Published 20th February 2020
Let’s be real. We can’t really decide which are the best countries for teaching English abroad because who defines what is “the best”? Is it the countries where you earn the most money? What countries have the best lifestyle? The countries with the most holidays? What countries with the most jobs? The countries with the best cocktails? You see our dilemma? So what we’re going to have to do is to make a few assumptions here. Let’s assume that you want to earn some money. Not necessarily millions, but enough to live well and save a few cents. We should also assume you want to live a good life. And finally, let’s assume that you don’t want to be working your ass off in a classroom 24 hours a day. Reasonable assumptions? We think so, so if this is you then you might want to consider calling any of these countries home in 2020. In no particular order, these are our 10 best countries for teaching English abroad in 2020:
So what we’re going to have to do is to make a few assumptions here. Let’s assume that you want to earn some money. Not necessarily millions, but enough to live well and save a few cents. Let’s also assume you want to live a good life. And finally, let’s assume that you don’t want to be working your ass off in
Make no mistake, Vietnam is not going anywhere. Vietnam has been a popular backpacker destination for a while now and it’s making its mark as a top TEFL one too. Besides the abundance of history, fascinating culture, gorgeous landscapes and mouthwatering food, Vietnam has a huge TEFL market so there are loads of jobs to choose from.
Another Asian gem, Japan must be one of the most picturesque places to live, no matter where you are in the country. Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto are arguably some of the most beautiful cities in the world and they are looking for TEFL teachers to improve the general English level of the Japanese population. With the summer Olympics taking place there later this year, there is no time like the present to make your way to the Land of the Rising Sun.
The interest in China does not seem to be slowing down. Though it may have its fair share of challenges, living in China is an experience you won’t get anywhere else in the world, and this is one of the reasons TEFL teachers flock there. Whether it’s living the city life in Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou or opting for a more traditional existence in Xi’an, Hangzhou or Yangzhou (confusing, we know), China offers plentiful jobs, good salaries and a guaranteed crazy adventure.
With generous salaries, sponsored flights and free accommodation, it’s no surprise South Korea is still a hot destination for TEFL teachers. Add to that a low cost of living, gorgeous landscapes, amazing food and friendly people, and South Korea is likely to be popular for many years to come. South Korea is especially open to newbie teachers who have no experience, so if this is you then definitely give some thought to nurturing your taste for kimchi.
First things first, let’s get a few things straight: No, Taiwan is not in Thailand and no, they don’t speak Thai in Taiwan. If you can handle the confused looks you’ll get from everyone when you say you’re living in Taiwan and not Thailand, then come on over. Taiwan is a great place to teach English at the moment. There are plenty of jobs (especially if you love kids), the salaries are generous, and it’s not as well-known as its Asian siblings…yet.
Right, now that we’ve dealt with half of our top ten countries to teach abroad in 2020, let’s take a breather. There’s a lot to consider when choosing where to teach and with so many countries having amazing opportunities for TEFL teachers, it can be a lot to get your head around.
Our love affair with Asia continues…Thailand is one of the original TEFL countries. It has a massive tourism industry and it’s not unheard of for visitors to fall in love with its beautiful beaches, spectacular temples and incredible food. So it’s not surprising that many people make a plan to live in this awesome country by teaching English. Salaries are decent in comparison to the cost of living, though that is dependent on what job you have and where (and how) you live, but regardless of what you earn you are sure to live your best life in the Land of Smiles.
The United Arab Emirates
Another option for those looking for a different cultural experience – but with many added bonuses! Teaching in Dubai or Abu Dhabi are great options for you if you want to earn the big bucks (tax-free!), live the good life and get great experience teaching. Saudia Arabia and Qatar are similarly popular options, but bear in mind that these high salaries come with a disclaimer: experienced and highly qualified teachers are preferred. If you qualify, though, they are very friendly towards families relocating with you.
Viva Espana! Spain has long been a popular tourist destination and it is becoming a firm favourite TEFL destination too. Spain usually doesn’t top the list of countries where you can earn the most money but the salary you will earn is more than enough to live comfortably in Spain. And what a life you will lead: fiestas, siestas, football, tapas, sangria, and the most relaxed students you will ever have – there’s a lot to love about teaching in Spain.
Certainly one of the more romantic countries in Europe, Czech Republic is becoming a top European destination for TEFL teachers. Gorgeous architecture, gourmet food and, of course, beer, make Czech Republic popular with tourists as well as teachers. There are TEFL jobs if you are looking, though, and some even include accommodation. Working for private language schools is common though it’s also popular to work as a freelancer.
Carnivals, beaches, football: Brazil has something to cater for everyone’s tastes. It’s super easy to find a teaching job in Brazil, regardless of whether you have a degree or experience, and for that reasons it’s fast becoming a top TEFL destination. While Brazil may not be the place to come to if you are looking at paying off your student loan, it is most definitely the place for those wanting to live Instagram-worthy lives. Working hours are low, which means you have plenty of free time to travel this massive country or even the explore neighbouring South American countries.
These are our picks of top TEFL destinations for 2020. Some of our old favourites are still there – and will probably still be there for a few more years – but there are also a few newcomers to our list, which is exciting. The obsession of TEFL teachers to Asian destinations shows no signs of slowing down but South America might just see a boom in the new few years.
So, where are you going?