Published 17th December 2018


Every year around this time TEFL teachers all over the world are making New Year’s resolutions that include visas, plane tickets and suitcases. If you’re already teaching or if you’re thinking about taking the plunge in the New Year, now is the time to think about where you want to be in 2019. Truth be told, the possibilities are endless. But there are definitely a few favourites which look set to be on your bucket list for 2019. Here are five of our top ten TEFL destinations for 2019.

Top five TEFL destinations for 2019.


Thailand has been a popular TEFL destination since the beginning of TEFL. For the last few years its popularity has waxed and waned but it’s back on the radar in 2019. It’s not surprising really. In terms of lifestyle, Thailand is hard to beat. With a TEFL teacher’s salary you can live like a king and in your free time you can spend your days at some of the most beautiful places in the world.

If you’re worried about a job, there are schools looking for TEFL teachers around every corner in Bangkok and even at a few holiday resort towns too. Many EFL teachers in Thailand also supplement their income by online teaching or blogging.


Staying in Asia, Japan is another popular EFL destination. Balancing ancient history with the modern world, Japan is so different to many cultures that it is very attractive to many people. You are most likely to find jobs in Tokyo, Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka, teaching adults in language schools, children in government schools or private students.

If you are fascinated by ancient history, interesting culture, beautiful landscapes and deliciously different cuisine, Japan is the place for you to go.

South Korea

South Korea is remaining as popular as ever for TEFL teachers. It’s not surprising really, considering the generous package – usually including flights, medical aid, lots of holidays and high salaries. There is a big expat population in the bigger cities too, which can make dealing with the culture shock a bit easier.

You need to be prepared to work hard if you want to come to South Korea. You will probably work long hours, but the holidays spent exploring the country and the dollars in the bank will make it all worthwhile.


China continues to grow and grow in popularity. It gets a lot of bad press but there is something about this country that draws people to it. It could be the combination of ancient culture and ultra-modernity. It could be its exquisite natural beauty. It could be the sheer volume of EFL teaching jobs available. Whatever it is, China is booming in terms of TEFL at the moment.

There are loads of different possibilities to teach in China. You can find a job teaching children at a school, adults at a language school or adults at a university. But if you’re not sure that China is the best place for you, why not try an internship for a few weeks first? Then, once you’ve fallen head over heels for the dumplings, you can look for a more long-term position.

The United Arab Emirates

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are moving up the ranks of people’s bucket lists. People are becoming more open to the possibility of exploring the Middle East and it’s becoming more common to find Westerners enjoying dune safaris or shopping in the souks. Add to that the fact that EFL jobs here are very well-paid and it’s not hard to understand why more and more EFL teachers are trying to find their way into EFL teaching positions here.

Just a word of warning: living in the United Arab Emirates is probably very different to what you are used to. You will need to respect the culture you are living in and follow the laws of the land. Basically, if you’re looking to go to work in shorts and a t-shirt, the UAE is not the place you should be considering.

These are just half of the top ten TEFL destinations for 2019. Stay tuned for the next five to whet your travelling appetite even more!