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The Top 12 Places for Teaching English Abroad

Brazil China Czech Republic Italy Japan South Korea Mexico Russia Saudi Arabia Thailand Taiwan Vietnam Travel
by Kelly Lalonde Aug 29, 2015

Teaching English Abroad allows you take your travel experiences to the next level. Whereas most travelers remain outside the normal routines and rhythms of the local community, as a teacher you become part of it, adding value to people’s lives. The following 12 places are among the best in the world for finding work, making a living, and having a great time teaching English abroad.

12. Vietnam

Vietnam continues to open up, and the cost of living remains low, so it’s a natural choice for ESL teachers. Most of the jobs are to be found in the two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Check out this online guide to teaching and finding the best teaching jobs in Vietnam.

11. Taiwan

Good weather, solid pay, and one of the higher standards of living in Asia? Yes please. Like all other countries on the list, you need to be careful about where you sign up to teach – there are always scams and less-than-great schools – but online resources like this guide can keep you from making the big mistakes.

10. Brazil

Brazil’s effort to internationalize yields many opportunities to teach English abroad, in both business and traditional school settings. However, you must have a lot of patience to legally obtain a work visa. CEL LEP and Alumni School are good places to start looking.

9. Saudi Arabia

The Middle East is where you will find some of the highest paying jobs offered for teaching English abroad. This is not for the faint of heart; you must be interested in life in the Middle East and well versed in cultural differences to appreciate the experience. Bayt Recruiting is a good job reference.

8. Italy

Cheap travel and fantastically inexpensive gourmet food are just some of the benefits of living in Italy. There is, however, an annoying amount of red tape. It is recommended to go through a TESOL online certification program from a school that guarantees you job placement. For a list of recommended programs, visit Transitions Abroad.

7. Thailand

The American University Alumni (AUA) Language Center, the oldest and largest language school in Thailand with almost 400,000 graduates, is a nonprofit school with an excellent reputation in the country. The AUA is always looking for TESOL teachers.

6. Japan

Asian nations are practically begging for English teachers and you should be able to find plenty of opportunities to teach English abroad just through a Google search. Most schools recruit year round and provide successful applicants with visa sponsorship, apartment, partially paid national insurance, etc. The largest schools in Japan are with AEON. You can also find work with JET, or the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.

5. Russia

Old stereotypes of an economic system fueled by vodka and general lawlessness have made native English teachers scarce in Russia. The demand for native speakers to teach English abroad far exceeds the supply, making it easy to gain employment with the benefits of visa support, accommodations, and often airfare reimbursement. The largest schools are BKC International and English First.

4. China

With great compensation packages including salary, apartment, visa sponsorship and sometimes airfare, China is becoming a popular choice to teach English abroad. Journey East offers links to internships, paid positions, and other information.

3. Mexico

If you’re looking for sun and comfort, Mexico is the place to be. In general, the minimum academic requirement for English teaching positions in Mexico is a university degree and a TESOL certificate. Jobs are difficult to find pre-entry, but are plentiful upon arrival. One option is to look for work in a university. If you have any teaching experience, this is the way to go. Visit ESL Employment for more details.

2. South Korea

Offering many perks such as airfare, housing, insurance benefits, decent salaries, and a low cost of living, South Korea gives the ability to travel and make good money while teaching English abroad. A good place to start is the job board at Dave’s ESL Cafe. Contracts are usually for 1 year and a bachelor’s degree is required.

1. Czech Republic

Ideal location, amazing scenery, high demand, and relative ease of entry make the Czech Republic — specifically Prague — our #1 choice. The Prague Post, a weekly English language newspaper, is the best place to look for possibilities from home.

Have you had good (or bad) experiences teaching English abroad? Tell us about them in the comments. 

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