Teaching English abroad is a good way to immerse yourself in new cultures and earn a good wage. Many countries require certifications such as TEFL but some don’t. Depending on the country and where you plan to teach in a given country, you might even get a position without holding a teaching degree.
However, the highest paying English teaching jobs are those that require qualifications and teaching experience. Here are the best places to launch your teaching career abroad.
There no doubt China has the highest need for good English teachers. With a growing role in the world trade market, children in China need to learn conversational English fast. It might come as a surprise, but many Chinese kids don’t even know basic English words as they don’t have access to American or British media freely on the TV. But the most important reason why these children don’t know any English words or phrases is because they live in remote places.
China is one of the largest countries in the world and many teaching jobs will take you to villages or small towns away from the large metropolitan areas. These places have little to no English language exposure. When teaching in large Chinese cities, you are expected to give your best in terms of business-level English as many of them are international trading hubs. Perks of teaching in this country include a very low cost of living, some of the fastest transport links, and access to one of the oldest cultures in the world.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is one of the places where you can earn the most as an English teacher. Most of those requiring foreign teachers here might be internationals living and working in the country. Many private schools in the state are hiring teachers here. Those teaching here can attest salaries are the highest here compared to other countries in Asia and around the world.
Perks include paid accommodation or deducted accommodation costs as well as a couple of return flight tickets per year. On the other hand, social norms are stricter here and you need to ensure the country is right for you before moving there.
If you want a smaller country that you can travel through easily while working, Taiwan might be your best bet. The food here is some of the best in the world and wages can be higher than in China. It also helps if you speak Mandarin.
But English learning here is in high demand throughout the year. Taiwan is one of the countries that strive for technological innovation the most and this means most of its residents need to speak good English. You can expect to teach in Taiwan anywhere from small cities to large neighborhood schools in large cities.
It might be a bit more difficult to secure a teaching position in South Korea, but it’s worth it. To apply for one of these jobs here, you need previous teaching experience. Certificates such as TEFL are also mandatory in the country as you will be teaching some of the brightest students in the world. Teaching standards are generally high to very high in South Korea.
One of the easiest places to secure an English-teaching job is in Thailand. This country is one of the preferred Asian destinations for American and British ex-pats. This is why it’s such a popular destination for English teachers as aspects of social life might even make you feel like you’re at home. Chiang Mai is one of the places where you can hear English being spoken on almost every street.
Wages are generally low in Thailand. You can’t expect to get rich teaching here. However, it can be the first step into your teaching career as positions are often offered even to those without previous qualifications or teaching experience. If you love good food, sunny beaches, and a low cost of living, you need to try Thailand.
Japan is famous for its public policies that only aim to attract English teachers from English-speaking countries. The Jet program is one of the main routes to securing a teaching position here. High wages are a Western-style of living are characteristic to Japan.
Almost all teaching jobs are offered in rural areas. You won’t be working in the large Japanese cities you see on TV here. But some of the fastest transport links in the world still ensure you can easily travel through the country on days you aren’t at school. In terms of long-term living, prospects are limited in Japan as you will most likely have to leave the country when your contract ends.
There are good chances you can find an English teaching job in Spain. The wages here are generally good and the diversity of teaching locations impresses. From small villages on the coast of the Mediterranean to some of the oldest European cities, there are plenty of locations you could consider if you want to travel abroad to teach English.
A typical work week for a teacher in Spain is limited to up to 25 hours of teaching. This means there are good chances you can simply travel more or pursue hobbies here as you’ll have plenty of free time for yourself.
France is a bit more tricky but some US citizens prefer to come here for its idyllic way of life. The TAPIF public teaching program is a good route into the country. You should be aware, however, that you need to speak conversational French to secure a position in this country. This might be troublesome for some teachers.
This might also be the reason many teachers from French-speaking parts of Canada find the transition a bit easier. Excellent wages and access to one of the most interesting European cultures are some of the reasons why you might try to teach English in France as opposed to some of the more traditional destinations such as China, Taiwan, or Vietnam.