7 Places to Teach English Abroad



Each year, thousands of people go overseas for a variety reasons: to learn about a new culture, make some money to travel, seek adventure, or just experience something new.

As you know, I have spent time teaching English in Korea, Ghana and Canada. The time I spent teaching English was life changing. In South Korea, I learned that I could make friends and start a life in a strange place, as well as adapt and thrive in a different culture. It gave me a confidence that nothing else before it had.

With so many places to teach English, where is the best place for you to go? What countries provide the best experience, pay, or benefits? Here’s my list suggestions that could lead to a great job abroad.
Of course your options get a whole lot greater if you obtain a TEFL certificate, or have relevant teaching experience.

South Korea — South Korea is one of the best places to teach English. There are many jobs, the pay is good ($2,000–4,000 USD per month), and you get good benefits, like a contract completion bonus, healthcare, free housing, and airfare reimbursement. A lot of recent graduates are attracted to Korea because of the money, benefits, and the fact that Korea takes many first-time teachers. If you don’t have any experience, this country is one of the best options for you. As a place to live, Korea has plenty of things going for it: the food is delicious, the country is dirt cheap, and the people are friendly. Plus you will find lots of other international young expats there.

Japan — Japan also attracts as many people as South Korea.. While the cost of living can eat up a lot of your salary, especially in Tokyo, there are a number of programs out there (including the government’s JET program) that reward long-term teachers with generous benefits and completion bonuses. Additionally, the Japanese are incredibly friendly and polite, the food is endless gourmet heaven, and the culture is unique. It’s one of my favorite countries in the world.

The Middle East — The Middle East attracts many teachers because of potentially large salaries. Middle Eastern countries can offer incredibly large salaries (up to $80,000 USD per year for an experienced teacher), lots of benefits, and no taxes. A teacher can walk away with around $50,000 USD after one year. However, this is no place for the recent college graduate. These countries want certified and experienced teachers. If you couldn’t teach at a public school in your home country, you have little chance of getting a job in this part of the world. As such, most of the teachers here are older and more settled and have families. Dubai, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi are the most popular teaching destinations.

Thailand — Thailand attracts lots of young and new teachers with its cheap cost of living, warm beautiful weather, tropical beaches, mouth-watering food, and party atmosphere. Most of the language school teachers are ex-travelers looking to save for future travels…or travelers who thought they were doing that but ended up never leaving. The pay in Thailand isn’t that high ($1,000–2,000 USD per month), unless you teach in Bangkok or at an international school. However, teaching in Thailand isn’t about making lots of money — it’s about everything else: the ease of getting a job, the food, the fun-loving atmosphere, the weather, and everything in between. It’s one of the best destinations for young, new teachers, especially in a larger city, since you’ll fit right in.

China — As China rises in global stature, its need for English teacher grows as more and more citizens need to know the language for their job. Moreover, the culture puts an emphasis on learning it. As such, it is one of the easiest places to find work. No matter where you go, you can find work, even in saturated cities like Beijing and Shanghai. You can earn loads of money teaching there (upward of $3,000 USD a month), and many jobs give completion bonuses, free housing, free lunch, and airfare reimbursement. China is the brave new world and a country in constant change. It’s a good location for teachers of all abilities — there’s something for everyone there!

Prague — Prague has a seemingly abundant supply of teaching jobs. The city has grown in size the last few years, attracting a variety of tech start-ups and expats, which has created a lot more job opportunities for teachers. While it’s very hard to get a job in the public school system or a university, there are plenty of language schools in the city to choice from. The pay isn’t as high as other countries in the world and there are few benefits (especially when compared to Asia or the Middle East), but you’re a stone’s throw away from everywhere in Europe (making Prague an excellent central base from which to explore the continent), and the city is one of the most beautiful, vibrant, fun, and growing cities in Europe.

Taiwan —Taiwan is an excellent country to teach English in, thanks to lots of job opportunities (though they tend to be with young kids), high salaries, benefits similar to South Korea, and lots of other young teachers to share a social life with. The country places a very high importance on learning English, and you’ll be able to find freelance tutor opportunities besides your regular, steady job! I loved my time in Taiwan, made some wonderful friends, and adapted to a culture that isn’t as Western influenced.


My experience overseas was amazing. It taught me so much about myself and I gained a lot of perspective on life by living in another culture. While there is an opportunity to teach wherever English isn’t the native language, the destinations above draw the biggest crowds, offer pay the best, the best perks, and are the most fun. If you are thinking about doing becoming an English teacher overseas, my advice is to head to one of these destinations and just do it!


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