23 Best Countries to Teach English Abroad 2023 (Teacher Insights)

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Teaching English abroad is a great way to see the world and make a positive impact on the lives of others. With many countries around the world in need of qualified English teachers, the options for teaching abroad are nearly endless.

While some countries are great for first-time teachers, others may be more suited to experienced educators. Different countries also offer different levels of compensation and benefits, making them more or less attractive depending on the teacher’s individual needs and desires.

With so many places to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which country is best for you. To help make your decision a little easier, we have compiled a list of some of the best countries to teach English abroad.

This post was inspired by a YouTube video from Vagabrothers. I have also gotten real accounts of experiences from other teachers who love to travel. Enjoy the list!

Psst! Interested in teaching abroad or online? Get qualified to teach English by completing a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course. Getting qualified is the first step you need to take before deciding where to go! Got questions? See our frequently asked questions.

In-depth, internationally-recognized, and accredited TEFL courses for those who want to teach English online or abroad. I took this teaching course before teaching in the U.K. and Spain. Read The TEFL Academy review.

Why Teach English Abroad?

Teaching English is an unforgettable experience unlike any other job out there! You get to make a difference in the lives of others and leave a lasting impact.

Teaching English abroad is a great way to live, travel and immerse yourself in another culture. Not only will it give you the opportunity to make friends and experience a different part of the world, but it can also provide financial stability and help you save some money.

It’s the perfect job for someone who wants to explore a new country, learn about different cultures, and get paid. Teaching English abroad will help you build your resume and increase marketability when you return home.

Having international work experience gives you an edge over other applicants in the competitive job market. You’ll also gain unique perspectives on the world and develop a deeper insight into global economics, politics, history, and culture.

Whether you’re looking to become an expert in another language or just get away from it all for a while, teaching English abroad is an adventure that will surely enrich your life.

Furthermore, many countries around the world offer excellent opportunities for English teachers. Each one comes with its own unique benefits and challenges, so it’s important to do your research to find the best fit for you.

Best Countries to Teach Abroad

Without further ado, let’s look at some of the places to teach English abroad.

South Korea

1. South Korea

  • Salary: $1800-$4400 per month
  • Bachelor degree required
  • TEFL, TESOL, CELTA qualification

South Korea is an excellent choice for teaching English abroad. With its modern cities and high-tech infrastructure, South Korea is one of the most developed countries in Asia. There is a high demand for qualified English teachers, so many positions are available.

Private and public schools pay high salaries while providing apartments, flight allowances, health insurance, and other benefits. If you have a master’s degree, you may be qualified to teach at a university, which is a higher-paying job.

It is possible to save a lot of money each month, especially if you live outside Seoul. You may be expected to work hard for your salary. As well as having a low cost of living in South Korea, it also has a low crime rate.

They have unique traditions and customs and are known for their K-pop music, striking architecture, and traditional cuisine. They are also in the heart of Asia, making it a great place to explore.

My Experience Teaching in South Korea

“South Korea is a great choice for teaching English abroad. I chose South Korea because it paid the highest, and I needed to repay my student loans. I ended up staying for two years and left—thanks to a low cost of living—with my debts paid and savings in the bank, as well as a huge appreciation for and admiration of Korean culture. 

I was placed in the capital, Seoul, at an all-girls public middle school. The school had 800 students over three grades, and I taught them all for one hour a week. Class sizes were large (about 40 students), and I had a Korean co-teacher in the classroom with me.

As an English conversation teacher, I didn’t have to create any tests or assignments or do any markings; I just needed to get my students talking and increase their confidence and abilities in speaking English. We played a lot of games and had fun talking about subjects that my students were interested in—mostly K-pop. 

Teaching at a public school was great, especially when I compared my experience with some friends who were teaching at hagwons, after-school programs. My work day allowed me to have my evenings and weekends free to explore, my pay was always on time, and I had my apartment provided for me. 

Because I lived in the busy capital, there was always something exciting happening, and I spent a lot of my free time exploring the city. There are festivals just about every weekend. Seoul has a number of great markets, like Gyeongdong (traditional medicine), Noryangjin (fish), and Dongdaemun (fashion).

Korean palaces are extraordinarily colorful places of history and beauty. And, as central to the city as the Seine in Paris, there are parks and trails along the banks of the Han River for walking and biking.”

Thanks to Melanie Ferguson for sharing the experience!

My Experience Teaching in South Korea

“Teaching English in South Korea is one of the best things I’ve ever done – and if you’re in search of a unique culture and delicious local food, you’ll love it too!

There is a lot of pressure on the kids to perform well in school, but as their English teachers, we have the chance to connect with them and make the classes fun and exciting.

Salaries range between 2.1 and 2.8 million won depending on your experience, and your flights, accommodation, water, electricity, and health insurance are all covered by the school. I was able to save more than half my salary every month, which allowed me to explore the entire country and travel around Asia when my contract ended.

Moving to Korea was a culture shock, but that’s what I was looking for. I’d never experienced a lifestyle so different from my own, and I quickly learned to appreciate all the differences.

The summers are extremely hot and humid, while the winters are freezing cold! Bucket list experiences in Korea include spending the day at a Jimjilbang (Korean spa), drinking soju and eating Korean BBQ, singing karaoke in a noraebang, visiting one of the temples and palaces in Seoul, and exploring Jeju Island.

Korea is a beautiful country with a rich history which makes it one of the best places to teach English abroad.”

Teaching Abroad in South Korea

Thanks to Carryn for sharing the experience!

United Arab Emirates

2.  The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  • Salary: $3500-$5000 per month (tax-free)
  • Bachelor degree required
  • TEFL certificate is usually required
  • Some teaching experience preferred

The UAE offers a range of benefits to English language teachers. You can expect an average of 20-25 teaching hours per week with benefits such as some accommodation, flight reimbursement, and visa allowances.

Dubai, sometimes referred to as the Middle East’s capital, has a cosmopolitan reputation and fantastic attractions.

There are plenty of things to do night and day, but this also comes with a price tag. The UAE has a high cost of living but has a high demand for teachers.

It may be difficult for beginner teachers to get a job here. They look for highly qualified teachers. At a minimum, teachers should have a bachelor’s degree.

Teaching English in the UAE also gives you the opportunity to explore its stunning desert landscapes, modern cities, and luxurious resorts. The cost of living is $700-$1200 per month without rent. A flatshare costs approximately $300-$600 per month, while a private rented apartment could cost between $1,000-$2,000.

You may not save much in this expensive city unless you are on a good budget!


3. Japan

  • Salary: $1,700 – $5,000 per month
  • Bachelor degree required
  • TEFL certificate preferred

Japan is one of the most popular destinations for teaching English abroad. It is a scenic spot with gardens, temples, and mountains, making it perfect for hiking. Japan offers some of the most amazing transportation systems in the world, making it easy to explore the country during your free time.

Salaries can be quite generous compared to other countries, and many employers offer benefits such as housing allowances and airfare reimbursement.

In public schools, you could have 40 kids in a class and likely be at the school for the full working day. This will give you around $2000 per month.

The international schools are a bit more competitive to get hired into, and you will need to be a fully accredited teacher with teaching experience. These are the best-paying jobs in the country.

Japan is quite expensive. You can still save some money in the first year. After the first year, you must pay a high residential tax based on your income.

My Experience Teaching in Japan

“I began my ESL teaching journey in Osaka, Japan, and I can’t recommend it enough. The vibrant and exciting city life in Japan will dazzle you at first sight. With its chaotic streets, lined with flashing billboards, and traditional temples set alongside modern skyscrapers – no one forgets their first day in Japan!

It’s a lucrative country to teach English in, as there are plenty of jobs available in organized schools and universities. A teaching job here is well-paid compared to the average ESL teaching pay grade in Asia, but admittedly, very demanding due to Japanese work culture. But for those who have grit and passion for education, teaching in Japan is very rewarding.

While teaching here, I got to enjoy the rich, fascinating Japanese culture on a daily basis. I spent my days working and evenings going to nomikais (like Japanese happy hours) with my students, indulging in exquisite Japanese cuisine, beer, and nightlife. On weekends, I was always a short train ride away from stunning nature. Since I was based in Osaka, I had Nara and Kyoto within an hour away – both areas rich in culture, temples, hikes, and parks.

Teaching in Japan also has the added benefit of providing opportunities for well-paid private lessons to supplement your teaching income. Opt to use websites like “Hello Sensei” to create a teaching profile and match with prospective adult learners who are usually willing to pay $50 – $100 for one-hour sessions. 

The cost of living in Japan is higher than in other Asian countries. One can expect to spend $1500 – $2,000 a month for rent, food, and entertainment, varying by how much one likes to eat out and spend on activities. Your employer often pays for your train card, making transportation almost free. A teacher in Japan can make $2500 – $3000 a month, and much more if you offer private lessons.”

Teaching Abroad in Japan

Thanks to Jacqueline for sharing the experience!

My Experience Teaching in Japan

“The most common job for foreigners in Japan is teaching English. I had heard this many times, and so, armed with this knowledge, I arrived in Tokyo, Japan, on a working holiday visa and set out to find a teaching job.

I was extremely lucky to land on my feet quite quickly with a job in an eikaiwa – conversational school. The hours were long, starting at noon and finishing at 9 pm, mostly because those wanting to learn English would come to class during their lunch break and after work or school.

I found the whole experience quite daunting at first. I didn’t speak any Japanese, plus being tall and blonde, I stood out and often felt like I was being stared at. And I wasn’t wrong. I had an experience where some Japanese people would approach me and stroke me because they had never seen anything like me!

The first month or so, I was a little scared to venture too far away from my new flat. But soon, I built up my confidence and could go into a restaurant to order food, and I got used to the train system to get around. Once I could do these things, there was no stopping me. I was always heading to a new Japanese city to explore and try the foods on most weekends.

I know teaching English in Japan isn’t for everyone for varying reasons. For me, though, I really tried to immerse myself in the Japanese way of life, and because of this, I enjoyed my year in Japan.”

Teaching Abroad in Japan

Thanks to Sharyn McCullum for sharing the experience!



  • Salary: $2000-$4,900 per month
  • Bachelor degree required 
  • TEFL and/or two years of prior teaching experience

Teach and travel in Taiwan. Taiwan has a low cost of living and high-paying jobs available. It is said to have a higher standard of living than most parts of Asia. Teachers require a bachelor’s degree, and native English speakers are preferred.

You will likely save money in Taiwan and still live comfortably with your teacher’s salary. Teachers who gain more experience in Taiwan can demand higher salaries, making up to $150,000 NT (approx. $4,900) per month.

You are expected to teach approximately 20-25 hours per week. You will find most of the jobs in Taipei, and it’s an excellent location for new teachers. You can find jobs in public or private schools, international schools, adult language schools, cram schools or at a university.

My Experience Teaching in Taiwan

“Taiwan is a fantastic place to teach English as a job abroad. Many people often consider South Korea, Japan, or Thailand wonderful places to teach English, but Taiwan is often overlooked.

This island nation South East of China boasts a welcoming culture with a friendly atmosphere that makes people feel welcomed and safe. I taught at a buxiban (cram school) when I first arrived in Taiwan, and now I work at a local elementary school trying to make English fun to learn. 

Many people travel to Taiwan to see various things, like the incredible mountains and the East Coast beaches, and to taste some cheap food. If you were to come to Taiwan, you must visit places like Taipei, where you have the country’s capital. You can visit Chang Kai Chek Memorial, climb Elephant Mountain, visit Shillin Night market, and even hike up to Yaming mountain. 

Don’t just stay up north; visit the south in Tainan, the food haven of Taiwan. There are various places like Jade Mountain and many other mountains and hot springs to see, but when you come to Taiwan, you must remember the food. You should eat beef noodles, stinky tofu (smelly but tastes good), mango shaved ice, and even visit the original Ding Tai Fung for some xiaolongbao. 

Taiwan may not be on your list, but with the low cost of living, you can make $2,000-2,500 USD a month, and on a frugal budget, you could save half or more. It is one of the more affordable countries in the area. Take a chance on Taiwan, and experience this beautiful island.”

Teaching Abroad - Taipei in Taiwan

Thanks to Steve Cummings for sharing the experience!

Saudi Arabia

5. Saudi Arabia

  • Salary: $3000-$4000 per month (tax-free)
  • Bachelor degree required
  • TEFL certification required

There is a high demand for English speakers in Saudi Arabia as it becomes more globalized with the oil industry. Most teachers will require a bachelor’s degree, a teaching certificate (TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, etc.), and native-level proficiency.

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There is potential to teach Business English to employees within these companies and jobs in private schools and colleges. You can also teach subjects other than English. Teachers can expect excellent benefits, such as housing allowances, flight reimbursements, and bonuses.

If you want to save money, Saudi Arabia is an option, as teachers can save a large portion of their salary. You are expected to work around +25 hours per week. 

There is quite a culture shock as women are quite restricted. Men and women are segregated in many cases; for instance, a man cannot teach women or girls.

There is a lack of social activities, for example, movies and nightclubs, and drinking alcohol is off-limits. The culture is strict and conservative, and you must respect their culture.


6. Singapore

  • Salary: $2700-$3050 per month
  • Bachelor degree required
  • Prior teaching experience
  • TEFL certificate required

Singapore is a prosperous and progressive country in Southeast Asia, making the list. You are expected to work approximately 20-25 hours per week. While living costs are high, eating out is cheap ($2-$3). You will be able to save approximately $500 per month. 

There are different racial groups in Singapore-Chinese, Malays, Indians, and Caucasians. They used to be a British colony, so English is the official language there, making it a more competitive place to get a job.

You are expected to work roughly 20-25 hours per week. It’s a good idea to learn about the customs and be culturally sensitive as there is a range of traditions within the various racial groups.


7. Spain

  • Salary: €700 – €1,700 per month
  • Teaching certificates such as TEFL, TESOL, and CELTA preferred

Spain is also one of the best countries to teach English abroad. Spain has a relaxed culture, home to siestas and flamenco dance. You will work approximately 15-20 hours per week. You will be able to live comfortably and have time to travel around Europe.

If you have a TEFL certificate, you may be able to find a job at private schools, which are higher-paying. You could also work as a private tutor or teacher assistant in a public school. 

Spain is a popular destination for teachers, and it’s a great place for new and experienced teachers alike.

You can check my experience teaching English in Spain here.


8. France

  • Salary: $1,500-$4,000 per month
  • Bachelor degree required 
  • TEFL certification required

If you’re looking for a place to teach English abroad, consider France. The country is renowned for its educational system and highly values English speakers to complement it.

In terms of salary, teachers typically earn between $1500 and $4,000 a month. This amount may be supplemented by additional benefits such as housing and health insurance, depending on the school.

If you have around two years of teaching experience, you may be able to get a job at an international school or private school. There are plenty of other teaching positions in France that do not require experience. 

Paris is a popular destination in France, but it is also quite expensive. Don’t be afraid to look at other cities in France and see what they have to offer.

You are expected to work long hours and potentially some weekends. But you will experience an amazing culture and contribute to one of the best educational systems.


9. Thailand

Thailand is becoming a more popular teaching destination due to its tropical climate and breathtaking views. Teachers are expected to work approximately 40 hours per week in public schools. Private schools and universities require much fewer hours. 

While most teachers work at public or private schools, private schools are probably the most coveted positions. If you have a degree in education, this might be the best option to look into.

It has a low cost of living, and you can live on as little as $600 per month. Schools get lots of time off, so even if you feel the hours are long, you may be able to get 2-3 months off during the summer.  It is the perfect opportunity to travel around Southeast Asia.

Costa Rica

10. Costa Rica

  • Salary: $300 – $1,000 per month
  • TEFL certificate optional

The demand for teachers is very high in Costa Rica. Teachers can expect to find jobs in San Jose or a major city. You most likely won’t find a job along the beautiful coast, but there are many beaches and things to see in the Central Valley. 

There is a low cost of living so you can live comfortably with the salary here. Most schools don’t hire you until you’re in the country. Getting a visa may be a long and cumbersome process, so you must pay special attention to this.


11. Italy

  • Salary: $1,200-$3,000 per month
  • TEFL certificate required
  • Teaching experience preferred

Living in Italy can be incredibly rewarding and offers plenty of cultural experiences, from exploring the streets of Rome to sampling the cheeses and famous wine. It has more art and masterpieces per square mile than any other country in the world! With the right qualifications, teaching English in Italy can be a fulfilling and enriching experience.

Job seekers looking to teach English in Italy will have plenty of opportunities as the need for qualified instructors is growing. Private international schools often require a minimum of two years of full-time experience, government-issued teaching certification from their home country or state, as well as a TEFL qualification and prior teaching experience.

Public and private language schools also offer teaching positions. Teachers are usually expected to have a TEFL certificate, and previous teaching experience is often required.

Teaching abroad in Italy can come with a salary that allows for comfortable living, though airfare and housing are not typically included. To have the best chance of securing a teaching position, applicants should start looking for jobs in early spring and be prepared with the necessary qualifications.

Non-EU citizens will need to apply for a visa in order to teach abroad in Italy. When it comes to housing, most teachers are responsible for finding their own accommodations; however, some schools may provide support for those searching for a place to live.

My Experience Teaching in Italy

“Italy is a fantastic country to live in to teach English! The country is very unique, with a really rich history and vibrant, passionate culture, as well as incredible architecture and delicious food, of course! For me, living in Rome, teaching English was incredible.

I taught English, as well as Business English, and also worked as a nanny in the evenings! I made friends with lots of other ex-pats working there. Hence, we always went on adventures to new places every weekend – whether it was to the beach or different cities such as Siena or Naples, or even just exploring the different neighborhoods of Rome, we had lots of fun, and I was surprised there was such a big English speaking ex-pat community!

Rome is full of impressive ancient ruins, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum, which are must-see Instagrammable places in Rome. St. Peter’s Basilica in The Vatican, Castel Sant’Angelo, and the gorgeous neighborhood of Trastevere are also must-visits. It’s impossible to get bored in this beautiful city!

The cost of living in Rome is a bit higher than in other cities in Italy. However, it is still reasonable, and salaries for English teachers are sufficient to live comfortably, especially if you rent a room in a shared apartment.

Teaching English in Italy is an excellent experience, and you’ll definitely learn to be flexible, patient, and adaptable! It exceeded my expectations and provided me with a unique opportunity to experience the history, culture, and cuisine of Italy while gaining valuable teaching experience, which I will always be thankful for!

Living in Italy is totally different from going on holiday there, and I would definitely recommend it as a great country to teach English abroad.”

Teaching Abroad in Rome, Italy

Thank you to Catrina for sharing the experience!

My Experience Teaching in Italy

“Eating pizza and gelato, gazing at Renaissance art, imagining gladiator games in the Colosseum – all wonderful reasons to visit Italy.  But immersing yourself in daily life can be even more rewarding!

I had the opportunity to teach English to middle-school-age students (11 years old) in Florence, Italy.  

While teaching, I was able to explore a new neighborhood (the school wasn’t in the historic center of Florence, where most tourists spend their time), wander through the local markets, and of course, try new restaurants.  

I found the students very eager to learn, and I was surprised at how vocal they were.  I’d imagined a silent classroom and having to work hard to get students to speak. That wasn’t the case!  

The school I worked with was very organized, and the materials were prepared for me so that I could focus on my time in the classroom.  I also created a few learning games of my own and let the students ask questions about growing up in the United States (using their English whenever possible!)

Italy is an incredible destination for teaching English because there is so much to see and do when you’re not teaching.  Florence has so much to see, including the Accademia Gallery (home to Michelangelo’s famous David statue), the Uffizi Galleries, charming piazzas, the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, markets full of character, amazing gelato, and more.  

You won’t get bored, but if you want to explore outside of the city, it’s easy to hop on a train and head to Rome, Venice, or smaller towns throughout the country.  

While Florence isn’t inexpensive, you can definitely find ways to stretch your euro, like making picnics with fresh local ingredients from markets, exploring parks like the Cascine and the Rose Garden, seeking out free concerts in churches, and enjoying sunset views from Piazzale Michelangelo and San Miniato al Monte.”

Teaching English Abroad - Florence Italy

Thank you to Candice for sharing the experience!


12. China

  • Salary: $1,250 – $3,000 per month
  • Bachelor degree required 
  • Native English speakers required
  • Two years of teaching experience

China is one of the most popular teaching destinations, as hundreds of millions of ambitious students learn English in China. There are plenty of opportunities to teach in the rural countryside and the cities, which is why China is one of the best countries to teach English abroad.

If you work at a private institution or international school, you can earn double your monthly salary or approximately $4400.

Many jobs offer perks, such as flight reimbursement, housing, and even Chinese lessons. Public school classes can be large, with up to fifty students.

Private schools have fewer students, but there may be a lot expected from you. It is best to use a recruitment agency to find a job you are interested in.

Although the language barrier may be a bit intimidating at first, living in China is a great way to immerse yourself in another culture and learn about its unique history and traditions.

My Experience Teaching in China

“One of the best countries to teach English as a second language is China. From the cost of living to places to visit, China offers great opportunities for teaching, like international schools, public schools, or universities.

The cost of living in China can range from $100-$1,000 depending on which city you accept a teaching position. In larger cities like Beijing and Shanghai, the cost of rent will be higher, while in smaller cities, it will be much lower. The cost of rent, however, can be completely free if it’s covered by the company you decide to teach with.

Food and eating out is also low-cost option in China. Meals at a restaurant will cost around $3-5 USD, and groceries can be found for even less! With such an affordable lifestyle, teaching in China is one of the best options for teachers on a budget.

When it comes to traveling, China has plenty of places to see, like the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, pandas in Chengdu, and the Terracotta Warriors. China also offers many cultural activities, such as Tai Chi, martial arts, and calligraphy.

The Chinese culture is also very welcoming, and teachers are sure to feel right at home in this culturally diverse country. The people are friendly and willing to help out anyone who needs it, so don’t worry about feeling like a foreigner when teaching in China.

A con to teaching in China is the language barrier. You’ll definitely need to learn some of the languages in order to get around and order food. Reading Chinese characters will also be a challenge, but you can hire a teacher or take part in a language-learning program.

I had a wonderful experience teaching English in China. Not only did I gain teaching experience and love the community I worked in, but I was also able to build my savings to the point where I could pay off my student loans and travel all over the world.

If you’re looking for a rewarding teaching experience with plenty of room for exploration and growth, China is the perfect destination for teaching English abroad!”

Teaching English Abroad in China

Thank you to Pafoua for sharing the experience!

My Experience Teaching in hong Kong

“Teaching in Hong Kong is not like teaching anywhere else in the world. While many people choose to teach English abroad as a means to travel and see it more as a bit of fun, those who are serious about the profession will find great opportunities in Hong Kong.

In order to teach in Hong Kong, you must be fluent in English, hold a 120-hour TEFL certificate, and have a degree of any kind (it can be in teaching or pet psychology, it really doesn’t matter, you just need one for the visa).

What attracts most people to Hong Kong is the salary. English teachers in Hong Kong are paid very well.

Most teaching jobs start at around $23,000 – $25,000 HKD ($2,900 – $3,100 USD) per month. The lower-end jobs are in learning centers and pre-schools.

If you have a teaching degree or a master’s in education, you can earn up to $50,000 HKD ($6,300 USD) per month. I’ve heard of teachers at International Schools being paid even more.

It’s crazy money.

Another good reason to choose Hong Kong is the quality of life. Hong Kong has something for everyone when it comes to things to do.

While it’s a huge metropolis known for its high-rise buildings and luxury shopping malls (all things you can afford on your teacher’s salary) it’s also home to clean and beautiful beaches and hundreds of hiking trails.

If you love the great outdoors, then Hong Kong is a haven.

Admittedly, the cost of living in Hong Kong is quite high. A one-bedroom apartment with just enough space to swing a cat will cost you between $9,000 – $12,000 HKD per month.

You can find a room in shared flats for anywhere between $7,000 – $10,000 HKD per month, but generally, you are looking to spend ⅓ of your salary on accommodation.

The good news is that after your expensive accommodation is paid for, everything else in Hong Kong is really cheap.

The MTR and bus network are only a few dollars, and most of the attractions in Hong Kong are free.

I was also able to save up A LOT. I could put a deposit down on a house in the UK after one year of working in Hong Kong; that’s how much I saved. And I wasn’t even trying to save that much; I just didn’t need to spend money.

Food is also really high quality in Hong Kong. If you shop at the local markets, you can get a huge bag of vegetables for only a few dollars.

I also love how you can find literally any cuisine in Hong Kong. The local delicacy is dim sum, which is very cheap, especially during afternoon tea time. You can also find a lot of Japanese, Korean, Hot Pot, and Shanghainese restaurants because the locals love them.

The locals are generally very friendly, and most people speak good English, but even if they don’t, they are always patient and try to communicate with you. I love how in Hong Kong, there is always some kind of festival going on, and people take their traditions very seriously.

The annual Chung Chau festival (known across the world as the bun festival) is a great event where locals climb a tower of buns.

I also love the dragon boat races held every summer as people get really into it.

I found that during my time in Hong Kong, I was never bored or ran out of things to do. I managed to make a lot of friends because the ex-pat community is quite small.

But I do recommend you make friends with the locals too. One of the best parts of traveling and teaching English abroad is learning about new cultures and immersing yourself in new experiences.

I may be the only ex-pat in a dim sum place sometimes, but because I have taken time to get to know the culture, understand the customs, and even speak a bit of the language –  I feel so at home in these more local places.

In fact, I call Hong Kong “Home Kong” because of how at home it has made me feel.”

Teach English Abroad in Hong Kong

Thanks to Louisa Smith for sharing the experience!


13. Chile

  • Salary: $500 – $1000 per month
  • Bachelor degree required
  • TEFL certificate preferred

Chile is a great place in South America for English teachers. Chile is a fast-developing country with stunning beaches and modern infrastructure.

The visa is free for U.S. citizens but can be expensive for those living outside of the U.S. You will have to talk to your employer about it to see if they can cover the fees. After two years, you can apply for residency.

Housing and airfare may not be included with your teaching contract, but housing is cheap. You can earn more in Santiago, where the salary may reach $1500 per month, depending on how much you work.

czech republic

14. Czech Republic

  • Salary: $600 – $1,500 per month
  • Bachelor degree preferred
  • TEFL certificate required

The Czech Republic is a romantic destination full of castles and beer traditions. Although earning potential isn’t high, an English teacher can expect to make between $600-$1,500 per month. This can go up depending on experience and qualifications.

In recent years, the Czech Republic has become a popular destination for business, investment and tourism, leading to increased demand for English teachers in cities such as Prague and smaller rural towns.

To work as an English teacher in the Czech Republic, most people will need at least a bachelor’s degree in English or a related field. Some language schools may also require certifications such as TEFL or CELTA. Additionally, living expenses are relatively low which makes it possible to save money while working here.


15. Jordan

  • Salary: $900 – $1,500 USD per month
  • TEFL certificate recommended
  • Two years of teaching experience recommended

English teachers are in increasingly high demand in Jordan, with many young students looking to learn English.

Jordan has welcomed people, beautiful scenery, and a spectacular cultural history. It is a great place to explore the middle east. Amman and Irbid are popular teaching destinations.

Schools are located in major cities, and you may find a job at an international school or by private tutoring. You may get the opportunity to live with a local family and fully immerse in the culture.


16. Lebanon

  • Salary: $900-$1,500 per month
  • Bachelor degree preferred
  • TEFL certificate recommended

Teachers are expected to work about 20-30 hours per week, giving you time to explore Lebanon’s beauty. Home to ski resorts, Roman ruins, and cosmopolitan cities, Lebanon’s international status is rising.

Lebanon is a multicultural and easy-going country. You will find that it is a relatively open culture but still a little conservative.

Wages are not high, but the cost of living is low. French or English is spoken alongside Arabic. You could find work at a private school, language school, or by being a private tutor.


17. Brazil

  • Salary: $800 – $1,300 per month
  • Bachelor degree preferred
  • TEFL certificate recommended

Enjoy football, the samba, or carnivals? Brazil is a culturally rich country in South America. You will have to find a job in a private school, company, or as a private tutor.

It is recommended to apply for a job when you arrive in Brazil. You should work an average of 25 hours per week to earn the average salary stated above.


18. Turkey

  • Salary: $500 – $1,500 per month
  • Bachelor degree preferred
  • TEFL certificate is usually required

Incredible mountains, breathtaking cities, and lively culture makes Turkey a unique country to teach English. You can find work at language academies teaching adults, universities, or private schools.

Teaching in Turkey is becoming more popular yearly, and teachers can expect a reasonable salary.

You can potentially save money in Turkey due to the affordable cost of living. Teaching in Turkey may produce slightly unreliable teaching hours, especially around Ramadan and the summer season.

Teaching in Turkey also offers opportunities to travel to other countries around Europe at a relatively low cost, as Turkey is an intercontinental country.


19. Indonesia

  • Salary: $650 – $1,050 per month
  • Bachelor degree required
  • TEFL certificate required

The cost of living in Indonesia is quite low when it’s home to beautiful islands, clear water, and amazing temples.

You may find work at a private school or language school, such as the EF language program. Many schools provide housing allowances and other benefits.

Jobs are plentiful in Jakarta, and the streets can be quite chaotic. Nevertheless, they have delicious cuisine, and energetic teachers have the chance to go island-hopping and explore the nightlife.

Their language is one of the easiest languages to learn – no tenses, verb forms, or gender rules! So no excuses to pick up a new language!


20. Vietnam

  • Salary: $1200 – $2,000 per month
  • Bachelor degree required
  • TEFL certificate required

Another place where there is a great demand for English teachers is Vietnam. With a low cost of living and stunning natural scenery, Vietnam is a great location to explore and is one of the best countries to teach English abroad.

You will most likely get a job teaching children in a private language school, state school, or giving private lessons. Many teachers are going to Vietnam as it is becoming a popular teaching destination.

You should be able to save up to half of your income each month, and finding a job while in the country is relatively easy.


21. Colombia

  • Salary: $700 – $1,000 per month
  • Bachelor Degree required
  • TEFL certificate is usually required

Colombia has amazing beaches, tropical rainforests, and beautiful mountains. A lot of young Colombians are looking to learn English as it improves their job opportunities.

Most teachers work 40 hours per week. They can find jobs at private, public, or language schools under the TEC initiative (a government program to promote English learning).

Colombia is known for its laid-back, go-with-the-flow culture, so you may need to adapt to this way of life.

My Experience Teaching in Colombia

“I taught at a private school in Medellín, Colombia, and would highly recommend Colombia as a destination to teach English. Colombians are diverse, friendly, and love to have fun! As more and more tourists come to Colombia, there is a desire to learn English. Many Colombians I met lived in North America or had family living there.

Colombia is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. You can enjoy the tropical beaches of Cartagena, the high-altitude city of Bogotá, the lush mountains of Medellín, or even the Amazon jungle!

It is safest and easiest to fly between cities. The country is shedding its reputation as an unsafe destination, although you must still be cautious, and there are still parts of the country you should not travel to.

Colombia is a good place to try adventure sports like paragliding or white-water rafting. It’s also popular with people who want to learn Spanish, and there are many places to take Spanish lessons.

The cost of living in Colombia is very inexpensive, so salaries are lower. You will be able to get what is a very good salary in Colombia. If you have bills to pay back at home, it won’t be easy to save up a substantial amount of money.”

Teach English Abroad - Medellin, Colombia

Thanks to Kristin for sharing the experience!

kuala lumpar malaysia

22. Malaysia

  • Salary: $1,000 to $2,300 per month
  • Bachelor degree preferred
  • TEFL certification and at least two years of experience is preferred

As an English teacher in Malaysia, you can expect to receive a comfortable salary that is well-suited for modest living. Those with a bachelor’s or master’s degree and teaching experience may be able to secure higher pay.

The cost of living in Malaysia is much lower than in western countries, though it will be significantly more expensive if you choose to live in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Typically, a working week will involve 25 teaching hours as well as preparation time. There are always opportunities to apply for teaching jobs throughout the year, and most employers offer benefits such as medical insurance, accommodation, and paid annual leave.

Malaysia is an incredibly diverse country with many cultural influences that can be explored through its unique cuisine and architecture. It is well-connected for exploring other parts of Southeast Asia as well as Malaysian Borneo. This means you can get plenty of passport stamps from traveling between the two regions!

My Experience Teaching in Malaysia

“Malaysia is a unique destination for travelers of all types. With its blend of cultures, traditions, and languages, it’s an exciting place to explore! During my time teaching in Malaysia, I experienced the charm and vibrancy of the country firsthand. 

The culture was warm and welcoming – people were friendly and always willing to share their stories and chat. I had the opportunity to experience traditional customs, such as celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Malaysia’s biggest festival, which marks the end of Ramadan and lasts for a month. The colorful decorations and festive atmosphere were incredible, and I was welcomed into the home of a local family to celebrate.

No trip to Malaysia is complete without experiencing some of its most popular attractions. A must-see is the Batu Caves, which are a top tourist attraction and one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

There are also some beautiful tropical islands to explore, such as Langkawi and Tioman Island – perfect for snorkeling and scuba-diving!

Aside from sea activities, it’s worth visiting some of Malaysia’s national parks and nature reserves, such as Taman Negara National Park. Malaysia also offers a range of unique cuisine – from local dishes like nasi lemak to international favorites. 

Teaching English in this beautiful country was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and even years later, I still remember it fondly.”

Teach English Abroad in Malaysia

Thanks to Victoria for sharing the experience!

laos temple

23. Laos

  • Salary: $800 to $1500 per month
  • TEFL certification required
  • Bachelor degree strongly preferred

Laos is a lesser-known Southeast Asian nation known for its relaxed atmosphere, friendly locals, and great adventure opportunities. Bordering countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and China, it’s a hidden gem for travelers looking to discover the history and culture of the region.

ESL teachers are needed in Laos to help teach English in underfunded and neglected classrooms, with salaries ranging from $800 – 1,500 USD. Teachers can work in universities or language institutions, as well as international schools in Vientiane.

Classes are typically conducted in the evenings, but sometimes mornings too, leaving plenty of time for teachers to explore all that Laos has to offer. Backpacking is a popular activity, and the low cost of living means a teacher’s salary will cover all the expenses. All in all, Laos is an ideal destination for teachers looking to make the most of their experience!

My Experience Teaching in Laos

“I taught English in Vientiane, Laos, for two years and loved it. It was an after-class program for teenagers, but I also taught Business English to local companies. If it’s a choice between teenagers or adults, I always prefer teaching adults. 

My Lao students were lovely and welcoming, and I was often invited into their homes to weddings, parties, and even funerals. Teaching adults is an excellent way to learn about the local culture, the best restaurants, and things to do in a place. 

Many travelers to Laos rave about Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng but claim Vientiane is soulless and dull, but I loved it. This city was unique because of its hidden gems – the temples, monk chats, the walks alongside the Mekong River, the sunsets, the riverfront aerobics with the locals, the quirky Buddha Park, and day-to-day living. 

Living in Laos was affordable too. If you lived like a local, buying food at the markets, you could have a fabulous meal for around a dollar. Knowing some words of Lao will also make shopping in the market a more interesting experience. 

If you opt for the fancier coffee shops or French restaurants (Laos was once a French colony), then yes, expect to pay considerably more. 

Rent can be a little pricy. Many big charities come to Laos with significant budget allowances for renting houses, and greedy landlords soon learned they could charge foreigners more. 

My partner and I lived in a lovely two-bedroom house overlooking the Mekong River with a nice garden, and we paid $1000 a month. But come away from the river, and the price drops significantly. 

Would I recommend teaching in Laos? Yes, by far my favorite teaching destination.”

Teach English Abroad in Laos

Thanks to Sarah for sharing the experience!

teach online 1

24. Bonus! Teach Online

Teaching English online has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s a great way to gain valuable experience while still earning a good salary.

Many companies offer to teach positions online, and they usually allow you to work from the comfort of your own home. This makes it an ideal option for those who want to teach English but don’t want to move to a different country.

Cambly is a great company to get started with, but you can find many other companies on this list.

Countries to Teach Abroad Without a Degree

  • Argentina
  • Cambodia
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Laos
  • Jordan
  • Mexico
  • Myanmar
  • Nicaragua
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Taiwan (two-year associate’s degree as a minimum)

Where Can I Save The Most Money Teaching English Abroad?

  • South Korea ($1,000-$1,500+)
  • China ($600-$1,500+)
  • The UAE ($800-$1,000+)
  • Saudi Arabia ($800-$1,000+)
  • Japan ($500-$800+)
  • Taiwan ($500-$700+)
  • Vietnam ($400-$600+)
  • Turkey ($300-$500+)
  • Thailand ($200-$400+)


These are just some of the best countries to teach English abroad. With its excellent job opportunities, generous salaries, and amazing cultural experiences, teaching English abroad is an incredible opportunity for those looking for adventure and personal growth.

No matter where you choose to teach, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience. Make sure you get your TEFL certification before going on your first venture. Here are our affordable TEFL course recommendations.

Where do you want to teach abroad? Let me know in the comments section!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country has the highest demand for English teachers?

China has a very high demand for English teachers. It is one of the largest employers of EFL teachers globally. Other countries include Cambodia, Mexico, Spain and Brazil.

Which European country pays English teachers the most?

The Netherlands ($1,750 – $3,200) or Germany ($2,500 – $4,800) offer some of the highest salaries in Europe. You should be able to save some of this, although the cost of living is higher than in some other European countries.

Is Teaching abroad worth it?

Yes, absolutely! Teaching abroad is a challenging but rewarding experience. You learn so much when you move abroad, and it’s definitely something worthwhile to try if you get the opportunity!

Is teaching English abroad stressful?

Teaching abroad can bring its own set of stressors. From adjusting to a new culture and language to dealing with different teaching methods and standards, many factors can make the transition difficult. It’s important to keep in mind that, just like with any job, there will always be challenges. However, there are some things you can do to make the transition easier and lessen any stress or anxiety you may feel. Do your research and plan carefully before making the move!

In which country are teachers most respected?

Teachers are highly respected in China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Russia, South Korea and Indonesia.

Can you make a living teaching English abroad?

Yes, it is possible to make a living teaching English abroad. Depending on the country you choose and the type of job you have, you can potentially earn enough money to cover your expenses while still having some left over for leisure activities.


No! Whether you’re in your twenties or seventies, you can still teach English abroad. Age is not a factor in determining whether someone is qualified to be an ESL teacher. Your experience and enthusiasm for teaching are more important than age when it comes to securing a job.

Can I teach English abroad without a TEFL certificate?

Yes, some countries allow you to teach English without a TEFL certificate. However, having a TEFL certificate will give you an edge over other candidates and will open up more opportunities in terms of job prospects. Additionally, it can also help you secure higher-paying jobs, as many employers prefer teachers with certification. For these reasons, we recommend that you get a TEFL certificate before applying for any teaching positions abroad.

How many hours of TEFL do I need to teach abroad?

Most countries will accept a minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training to teach English abroad. However, it is important to note that some countries may require more than this. Additionally, having a TEFL certification with additional specializations may be beneficial and will help you stand out from other candidates.

Where can I save the most money teaching English?

Some of the best places to save money when teaching English include South Korea, China and the UAE. In Europe, consider Turkey or the Czech Republic.

i am a state-certified teacher. do I still need a tefl certificate?

Yes, having a TEFL certification is usually a requirement to teach English abroad and will open the door to many opportunities. Even if you are already a certified teacher in your home state, employers abroad may still require you to have a TEFL certificate before hiring you. A TEFL certificate is not a teaching license— it will provide additional insight into teaching English as a foreign language.

Do I need to know another language to teach English abroad?

No, you do not need to know another language to teach English abroad. However, it may be helpful to have some knowledge of the local language as it will help you adjust to your new environment and enable you to communicate better with colleagues or students.


No, you do not necessarily need a bachelor’s degree in education to teach English abroad. While having an education-related degree may make you more competitive when applying for positions, TEFL certification and a bachelor’s degree in any subject are the typical requirements for a teaching job. There are also plenty of options available to those with only a high school diploma or equivalent and willing to complete a TEFL course.

More From TPR Teaching

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

About the author
Caitriona Maria
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.
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Ramona Isabella
Ramona Isabella
1 year ago

Hi, you may want to correctly state The United Arab Emirates (UAE), not Dubai, as it is an emirate not a country. The salary for Turkey listed is rather low, licensed teachers can make twice what you listed as upper salary. I have worked as a classroom English teacher both in the UAE and in Turkey. Prior to the Turkish high inflation crisis, expat teachers could make up to $38,000 tax free, plus free housing, utilities, wifi, transportation, private health insurance, and annual flights home. Since the devaluation of the Turkish Lira, my former job still pays about $28,000.

6 months ago

Hong Kong is a great place to teach and I highly recommend it to those who want to earn a bit of money while trying out teaching!

The hours are long, but you get paid quite well. The majority of folk in Hong Kong speak English and there is a large expat community.