The Best Countries to Teach ESL When You're 50+
The international EFL market is increasingly looking towards hiring seniors. This means it’s a now-or-never chance for many people of 50 and older around the world to change their lives completely. Take a TEFL course in an exotic location (or at home online) and start your teaching career abroad.
Yes—You can teach English abroad when you’re 50’s+
Years of career and life experience is an incredibly valuable asset and many EFL employers worldwide prefer to hire teachers who have plenty of knowledge to share with their students. While it’s true that a lot of programs target those fresh out of college, there are no age restrictions for teaching English overseas. All you need is a TEFL certification, dedication and the courage to take the first step.
Some countries have upper age limits in order to secure work permits, but this is only a small number. The countries below are all great options for teaching ESL when you’re 50+. Teaching jobs for seniors can be found all around the world: from the Middle East and Latin America to Asia and Europe - you’re options are limitless. While there can be age restrictions in certain countries, you’re truly never too old to teach abroad!
Teaching in the Czech Republic
There is a healthy demand for qualified English teachers in the Czech Republic, especially in the capital Prague. The cobblestone streets and classic European architecture attract thousands of new teachers each year. The main hiring seasons in the Czech Republic are September and January. Be sure to organize all the necessary documents in time to start your new adventure in this European fairytale country.
- Pros: There are no age restrictions for teaching English in the Czech Republic and it is relatively easy to secure a work permit for non-EU citizens.
- Cons: The visa can take longer without sponsorship. That’s why going through an agency is recommended as it makes the process less difficult and stress-free.
- Recommended TEFL center: Prague, Czech Republic
Teaching in Ecuador
Ecuador has a large expat community, making it easy to meet new people and make friends from all corners of the world. On top of that, Ecuador was named a top destination for retirees by Forbes Magazine due to its low cost of living and affordable real estate prices. Ecuador is welcoming you with open arms with friendly locals and expats, year-round great weather and a variety of senior discounts, for example 50% off utilities.
- Pros: Ecuador makes it easy to stay healthy with excellent medical facilities. The public transit system in Ecuador is also very convenient and allows you to travel around the cities and in-between very efficiently.
- Cons: While the cost of living in Ecuador is low, teacher salaries are also lower than what you might be used to. This means, you might not be able to save as much when it comes to traveling.
- Recommended TEFL center: Loja, Ecuador
Teaching in Malaysia
If you are looking for a destination with a mix of cultures and a vibrant food scene, Malaysia might just be your best choice. Malaysia does not only offer premier beach destinations and tropical islands, but also rainforests and mountains, giving you plenty of opportunities to explore the country in your freetime. On top of that, salaries in Malaysia are good and a week with working hours of 20-25 hours means, you’ll have plenty of time to just think about yourself. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
- Pros: Schools in Malaysia hire year-round giving you flexibility in your job search.
- Cons: Retirement in Malaysia is mandatory after the age of 60. If you choose to keep working, you are likely to lose benefits and earn a lower salary.
- Recommended TEFL center: Singapore
Teaching in Mexico
Mexico is a breathtaking location for novices and retired teachers alike and offers one of the largest EFL job markets in the world. Mexico seems to have it all: a vibrant culture, postcard-worthy beaches and stunning nature. The national healthcare system in Mexico is often referred to as one of the best in the world and provides great discounts to senior citizens.
- Pros: Seniors teaching English abroad are always welcome in Mexico and there are no age restrictions. This means, you can teach here as long as you like.
- Cons: Teacher salaries aren’t high in Mexico so it’s recommended to bring along some savings to support yourself and to be prepared for possible emergencies.
- Recommended TEFL center: Chiapas, Mexico
Teaching in South Korea
South Korea offers high salaries, great benefits (paid housing and paid airfare!) and teachers get paid vacation days and national holidays. Doesn’t that sound great? If you are TEFL qualified, you can find teaching positions in private schools, public schools, cram schools, or universities all across South Korea. If you’re looking to grow and work long-term, South Korea is definitely worth a look.
- Pros: Teachers in South Korea are usually provided free housing and roundtrip airfare by their employers. Health insurance is very affordable and schools often pay end-of-contract bonuses. Plus, some nationals can take advantage of the national pension scheme and get some serious coin back once they decide to leave.
- Cons: South Korea’s age restrictions for teaching English begin at 65. That’s why many schools don’t hire new teachers over that age. However, teachers who are already working as English teachers in Korea before they turn 65, can often continue to teach, especially in private schools.
- Recommended TEFL center: Seoul, South Korea
Teaching in Thailand
Thailand is among the most popular destinations for teaching English as a foreign language. Whatever your age, working as a teacher in Thailand means you can enjoy the laid-back culture and welcoming locals. With a work week of only 20 to 30 hours, there is plenty of time left to explore all that the “Land of Smiles” has to offer. Whether you’re looking to live in a buzzing city like Bangkok or to rent a beach house on one of the many islands, once your TEFL certified, you can pick and choose where to teach.
- Pros: There is a huge demand for English teachers in Thailand and you can choose to teach in public schools, private schools or as a private tutor.
- Cons: Like many other Asian countries, Thailand has a mandatory retirement age of 65. After that, it’s up to the individual employer to continue your contract.
- Recommended TEFL center: Phuket, Ban Phe, Chiang Mai, Bangkok
Seniors—Teaching English abroad is your new calling!
Living and working in a different country is an exciting adventure and a TEFL certificate makes it possible. The countries mentioned above are a great starting point for your teaching career 50+!
Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad.
Send us an email or call us toll-free at 1-800-490-0531 to speak with an ITTT advisor today.
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