Published 7th May 2019

TEFL teachers

Many people daydream about the exotic locations their career as an English teacher will take them. Faraway places where gentle waves lap white, sandy beaches and palm trees sway in a tropical breeze. For some reason, most people’s idea of paradise is intrinsically linked to some far-flung island destination. Read on for our top six Asian cities for TEFL teachers.

While many TEFL positions may take you to said destination, others will take you to the hustle and bustle of a cosmopolitan city. The bright lights, night life, and wining and dining are things that many people enjoy about city living.

If you’re thinking about your next teaching destination, there are plenty of exciting cities in Asia in which to teach. Here are our top six cities:

Bangkok
The Land of Smiles, as it’s affectionately known, is a favourite with TEFL teachers. With friendly people, picturesque beaches and delicious food, Thailand is also home to one of the most vibrant capital cities in the world. Bangkok is a treat for the senses, where skyscrapers tower above centuries-old temples, the smells of local delicacies linger in the air of bustling night markets, and one of the largest shopping malls in Asia will defeat even the most hardcore of shopaholics. Bangkok is easy to navigate, even if traffic congestion causes frustration, and time spent teaching here will be time well spent.

Shanghai
China remains one of the main destinations in the world where TEFL teachers will often find themselves. There are plenty of small villages and towns but if you’re after a bustling metropolis you need look no further than Shanghai. While Beijing draws crowds, Shanghai’s appeal lies in its interesting mix of Chinese and French tradition and architecture. With a rich sense of history juxtaposed by the modernity of skyscrapers and new business, Shanghai is a city where you will want for nothing.

Seoul
South Korea has become an increasingly popular destination with TEFL teachers. From the picturesque beaches and volcanoes of Jeju island to the capital of Seoul, where Buddhist temples meet high-tech subways and pop culture, there are jobs aplenty. Seoul is an eclectic mix of old and new and this city features some of the most interesting and futuristic architecture in Asia with a vibrant nightlife and exciting up-and-coming pop culture. If you’re looking for a city that’ll keep you on your toes, then Seoul is for you.

Tokyo
This city tops many travellers’ bucket lists but for TEFL teachers, the opportunity to work here is a dream come true. The Japanese capital is rich in culture and history blended with all the modern comforts you could wish for. With a myriad attractions and activities to keep you occupied during your down time, if the opportunity to teach English in this enigmatic city arises, take it!

Taipei
The capital of Taiwan provides plenty of teaching opportunities for TEFL teachers. Two of the most widely spoken languages in the world, English and Mandarin, come into contact here. With a bustling nightlife, contemporary buildings and a lively street-food and night market scene, it’s a great city for expats to congregate over a small bun in a big bun, or a sausage on a stick at the end of a long day of teaching.

Ho Chi Minh City
One of the most highly-sought after destinations in Southeast Asia in which to teach English, Ho Chi Minh City is a great place to live. With a strong colonial history, this beautiful city was ravaged by war but has come back with a vengeance with one of the fastest growing economies in the last two decades, increasing the demand for English teachers substantially. With a French quarter nestled amongst beautiful Vietnamese architecture, this city has an energy like no other with a thriving job market for TEFL teachers.

If you’re choosing a destination in which to teach English, you can’t go wrong with any of these options and, at the end of the day, cities are where the pounds are, and idyllic beaches are often best left for holidays.