5 Reasons to Teach English in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is possibly not the first place that comes to mind when you think about teaching English in a foreign country. However, it has much to offer, and people increasingly realise it’s an excellent destination. It has a rich cultural history, and the Silk Road is one of the most famous landmarks in the area. The local landscape is beautiful, and while you are teaching in the area, you get to explore everything this unique country has to offer, including stunning local cuisine, an excellent social world and, of course, you can soak up the history and learn about how the country arrived at where it is now. If you are looking for a new destination to teach English, Uzbekistan certainly worth considering, and not just for the beautiful country. The average English teacher in Uzbekistan earns a respectable salary, meaning that you will have plenty to live on given that the cost of living is meagre, leaving you plenty left over for exploring ING and travelling or indulging in luxuries you enjoy.
Finding English teaching jobs in Uzbekistan
The demand for English teachers in Central Asia, including Uzbekistan, is constantly increasing. For many years, the second most widely spoken language was Russian, with Uzbek being the mother tongue. However, this has changed, and more people want to gain English language skills. English is a very globally important language, so speaking and communicating in English gives people from Uzbekistan an advantage in the career market. Many young people hope to learn English so that they may leave the country and travel themselves. This means that if you are an English teacher looking for work, plenty of opportunities are available. As with all areas, you can pick up work as a volunteer, but there are plenty of paid teaching jobs provided you meet the job specifications and have the relevant qualifications.
Volunteering can be a great way to fill a gap here, but it’s also the ideal way to see how you enjoy living in a country. If you are unsure whether Uzbekistan is for you, volunteering there can be a great place to gain experience. You are sure there’s nothing to stop you from applying for paid work once. If earning money is vital to enable you to stay in another country, then you need to start looking for paid work before you head over.
Type of Jobs on Offer for English Teachers in Uzbekistan
So, as we have established, there are plenty of job opportunities for English teachers in Uzbekistan, and aside from volunteer opportunities, your most likely source of employment is either in public or private schools at a language school or by private tutoring. So, let’s look at each of these in more detail.
Public schools begin looking for staff during the summer months because their academic year is closely matched to the UK from September to June. This means you can expect work to start in September. To be eligible to apply for a job in a public school, you do need to have a bachelor’s degree. However, it does not need to be in English and a TEFL internationally recognised qualification. Our qualifications meet that criterion and are regulated by an external body to reassure applicants that our courses will give them the skills and knowledge they need to teach English as a foreign language. It also helps if you have classroom experience, but this is not necessarily a deciding factor. Your whole application will be taken into consideration. These qualifications are universal no matter where you go, although some countries do not insist on a bachelor’s degree. As we briefly mentioned, salaries are pretty impressive, and many jobs in public schools include other perks such as subsidised or free accommodation, private medical cover and even the plane costs to get to the country.
Until recently, there weren’t many private schools in Uzbekistan; however, more are growing. These are located mainly in the capital city of Tashkent, and similar to those in other countries, these are fee-paying schools. Again, they will seek your bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification. Tashkent has the most significant populace, making it a bustling city, so if you are looking for a quieter location to call home, you’re unlikely to find work in the private sector. Still, you should stick to looking for public school positions.
Language schools are found worldwide, and more are cropping up in Uzbekistan than ever before. These will not always be found in the capital but in other larger towns and cities. Language schools tend to operate evening and weekend classes to cater to anyone who works during the week but wants to improve their language skill. This means you will primarily be teaching adults, so specialising in something like business English could be a good bet. You will probably work fewer hours than an equivalent full-time position in a school, but some people enjoy this lifestyle because it means they are not at work during the day and can spend time exploring the local area instead.
Working as a private tutor is also an option, but you must be careful if you have also been paid employment from any other employer. Language schools, in particular, can see private tutoring as a conflict of interest and undermining their business opportunity. It’s probably best to get permission before making plans to offer private language tuition. One alternative they may not bother about is teaching English online to students in other countries worldwide. To do this, you must ensure a very stable Internet connection and a suitable computer setup. Finally, before committing, you need to consider any tax rules relating to self-employment and ensure they do not conflict with your visa or work permit. Breaking conditions of either of these can see you removed from the country.
5 Reasons to Teach English in Uzbekistan
So, there you have it. Uzbekistan is an excellent place to teach English as a foreign language, but if that doesn’t convince you, here are the top five reasons why it is such a great destination.
Healthy Job Market
Opportunities for English teachers in Uzbekistan are increasing all the time. It doesn’t look like the demand will slow down anytime soon, so whether you are an experienced English teacher or about to head out on your first paid gig, this is a great destination to consider. With so many opportunities, you can also take your time and find the job that suits your needs.
Negotiating is also not out of the question in Uzbekistan. In very competitive markets like Dubai and Japan, teachers tend to be paid at a fixed rate and are grateful for what they are offered. They also show bias towards the most highly qualified and experienced candidates, making these tricky destinations for new English teachers looking for paid work. Uzbekistan welcomes any teacher who meets the basic qualification requirements, so this is an excellent place to get your first job. However, if you have experience and believe you can bring extra skills, you are very welcome to negotiate your salary in many cases.
It’s A Safe Country
No matter where you go in the world, common sense should prevail. Walking alone after dark, carrying flashy electronic equipment in public and other obvious triggers for potential crime should be mitigated. However, on an overall safety ranking, the country performs very well. Sadly, minor crimes like petty theft and pickpocketing carry on worldwide, and it’s tough to avoid them altogether. Extremist groups also operate in some areas, so it’s potentially better that you avoid Afghan, Tajik and Kyrgyz borders as this is where they are located.
For many people, the decision to live and work as an English teacher in a foreign country has to be carefully balanced with finances. The good news is that Uzbekistan has a low cost of living, and your salaries will make it easy to have a good lifestyle and even save some money. The local currency is the same, but that won’t mean much until you arrive and start living and using it daily. In dollars, the salaries range from $1500 to $3000 per month. You need to check the exchange rate if your home country is not somewhere that uses dollars. You will be pleasantly surprised by the low living costs, which include monthly rental for around $300 to $500.
Although many people visit Uzbekistan as tourists, it’s not one of the most prominent tourist industries in the world, making it somewhat of a hidden gem. This means you can have a very authentic life experience there, and most things remain tailored to locals rather than expats and tourists. It does mean that not many people speak English, but you could always learn some Uzbek or Russian to help you fit in. One refreshing thing is the lack of chain restaurants, which are seen worldwide and are certainly not local cuisine. In many popular tourist areas, there is a glut of fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken, but in Pakistan, everything is much more authentic, and the food that you will find on sale in fast food outlets and restaurants is locally sourced and accurate to local customs.
It’s historically fascinating, with remnants of Soviet Russia’s influence on display and streets of Jewish architecture on one side and Islamic architecture on the other. It’s a fascinating place to visit and spend time in, so anyone who teaches English as a foreign language in Pakistan will undoubtedly enjoy the experience.
A Choice of Location
Uzbekistan offers many possibilities for English teachers, with cities being the preferred choice for most people. Tashkent, the capital and the largest city in Uzbekistan, stands out as a prime location. It boasts language centres and international schools actively seeking English teachers. The city is rich in cultural history and home to a diverse population, providing an engaging environment. Outside of work, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in this intriguing area. If you want to immerse yourself in local history, Samarkand has the crown as the historic centre. You will find plenty of cultural attractions and the ancient Silk Road monuments, and it is slightly more rural than the capital, which some people find preferable.
Another option to consider is Bakara, located in the western part of Uzbekistan. Like other cities, Bakara has a good selection of public schools and language centres happy to work with English teachers. While it is smaller in size compared to other cities, it has a more relaxed lifestyle. The region is rich in history, adorned with beautiful landmarks and stunning architecture. Uzbekistan offers various locations for English teaching opportunities, and the choice ultimately depends on personal preferences and conducting some research to determine the best fit for you.
Teaching English in Central Asia has been somewhat under the radar; however, this looks set to change. There are so many opportunities available for English teachers in Uzbekistan, and the chance to earn enough salary to save money is very appealing.
We offer a wide range of TEFL certification courses, including the standard 120-hour minimum basic that is usually recommended for most jobs. Our courses are regulated and accredited by an external body, which gives you the peace of mind that you are learning exactly what you need to be a confident English teacher in another country.