Teaching abroad is a wonderful opportunity to travel the world. It is a professionally and personally rewarding experience that opens up new ways of living.
Yet, with so many unique countries out there, aspiring teachers often wonder where in the world to go. Which places provide the best experience, salary, benefits, quality of life, and possibilities to travel?
We put together a list of 6 destinations to teach and see something. It might help you find out where you can advance your career next year!
1. SOUTH KOREA
South Korea has many opportunities for English teachers. Thanks to the efforts of the South Korean government to improve English language skills in schools and the increasing demand for employers with good English language skills, TEFL teachers are highly desired.
The most attractive part of teaching in South Korea is the generous salary that allows a comfortable living and savings for travelling.
ESL teaching jobs are available all year round, and you won’t require much previous experience to get a job. You will find many opportunities in public schools or private academies in Seoul, and working weeks are about 25-30 hours. Companies might even pay for your accommodation and other benefits (like paid vacations and health insurance).
Foreign teachers might find it difficult to integrate without Korean language skills. Yet, they will find a large expat community to travel with and discover South Korea’s beauties. Witness the grandeur of the palaces, the beaches, or the nightlife of Busan. Sample delicious Korean food, stroll through heritage villages and immerse in the famous pop culture.
Vietnam is an increasingly desired teaching destination. Its bustling cities, fantastic food, and relaxed coastlines make it a popular location to spend some time.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the country attracted millions of tourists to discover Vietnam’s attractions. Recently, it has been difficult for foreigners to enter the country, but ESL teachers can now get a permit as an ‘expert’. Be sure to check the latest updates!
Vietnam offers an outstanding work-life balance for teachers with convenient schedules. The pay might be less than in other Asian countries, but its low cost of living makes it more than enough for covering daily expenses. You will need to have a bachelor’s degree, because it is illegal to work in Vietnam without one. There are many language schools in Ho Chi Minh City, and also, the capital city, Hanoi, has a lot to offer.
Thanks to the friendly culture, low costs, and central location within Asia, Vietnam is ideal for teaching and travelling.
3. THE CZECH REPUBLIC
You might be surprised, but the Czech Republic is a fantastic country to live and work as an English teacher. The city has grown significantly over the last years, attracting expats and a variety of tech businesses. This has led to increasing demand for English teachers.
While it is tough to get a job in the public school system or a university, there are many private schools and foreign language academies in the capital Prague to choose from. You will need a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certification. Be sure to come with quality training (at least a 120-hour TEFL course) from a reputable organization.
ESL teachers should expect lower pays than in other European countries, but that is compensated with a cheap cost of living. Besides, it is possible to earn supplemental income through private tutoring.
Prague is a romantic, historic city that has many highlights to be explored. Living in Prague is delightful, and it is an excellent central base to discover the European continent.
Japan has a long tradition of hiring English teachers because English is taught in public schools from Kindergarten until high school. It’s a country with a unique culture that is worthwhile to get familiar with. Additionally, Japanese people are warmhearted and polite, and its cuisine is one of the best in the world. And if that’s not enough…
Japan has a reputation for good jobs and compensation packages.
If you have a bachelor’s degree, TEFL certificate, and you’re a native English speaker, you’ll most likely be able to find a job. Many teachers work with younger students in private or public schools, but it’s also possible to find opportunities teaching business professionals. Be aware work culture is competitive and comes with high expectations. English teachers enjoy attractive salaries and additional benefits that make up for the generally high cost of living. In addition, Japan has large expat communities in most major cities (Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka), making it easier to adjust to local life. Read more about Japan in TNT magazine.
While Asia is much sought-after these days for teaching English, South America is also an excellent option! Most South-American countries don’t require teachers to have a degree (although it may be preferred by employers), but ask for a TEFL certificate, and to be a native or native-level speaker. It’s also helpful to know some Spanish to help you in your day-to-day life!
Compared to most Asian countries, South America doesn’t have a very high saving potential. Still, it compensates with an exciting culture and authentic places to live and explore, such as the next country in the list.
Although Colombia has historically been dangerous, it’s currently much safer than it used to be (of course, following common-sense safety precautions) due to a more stable government and political reforms. Moreover, as Colombia’s economy grows and attracts more tourists every year, it is looking for many motivated English teachers.
You won’t get rich in Colombia, but it is fairly easy to find work.
In your downtime, you can hike through lush jungles, climb mountains, explore pre-Columbian ruins, snorkel in pristine waters, or take in the cultural scene in colorful Bogota, Medellin, or Cartagena. More Colombian highlights can be discovered in TNT magazine.
Last, but certainly not the least…
Why teach in Germany?
You can earn a comfortable salary, gain professional experience, and dive into a globally focused culture.
Germany has high job requirements, and teaching roles are generally competitive. Teachers will require a TEFL certification, a university degree, specialized skills, and some determination! Teaching jobs are available in a range of settings, from large businesses to small private language schools.
TEFL jobs pay well. However, the living expenses may be greater (especially in cities like Frankfurt, Cologne, and Munich) than in some of the other locations on this list.
That said, Germany has an excellent work-life balance allowing you to explore the country’s majestic castles, relaxed northern seaside, and fantastic outdoor life. Furthermore, via an efficient transport network, you can quickly reach neighbouring countries such as France, Poland, and nearby Italy, which makes travelling in your free time easy and affordable.
These are some fantastic destinations where you can teach English. Consider not only the pay, qualifications, and work permits, but also the culture, local language, and ease of adapting to the host country.
There are many possibilities where you can gain some incredible life experiences by teaching and travelling.