Popular TEFL Destinations
Despite there being an estimated 100,000 plus foreign teachers currently working in China there is still a huge demand for English teachers and plenty of opportunities around the country. One of the great things about China is that there are positions available for both newly qualified teachers and those with experience. The more experienced and qualified you are the better salary and benefits you can expect to receive. Some of these benefits include accommodation and paid airfare.
South Korea has been a popular draw for newly qualified TEFL teacher for some time and it is not hard to see why. Salaries are such that you can count on saving a significant portion of your income each month and schools offer many benefits including paid or reimbursed airfares, end of contract bonuses, medical insurance and free accommodation. South Korea is one of the rare countries where a fresh university graduate can teach English abroad while paying off his or her college debt.
Thailand is another popular destination for TEFL teachers. The prospects here are great for newly qualified teachers with many jobs available in a wide variety of settings including schools, universities, private schools, language centres and private businesses. Salaries may not be as high as other countries in the region and there are few if any additional benefits, but it is the quality of life not the money that is the main draw. With a low cost of living, relaxed and friendly locals, hundreds of pristine beaches it is clear why so many choose to stay and teach in Thailand.
Dubai is a popular destination for those with solid qualifications and plenty of teaching experience. The salaries here are high and the benefits are very good including free accommodation, medical insurance etc. But this is no place for the newly qualified teacher. Employers here expect teachers to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree and often a postgraduate qualification along with at least two years teaching experience and a recognized TEFL/TESOL certificate. With that in mind, Dubai is a great place for teachers with a few years teaching abroad under their belt to build up a little nest egg.
Japan has been a popular destination for English teachers for quite a while now and despite the economic downturn of recent years it continues to be an attractive prospect for teachers old and new. The fastest growing area of English teaching is in the corporate sector so those with business English qualifications or business experience will do well here. The government's JET program places teachers from abroad in state schools around the country. Salaries are high compared to most other countries but so is the cost of living.
A popular holiday destination for many northern Europeans. Spain is also a popular destination for TEFL teachers. With English being taught in state schools from the first year of primary school there is plenty of demand for qualified teachers. Salaries may not be high enough to save but you can earn enough to live a reasonably comfortable life. You will not find the same benefits in Spain as you would in South Korea or Dubai but some schools may include free Spanish lessons for their teachers.
Taiwan has a thriving EEL market and is a popular draw for many English teachers due to the relatively high wages for the region and the low cost of living. There is a strong market for teaching young learners so anyone thinking of teaching in Taiwan would do well to gain an additional qualification in this field. Benefits can include contributions towards medical insurance but perks such as paid airfares are generally not offered.
Colombia has been becoming increasingly popular with new TEFL graduates over the last few years. The country has emerged from its troubled past leading to an economic boom and increased tourism. This means more and more people are looking to develop their English skills. The pay isn't as high as in some Asian countries but the beautiful country, friendly people and chance of adventure more than make up for it.
The Czech Republic is one of the most popular destinations for TEFL teachers in Europe. The majority of teachers head to Prague with its fascinating history and culture, great nightlife and world class beer. Unfortunately, this means competition for jobs here is strong and wages generally lower than other countries. Teachers who venture out of the capital for work can expect to find the cost of living drop considerably compared to Prague and employment options increase.
One of Mexico's draws is its proximity to the US making it a popular destination for teachers from North America. There is high demand for English teachers across the country and jobs can generally be found throughout the year. Work can be found in universities, private language centres and private businesses and you can also advertise yourself as a private tutor.
Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.