Published 24th October 2016

Now that you’ve done your TEFL course, you’re probably thinking about which exotic destination you want to jet off to. With the TEFL certificate in your pocket the world is your oyster, so there are many places for you to choose from. Here we’ve rounded up the five most popular destinations for TEFL to help you make that decision:

1. Thailand

Otherwise known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand is the place to go for sunshine, tropical beaches and lots of teaching opportunities. Being a TEFL teacher in Thailand is so attractive because the salaries are high relative to the local market, you can be sure you will earn a good living and be able to live a very comfortable lifestyle.

Thailand is known for its friendly people and its delicious cuisine. What’s more, Thailand has regular public holidays and offers great travelling opportunities so there is no shortage of places to discover on your holidays.

Thailand | The TEFL Academy - TOP 5 TEFL DESTINATIONS

2. China

China is such a huge country that you could live there for years and still not have discovered all of it and this is what makes China such a popular destination for teaching EFL. China is such an intriguing – and confusing – country that living here is guaranteed to be nothing less than an adventure.

From the food to the culture to the history to the natural beauty, China is able to appeal to all sorts of different travellers. Though living here can be tough, teaching is a very respected occupation and you’ll be able to choose to live and work in a small, traditional village or a vibrant, cosmopolitan city.


3. South Korea

South Korea is the place to go if you’re looking to save a bit of cash as the teaching salaries are high and the cost of living is low. South Korea is a country of immense natural beauty and it manages to celebrate its history and culture right next to its modern buildings, trendy fashions and cutting-edge technology.

This country places great emphasis on learning English and you will find your students are very serious about learning. So while that means there a lot is expected of you as a teacher in terms of workload and working hours, you will find your students very responsive and motivated.

South Korea | The TEFL Academy - TOP 5 TEFL DESTINATIONS

4. Turkey

Turkey has become more popular as a TEFL destination in recent years as it has become more reputable. These days there are more and more opportunities for TEFL teachers in Turkey with recognised schools and it is an exciting destination to discover, as a tourist or as a teacher.

With a vibrant social life, Turkey provides a lifestyle which is able to offer you a good working environment and exciting adventures in your time off. Whether you are interested in beautiful beaches or winter ski holidays, Turkey could be the place for you.


5. Spain

Paella, sangria, flamenco. There are so many reasons Spain is a very popular destination for TEFL teachers. There are numerous TEFL opportunities all over the country as Spain has realised it is necessary to learn English to survive in the global market. In particular, there are many opportunities to teach Business English, though the market for Young Learners is booming too.

Of course, Spain is a much easier option if you are an EU national – if you are not, you should do your research with regards to your visa before setting your sights on this beautiful country. Also, teaching salaries are not very high while the cost of living is not very low, but there are so many other reasons to choose to live in Spain that this shouldn’t be an issue.


We couldn’t mention all the countries you could go to as a TEFL teacher, but there are a few others worth a quick mention.

  • Japan is breathtakingly beautiful and the JET programme is able to place you in schools, though you may need to make a considerable commute to and from work every day.
  • Dubai is fast becoming the destination to visit in the Middle East. Not as strict as Saudi Arabia, Dubai still offers very attractive salaries while maintaining strong ties to the Western world.
  • Italy is another EU country which is constantly looking for TEFL teachers. Though the salaries may not stretch as far as TEFL salaries in other countries due to the high cost of living, living in Italy is surely the dream of many.
  • The Czech Republic is a great destination for more independent teachers as there are many freelance opportunities available.
  • Poland is the new kid on the block in terms of TEFL, but the industry is booming and well worth consideration.

Probably the biggest attraction of being a TEFL teacher is the travelling opportunities it offers. Once you have your TEFL certificate, you can decide to go and teach wherever your heart desires. Just do your research before you go so you know what to expect and you are A for Away.