If you are tired of dark, cold winter nights and grey, windy days, then why not get TEFL certified and start a new life as an English language teacher in a tropical country? Every year, thousands of everyday people do exactly that and for most it will be one of the best decisions they ever make. So where exactly can you teach English in the tropics?
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Although it is only a small country by area, Costa Rica has one of the best job markets for TEFL qualified teachers in Central America. The most common form of employment are private language schools that can be found in most built up areas. There is also a good market for private tutoring, either part time on top of a regular teaching job or full time once you have found enough students. The majority of positions are filled following an interview in person on the school premises and the main hiring seasons are January and June. As well as a healthy job market, Costa Rica also offers stunning beaches, tropical rainforests and some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet. It is also well known as one of the most peaceful, friendly and stable countries in the whole of Latin America.
Thailand is a very popular destination for tourists, backpackers, and TEFL qualified teachers, right in the heart of tropical Southeast Asia. Teaching jobs are relatively easy to find in many areas such as the capital Bangkok, the northern cultural capital Chiang Mai, and the resort island of Phuket. Government run schools offer many opportunities for foreign teachers, as do private language schools, universities, and private businesses. Although the average salaries are not as high as in some other countries in Asia, teachers can still earn enough to live comfortably and to enjoy all the cultural and entertainment options that Thailand is famous for. The peak time to look for work is during the months of May and November, although jobs can often be found at anytime of the year. The majority of positions will require a face to face interview so it is best to be on the ground in the run up to the main hiring seasons.
Although Nicaragua is a small, tropical country in Central America just like Costa Rica, it is much further off the beaten path and is probably one of the best kept secrets in the region. The country offers a growing job market, particularly in cities such as Managua, Granada and Leon. Although the salaries on offer are not high, the local cost of living is very low so your income will go a long way. Monthly rent should only be around $100 to $150 a month, while everyday necessities such as groceries and public transport will cost a fraction of what you are probably used to in your home country. As the demand for TEFL qualified teachers is higher than the number available in many areas, jobs can be found at anytime of the year. The majority of positions are in private language schools that will generally require an interview in person.
Indonesia has a huge population of around 240 million, spread over a large area that lays either side of the Equator. It also has one of the fastest growing job markets for TEFL qualified teachers, as well as some amazing attractions including active volcanoes, lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and vibrant cities. To teach English in Indonesia you will typically need to be a native English speaker with a four-year degree and a TEFL certificate. It is relatively common for private language schools to advertise job vacancies online, so it is often possible to arrange a position before you leave your home country. It is also relatively commonplace for jobs to include extra benefits such as paid or subsidised accommodation and airfares. The average salaries are also good for the region and it is possible to save money during your stay.
Taiwan is a very popular TEFL destination as it offers the chance to enjoy Chinese culture and cuisine in a high tech environment that is famous for its modern infrastructure and welcoming society. As well as vibrant cities such as Taipei that have every luxury and comfort you can imagine, you will also find great beaches, rugged mountains and a wide range of manmade attractions. Another major attraction of Taiwan is the fact that the average salary for TEFL certified teachers is among the highest in Asia. Most teachers can afford to live very comfortably and are still able to save at least $500 per month. Most employers will expect their teachers to be native English speakers with a four-year degree and a TEFL certificate. The majority of teachers working in Taiwan will secure their job online from within their home country.
When many people think about the tropics, they picture the jungles, beaches, and carnivals of Brazil. With a huge population and an economy that is booming, Brazil has an ever increasing demand for TEFL qualified teachers. The majority of opportunities are found in private language schools that do most of their recruiting locally. This means that you will need to be prepared to head to the country and complete the job hunting process on arrival. The big markets for teachers are in major cities such as Rio de Janeiro and SÃ£o Paulo, although it is possible to find jobs in popular resort locations if living the beach life is your dream.