21 Best Countries to Teach English Abroad

Teaching English as a foreign language can be a very lucrative profession. It requires little cost upfront and provides the amazing opportunity to work and travel.

This post was inspired by the Youtube video from Vagabrothers (see the Youtube clip below). I go into detail about the countries they talk about and discuss the 21 best countries to teach English abroad.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Vagabrothers- 21 Best Places to Teach English

For more information on the countries listed, please head over to the Go Overseas website, where you can find detailed information about the country, finding a job and visa application process.

There is no one best country to visit as everyone has different preferences. Some countries stand out for their better standard of living, their friendly culture, or their teacher’s salary.

Best Destinations to Teach and Explore

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most popular teaching destinations below:

Teach and Travel South Korea

South Korea

  • Salary: $1800-$2200 per month
  • Bachelor Degree Required
  • TEFL, TESOL, CELTA qualification

English teachers are in very high demand in South Korea. Private and public schools pay a high salary while providing an apartment, 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 $1000 each month, especially if you live outside of 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 very unique traditions and customs while being a technologically advanced nation. They are also in the heart of Asia making it a great place to explore.

Teach and Travel Dubai

Dubai

  • Salary: $1800-$5000 per month (tax-free)
  • Bachelor Degree Required
  • Some teaching experience preferred

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

There are plenty of things to do night and day but this also comes with a price tag. Dubai 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.

The cost of living is $1000-$1500 per month. You could potentially save $800 per month. You may not save much in this expensive city unless you are a good budgeter!

Teach and Travel Japan

Japan

  • Salary: $1,700 – $5,000 per month
  • Bachelor Degree Required
  • Teaching Certificate Preferred

Japan is a very popular teaching destination. It is a scenic spot with gardens, temples and mountains, making it perfect for hiking. They usually offer a lucrative package, including flights and accommodation.

In public schools, you could have 40 kids in a class and you will 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 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 have to pay a high residential tax based on your income.

Here you can read Nomadic Matt’s story on his time teaching English in Japan and why he loves the country.

Teach and Travel Taiwan

Taiwan

  • Salary: $2000-$2400 per month
  • Bachelor Degree Required 
  • TEFL preferred but not required

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 while 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 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 schools or at a university.

Teach and Travel Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

  • Salary: $3000-$4500 per month (tax-free)
  • Bachelor Degree Required
  • TEFL or Teaching Certification Required

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

There is potential to teach Business English to employees within these companies, as well as jobs in private schools and colleges. You can also teach subjects other than English. Teachers can expect to receive 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, nightclubs, and drinking alcohol is off-limits. The culture is strict and conservative and you will have to respect their culture.

Teach and Travel Singapore

Singapore

  • Salary: $2700-$3500 per month
  • Bachelor Degree Required
  • Prior teaching experience
  • TEFL or Teaching Certificate

Singapore is a prosperous and progressive country in Southeast Asia, which also makes the list. You are expected to work approximately 20-25 hours per week. While costs of living are high, eating out is very 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 an 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.

Teach and Travel Spain

Spain

  • Salary: €700 – €2,000 per month
  • Teaching Certificate like TEFL, TESOL, 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 the time to travel around Europe.

If you have a teaching 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.

Teach and Travel France

France

  • Salary: €1,200-€1,700 per month
  • Bachelor Degree Required 
  • Prior teaching experience
  • CELTA Certification or Equivalent

France has strict requirements for teachers, as you will need to have two years of teaching experience under your belt. You can work in a private school or as a business tutor, while exploring the best that France has to offer.

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 get to experience an amazing culture and contribute to one of the best educational systems.

Teach and Travel Thailand

Thailand

  • Salary: $900 – $3,500 per month
  • Bachelor Degree Required
  • TEFL certification optional

Thailand is becoming a more popular teaching destination due to its tropical climate and breath-taking 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 either public schools 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 potentially live on $600 minimum 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.

Teach and Travel Costa Rica

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 still lots of 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 of the schools don’t hire you until you’re in the country. Getting a visa may be a long and cumbersome process so you will need to pay special attention to this.

Teach and Travel Italy

Italy

  • Salary: €1,000-€1,500 per month
  • TEFL certificate required

The English language is an increasingly important skill for Italians to have for their careers. Therefore, many are looking to learn Business English and teachers can teach in private schools, summer camps or be a private tutor. 

Italy is rich in culture, has amazing architecture and historical sites. It may be difficult to work there if you are not an EU citizen so you will have to negotiate with schools and make arrangements. 

Teach and Travel China

China

  • Salary: $1,400 – $2,200 per month
  • Bachelor Degree Required 
  • 2 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 both 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 often earn double your salary, or approximately $4400 per month.

Many jobs offer many perks such as flight reimbursement, housing, and even Chinese lessons. Class sizes in public schools 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.

Teach and Travel Chile

Chile

  • Salary: $500 – $800 per month
  • Bachelor Degree Required
  • TEFL or teaching 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 2 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 working in Santiago, where the salary may reach $1500 per month, depending on how much you work.

Teach and Travel India

India

  • Salary: $150 – $1,000 per month
  • Bachelor Degree Required 
  • TEFL or teaching certificate required

English is already spoken in India so there is a low demand for English teachers. As it is part of the British Commonwealth, British accents are preferred to American. You’re most likely to find a job at a call center coaching locals, or at an international school.

The cost of living is low in India and you can try their exotic cuisine and luxury silk items.

Teach and Travel Jordan

Jordan

  • Salary: $900 – $1,500 USD per month
  • TEFL or teaching 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 welcoming people, beautiful scenery and a spectacular cultural history. It is a great place to explore in 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 be fully immersed in the culture.

Teach and Travel Lebanon

Lebanon

  • Salary: $600-$1,500 per month
  • Bachelor Degree preferred
  • TEFL or teaching certificate recommended

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

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 cost of living is low. French or English is spoken alongside Arabic. You could find work at private school, language school or by being a private tutor.

Teach and Travel Brazil

Brazil

  • Salary: $800 – $1,300 per month
  • Bachelor Degree preferred
  • TEFL or teaching 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.

Teach and Travel Russia

Russia

  • Salary: $1,500 – $2,000 per month
  • Bachelor Degree preferred
  • TEFL or teaching certificate usually required

Russia is a fascinating country, and an interesting place to work. There are many quaint towns and cities to explore, from Moscow to St Peteresburg.

Accommodation can be expensive so it may be worthwhile to find a school that provides housing. You are expected to work 25 and 30 hours per week which will give you plenty of time to learn the language.

You can take a phone interview and find jobs in private schools, international schools, private tutoring, or teaching business English.

Teach and Travel Turkey

Turkey

  • Salary: $500 – $1,150 per month
  • Bachelor Degree preferred
  • TEFL or teaching certificate usually required

Incredible mountains, breathtaking cities, and lively culture make 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 year by year 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.

Teach and Travel Indonesia

Indonesia

  • Salary: $650 – $1,050 per month
  • Bachelor Degree required
  • TEFL or teaching certificate required

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

You might find work at a private school or language school, such as 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 will find themselves island-hopping and exploring the nightlife.

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

Teach and Travel Vietnam
  • Salary: $800 – $1,800 per month
  • Bachelor Degree required
  • TEFL or teaching certificate required

Vietnam

Another place where there is a great demand for English teachers in 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. Some teachers even choose to teach online.

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.

Teach and Travel Columbia

Columbia

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

Columbia 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 under the TEC initiative, (a government program to promote English learning) at private, public or language schools.

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

Conclusion

That concludes my list of the best countries to teach English abroad.

You can find further details for each country I listed on the Go Overseas website. Please note that most of the teaching jobs in these countries require native English fluency.

It is recommended to get a TEFL certificate, as it increases job opportunities.

Check out my number one TEFL certificate that shows you how to teach English in the classroom and online. They provide a level 5 qualification (similar to the CELTA), teaching practice, and much more.

Furthermore, if you want to teach English online and travel to one (or all!) of these countries with your own flexible time schedule, I recommend signing up for our mailing list below or applying for a job in our jobs section here.

Best Countries to Teach English Abroad

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I am an online English teacher from Ireland with a writing addiction. My talents include being more productive than 98% of Grammarly users and teaching online before it even became trendy. This blog aims to help educate you on the existing possibilities of becoming an online teacher.

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