Backpacking, traveling, or holidaying in new destinations is always exciting and packed with unforgettable memories. But there’s something special about sticking around in a new country, diving into a job, and experiencing the culture and ways of life from a deeper perspective.
Teaching English abroad is one of the easiest ways to do just that. Throughout Asia, Europe, and Latin America the demand for native English speakers continues to grow, providing you tons of opportunities to find an awesome job in an exciting new country.
But with so many options, where do you go? Whether you’ve taught English abroad or you’re a complete newbie, you might be looking for some inspiration.
From destinations suited to backpacking teachers to countries with high-paid jobs, we’ve compiled a list of the four best places to teach English abroad.
Grab your TEFL certificate and travel insurance, book your ticket and get ready to go.
Teaching English in South Korea
South Korea continues to be one of the best countries to teach English in Asia and the world. And for good reason, too. The ESL market is booming, which means that finding a job is a piece of cake.
Whether you choose to work at a public or private institution you’ll be spoiled with better benefits than in any other Asian country. These include flights and accommodation, leaving you a large chunk of your hefty salary (between $1600 to $2600 USD) to spend on exploring the stunning country.
The modern, hi-tech cities are incredibly safe. And for a nature kick, you can head to the mountainous countryside or the pristine beaches in Busan.
You may have to take some time getting used to the working culture as South Korea has the longest working hours of all developed nations. But it’s well worth it for the mouthwatering food, affordable costs of living, and interesting culture.
Most jobs require an undergraduate degree and a TEFL/TESOL certificate. But you can find work without experience, so if you’re hoping to teach to travel, you’re good to go to South Korea.
Teach English in Japan
You can’t go wrong with teaching English abroad in Japan. It’s an all-around phenomenal country famed for delicious cuisine, spectacular natural scenery, fast-paced cities, and its unique, fascinating culture.
It’s also one of the best places to teach abroad. The country offers one of the highest-paid teaching jobs abroad ($1700 to $5000 USD). And while the cost of living is pretty steep, you’ll likely have extra benefits such as accommodation subsidies or Japanese lessons.
This is not the best country to make a quick buck on your backpacking tour. But rather, a spot to settle down for a year or more to save some cash and immerse yourself in the wonders of Japan.
You certainly won’t get bored or run out of things to do while teaching in Japan. You can discover the local food in Osaka or head to Mount Fuji. The options for adventures are endless, whether you’re after bustling cities or striking natural areas.
The job market, while flourishing, is quite competitive. However, if you have a bachelor’s degree and arm yourself with a TEFL certification you should have no problem finding an incredible job and soon falling in love with the country.
ESL Teaching in Taiwan
How does living on a beautiful tropical island sound? Taiwan has often taken the backseat to ESL giants such as China and Thailand. But this stunning country has a growing ESL job market that focuses on young learners. If you’re looking to get into primary school teaching abroad, this is a fantastic country to do it. It’s also a great opportunity to choose something a little different and get off the beaten track.
The country boasts a uniquely blended Chinese and Taiwanese culture, contemporary and advanced cities, and all the natural spoils of a stunning island. The salaries in Taiwan are attractive ($1400 to $2400USD) and there are more jobs than there are teachers, so securing a position is like shooting fish in a barrel.
You will need a formal TEFL certification and at least a bachelor’s degree – simply being a native speaker won’t cut it. Much like South Korea, you’ll be showered with benefits, so there are a lot of opportunities to save money and afford all of those cool activities.
In your free time, you’ll have your pick of gorgeous beaches to laze on, mountains to climb and local dishes to make your way through. There’s a thriving ex-pat community so you’ll no doubt find some friends to do it all with.
Teaching Abroad in Spain
Teaching English in Asia is extremely popular and the continent has many of the best countries to be a teacher. But if you’re looking for something outside of Asia, Spain is one of – if not the – most popular European countries to teach English.
The Spanish culture is relaxed and easy-going, centered around food, socializing, and enjoying life. This means that there is a great work-life balance that is much better than most other Western countries, and certain Asian countries.
The salaries are relatively low compared to other countries on this list (€700 to €1800). But the cost of living is one of the lowest you’ll find in Europe. There also are not as many benefits as you find in the countries in Asia.
What makes Spain one of the best places to teach is the high quality of life, the opportunity to explore Europe…and tapas! Instead of planning a Spanish beach holiday, you can be living it.
Are You Excited to Start Teaching English Abroad?
These four countries are just the tip of the iceberg of the best places to teach English abroad. But they’re excellent places to get started, teach to travel, or save up some moola.
First, you’ve got to make the tough decision between four amazing places. Do you want to dive into a completely new culture in Asia, or keep it closer to home in Europe? Are you looking for tech-advanced cities or natural wonderlands?
Next, you need to arm yourself with a TEFL teaching degree which couldn’t be easier a the range of amazing online courses. And just like that, you’re ready to jet off to your new adventure!