TEFL Teaching in Asia: What to expect & How to Find Jobs

It’s not unusual to see Asia ranked first on a list of potential places for Teaching abroad. Teachers have long preferred northeast Asian destinations such as Thailand, South Korea, and Vietnam, as many choose to teach English abroad with TEFL. To name few, Thailand and Vietnam are all economically prosperous countries in Southeast Asia, seeking to expand the number of English speakers in their own countries.

While there isn’t yet a large market for foreign teachers in South and Central Asia, demand is developing rapidly. English is on its way to becoming a universal language across the continent, linking students, businesspeople, and visitors to question current views and foster cultural exchanges.

Most teachers will need to be native speakers with a university degree to teach English in Asia. Prior teaching experience may be a requirement in some countries.

Popular TEFL Teaching Destinations in Asia


Thailand is a top TEFL destination known as the ‘Land of the Free’. With some of the highest salaries and a taste of tropical paradise, it’s easy to see why! It has something to offer everyone. The appeal of teaching English in Thailand is enhanced by a hot, tropical environment, pleasant people, and a high but affordable quality of life. Schools hire international educators all around Thailand to provide something unique to the curriculum while also teaching the fundamentals of English. There’s a place for you here if you enjoy warm beaches, exciting nightlife, or alpine excursions.


When it comes to teaching overseas, Vietnam is unquestionably the rising star. Teachers in Vietnam work by the hour rather than on a monthly salary, which appears to be much more flexible than in East Asia. Most jobs in Vietnam don’t need you to work regular hours and will allow you to take unpaid time off to travel or visit family.

While Vietnam isn’t the best-paying country in Asia, the low cost of living will allow you to save a significant amount of money. From what I’ve seen, teachers in Vietnam can save just as much as those who choose to teach in South Korea!

Travel to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, or the Philippines for your vacation! With Air Asia’s affordable budget flights, you can fly to Angkor Wat or Bangkok in hours. It’s also an excellent way to see Southeast Asia if you base yourself in Vietnam.

South Korea

South Korea has been a popular teach abroad location. Every year, many teachers migrate to South Korea since the country has so much to offer foreign visitors. Many people begin their careers teaching overseas in South Korea, which has long been regarded as Asia’s most incredible place to earn money teaching abroad.

South Korea is a terrific combination of old and new, no matter which route you take. You can learn a lot by delving into traditions and history and discovering delightful surprises in the bustling city of Seoul or the peaceful highlands. Employment at a public school, an international school, or a hagwon may be available (after-school program).

teaching in South Korea


If you are a professional teacher or want to pursue a career in education, Japan is the place to go in Asia. Work in one of Tokyo, Osaka, or Nagoya, Japan’s three largest cities. On the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu, explore lesser-known places. Japan’s lovely beauty will enchant you, but you will also be captivated by its distinct culture and food.

Want to hear from our intern’s TEFL teaching in Asia? Click here to read their stories!

Important things to know about teaching in Asia.


Because most schools want to give proper language training to their students, it is becoming increasingly important that teachers are either native English speakers or have other training and experience teaching ESL. A TEFL certification and a bachelor’s degree are the minimum requirements in most countries. Citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand shall be given special consideration.

Work Visa 

You’ll require a temporary or permanent visa, depending on your job. A temporary visa can be used for up to 6 months for short-term work. Permanent visas are valid for a year. Most schools will require job confirmation or sponsorship to apply for a work visa. Keep in mind that some consulates can take up to a month to process your application.

Classroom and Work Culture

Saving “face” in Asian work culture entails keeping one’s reputation or dignity and acting calm and collected in the workplace. Saving “face,” which is primarily an Asian idea, will ensure that you acquire people’s respect and avoid any awkward conflicts with coworkers or employers. Additionally, while in the classroom, dress professionally or business casually.

Because Asia is such a large continent, keep in mind that classroom and workplace culture and etiquette differ from place to place. Keep an open mind and conduct some preliminary research on the culture of your new home! While India is part of Asia, its culture is very different from China or Japan, for example.

What Kind Of Teaching Jobs Can You Expect:

There are many ways to find a job in Asia. There are four different environments you may find yourself teaching in.

Language Centre
  • Allows teachers to earn a more consistent income while adjusting their schedule to include travel time.
  • The classroom’s structure and lessons are established.
  • Work hours are mainly in the evenings and on weekends.
  • Salary is determined by demand. At English centres in Vietnam, you may expect to be paid between $10 and $15 per hour.
  • a class of 15-20 children
  • In exchange for free housing or meals, gain teaching experience.
  • A more relaxed routine is in order.
  • Students who are eager to learn English but whose parents may not be able to pay it otherwise.
  • Pre-planned or structured lessons.
Private Tutoring
  • Setting your own hours is the best option.
  • May be difficult to build a client base unless well-established.
  • Set your own prices.
  • Create your material and work one-on-one.
  • Because it’s a one-on-one situation, students are excited and invested.
Private School
  • The best option for a good wage and a predictable schedule during the week, Monday through Friday.
  • With 40 hours a week, the positions are more demanding.
  • Summer vacations and vacations are available.
  • You’ll have a well-organized classroom with materials.
  • You will prepare your own lesson plans.
  • Class sizes range from 10 to 15 students.

How to apply for jobs in Asia

We had no idea what occupations were available when we arrived in Da Nang, but we could secure significant positions by word of mouth. Our best recommendation is to apply in person whenever possible. Do the grunt work and look around the city you wish to live in for the most significant available jobs.

You can locate work online if you want to prepare ahead and can’t tour the city initially.

Apply Online 

Contact employers via email and send a cover letter and CV. It’s good to tell them when you’re available, and TEFL certified. Your certification will put you at the top of the list for consideration. Make sure to follow up and apply for several positions, keeping an open mind about where you might be hired.

Luckily for you! We have a recently launched Jobs Board on our website where you can find the latest jobs available around the world. Both online and in the classroom. Visit our jobs board here!

Skype Interview 

Following your initial email with your CV and cover letter, you may be requested to complete a Skype interview. The interview is an opportunity for them to learn more about you and assess your English pronunciation. In the end, they want to know if they like you and if kids will be able to comprehend your English accent. Something that is very important when teaching in Asia.

Demo Lesson

The majority of candidates must attend a demonstration lesson at a language facility. The demo is an opportunity for the director to assess your teaching approach. They will either hire you or offer you a volunteer position to gain experience. Teachers must prepare and deliver a 90-minute session on a topic they choose or one they specify. Private schools and volunteer activities do not require demonstration classes.

Asia is brimming with fantastic teaching abroad opportunities. You’re sure to discover something that suits your needs. This can be volunteering in India or Cambodia or paying off your college loans.

For everyone, there are plenty of opportunities. It’s just a matter of choosing which country is right for you!

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is primarily teaching non-native speakers English without the use of translation. This means you won’t need to know their first language. TEFL teachers will need the knowledge and know-how of the methodologies to teach in this way. This is why teachers will first need to complete a TEFL course and gain the qualification.
TEFL is widely used to either teach English online in one-to-one or small group scenarios or to teach English abroad and sometimes even used as an easier way to travel.

One thing to look out for in a TEFL course is that the TEFL company offers an Ofqual-regulated Level 5 TEFL certification. This means the content, teaching, and materials have been examined carefully and are of high quality. A qualification regulated by the UK Office for Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) can be awarded to learners. Another alternative is an externally accredited certification; however, you should make sure that you get at least 120 hours of training, which is the industry benchmark for employers worldwide.

The TEFL Institute have no other qualification criteria to complete one of our TEFL courses. As long as you have a decent level of English and are aged from 18 upwards, you will be eligible to gain your lifetime TEFL certification.

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