Traveling is one thing, but working and living abroad is another. It’s a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself, freely yet responsibly, into a new culture. The places you’ll see, the friends you’ll make, and the experiences you’ll learn from are boundless. The same goes for teaching in a foreign country, where students will be grateful and benefit enormously from your English lessons. Whether your passion lies in teaching, traveling, or both there lies many benefits in becoming TEFL certified and finding TEFL jobs.
A TEFL certificate is almost a passport in itself. Positions will open up from each corner of the world once you become a certified English as a Foreign Language teacher. The opportunities are there, and you just need to venture out to grab them. Fortunately for you, the options are almost limitless, and we’ve condensed some of the top destinations for TEFL jobs.
So, What Do I Need to Teach English Abroad?
The logistical side of Teaching English as a Foreign Language can be overwhelming. There are documents to submit and deadlines to meet, as well as some unexpected financial dents. Here’s what you need to know to find the best TEFL jobs and work in your dream location.
A Bachelor’s Degree
A Bachelor’s Degree is necessary for some countries to process the visa application and obtain a work permit. This is especially the case for countries such as Italy, Vietnam and South Korea. Despite this, it certainly isn’t impossible to find TEFL jobs that don’t require a Bachelor’s Degree. Some examples of these countries are Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Cambodia, Myanmar, and many more! One of the downsides of this is that you might struggle to find TEFL jobs in especially competitive locations and your starting salary might be lower. However, TEFL is about much more than salary, even though the salary is already great!
A TEFL Certificate
Who would have guessed? While it may be possible to secure TEFL jobs that are low-paying, or are volunteer positions, the TEFL industry is saturated with qualified teachers. Because of this, it is recommended that you obtain a TEFL certificate of 120 hours, minimum. Employers will usually list this as a requirement, and if you want to impress, you can always go a step further with our 168 hour Ofqual Level 5 TEFL course.
On the surface, it sounds silly to even mention it. However, there are many qualified and excellent TEFL teachers who aren’t native speakers. Some countries or employers may require that the teacher went through education in an English-speaking country, or at least has a passport from that country.
When do Schools Hire for TEFL Jobs?
One thing you don’t want to do is arrive in your country and run out of money before you’re paid. Or, arrive too late and get fired. Whether you’re arriving at your destination with a job already secured or your search is ongoing, it’s good to know the peak hiring season.
Of course, it will vary from country to country. Some countries may have similar term times as your home country. Others might not. It’s also important to consider whether you’re working for a private language school or a public school. Private language schools tend to be more flexible and hire all year round. However, public schools have a more rigid timeframe, with many starting in September and again in January. You should have enough money to cover living expenses for a few months before your first payment.
10 Amazing Destinations For TEFL Jobs
When you think of romance, you might think of Italy. In a country that has an abundance of charm in its language, scenery, and architecture, it’s difficult not to be intoxicated by its beauty. Speaking of intoxication, it’s difficult to dispute Italy’s claim of being the best wine producer with over 4,000 years of experience. It’s no wonder why Italy is one of the most popular destinations for travelers.
But what about TEFL teachers? While TEFL jobs in Italy may be highly competitive, the cultural immersion will outweigh the logistical obstacles. Whether you want to teach in public or private language schools, summer camps, or in the form of language homestays, Italy has a lot to offer TEFL teachers.
It might be easier to apply as an EU citizen, however, positions are always available for non-citizens. With a salary between $1,000 and $1,800, you’ll live comfortably in this beautiful country. If you’re adamant to earn more, you can tutor privately, where the standard rate is roughly $15-20 an hour.
TEFL Jobs in Italy:
In a country referred to as the ‘Land of the Morning Calm’, the last thing you would expect is a high-tech nation with one of the largest economies in Asia (and K-Pop). Yet, the peninsula juxtaposes bustling cities such as Seoul, Busan, or Daegu with serene landscapes, whether it be mountains, beaches, or volcanic formations.
Not only do the contents of the culture entice eager TEFL teachers. Being a TEFL teacher in South Korea has enormous benefits, whether you work in public or private schools. With reimbursed airfare, paid accommodation, as well as around $1,600 – $2,500 per month, the benefits of teaching English in South Korea are substantial, to say the least.
TEFL Jobs in South Korea:
You can’t truly say you’ve “done China” unless you’ve spent a good amount of time there. It is a vast country that possesses a panoply of geographical variety. China is also incredibly paradoxical, as it demonstrates modernity, yet it’s a country with one of the longest continuous histories in the world. While agriculture is still one of China’s most significant industries, it has established itself as a commercial superpower.
With a significant place on the business front, China’s demand for English teachers is profound. In fact, it is estimated that over 400 million Chinese people are learning English as of 2021. Whether you want to teach general English to young learners or Business English to university students or adults, you won’t be short of options. TEFL jobs available in China come with excellent salaries of around $1500 – $3,000 a month or more depending on your experience and qualifications.
TEFL Jobs in China:
United Arab Emirates
In the Gulf States in particular, like Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, your reward for teaching will have you ‘flush with cash’. In the UAE, in particular, you could earn around $3,400 – $5,600, per month, UNTAXED! Along with an untaxed salary, many teaching positions also come with free accommodation. Saving money will come with ease.
The United Arab Emirates has cities that exhibit conservative values, yet a simultaneously glamorous lifestyle. During your free time outside the classroom, you could visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the Burj Khalifa, or shop in the Dubai Mall.
To teach in the UAE, a Bachelor’s Degree and a TEFL Certificate are required. This is the case for both public and private schools in the UAE.
TEFL Jobs in the United Arab Emirates
If you want to ooze sophistication while sipping on your sangria in the sun, then look no further than Spain. With geographical and cultural variety between Catalonia, Madrid, Valencia, or the Basque Country, Spain has everything to offer.
If you teach in Spain, you’ll be compensated for your hard work with a good salary, a warm climate, and a relaxed lifestyle. With a high demand for English teachers in comparison to the rest of Europe, there are plenty of opportunities for TEFL jobs. You can work in public schools, language centers, or even at homestays for language exchange. To teach in Spain, employers or families will likely require a TEFL Certificate and that you’re a native speaker.
Teaching Jobs in Spain:
Who wouldn’t want to teach in a country that is referred to as the ‘Land of the Smiles’? Cities such as Bangkok are global hubs for travelers due to their rich traditions yet cosmopolitan societies. Do you prefer streetside beers or cocktails atop skyscrapers? Party islands or Buddhist temples? You’ll have no shortage of variety in Thailand.
Whether you’re intrigued by Thailand’s ties to Buddhism or the birthplace of Muay Thai, Thailand is incredibly hospitable to visitors. This is the same for students who are very grateful for the presence of a foreign language teacher.
The salary for TEFL jobs is good in Thailand, especially when compared to its low cost of living. A beer, for example, will cost around $1. First-time teachers working at a public school could expect to earn around $1,000 per month. With more experience or working at private language schools, you could earn up to $1,500 or even more. To teach in Thailand, you’ll be required to have a TEFL certificate and a Bachelor’s Degree.
Teaching Jobs in Thailand:
A hot climate and constantly moving glaciers? Do you want to tango down the beautiful streets of Buenos Aires, or embrace their passion for football? Argentina presents a variety of wonderful activities you can do to fill your time outside the classroom. With colorful streets and picturesque landscapes, you’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale.
Teaching in Argentina puts you in the perfect position to explore South America, with it bordering Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, and Bolivia. You could earn between $600 and $1,200 per month teaching English in Argentina. If you want to save money while living here, you could take up additional hours tutoring privately. Peak hiring seasons are usually around February, and again in July.
TEFL Jobs in Argentina:
Climb Mount Fuji, bathe on pristine Okinawa beaches, play football on rooftops in Tokyo. The array of activities to do in Japan are endless. You’ll even be awed by the efficiency of its transportation infrastructure.
Japan is an excellent destination when looking for TEFL jobs because of its work-hard-play-hard attitude. You can reward your hard work in a professional setting by exploring the natural scenery or the high-tech city. Japan’s famous work ethic and polite etiquette mean your students are likely to be respectful and hardworking.
It also emphasizes the importance of incorporating English into its education, meaning that the demand for English teachers is high in Japan. While teaching in Japan, you’ll receive a monthly salary of between $1,500 – $2,700, or even more if you’re working at an international school. Some programs, like JET, will even offer reimbursed airfare and accommodation.
TEFL Jobs in Japan:
This island is blanketed with mountains. In fact, most of Taiwan is made up of mountainous terrain. If you love hiking and exploring the natural world, Taiwan will certainly incite the adventurer in you. Along with its natural beauty is Taiwan’s geniality, as it ranks one of the safest countries in the world to visit.
Teaching at a public or private school in Taiwan pays handsomely, around $2,000 to $2,500 per month. Pair this with a low cost of living, and you’ll be able to live freely while saving up enough money. To teach in Taiwan, you’ll be required to have a Bachelor’s Degree and a TEFL certificate.
TEFL Jobs in Taiwan:
Last but not least, is the beautiful country that is Vietnam. When I say beautiful, I mean limestone isles amidst a blue sea, bountiful paddy fields, Buddhist pagodas, and over 2,000 miles of coastline. Vietnam boasts of a relaxed way of life with some of the cheapest beer in the world and delicious street food. If you like the chaos of a city, the waves of motorcycles surging down narrow streets will certainly have you in awe.
With a teaching job in Vietnam, whether at a public or private school, you could earn between $1,300 – $1,800 or more depending on experience and qualifications. When you pair this with a very low cost of living, your salary will go a very long way. When you aren’t in the classroom, you can spend your money on an exciting nightlife with a thriving ex-pat scene or on weekends away at UNESCO Heritage Sites.
Teaching Jobs in Vietnam:
Which TEFL Qualification is Best for Getting A TEFL Job Abroad?
Of course, the answer depends entirely on your personal and career objectives. If you are only testing the waters or TEFL is a short-term adventure, a 120 hour TEFL certificate will suffice. However, if you want to spend years or even make a career teaching English abroad, you should opt for a higher qualification. Though it may take more time, it will optimize your salary potential and present better TEFL job opportunities.
With our 168 Ofqual Level 5 Regulated TEFL course, you establish yourself as a serious and skilled teacher. This English Government-regulated CELTA level training will take roughly two to three months to complete. Despite its short completion time, it’s recognized as the same level as a Foundation Degree and a CELTA qualification. With live teaching practice and DELTA qualified tutors, you’ll be equipped with confidence and proficiency to lead the classroom.
Find the Best TEFL Jobs Abroad
Now you know what you need to teach abroad, and the top 10 destinations for TEFL jobs! While a degree is necessary for some countries, it isn’t a problem for others. A TEFL certificate of 120 hours is usually the minimum requirement, but why not invest in the 168 hour Ofqual Level 5 TEFLto bolster your earning potential? Whether you want to teach in the charming European cities, the friendly communities of Asia, or the scorching sun of the Middle East, your destination awaits!