Best Places to Teach English Abroad [Updated in 2019]

best places to teach english abroad

If teaching English abroad is on your agenda, you may want to research more about the best places to go. While every single non-English speaking country requires experts in the English language, some of them offer more opportunities and privileges than others.

Be it because of better salaries, increased social protection, or great culture and sceneries for exploration, these ten countries are the best places to teach English abroad.

1. China

Teach English in China

China is one of the most populous countries in the world. Likewise, the Chinese government has its eyes set on the internationalization of the growing economy and its products.

Subsequently, China requires a high number of English teachers in order to satisfy its ever-growing demand. This high need for English teachers is why China makes sure to offer plenty of remunerative benefits to foreign instructors.

Other than the privilege of discovering this millennial culture, English teachers can also expect monthly payments ranging from $1,250 to $2,550, plus free housing or allowances, and airfare reimbursement.

Best part? China hires all year round, meaning there are always great opportunities open for you. Of course, as long as you fit the essential requirements.

Learn more about teaching English in China

2. South Korea

Teach English in South Korea

With its beautiful mixture of rich culture and dynamic modern life, South Korea has become a popular destination for tourists and workers alike. It’s no wonder, then, teaching English is a highly needed job within its borders.

Teaching English in South Korea allows you to explore a beautiful culture far from your own, all while receiving high-class benefits that allow for a comfortable lifestyle. The average salary for an English teacher is between $1,800 and $5,000 monthly, depending on whether you teach in public or private institutions.

Likewise, South Korean institutions usually provide your housing and flight expenses, meaning your salary will be more than enough to allow for substantial savings.

3. Japan

Teach English in Japan

Japan is, of course, no exception.

The island is the 11th most populous country in the world and English classes are mandatory from elementary school to high school, creating a high demand for English-speaking teachers.

Japan also has the advantage of having many programs connecting English teachers with Japanese schools, with the most popular one being the JET programme. Receiving a high-standard salary and benefits, on the other hand, the cost of living is also one of the tops around the world. On average you can save between $300 and $600 on a monthly basis.

4. The United Arab Emirates

Teach English in UEA

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) have become synonymous with opulence and luxury, so it’s no wonder this nation has become a top destination for expats seeking to settle and prosper.

One of the undeniable advantages of teaching English in the UAE is the high salary. With an estimated monthly income ranging from $2,400 to $5,500 tax-free, the demand for English teaching in this country has skyrocketed. Benefits often include housing, flights, and health insurance.

The requirements, on the other hand, tend to be the usual ones—a certificate for teaching English, bachelor’s degree, and previous experience. However, odds are they might be more demanding, and require a Master’s Degree, or a teaching license from an English-speaking country due to the high competition and standards. 

5. Thailand

Teach English in Thailand

Thailand is a beautiful country that brings people in and begs them not to leave.

And truth be told, no one wants to leave! The culture, the breathtaking landscapes, the sandy beaches, and sparkling water are just a few of the things that makes everyone want to stay.  Then once a person adds in the locals and how friendly they are, it becomes impossible to leave their new best friends.

Teachers must have a college degree, as well as a TEFL certificate to teach in Thailand, and it is preferred that no new teacher knows how to speak Thai. Government schools offer the best hours with many days off, while language institutes make working nights and weekends mandatory. Those longer hours do come with a higher pay level though. Private schools, on the other side, are often a better bet for those who want to work with other expats.

Most teachers will have a starting salary of $1,000 a month, which will allow teachers to live comfortably. The downside is that they will not be able to pay off any debt or create a huge savings account too quickly.

6. Spain

Teach English in Spain

Bustling city streets, gorgeous countryside, and even some incredible beaches will draw many to Spain for teaching.  

The best part is that those from the United States can learn how to speak Spanish while they are there, and then use those new skills when they return home.  

Teachers can either work in a public or private school, but unless a person is a resident of the European Union, it is almost impossible to get hired at any of the public schools. Everyone will need a college diploma and a TEFL certificate is helpful prior to the job search.

Those teachers who gain employment through a program will find themselves earning between $800 and $1,100 per month. Private school teachers are paid between $1,700 and $2,250 per month. The hours are low for each option with the former being twelve to sixteen hours per week and the latter being twenty-five hours per month.  

This salary will allow people to live well in Spain if they are careful with their spending. However, many teachers will do private lessons for some extra cash, which usually comes in between $17 and $22.50 per hour.

7. Indonesia

Teach English in Indonesia

Some people discount Indonesia right away in their search for a teaching job abroad because they don’t want to worry about which one of the seventeen thousand plus islands they will end up on.  

However, most teachers end up in the more populated areas of the country, where they can surf, watch the wildlife, and visit the temples in their downtime.

There are many private language institutions that teachers can work in Indonesia, and while some teachers will find themselves working with young children, others will only work with adults.  

The salary in this country is excellent due to the low cost of living. Most teachers will make between $1,000 and $1,500 per month, in some cases, they will also have a housing allowance and extra benefits that include health insurance.

8. Cambodia

Teach English in Cambodia

There are plenty of places to teach in Cambodia, both large cities and smaller towns, and teachers will find that they can explore them all if they choose the right teaching location.  

This country is full of history, which is perfect for those who long to learn more about the culture and traditions of the locals.

As it is, the pay varies depending on where a person is teaching. Phnom Penh pays the most at $10 to $14 per hour, while Siem Reap and Sihanoukville is much less.  However, it does not cost much to live in this part of the world, so as long as a teacher is careful with their earnings, they will be able to live comfortably.  

9. Vietnam

Teach English in Vietnam

People are deciding that Vietnam is one of the better places to teach lately, due to the phenomenal culture, the beautiful weather, and the abundance of markets.  

Teachers must have their Bachelor’s Degree, as well as a TEFL certificate before they will even be considered for a position in this country. 

It is super easy to find jobs in the larger cities of this country and the highest paying ones require CELTA certification. Many teachers will choose the language schools, despite the fact that their hours are spread out between weekdays and the weekends. The reason for that is that those schools often offer incentive packages that include relocation, completion allowances, and overtime pay.  

Teachers who are just starting out should expect to earn $800 per month, while those with more experience and extra certification will receive between $1,200 and $1,800 per month.  

The cost of living is low in this country, so teachers can potentially save approximately a third to half of their income each year.

10. Czech Republic

Teach English in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic can be found near the center of Central Europe, which makes it the perfect destination for those who want to travel extensively around that continent. However, everyone will want to explore this little gem of a country first, since it is packed full of hidden passages, cobblestone streets, and unique architecture.  

Teachers are required to have a college degree, as well as TEFL certification to teach in the Czech Republic.  Those who have prior teaching experience will receive preferential treatment over those that do not.

Most of the public schools are within smaller towns, and that is where most of the jobs are located. The easiest job for people to get is one in the numerous private schools. Those schools offer convenient hours, which means extra time for exploring.

The pay rate is between $1,000 and $1,300 per month, which may not seem like a lot until a person remembers that the cost of living in this country is less than most of Europe.  


The world is far too beautiful not to explore it. When wanderlust overcomes your senses, it might be the encouragement you need to leave the safety of home and explore the unknown.
If you would like to have a stable source of income wherever we travel to, the most popular job option for English-speaking folk is to teach the language.
Wondering how you can get started? Check out the step-by-step guide.

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