Europe’s most stable economy is also a favoured option for those willing to take the jump and Teach English. English Teaching is taught to children as young as five, and many of them become knowledge, if not fluent speakers by the time they become teenagers. Look hard enough, and you’ll find people who speak English without an accent (If their knowledge isn’t surprising enough for you!). Cities like Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Cologne are great options for teachers who want to have a pleasant work/life balance, and a stable income. One thing to keep in mind is that living expenses here may be a little higher than in other European countries.
The interest in languages across the American Border is quite clear. When you think about Mexico, the first city that springs to the forefront is likely to be Mexico City. The Mexican Capital is popular among travellers and those looking to find work as English Teachers. That’s not the only thing, though. The travel opportunities and activities one can do when you’re in the country are plentiful, to say the least. Tulum and Cancun, tourist hubs in the country’s south, have an unforgettable club scene, steeped in thousands of years of ancient history, and attracts millions of visitors every year. If history and nightlife are just a few things you want to see, then the surfing culture found in Baja California and Guadalajara awaits you. The caveat though, is that salaries in this Central American destination are quite low. However, this is offset by the low cost of living and outstanding national healthcare that you’ll receive as a resident if you choose to make Mexico your new home.
South-east Asia is another popular destination for English Teachers, and for those willing to make the jump, the travel possibilities and professional opportunities are sure to please even the most eager. Vietnam is often overlooked, especially when compared to Thailand or Japan. However, with boom cities like Ho Chi Minh, and Hanoi, you will have plenty to do and see. When you venture outwards to beachfront towns like Da Nang and its neighbouring former colonial town, Hoi An, exploring, cooking lessons, shopping, swimming and even the bike ride through its seemingly limitless rice paddies will be among the many things that you will find yourself doing.
Probably among the favorites for not only teachers, but digital nomads as well, Thailand has a lot to offer. Cities like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai are rife with temples, an ever-so-popular banquet of fast-food stalls and restaurants, and clubs and bars to enjoy. Another attractive thing about Thailand is its low cost-of-living, enabling teachers to not only earn a living, but also save a bit of money while they’re at it.
When considering the far east, Taiwan is surely not among the most popular, especially when thinking about major economies like Japan, South Korea, and China. Taiwan is emerging as an option for many English teachers, though, with a diverse culture, a stable economy, and friendly, welcoming locals. Cities like Taipei and Kaohsiung City off the western coast of this island located in the South China Sea have increased their demand for qualified English Teachers, so finding a job here won’t be difficult.
A lot of people might find Colombia to be marred with a violent past, but over the last two decades, it has turned a corner, and became an incredibly attractive place to find a job, especially if you’re an English Teacher. Bogota, Medellin, and Cali are the three major cities, and have found a new reputation for nightlife and food enthusiasts, and locals that are always ready to extend a welcoming hand to English Teachers. Like many other South American countries, on the other hand, one of the things to consider is the low salaries one receives for accepting a job here.
As economies gravitate more towards Asia, a country like China will certainly pique a teacher’s interest. Places like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shinzhen are always eager to help place qualified English Teachers. In addition to an increased salary, reputable companies are always ready to pay for teachers to fly to China, and in some cases, provide accommodation. Of course, the work culture in China isn’t as relaxed as it is European or even South American countries, so expect to put in as many as forty or even fifty hours a week for your work. However, you will be immersed in a rich history going back thousands of years, and you’ll have the opportunity to experience many of the country’s temples, and palaces.
Japan is, was, and always will be a country that appeals to many travellers, teachers, and professionals alike. Major metropolitan areas like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima are always on the lookout for good teachers to work with all manner of students, children and adults alike. When you’re not working, you’ll be among those who are well-paid, as teacher salaries in Japan are high. This is off-set by the comparably high cost-of-living that Japan has, as well. When you have time, take in a Chado Tea Ceremony, or an Aikido lesson. Go to Nara Prefecture and see some of the many historical villages that are still occupied by the descendants of samurai warriors who lived hundreds of years ago. There is one thing to think about, though. Entry into the country might be a little time consuming, as background checks into your education and work history are taken into consideration. Make sure your ducks are in order and follow the application process to the letter when putting in for the opportunity to work in Japan.
2. South Korea
Like other Asian countries, South Korea is always prepared to go the extra mile to making sure that English teachers are well taken care of. From free accommodation to high salaries, from bustling, energetic cities to laid back and serene temple grounds, South Korea is an interesting option for anyone who wants to spend a little time in the Far East. Whether you’re going to the famous Gangnam Neighborhood in Seoul, or hopping on a boat to Japan from Busan, you’re sure to find a lot of interesting activities to take your English Teaching career to the next level.
The laid-back culture, the Jamon Iberico, the flamenco clubs, the charming, medieval history that waits around every corner, Spain has attracted many teachers, and it shows no signs of slowing down. From the nightlife, the museums, and the football matches in Madrid, to La Giralda in Sevilla, to La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, there’s something different to discover. Teachers here can expect to work contracts and possibly pick up a private student (or two!) to supplement their passion for travel. Salaries and living expenses are generally considered to be low, and when you add the many holidays that seem to pop up randomly, the TEFL Teacher can do a lot to add to their travel resume.
What it all comes down to is, “What are you looking for in a country when you decide you want to Teach English Abroad?” Is it the travel opportunities? Is it rich history? Is it the social scene? Are you simply looking for a career change? Whatever your reason may be, you have an entire world of possibilities in front of you. So, no pressure, where do you want to take your career? That is up to you. The good news about it is, there is no wrong answer.