Published 4th July 2021

China great wall

Are you considering teaching English abroad but you’re not sure where to go? Both where you want to go and where you can go? Understandably, this is a tricky decision at the moment. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of going to Portugal. Maybe you want to join your bestie in Australia. Or maybe Google keeps targeting you with adverts for Mexico. We get it: there are a lot of countries in this world which you probably still need to discover, so deciding where you are going to go is a tricky decision.

To help you out, here are our seven best countries to teach abroad in 2021.

Read more: Why You Should Teach English Abroad in 2021


China has long been a popular TEFL destination and despite recent events, this is not going to change anytime soon. China is a fantastically beautiful country, with a fascinating culture and traditions – and mouth-watering food. But the real reason China draws tens of thousands of TEFL teachers to its shores every year is the simple fact that there are tens of thousands of jobs available. Whether you want to work in a public school, language school or university, there are opportunities all over this wonderful country.

In order to teach in China you need to have a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate from a reputable provider.

South Korea

In terms of TEFL, South Korea is an oldie but a goodie. High demand for TEFL teachers, attractive salaries, and added benefits such as flights, accommodation and health insurance makes it easy to understand why. Add that to modern cities, fascinating history and gorgeous natural scenery and it’s no wonder South Korea remains one of the most popular TEFL destinations.

In order to teach in South Korea, you need a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate from an internationally recognised service provider. Jobs can be found in public schools through the EPIK or GoKorea government programmes or privately in the hagwons.


Taiwan is slowly but surely becoming a powerhouse destination for TEFL teachers. With an increasing focus on English education within schools, there are loads of jobs for TEFL teachers, especially with younger learners. Salaries are good and you will have the added benefits of flight reimbursement and contributions to accommodation. With most TEFL jobs being in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung, it’s easy enough to find like-minded TEFLers to hang out with in your free time.

In order to teach in Taiwan you need a Bachelor’s degree, and a TEFL certificate is preferred.


Japan is a popular choice but maybe not for the reasons you think. While many TEFL teachers choose where to go based on how much money they can make, Japan attracts a different sort of TEFL teacher. Japan is an outrageously beautiful country, with beautifully modern cities and breathtaking traditional villages, and astounding natural beauty. Not to mention the unbelievable food!

There are many very good TEFL jobs too. You can teach in a public school (one option being through the JET programme), in-house in a company or in a university. Your salary is good but the cost of living in Japan is very high. This means that though you will have an unforgettable experience living and working in Japan, don’t expect to pay off your debts while you’re there.

Czech republic

Czech Republic

Moving away from Asia, the Czech Republic is growing in popularity for TEFL teachers. You’re more likely to find a job in a language school than a public school but there are plenty of jobs available. The pay is not amazing but living is cheap and easy. Possibly the biggest drawcard to the Czech Republic is its proximity to the rest of Europe, making it a great place to have a base for European travel.

In order to teach in the Czech Republic, you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in English or Linguistics or a related field. A TEFL certificate is preferred.


Spain is another European country growing in popularity with TEFL teachers. It has always featured on any lists of top travel destinations and now TEFL teachers are realising that they can live there too. Gorgeous weather, gorgeous beaches and gorgeous humans make being a TEFL teacher in Spain an easy decision. While you won’t earn enough to live in the lap of luxury, you’ll still be able to enjoy all the food, fiesta and flamenco that Spain has to offer.

In order to teach in Spain, you need a TEFL certificate. You don’t need a Bachelor’s degree for many schools but you do need to have an EU passport or eligibility to work in the EU.

United Arab Emirates

This one is for the more experienced TEFL teachers. Living and teaching in the UAE might be very different to what you are used to, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The obvious perk of working in the UAE is the very generous tax-free salary, but the culture and natural beauty are good incentives too.

In order to teach in the UAE, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree, a TEFL certificate and a few years of teaching experience. If you have a teaching qualification, this will stand you in good stead too. Without a doubt, if you are looking to save up some money, then the UAE is where you should be looking for a job.

Read more: The Top 10 Cities to Live in in 2021

Two more countries that deserve honourable mentions are Thailand and Vietnam. With their beauty and laidback lifestyles, these two countries have gained popularity over the last decade or two and their popularity doesn’t seem to be waning. You can’t expect to earn millions in either country, but you can expect to enjoy an amazing lifestyle while here.

And, of course, we can’t leave without mentioning a place where more and more TEFL teachers are teaching. It’s good money, flexible work and loads of fun. Yep, you guessed it, we’re talking about teaching English ONLINE, which is still a fabulous idea this year considering the current circumstances.

Read more: What Internet Speed Do I Really Need to Teach English Online?


If you are wondering about the different travel restrictions for the various countries, we would love to be able to give you all the information you need. Unfortunately, with the current circumstances, each country has different restrictions based on where you are coming from and what kind of travelling you are doing. This means that you might have to quarantine on arrival, you probably have to produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test and you might have to show proof of vaccination, but this depends on your own particular circumstances. Plus, this can change at a moment’s notice so it is impossible for us to keep our info up to date all the time.

Before you travel, please check the requirements and restrictions very carefully. Read the fine print of your travel insurance to make sure you are covered for what you need, and make an informed decision about where you want to go. And then you can make the best, most informed decision that is right for you. Bon Voyage!

  1. Looking for a English teaching Job. I’m a Zimbabwean citizen but with multiple degrees from University of Limpopo in South Africa, as well as a TEFL certificate

    1. Hello, I will be able to provide limited assistance with your job search unless you did your TEFL course with us. We have a jobs board on our website where you can search for jobs worldwide. You can access the jobs board on our website through the following link:

      I would also recommend searching through Google for other ESL job sites. We do have a range of internship and volunteer programs that you can apply for through our website at the following links: and

      I hope you find this helpful and I wish you all the best with your search. Louise 😊

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