Let’s face it – 2020 sucked big time for anyone looking to move and teach English abroad. All of those newly TEFL certified teachers around the world who earmarked countries they were going to go to, applied for their visas and bought their plane tickets either never managed to go or got stuck in the country they landed in thanks to the pandemic. However, what the TEFL certificate allowed a lot of grounded teachers to do was to teach English online as a foreign language. It’s come with its own challenges, allowed the TEFL teachers to gain valuable experience, work remotely, and make money so that they can travel even more when they’re able once again.

Top TEFL Destinations for a Unique Tropical Experience

Indonesia (Bali)

Oh, give me that sun and some coconuts, please. Bali relies heavily on tourism and the locals are eagerly awaiting the day they can welcome them back. Learning the English language for the locals is paramount to reviving Bali’s hospitality industry now and for the future. Indonesia, specifically Bali, isn’t a TEFL destination to make money, not in a school anyway. You also have to be a native English speaker to teach in a Balinese school and have a bachelor’s degree. However, all that remote online working experience you’ve picked up over the last year doesn’t have to go to waste. You can come and teach English online while exploring the island’s natural beauty and enjoying the lifestyle.


Thailand will always be a popular destination. It is no surprise that this South-East Asian country remains high on the bucket list for many TEFL teachers in 2021. Bangkok offers plenty of job opportunities, along with everything else you could ever imagine. Another benefit to moving to Thailand is you can explore so much natural beauty without ever leaving the country.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a beautiful and largely undiscovered country but that is slowly changing as it has a growing tourism industry and is realising the benefits of learning English. This means there is an ever-increasing number of teaching opportunities rising around the country. There will be lots of volunteer work available throughout Sri Lanka. Paid jobs would be low and typically be in the capital city of Colombo with private international schools. What Sri Lanka offers rather than financial wealth is an opportunity to gain invaluable teaching experience in an exotic destination quite unlike any other.

Top TEFL Destinations For Financial Gain


Malaysia is often overlooked because most of the TEFL teaching jobs are located in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. On first glance, this city can be viewed as grubby, hectic and not offering a lot for tourists unless they’re there to shop till they drop. But Kuala Lumpur is an expat haven with plenty to do. It is a wonderful place to live and is connected to practically all the other countries with just one flight. This makes it a great place to explore Asia from. Do your research, bring some savings to help with set up costs and you should be able to find a job easily enough. Some of the benefits about living in Kuala Lumpur is that you can expect to earn enough to have a modest lifestyle. You can also save some money, possibly get accommodation allowance, health benefits and flights reimbursed on yearly contracts.


Many of those who backpack around Asia looking to teach English abroad often overlook the cosmopolitan city of Singapore and treat it as just a weekend layover between destinations. And for good reason as Singapore is not a cheap place to stay. Savings can quickly deplete if you stay in this slick and sleek city for too long without any income coming in. However, there are plenty of opportunities to teach English in Singapore – private academics, universities and public schools all offer positions to TEFL certificate holders, provided you meet the countries other requirements.

Under the assumption that travel restrictions will ease in 2021, then China is a country that has to be included on the list simply due to the constant high volume of TEFL teaching jobs available within the country. Students understand the importance of learning the English language and have been learning online throughout the pandemic so don’t expect the demand for TEFL teachers to drop off once the borders reopen.

The United Arab Emirates

The Middle East is and will remain a highly attractive option in 2021 for those looking for well-paying teaching jobs abroad. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are popular destinations and offer a fantastic lifestyle for any expat. However, the UAE should not be considered a backpacker’s destination and is more for those looking to strengthen their career. The Middle East is likely a lot more restrictive to what you are used to and should only be considered if you are able to accept and respect their culture and laws.

South Korea

TEFL teachers who decide to travel to South Korea can usually get a generous package. This includes flights, medical benefits and high salaries. The hours are known to be long, but the holidays are meant to be generous. Time spent teaching in South Korea can be a rewarding experience for both you and your bank account.

Top TEFL Destinations For European Culture


If the pandemic doesn’t mitigate in 2021 and the popular Asian destinations don’t open their borders for the general public, then Europe remains a great place to teach English and Germany is situated right in the middle of this fantastic continent. Germany offers plenty of work teaching Business English in its major cities for any interested EFL teachers. Teachers who teach English in Germany often operate on a freelance basis, which offers more flexibility over working hours.


A hugely appealing and highly competitive country to land a job for TEFL teachers is Italy. It’s easy to understand the draw. Jaw dropping historic scenery, stylish Italian flair and authentic Italian food create the ideal setting. The demand for the English language is high with not only school children but adults too. International businesses all want their employees to brush up on their English language skills. If you’re looking to stay in Europe in 2021 then Italy is certainly worth a try.


Budapest is a picturesque city known for its cheap lifestyle and for being a beautiful European destination. The requirements are a little higher than the typical 120 Hour TEFL Course. Budapest schools prefer teachers to have completed the 140 Hour Course, but the extra bit of effort is worth it. There’s a high demand for English teachers because school children require English in order to go University. This means there are plenty of opportunities available in private language schools and public schools.


















Our top ten TEFL destinations is just a small subjective list of the countries that hire TEFL certificate holders. If the country that you’re interested in didn’t make our list for 2021, then maybe it should have. There is no right or wrong answer. We just thought each of these destinations sounded an amazing place to live in 2021.

Remember that you should research the requirements for any country that you’re interested in working overseas to teach English.

Traits You Need to Teach Abroad


Ways to Save Money Living Abroad


Tips for Living Abroad in that First Year


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