Top 10 Places to Teach English as a Foreign Language

Top 10 Places to Teach English as a Foreign Language

You dream of teaching English and travelling the world. But when it comes to deciding where to teach English abroad, the decision is not always so easy.

With amazing places like Cambodia, Argentina or France to choose from, it’s easy to see why! A TEFL certification is your ticket to seeing the world, experiencing different cultures and helping others learn – all while earning money.

Looking for inspiration on where your TEFL certificate can take you? Read on to find out where to teach English abroad, including some of the best places to land the most fun, rewarding and well-paying jobs.

1. Italy

With its legendary cuisine, historical sites and Mediterranean climate, is it any wonder Italy is a popular TEFL destination in Europe? 

There’s certainly enough TEFL jobs to give you plenty of opportunities to teach, with time to experiences the country’s delights.

Teaching salaries aren’t the highest in Italy, but you can earn enough from its private language schools, tutoring opportunities or summer camps to live comfortably. Teaching jobs in Italy are also up there with the most competitive, and a BA degree along with a TEFL qualification from an accredited provider is likely to be needed. When you’re considering where to teach English abroad, you can’t go far wrong with this beautiful country. 


2. Cambodia

Looking for a slower pace of life? Cambodia is for you. Nestled between Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, its ancient temples and beautiful beaches make it a popular TEFL destination. Not to mention the country’s growing TEFL jobs market. 

The cost of living in Cambodia is also very cheap, making it an ideal TEFL destination when you’re starting out. 

Having a degree is not usually necessary to secure a TEFL job in Cambodia. A minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training is more of a requirement to land good jobs in state and local private institutions though. You will expect to earn more working in a large international language school where a TEFL certificate is a must. 

3. China

China is an incredibly popular country for EFL teachers. Not least because teachers are highly regarded and in-demand, but they’re also often highly paid.  

EFL teachers working at schools in China can earn an average salary of up to $3,000 a month. Many schools also offer benefits like free housing and paid flights. What’s more, the cost of living in most Chinese cities is relatively low compared to Western countries.

There are many TEFL opportunities in China, whether you choose to teach in a school, university or as a private tutor. And, of course, you can teach English online while you discover what the wonderful country has to offer. 

4. United Arab Emirates

Now, this is a country that’s growing in popularity among EFL teachers year on year! The United Arab Emirates offers some of the world’s highest teaching salaries, numerous benefits, and a high quality of life.

There are many large international schools, especially in Dubai, which means there are ample opportunities for teaching English as a foreign language. Competition for TEFL jobs in the UAE is high, however. So, the more experienced and qualified you are, the better chance you have of landing a good, high-paying TEFL job. 

The cultural differences in the UAE might be an adjustment for you, so it’s important to do your research before choosing where to teach English abroad.

5. Spain

TEFL jobs are in abundance in this exciting country. Coupled with its year-round mild climate and diverse landscapes, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular TEFL destination. 

The demand for EFL teachers is high in Spain, with plenty of jobs for teachers with at least a 120-hour TEFL certificate. You can expect to find jobs all year round in state schools, language schools and private tutoring. For shorter contracts, there are summer schools – a great introduction into the world of TEFL.

Keep in mind that it’s not easy to legally work teaching English in Spain if you’re from outside the EU. A student visa is an option for non-EU citizens, letting you work for a limited number of hours per week.

6. Thailand

Rich culture, extraordinary landscapes and, how can we forget, delicious cuisine make Thailand an attractive location among tourists and EFL teachers alike. It’s also a popular TEFL destination thanks to its low cost of living. You’ll likely get a lower salary compared to other countries, but your money will go a lot further. 

The country has a large job market for English teachers, usually for children or younger adults. Most EFL teachers start teaching in Thailand in May and November, typically in public or private formal schools. 

Well known for its more relaxed working culture, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the sights of Thailand outside of teaching. 

TEFL Thailand

7. Argentina 

You’ll be hard pushed to find a more exciting and varied TEFL destination than Argentina. The South American country is known for its vibrant cities, sumptuous food and wine, and adventure sports.

As the economy grows and businesspeople continue to flock to the country’s cities for better job opportunities, English teachers are in high demand. Whether you want to teach children, business English to adults or English online, the TEFL opportunities are vast in Argentina. 

Most TEFL employers in Argentina will require you to have a 120-hour TEFL certificate as a minimum. The average salary for teaching in Argentina is $600 – $1,200 per month, which will allow you to live comfortably. 

8. Japan

With it’s growing economy and private language schools, there are plenty of opportunities for English teachers in Japan. 

You can earn an average monthly wage of $2,500 to $2,800 teaching English in Japan. A private language school (eikaiwa) will likely offer added benefits, such as flight reimbursement, health insurance and social insurance.

While salaries for teaching English in Japan are among the highest, the cost of living can be high. It’s also important to bear in mind the many cultural customs you’ll have to get to grips with. But Japan provides a unique experience with its natural beauty and bustling cities, and you’ll also get the chance to learn Japanese.

9. France

What country can beat beguiling France with its blend of sleepy and captivating settings to satisfy any EFL teacher? 

Opportunities to teach English in this country are vast and varied. Children are taught conversational English from a very young age, and many companies must provide business English classes to their staff. 

The most popular TEFL destinations in France are Lyon, Marseilles, Montpellier and Paris, although you may find teaching jobs in other cities. You’ll typically find work in France in September and January, and you’ll likely need a Bachelor’s degree, along with at least 120 hours of TEFL training, to teach English in France.

Teaching English in France is the perfect chance to experience the country’s rich culture and brush up on your French!

10. Vietnam

Known for its historic sites, diverse culture and exceptional landscapes, Vietnam is a hugely popular TEFL destination. 

The TEFL market is growing in Vietnam. You’ll find jobs teaching English in private language schools for both children and adults. Or you can teach English online while discovering all Vietnam has to offer.

A Bachelor’s degree is needed to get a work visa in Vietnam. You may find some opportunities to land a TEFL job without a degree, but these will be limited. Teaching salaries in Vietnam are also lower than in other countries. However, it’s easy to live comfortably, save money and explore the amazing country while teaching abroad.

Whether you choose to teach in an exotic faraway land or somewhere a bit closer to home, a TEFL certification from the TEFL institute gives you the skills you need to succeed. Find out more about our globally recognised TEFL courses today.

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.

We recommend one of our Hybrid TEFL Courses if you would like to teach English in Europe. These hybrid courses give you the best of both worlds. You’ll get the training and certification you need, as well as teaching practice through the 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course. 

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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