Teaching Off the Beaten Track: 9 Alternative TEFL Destinations

 If you’re looking to get your TEFL qualification and teach abroad, planning the destinations is one of the most exciting things. Many teachers choose to move around and explore, and working as they go gives them an income and means to do so. Many people head to the same destinations; China is always famous, as are Vietnam and South Korea. However, for some people, running off the beaten track and finding somewhere more alternative TEFL destinations suits them better. 

There is little doubt that the most popular TEFL destinations have earned their reputation for providing a lavish lifestyle and good pay for those teaching English abroad. Still, plenty of other places offer something a little bit different and help you explore more of the world.

We have put together nine fantastic alternative destinations that you might find are perfect for you when you are ready to head off and start your TEFL adventure.

Teaching English Abroad in Peru

Our first alternative TEFL destinations is Peru. Paddington Bear comes from the deepest, darkest Peru but has no fear; it’s not all dark forests and bears! There are some lively and culturally exciting cities to explore. Peru has a booming tourism industry; therefore, many locals understand the importance of honing their English skills to communicate and secure better-paid jobs. This could be an excellent destination for any TEFL teacher who has an interest in teaching business English to adults. Still, there are also plenty of opportunities for language schools where you can teach children and adults.

Suppose you do want to head off into the wilderness. In that case, there are rural volunteer teaching schemes for the less economically stable areas, where learning English will dramatically help them move to the first world. Of course, volunteering as an English teacher abroad means you aren’t paid, but you often get your food and accommodation provided for free. If you need a wage to stay as an English teacher abroad, one of the many opportunities in the cities and bigger towns will suit you best. While you are there, check out Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail and the capital city of Lima, which is located on the Pacific coast. 

Teaching English Abroad in Argentina

Our next alternative TEFL destinations is Argentina. Again, Argentina relies quite heavily on tourism for the economy. It has a lot to offer, with glaciers, ski slopes, wine farms, and tango halls. Most opportunities available to English teachers abroad in Argentina will be found in language schools. These are great places for those working to pay their way as they travel the world because classes are often held in the evenings or at weekends, leaving the day free for you to explore.

It’s not very likely that you’ll find a job in a public school, but you may be able to teach children in language schools if their parents have decided they need extra English lessons. More often than not, you’ll be helping adults improve their English skills for business purposes, usually those in the hospitality trade. If you have experience and suitable qualifications, including a master’s or bachelor’s degree and your TEFL qualification, you may find work at a bilingual school. These positions are considered quite prestigious, and only the most educated applicants are considered. Most of the work in language schools can be found in Buenos Aires, Salta, Rosario, Mendoza or Cordoba.

Teaching in Argentina

Teaching English Abroad in Malaysia

Malaysia is an exciting place to live and work. But you will need at least a bachelor’s degree level education and your TEFL qualification to work here. You will find work in the primary education system from kindergarten to high school. There are also private language schools similar to those found in Argentina, where you will teach adults. Malaysia is a tropical country, so it enjoys warm weather, and the locals welcome new people with open arms. It is considered very multicultural. There is a lot of heritage and plenty to do and see in this amazing destination for TEFL teachers.

The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, and there is plenty to explore, including rainforests and luscious beaches. If you enjoy shopping, you can head to the Bukit Bintang district and take in some iconic skyscrapers, such as the Petronas Twin Towers, which are 451 metres tall.

Teaching English Abroad in Morocco

In North Africa, Morocco is another tourist hotspot, meaning there is plenty of work for those who teach English. It has a vibrant cultural heritage, and there is plenty of fascinating history to learn about while you are there. Marrakesh is most famous for its vibrant marketplaces, and if you like skiing, why not check out the Atlas Mountains? Morocco is an excellent place for those who enjoy some of the best cuisines in the world. Business English is another speciality required by locals in Morocco as not only does it help them take place in an international market, but lots of young people want to travel abroad to work and understand the importance of English.

Most of the jobs for English teachers in Morocco will be found in language schools or international private schools. Jobs in international private schools are considered prestigious. So you will likely need a bachelor’s degree and your TEFL qualification to apply there. Most language schools are happy to consider applicants that do not have a degree. Provided they have the correct TEFL qualification. Opportunities can be found in Casablanca, which is regarded as one of the more expensive areas to live or Marrakesh, where you will find a large ex-pat community. Rabat and Mohammedia could be the cities for you if you enjoy a laid-back lifestyle, and sporty outdoors types should head for Irfan. Ensure that any contract you are offered is put into writing, as verbal agreements are often not honoured.

Teaching English Abroad in Brazil

Brazil is a vast country, and there are plenty of opportunities to teach English as a foreign language in places like Rio de Janeiro, San Paulo, Salvador, Santa Catarina, Brasilia, and others. You could spend a few years exploring your way around Brazil while earning money teaching English. There is a good demand for English teachers with a TEFL qualification, some of which will be in the city’s heart, whereas others will be on the coast. It is more expensive to live in the town, but there is plenty of work on offer. Making it an excellent alternative TEFL destination for all.

Living by the beaches may well appeal to some people. You will have plenty of time to soak up the sun or walk on the sand. Locals are very into soccer. So if you are a football fan, it will undoubtedly help. You may even be able to integrate it into your teaching methods. One of the best footballers of all time, Pele comes from Brazil. The country has won the World Cup five times which is the most any country has ever won to date. Again you can expect to be teaching a lot of locals who work in the tourist industry or young people hoping to pursue further education by heading off to North America.

It is also an amazing spot for non-native speakers which you can read more here < < Read more > >

Teach English in Brazil - TEFL alternative destinations

Teaching English Abroad in Kazakhstan

Located in central Asia, Kazakhstan is one of the richest and biggest countries on the continent. However, most people aren’t that familiar with it, although comedian Borat made it slightly famous. It is such a vast country that there are two different time zones in operation, and the climate has five distinct zones because there are mountains, deserts, valleys, canyons, deltas and flatlands. It’s an exciting place to live and work, and they treat their English teachers incredibly well.

It’s one of the countries where you’re likely to find they will pay for your accommodation and even flights if you take a job teaching English as a foreign language. The government was keen to improve locals’ English skills and invested heavily in creating many language schools. Naturally, this is your best shot at finding a job and also expect a good living standard. It’s one of the best-kept TEFL secrets waiting to get out, so be sure you get there before everybody has the same idea.

Teaching English Abroad in Turkey

Turkey could be a great alternative destination if you are a newly qualified TEFL teacher. They don’t seem too bothered if you don’t have a lot of experience, and you will need a bachelor’s degree to apply for a working visa. Most jobs will be found in Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, or Ankara. There are many jobs on offer in private language schools, international schools, business teaching schools, state education primary schools, and secondary schools.

Turkey has a meagre cost of living, and many jobs will come with free accommodation or an allowance to help you afford good living conditions. Public transport is effortless to access and cheap, so you can quickly get around and explore during your time off. Turkish cuisine is pretty legendary, so be sure to try out some of the local dishes. You are eating and living like a native is always the most cost-effective way to maximise your income while travelling.

Teach English in Turkey - TEFL alternative destinations

Teaching English abroad in the Republic of Georgia

Our second last alternative TEFL destinations is Georgia. Not a million miles away from Turkey, just next door, you will find the Republic of Georgia. This is also an excellent destination for English teachers who want to escape the Madding crowd. The capital city is called Tbilisi, a thriving city that has retained much of its heritage, making it truly beautiful. There are some gorgeous sidewalk Cafes serving coffee and other delights. The Republic of Georgia is also home to Mount Kasberg, which has a monastery at the top. As well as your TEFL certification, you will need a bachelor’s degree to teach in the Republic of Georgia.

You will spend a lot of time teaching adults and children, and most contracts last between three and 12 months, giving you the flexibility to move on and explore a new country or stay a little longer. This is another country where teachers will often find accessible accommodation. Not only that but flights are paid for when they successfully apply for an English teaching job. There are also plenty of volunteer programs. This could be helpful if you don’t have much experience and don’t feel confident tackling a class on your own.

Teaching English in the Czech Republic

The final fantastic TEFL alternative destination, the Czech Republic, has a significant demand for English teachers. Prague is the capital city, and there are many opportunities here. But it will be the more expensive location to live in. Fierce competition will be fiercintenseever. Comparatively, the cost of living is relatively low. There are so many beautiful places to explore. Including mountain ranges perfect for skiing and hiking and Bohemian markets. Here is where you will find a delightful myriad of local produce and colourful crafts. Besides Prague, you will find a good selection of jobs in the following cities and towns Brno, Chomutov, Liberec, Hradec Kralove, Ceske Bud Jovice, and Olomouc.

Jobs are spread across language schools, public schools and private schools. Some English teachers tutor privately, but you probably want to build up your experience before going down that route. You will find that a degree is required, and some places even require this to be in English. You will need your 120-hour TfL qualification, and you can expect to teach adults in business English or youngsters following the local curriculum. They will likely offer you free accommodation if you secure a full-time role learning English in the Czech Republic. Accommodation tends to be quite essential and will be in the form of an apartment. The last of our alternative TEFL destinations.

In general, you don’t need a degree to teach English abroad or online. Our certification stands alone and you can get employment without pairing it with a degree. However, some TEFL employers do prefer their teachers to have a degree. More importantly, for some countries, it’s a visa requirement. This means you can’t obtain a work permit without a bachelor’s degree or higher. Some of these countries include China, Japan, UAE and Vietnam. 

Our advice is if you have your sights set on a certain country, look into the visa requirements first before putting time and effort into finding a job there. This will save you time and disappointment. If it’s a school preferability, and not a visa requirement, there’s sometimes some leeway. 

You do not need any prior teaching degrees or experience to teach abroad. Once you have your TEFL certificate, you can secure work as a TEFL teacher. A BA in Education would enhance your CV, but it’s not a necessity. Completing a TEFL course that includes teaching practice, like our Hybrid TEFL Courses, will also help your CV.

If you want to experience different cultures and see the world, teaching English abroad is for you. Not only will you get to explore new places, you’ll also meet new people and get the chance to make a difference to the lives of language learners. A TEFL certification lasts a lifetime. So, you can dip in and out of teaching abroad whenever you feel like it. 

It is not necessary to speak any other languages. You’ll be able to find a job and work comfortably without knowing the language spoken in your chosen country. Of course, it is always an advantage, even if it’s just the basics. We recommend learning a few phrases before you move abroad like hi, thank you, goodbye and sorry.

You’re never too old to gain new qualifications! Some TEFL employers do have age restrictions, but there are ample opportunities for more mature teachers. There are also the options to teach English from home as a private tutor or online tutor.

The accredited courses are the quickest way to get TEFL certified, and are accepted by schools and institutes worldwide. Choose from a 120, 180 or 240 hour accredited TEFL course depending on the level of training you require. 

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