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All you need to know about teaching English abroad!


Linda Dunsmore


The 10 Best Destinations for Teaching English Abroad in 2018

The 10 Best Destinations for Teaching English Abroad in 2018 | ITTT | TEFL Blog

2018 is the perfect year to go and see the world.

Currently, there are around 1.75 billion people speaking and learning English around the world and researchers say that by 2020 more than two billion people will speak and learn English. This means, now is the perfect time to embark on your adventure of teaching English abroad. Whether you are looking for opportunities in Asia, South America, the Middle East or Europe, qualified English teachers are hired everywhere. Even English-speaking countries have a never-before-seen demand for ESL teachers.

The best part? No prior teaching experience is required to get hired. All you need is the will to explore the world and oftentimes an internationally accredited TEFL certificate. A TEFL certification course teaches you the exact skills necessary to teach any type of student in any classroom worldwide.

That’s why we say there has never been a better time to start your TEFL adventure. Here are the 10 best job markets for teaching English abroad in 2018.

10. Teaching English in Taiwan

Taiwan has been one of the more popular destinations for teaching English abroad for some time - and with good reason. This fascinating country in the tropics of East Asia combines rich cultural heritage with high-tech modernity. Most teachers start their career at cram schools locally known as bŭxíbān. The largest of these private schools are Hess (何嘉仁), Kojen, Giraffe (長頸鹿), Joy (佳音) and Sesame Street (芝麻街). However, there are also plenty of English teaching jobs available within the public school system in Taiwan.

Taiwan offers good pay and benefits for TEFL certified English teachers, with the salary at private schools being about NT$600 (approx. US$20) per hour with 4 hours of work a day, while public schools pay between NT$65,000 (approx. US$2,220) and NT$80,000 (approx. US$2,730) per month.

The cost of living in Taiwan isn’t as low as some other countries in Southeast Asia, but it is still affordable enough to be able to save a substantial amount of your salary per month.Taiwan’s year-round warm weather, beautiful scenery and interesting historic sites make it one of the most attractive countries to teach in this year.

Read more about teaching English in Taiwan.

9. Teaching English in Spain

While it is true that the economy in Spain has seen better days, the demand for qualified English teachers in Spain is among the strongest in the whole of Europe. If you are looking to work in Spain, you’ll need to be ready with your TEFL certification in hand. You will have the most success in finding a suitable teaching position if you look from within the country. The prime hiring seasons are mid-September through mid-October and right after January 6th every year.

Madrid and Barcelona are the largest markets for EFL teachers in Spain but also the most competitive. Because of this, you might want to consider other large cities such as Bilbao or Malaga where you will find less competition and potentially an even more authentic teaching abroad experience.

Don’t forget to check out our Spain student visa options page, as well as our Spain guide to learn more about living and teaching English in Spain.

8. Teaching English in Vietnam

The colorful culture and breathtaking natural wonders of Vietnam attract millions of visitors each year. Many of them are EFL teachers who decide to make Vietnam their new home. Vietnam’s fast-growing job market for teaching English abroad has landed the country a spot on this list. Ho Chi Minh City alone counts several hundred language schools but qualified teachers can find suitable positions all across the country, from the highlands of Sapa to the lush Mekong Delta.

What’s even better are the high salaries compared to Vietnam’s low cost of living. This allows teachers to live a comfortable lifestyle and save up to US$500 or more a month after expenses.

Keep in mind that schools around Vietnam do prefer to hire native English speakers with a four-year degree, but it is not an official requirement. On top of that, teachers with an accredited TEFL certification often earn higher salaries and tend to be hired by more renowned schools.

To learn more, check out the teaching English in Vietnam country profile.

7. Teaching English in Mexico

The land of the Aztecs welcomes new teachers in 2018 with one of the largest job markets for TEFL certified English teachers in the world. Due to its proximity to the United States of America, qualified teachers can find positions throughout the entire year. While you can find a lot of job offers online, language schools tend to hire teachers through face-to-face interviews. It is also relatively easy to secure a work visa to teach English in Mexico.

Even though teachers need to organize their own airfare and accommodation, the potential salaries on offer let you live a comfortable lifestyle.

Mexico is rich in history and culture and offers a wide variety of natural attractions in every region. Whether you are looking to settle in the bustling capital Mexico City, near the ancient Mayan ruins in Tulum or at the beach in Cancun, you can find vacant positions everywhere. An internationally accredited TEFL certification is usually required to teach English in Mexico. Most schools typically offer 20 to 25 hours of work a week, allowing teachers to explore the country or learn Spanish in their time off.

Get started by taking an in-class TEFL certification course in Chiapas, Mexico.

Learn more about life in Mexico as an EFL teacher here.

6. Teaching English in Cambodia

One of the rising stars on the EFL market is Cambodia. While Cambodia isn’t as large as some of its Asian neighbors, its job market for teaching English abroad is one of the fastest growing in the region.

Cambodia is ideal for those who are interested in teaching English abroad without a degree and teachers who aren’t native English speakers. However, a TEFL certification will be required by most employers in Cambodia.

The demand for qualified teachers is high throughout the entire country and salaries are rising. Most teachers will find jobs with private language institutes with predominantly adult students.

While you can find vacant job offers online, most schools hire teachers via face-to-face interviews. Teachers are also responsible for their airfare and housing expenses. However, the low cost of living and lucrative salaries ensure a relaxed lifestyle. Schools typically offer 20 to 25 hours of work per week, allowing teachers to travel and explore the country in their free time.

Get started by taking an in-class TEFL certification course in Siem Reap Cambodia.

Learn more about living and teaching in Cambodia in our country guide.

5. Teaching English in the Czech Republic

If medieval castles and old houses on cobblestone streets are your thing, the Czech Republic might just be the perfect teaching destination for you. Teaching English in the Czech Republic is especially popular with Americans as the country doesn’t make it as hard for US citizens to get a legal work permit to teach English compared to some Western European countries like France or Germany.

Moreover, the Czech Republic’s location in the heart of Europe allows teachers to explore many other countries by car, bus, train or short airplane ride.

Get started by taking a 4-week in-class TEFL certification in Prague.

For more information on living and teaching English in the Czech Republic, check out our country guide.

4. Teaching English in South Korea

The land of the morning calm has been among the top destinations for English teachers for well over a decade. This is not surprising considering the country’s unique culture, modern society and healthy job market. On top of that, teachers in South Korea enjoy high salaries and attractive benefits like paid airfare, housing, affordable health care and a pension scheme.

Teachers either work for private language schools called Hagwons or public schools. The EPIK program, for example, places foreign teachers into public schools throughout the country - but with such amazing perks comes high competition.

English teachers in Korea have to be native English speakers and passport holders from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. They also need to have at least a four-year degree and many schools only hire teachers with an internationally accredited TEFL certification.

Get started by taking our 10-day combined TEFL certification course in Seoul, South Korea, and learn more about living and teaching in South Korea in our country guide.

3. Teaching English in Colombia

Have you considered Colombia as your next teaching destination? While the country has experienced long periods of drug violence and political turmoil over the past 30 years, it has emerged from the ashes and become one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. This makes Colombia a new star on the EFL teaching market.

Teachers can find jobs in large cities like the capital Bogota or Medellin, both of which have become modern commercial hubs in the region. On top of that, teachers in Colombia can also enjoy the country’s colorful culture, beautiful beaches and lush rainforests.

Most teachers are employed in private language institutes, but the Colombian Ministry of Education has also started to recruit foreign teachers for public schools.

Get started and take our 4-week in-class TEFL certification course in Chia, Colombia and find out more about living and working in Colombia in our country guide.

2. Teaching English in Russia

It is no surprise that the largest country in the world also has one of the largest job markets for English education. Most teachers coming to Russia will find work with private language institutes both foreign and locally-owned. Most schools offer full-time positions with around 30 teaching hours a week. A lot of schools also offer paid housing in shared apartments with fellow teachers.

Most teaching positions and the highest salaries are found in large cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg but there is a high demand for teachers all over the country.

Schools in Russia tend to hire native English speakers as well as fluent English speakers from other countries, mostly Europe, and a TEFL certification is almost always required.

Get started and take our 4-week in-class TEFL certification course in Moscow, Russia and find out more about living and working in Russia in our country guide.

1. Teaching English in China

Still the largest job market for English teachers in the world, China attracts more and more foreign teachers every year. While laws change frequently, China is currently still one of the countries where non-native English speakers can easily find teaching positions.

While you didn’t have to be qualified to teach in the past, in order to obtain a work visa in China as an English teacher today, you need to possess an internationally accredited TEFL certificate.

Areas like Beijing, Shanghai or Shenzhen offer the highest salaries but are very competitive so branching out to other cities will make it a lot easier to find a suitable position.

Moreover, China offers incomparable historic sites like the Great Wall or the Forbidden City. Combine this with the great variety of natural wonders like the Gobi Desert or the tropical resort of Sanya in the south and you have found a teacher’s paradise.

Get started with your 4-week in-class TEFL certification course in Beijing, Shanghai, Zhuhai or Chongqing, and find out more about living and teaching in China in our country guide.

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Are you ready to teach English abroad in 2018?

Whether you are looking to teach in one of the most popular destinations like China or South Korea, or want to discover the new rising stars on the EFL market like Colombia and Russia, you are sure to have the experience of a lifetime.

Apply now & get certified to teach english abroad!

Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad.

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