If teaching English abroad has recently crossed your radar as a likely opportunity, then you’re probably already asking yourself the hardest questions of all — where? Will you head to Latin America? Asia? The Middle East or maybe Europe? No matter which corner of the world interests you most, each has an experience of a lifetime awaiting you. As the demand for Native English speakers continues to climb, more countries are entering the scene and each year different countries make our list for the best places to teach English abroad. Here are our top 10 picks for the best places to teach English abroad in 2018.
- Salary: $1,000 – $2,000 USD/month
- Benefits: Visa and living arrangement included
- Requirements: BA/BS degree, TEFL certification OR 2 years teaching experience, Native speaker and between 20-50 years of age.
- Why Go? China has long been toward the top of many lists on the best places to teach English abroad, and it likely won’t ever fall down! The country has about 300 million people wanting to learn or currently learning English—that means the market for teaching English there is quite large! Add ample job opportunity to great pay and low cost of living plus a fascinating culture and landscape, and China pretty much checks all the boxes one could want for teaching English abroad.
- Salary: $1,200-1,400 USD/month
- Benefits: Housing guidance, visa assistance
- Requirements: BA/BS degree (preferred)
- Why go? Similar to China, Spain has always been at the top of everyone’s list for teaching English, and it’s no wonder why: great food, amazing weather, a mix of cities and beaches, a chance to practice your Spanish, and a solid market for teaching English that never seems to waiver. If you like to live with a European vibe, then Spain is the place for you!
8) Costa Rica
- Salary: $700-1,000 USD/month
- Benefits: Flexible work schedule
- Requirements: A fluency in English and an interest in Costa Rican culture and teaching.
- Why Go? If you’ve heard Costa Rica is beautiful and has a lot to offer the expat culture, then you’re absolutely correct! You’ll never get tired of things to explore there, whether it be the rainforests in several gigantic National Parks, both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, any kind of outdoor activity you can imagine, or the perfect, temperate climate to do it all in. The demand for English teachers will continue to rise here, as locals are paid more for being bilingual.
- Salary: $900-1,200 USD/month
- Benefits: Housing guidance
- Requirements: BA/BS degree (preferred)
- Why go? Chile boasts one of the most politically stable environments within Latin America, but is also one of the most beautiful places you could choose within the region. The geography here will astound you: from desert to mountains to ocean to everything in between! You’ll also find a variety of private institutions to apply to.
6) Czech Republic
- Salary: $700 – $1,125 USD/month
- Benefits: Housing guidance, work visa assistance
- Requirements: BA/BS degree (preferred) and TEFL/TESOL/CELTA certification
- Why go? Because, Prague! And centrality within Europe to explore other countries, that’s why! It is also an ideal place for expats, making everything you already love about Europe easily accessible: amazing food, great beer, beautiful architecture at any corner, cobblestone alleyways, incredible views, and a slow-pace lifestyle. The demand for English teachers is also steady and unlikely to change.
- Salary: $400 – 1,000 USD/month
- Benefits: Low cost of living and flexible work schedule
- Requirements: A fluency in English and an interest in Nicaraguan culture and teaching
- Why Go? If you love Central America and want a quiet and beautiful place to teach English abroad (we wonder how long we can say that) Nicaragua is largely untouched by tourists. You still have your beaches, volcanoes, lakes, and rainforests to see while you’re there, but Nicaragua is much less visited than its southern neighbor and the market for teaching English is growing much more rapidly than ESL teachers are moving there.
- Salary:$500-1,000 USD/month
- Benefits:Low cost of living
- Requirements/Qualifications: BA/BS preferred, but not required
- Why Go? Colombia is a place that literally has everything: a strong Latin culture, a naturally beautiful landscape, delicious food, and an opportunity to strengthen your Spanish speaking skills. Both private language schools and public schools (mostly through volunteer programs like ours) offer jobs here, so you’re not short on variety. If you decide to go, please be sure to wave to those beautiful Andes Mountains for us!
- Salary: $900-$1,200 USD/month
- Benefits: Work permit and low cost of living.
- Requirements: BA/BS and TEFL preferred but not required
- Why go? Teaching English in Thailand has moved to the #2 spot on our list, but not for its lack of splendor or its lack of jobs. It’s still one of the easiest, most laid-back destinations to get your feet wet in a TEFL job while also living in what is (almost) pure heaven. Beautiful beaches? Check! Friendly and welcoming locals? Check! Fascinating culture? Check, check, check! Add a fairly generous salary to an extremely low cost of living, and teaching English in Thailand can even allow you to save enough money to travel around Southeast Asia or pay back some student debt.
- Salary: Varies, with the opportunity to earn in one currency and spend in another. Read our complete guide to teaching English online here.
- Benefits: Work from anywhere!
- Requirements: BA/BS degree, TEFL certification, Native speaker, Strong computer skills
- Why do it? With trends like remote gap years and working as a digital nomad on the rise, teaching English online with companies like VIPKID has become increasingly popular. The obvious benefit is the ability to work from wherever you choose to be (as long as you have a stable internet connection and a computer with webcam and voice capabilities), to set your own hours, and to work as much or as little as you please. This is the ultimate TEFL job for flexibility, but here’s perhaps the best benefit of all — you can earn USD (or Euros or Canadian dollars, depending on where the company is based) while living in Thailand or Indonesia or somewhere with a much lower cost of living.
Now it’s time to ask yourself, where is the best place to teach English abroad for ME? We recommend digging deeper into the countries that interests you before finding a program. If you’re still not sure, take our quiz or book a free consultation and let us help you.
Words by Jayla Rae Ardelean