Teaching English abroad in Kuala Lumpur is an amazing opportunity to work and travel. Imagine getting paid to travel to one of the best holiday spots in the world. Malaysia, one of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating countries, is a true mix of ancient oriental culture and the modern world amenities. There is a huge demand for English speaking professionals, as the country is seeing rapid development and growing tourism.

The federal capital is home to more than 6.5 million people, counting all the districts, with 1.8 million in the main city. For the past couple of years Kuala Lumpur has seen major economic growth and development, due to technology and oil. Now it stands as one of the richest countries in Southeast Asia, attracting travellers and business people day in and day out.

Some of the highlights of living in Kuala Lumpur is the ancient oriental culture, warm and welcoming locals, breath-taking sceneries of green hills and mountains, and the modern skylines. Here you can get a mix of everything, from traditional Asian food to luxurious 5-star hotels and exotic costliness.

Teaching English Kuala Lumpur

It’s hard not be intrigued by Kuala Lumpur, let away dream of living and working there. The good news is that there is a great demand for English teachers in Kuala Lumpur, and most schools are happy to cover all your costs, from plane tickets to accommodation and a salary. Therefore, you can really get paid to live in one of the world’s hottest tourist spots.

The first step towards teaching English abroad in Kuala Lumpur is to complete an accredited TEFL course. Most schools and universities prefer TEFL certified teachers, and pay a higher salary if you hold the qualification.

You will find plenty of TEFL jobs in Kuala Lumpur over the internet, as many schools and universities advertise online. If your application is selected, the schools might want to have a telephone interview with you. They will usually send you an offer letter if you’ve been successful.

There are plenty of opportunities for teaching English abroad in Kuala Lumpur, including:

  • Teaching English in Public Schools
  • Teaching English in International Schools
  • Teaching English in Language Academies
  • Freelancing

Teaching English in Public Schools

Due to the centralized education system, public school jobs, such as colleagues and universities, pay fairly low salaries. As a qualified teacher, with both a bachelor’s degree and TEFL qualification, you can expect to earn up to $900. However, you will only work a few hours a week and enjoy all your weekends and long school holidays. If you prefer to have plenty of time to travel around the city and other parts of Malaysia, this could be a great option.

Teaching English in International Schools

Teaching English abroad in Kuala Lumpur in international schools is better paid. The schools usually cover your accommodation costs, so you will earn enough to live comfortably and travel around.

Teaching English in Private Academies

If you want to find a job mid-term this is a great opportunity, as private academies tend to hire all-year-around. The pay is quite good but sometimes you will be required to work evenings and weekends.


Teaching English abroad as a freelancer is definitely the most flexible way to work and travel. You can give private lessons to young learners, students preparing for IELTS tests or business people. However, it can be more challenging to secure a steady income and is probably a good option only if you speak the local language or you have some contacts in the city.

Living in Kuala Lumpur

Get a Job before You Travel

As soon as you complete the course, you become a certified TEFL teacher, ready to work. Look for TEFL jobs, start applying and you could be flying to your dream destination in no time. Contact us and we can help you out.

If you find the job beforehand, most institutions will cover your airfare costs (or at least refund you) and have accommodation ready for you.

Get a Job after You Travel

If you prefer to first travel to Kuala Lumpur and get a job whilst there, that is also a possibility. Some institutions prefer teachers who have set some sort of base in the country, so that can be a competitive advantage.

However, with this option you are responsible for most of the costs. Finding a low cost accommodation in Kuala Lumpur could be a bit of a challenge, especially if you are already in the country. A decent accommodation could cost you around $15 to $30 per night, so it is advisable to bring some savings to help with the set up costs.

Salaries and Living Costs

After you’ve found a teaching job in Malaysia, you could earn an average monthly salary of around $800 to$ 2700, depending on whether you are looking for part time TEFL jobs or full time ones, and of course the type of institution you work for. The cost of living is considerably low, of approximately $900-1800 a month. If your job covers your accommodation, which is very common for teaching internships, you could even save some money.

The tasty Asian food in Kuala Lumpur is quite affordable. For instance, a loaf of bread costs less than $1 and street food, such as tasty stir-fried beef with rice and a beer, costs less than $5.

Work Permits

Malaysian work permit applications are processed in the country. The school you are employed with will apply for the work permit on your behalf.

If you love the buzz of a big city, with modern amenities and scenic nature trails, teaching English abroad in Kuala Lumpur is definitely for you!

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