job earning $10 per hour with little experience and no qualifications. For the higher salaried positions ($15-$20), you would need qualifications and experience.

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS 

  • You must be a native English speaker (Even this rule can be bent, though.)

PROS

  • Low cost of living
  • Inexperienced teachers can easily find work here

CONS

  • Living outside of Phnom Penh might not be for everyone, thus jobs in Phnom Penh can be competitive

TEACHING IN JAPAN

Jobs in Japan may be a little harder to find, but there’s no denying that Japan is one of the top destinations for teachers looking for work abroad. JET or The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program is a popular program with teachers.

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • A Bachelor’s Degree
  • Preference is generally given to teachers with Master’s degrees or previous experience

PROS

  • Monthly salary of $1800-$2300US
  • Visa sponsorship
  • Paid vacation
  • Housing assistance is sometimes offered

CONS

  • A high cost of living can take up to 75% of your paycheck
  • One year contracts
  • You’ll need start-up capital
  • Teachers generally need to pay their own airfare
  • You might need to be flexible about your job placement
  • Good jobs can be hard to find because the market is over saturated

Isla Formosa

TEACHING IN TAIWAN

Few places can match Taiwan’s cost of living vs. pay ratio. Over the past ten years, it has been an extremely popular destination for teachers looking for work abroad. Reach to Teach Recruiting is probably the biggest and best known provider to ESL teachers in Taiwan. They’re also one of the few agencies on the island that doesn’t charge teachers for jobs.

Teaching English and Living in Taiwan, otherwise known as Tealit, is one of the go-to sites on working in Taiwan. This is where you’ll find everything from apartments for rent, jobs, and general merchandise for sale to language exchange partners, nightlife, and everything else you need to know about living and working in Taiwan. Bear in mind that this site has been around for years and there are a lot of scammy schools and agents there looking for teachers. Make sure you do your research.

MYU Language Teacher Finder – Whether you’re a teacher looking for students or a student looking for a teacher, this is where you should start your search.

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • TEFL/CELTA certification isn’t necessary, but it will increase your chances of getting a better salary. Some schools will not hire teachers without a TEFL or CELTA qualification.

PROS

  • Low cost of living
  • Excellent salary. Teachers here can expect to earn between NT$50,000- NT$60,000 a month. ($1500-$2200 USD)
  • Medical Insurance is generally provided
  • Some schools offer a housing subsidy
  • Some schools offer paid holidays

CONS

  • The market has become oversaturated in the last few years and jobs are getting harder to find
  • Compensation packages for airfare and housing generally aren’t offered
  • You’ll need start-up capital for your first few months
  • You might only be able to find work teaching children
  • 20% of your paycheck goes to taxes
  • One year contract

TEACHING IN BRAZIL

Teaching English in Brazil is a wonderful experience and there is a high demand for English teachers.

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • A bachelor’s degree is generally required for work in Brazil.

PROS

  • TEFL, TESOL, or Cambridge CELTA certification is not a prerequisite.
  • If you are hired by Brazilian school or company, you will probably receive in-house training regardless of whether or not you are certified.

CONS

  • Getting a work visa for teaching English in Brazil is quite difficult and will require a lot of patience.
  • Because of the complications and expenses involved in filing for work visas, most schools in Brazil are generally unwilling to sponsor teachers.

JOB RESOURCES

  • It is possible to arrange a job beforehand. Dave’s ESL Cafe occasionally has ads for teaching positions in Brazil. You might consider researching schools and then contacting them directly instead of waiting for advertisements to appear online.

TEACHING IN SAUDI ARABIA

Some of the highest paying jobs for native English speaking teachers can be found in the Middle East.

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • TEFL/TESL/CELTA certification generally required
  • BA in English
  • 2-3 years of teaching experience
  • Some schools require a Master’s degree
  • A good understanding of what to expect from life in the Middle East and an understanding of cultural differences is required.

PROS

  • Excellent salary. $2000US a month tax free
  • Health insurance is generally provided
  • Accommodation is usually provided]
  • Visa sponsorship paid
  • Airfare compensation
  • Paid holidays up to one month
  • Free transportation to and from work
  • Low cost of living

CONS

  • Previous teaching experience is a requirement for any job
  • Restrictive society
  • Significant cultural differences. A good understanding of Middle Eastern culture comes highly recommended
  • Teachers share a flat with another teacher of the same sex
  • 40 hours a week

TEACHING IN THAILAND

If paradise is what you are after, consider looking for a teaching position in Thailand.

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • A university degree is a basic requirement for teaching in Thailand

PROS

  • Incredible opportunities for cheap travel
  • Low cost of living
  • Monthly salary between $700 and $900 USD
  • Some schools offer housing or housing subsidy
  • Completion and performance bonuses
  • 20 days paid vacation

CONS

  • Minimum one year contract
  • You earn a low salary compared to other countries in Asia

TEACHING IN TURKEY

Teachers considering a teaching position in exotic Turkey will be pleasantly surprised. The people there are friendly and hospitable, the architecture is sublime, the food is incredible and there is a dynamic mix of eastern and western cultures here. Best of all, there is a high demand for English teachers!

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • Native English speaker
  • Bachelor’s degree is good, but not necessary
  • No previous teaching experience required

PROS

  • Many schools will hire without the proper qualifications as the number of students wanting to learn English far outweighs the number of English teachers
  • Monthly salary of $700 – $1500 USD
  • Accommodations are generally provided by schools
  • Six and twelve month contracts
  • Some schools offer return airfare or airfare subsidy
  • Summer job placements available at some schools

CONS

  • Owing to low salaries, there isn’t much opportunity to save
  • Most schools aren’t willing to provide a work permit
  • Income tax 25%
  • Cost of living is low but it has been increasing sharply because of inflation
  • Some schools still treat their teachers quite badly. Do your homework!

TEACHING IN RUSSIA

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • CELTA, Trinity TESOL and/or Degree in TESOL
  • Teaching experience is generally required

PROS

  • Decent monthly salary ($1040-1160 USD)
  • Some schools offer an end of contract bonus
  • Visa support
  • Accommodations are generally provided
  • Health insurance
  • Some schools offer airfare reimbursement

CONS

  • Online teaching qualifications might not be accepted

TEACHING IN MEXICO

Mexico is a great place to gain experience as an ESL instructor. It’s unique culture, rich geography, and extraordinary sights mean you’ll never be short of things to look at. f you’re interested in finding a teaching position in Mexico, contact a local TEFL program and ask them to help you get in contact with a good local school.

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • A university degree in related fields
  • TESOL, CELTA, TEFL, EFL certification

PROS

  • Low salary, but more than enough to live on
  • Accommodations are generally provided by the school
  • Paid vacation

CONS

  • Teaching salaries in Mexico are quite low, starting between $350-$700 USD per month
  • Some areas in Mexico are dangerous, especially for women
  • It might be difficult to find a job before you go as hiring rarely takes place via the telephone or Internet

TEACHING IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

The Czech Republic offers incredible scenery and architecture, Eastern and Central European countries are more likely to take non E.U. citizens than Western Europe. The Prague Post, a weekly English language newspaper, is the best place to look for job opportunities.

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • University Degree

PROS

  • A low cost of living
  • Decent salary. Teachers here can expect to earn between 16,000-24,000kc per month ($750-$1100 USD)
  • Jobs are relatively easy to find owing to a high demand for teachers

CONS

  • You’ll have to find and pay for your own housing
  • Teaching in Europe is generally restricted to residents of the EU. Americans and Canadians will find it hard to get a job here.
  • Don’t rule out the possibility of finding a job in Europe if you aren’t an EU citizen. You might have to do more research in order to find your dream job.

TEACHING IN VIETNAM

Vietnam is a good option if you like teaching young kids. Vietnam typically pays less than most Asian countries, but the cost of living is quite low.

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

PROS

  • Low cost of living
  • Contract completion bonus
  • Paid vacation
  • 30 days vacation each year
  • Some schools offer annual paid home-visit on renewed contracts
  • Some schools offer free language lessons
  • Visa and work permit sponsorship

CONS

  • Housing is usually not offered
  • Airfare generally isn’t included with your contract
  • You’ll need some start up capital for your first few months in Vietnam

TEACHING IN INDONESIA

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • University degree
  • CELTA/Trinity (or equivalent)
  • US/UK/AUS/CAN/NZ resident

PROS

  • Your salary is more than enough to live on comfortably
  • Low cost of living
  • Some schools offer housing
  • More than 20 days of vacation time
  • Some schools offer one month contract completion bonus
  • Health insurance
  • Some schools offer return airfare
  • Visa and work permit covered by school

CONS

  • Teaching contracts vary greatly from school to school
  • In-country travel restrictions
  • You must be willing to sign a one year contract
  • A low monthly salary ($600-$800 USD) is more than enough to live on

TEACHING IN CHILE

ACADEMIC & JOB REQUIREMENTS

  • University Degree
  • TEFL/TESOL certificate required
  • No previous teaching experience required

PROS

  • Low cost of living

CONS

  • Minimum 10-12 month contract
  • Low monthly salary ($600USD – $800USD)

Rice Society Shoot-6 DEALING WITH CULTURE SHOCK

Teaching and living abroad can be the most incredible experience of your life or it can be the worst, depending on how you deal with the difficulties of living and working in a foreign country. Adjusting to a new country and a new culture can be trying, especially when we aren’t willing to adapt or be accepting of a culture that is completely different to our own. This can lead to feelings of depression, loneliness, isolation and complaining.

Continue reading about ways to ways to deal with culture shock.