HOW DO I CHOOSE WHICH COUNTRY TO TEACH ENGLISH IN?
Whatever your reasons, you’ve decided it’s time to travel and you want to facilitate your move overseas by teaching English. You’ve gotten your TEFL Certificate, or if you haven’t yet you’re about to do your 120-hour TEFL Course with TEFL Institute, and now you’re trying to decide which country to teach English in.
- Is earning and saving money a priority?
- How often do you want to travel?
- Would you like to belong to a strong expat community?
- Do you want to be surrounded by nature or live in the city?
- Are you interested in learning another language and what type?
- What region do you want to live in and what type of culture interests you?
If you’re looking to teach abroad to make money, there are several factors that you have to weigh up.
The salary that you will be earning is of course the first consideration when it comes to making money. Not many countries offer TEFL teachers high salaries, sad but true. English teachers can be so unappreciated, and usually the money earned is just enough to cover a lifestyle. So, if it’s money you’re after, then you need to be looking at places that offer high wages. And they do exist!
High wages don’t count for much though if you have to spend everything you earn just to be able to live. Weigh up the salaries you can earn in your chosen destination against how much the standard cost of living will be. Will you be able to live lavishly, have to skimp and save or dip into your savings to make ends meet.
Do your research and see if the teaching jobs include benefits, such as pensions, bonuses, free accommodation, and reimbursement of your flights. All of these factors can make a major difference to your bank balance at the end of the year. Read our blog post for some for some of the most lucrative countries to teach English in.
Good countries to save money in include:
China, U.A.E, South Korea
If teaching English is your gateway to travelling, then consider the opportunities each country will offer you for exploring. Does the country have a lot to offer and how would you get around? Do the jobs within the country you’re interested in working in offer enough time off so you can travel? And is the country in close proximity to neighbouring countries that you can travel to easily.
Unless you’re planning on travelling first while teaching English online, it’s best you secure a TEFL job before you travel. Some countries though will only interview you in person.
Teaching English does not have to be the be all and end all of your time in a country. Many people take the TEFL course as a way to work while living in their desired country before scoping out new career opportunities.
You might be looking to get away from the hectic lifestyle and daily grind and are looking for a career change that will give you the chance to do all the things you’ve always wanted to do. If you’re in search of a laidback lifestyle where you’ll have plenty of fun, make plenty of friends, are surrounded by nature and will be doing something fulfilling, then consider volunteering in one of the more exotic destinations away from city life.
Deciding which country to teach English in can come down to something as simple and as important as the weather. Sitting out in the tropical sun wearing nothing but shorts and t-shirts might sound appealing to you. However, living in tropical climates also means you have to work in hot and humid conditions. Teaching English in local schools where there’s a lack of air conditioning can be hard to deal with every day. There’s also the chance that the constant yearlong sunshine might make you long for four very distinct seasons. Maybe you’re someone who would crave the crisp air and blanket of snow that winter offers, or the colourful change of autumn sweeping in. Little things like the anticipation of shedding your heavy clothes to lighter garments as warmer weather comes in might spark bouts of homesickness.
Your expectations have to be measured when it comes to where you’ll be living. Accommodation is naturally going to be more expensive in the centre of the city, which is where most of the school jobs will be available. If you’ve read our blog post of how much can you earn teaching English online and that’s your plan to make a living, have you determined correctly if you’ll be able to earn enough to pay your rent? Provided accommodation that some employers offer TEFL teachers are often shared living quarters. Is that something that appeals to you or would you prefer your own space?
The thought of going somewhere completely different to sounds exciting for the budding TEFL explorer. Living off the beaten track where you’re the only foreigner may sound appealing to those with adventure in their heart. However, culture shock is a real thing and many of those not prepared can find themselves quickly missing on home comforts. Our blog post on tips to help overcome that first year as a TEFL teacher teaching English abroad can help you prepare for any struggles you might face.
Moving somewhere with a strong expat community in place can make living life abroad an easier transition. By teaching English overseas, you are bound to meet other foreigners who will either help you settle or share in your experiences.