The Most Cost-effective Destinations for Online Teachers
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This is an amazing deal, for sure, but you need to be very careful not to fall into a trap.
Because yes, you can 100% choose where you want to live and you’ll be able to live and work there (provided you have the equipment and a reliable, stable internet connection at all times) but some of the options open to you might not be the best decision for you.
If you’re not sure what we mean, let’s have a look at the numbers.
Teaching English online: a breakdown
Teaching English online can earn you between $10 and $30 an hour, even more. Some lessons you might even earn more and others less, but let’s take $15 an hour as your average. Now let’s say that you are working 25 hours a week.
$15 x 25 = $375
That means that you’ll earn $375 a week, or, roughly, $1 500 a month. Not bad, right? But now let’s imagine that you are living in Tokyo, Japan. In Tokyo, you can expect to pay $800 a month on a one-room or studio apartment. On top of that, your utility bills will come to around $150. Food then comes in at about $300. In total, it costs around $1 250 for a single person to live in Tokyo – but we haven’t even included any entertainment, insurance, or luxuries, not to mention savings!
Clearly, Japan (especially Tokyo) is not an ideal spot to live if you are teaching English online (unless you are earning way above average) simply because the cost of living is pretty high.
Thankfully, there are other destinations that are a bit friendlier to your bank balance. We’ve put together a list of the most cost-effective destinations to live in if you are teaching English online (or if you are a digital nomad, for that matter). Based on a single person earning an average of $1 500 a month, this is where you should go to get the most bang for your buck.
There are so many reasons to choose to live in Vietnam, but the low cost of living is definitely a big one. Of course, as with many countries, there are certain cities in Vietnam that are more expensive to live in than others. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh are the most expensive, but if you’re an online teacher there’s the added bonus of being able to teach English privately to supplement your income, if necessary. A small apartment will cost you about $250 a month, and eating and transportation is dirt cheap, meaning your monthly cost of living is really low. Plus you have a beautiful country on your doorstep to explore when you have some time off.
Read more: This is What You Should Be Doing in Vietnam
Not far from Vietnam is the ever-popular TEFL destination of Thailand. As in Vietnam, eating and transportation is very affordable in Thailand, no matter where you live. Bangkok is obviously a popular destination within Thailand for tourists and travellers, but the digital nomads tend to flock to Chiang Mai in the north, which is the cheaper city. Here there are tons of work-friendly coffee shops and co-working spaces, so you don’t have to work from home if you don’t want to. An apartment costs about $300 a month, and food can cost as little as $5 for a full meal.
Argentina is a massive country, but most digital nomads choose to stay in Buenos Aires. A huge cosmopolitan city, Buenos Aires is truly a city that never sleeps. Argentinians enjoy socialising at all hours of the day, so it is a very safe city for solo digital nomads. Plus, if you prefer working at night, there are many cafes where you will find others burning midnight oil. In general, costs vary quite dramatically around the country, but a one-bedroomed apartment in Buenos Aires will cost you about $250 a month. In total, you’ll probably be spending about $1 000 a month.
A surprising choice, maybe, but Ecuador is one of the cheapest countries in the world. Still relatively untouched by tourism, Ecuador is not the most developed country, but this is what makes it affordable. If you choose to live a luxurious life (we’re talking luxury apartment with a cleaner once a week, as well as eating out at fancy restaurants) you can spend $1 500 a month, so as a money-savvy online teacher you can live on much, much less.
Turkey has the interesting honour of having the only city in the world which straddles two continents: Istanbul is in both Europe and Asia. With interesting culture, great nightlife, incredible food and friendly locals, Turkey is another great option for digital nomads. You can expect to pay about $1 000 a month to live here, including rent, food, transport and entertainment. What’s also great is that because of its location it is easy to travel in either Europe or Asia.
Read more: Teach English in Turkey
Hungary is smack bang in the middle of Europe. The cost of living is very low for a European country, but you will still get a very good quality of life. Budapest is where most digital nomads prefer to put down roots, as it is a nice-sized city with affordable housing, great culture and loads of things to do in your free time. Besides, transportation is cheap because everyone walks everywhere! An apartment will cost you about $500 a month, with a total monthly spend of just over $1 000.
Another European country, Portugal is both safe and affordable – perfect for a digital nomad. Oozing history and culture, Portugal has great weather, awesome food and fast internet. You can choose to live by the beach or in a city like Lisbon, with rooftop bars and co-working spaces aplenty. An apartment will cost you about $600 a month, but shared housing is becoming more and more popular. In total, you can expect to pay about $1 200 – $1 500 a month to live in Portugal.
Bali is a popular choice for digital nomads, probably because of the beautiful scenery and relaxed lifestyle. There are many quiet spots for you to work with other remote workers but if you’re looking for vibrant nightlife, that can be found too. A two-bedroomed house will set you back about $400 a month, which is very affordable if you are sharing. Your total expenditure in a month will be about $750.
Taiwan is already a hub for TEFL teachers, so you’re sure to find some like-minded friends while you’re here. Taipei and Kaohsiung are the most attractive options for digital nomads, with the latter being the more relaxed and affordable option. An apartment will be your biggest expense at about $600 a month, but it is possible to share an apartment with a friend or fellow remote worker. Food and public transportation are also relatively cheap.
Read more: Top Six Asian Cities for TEFL Teachers
While these are our 9 top picks for cost-effective destinations for digital nomads, it is worth pointing out that your cost of living depends on your lifestyle. If you are intent on saving money, you can live frugally and save nicely in any of these destinations. On the other hand, if you don’t have any loans to pay off you can then afford to pay a little more and live a great life.
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Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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ELEARNING FUTURES LTD retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
Right to access personal information
- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.