5 Cheapest Places To Teach English Abroad
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Teaching English as a foreign language is a dream job for people (like us!) who enjoy travelling. Being a TEFL teacher is a way to travel the world, experience new cultures and broaden your horizons.
But before you start looking for teaching jobs, you must decide where it is you would like to go.
How to decide where to teach
- Do you want to work hard and earn tons of cash?
- Do you want to work online and travel endlessly?
- Do you want to have a good work-life balance?
- Do you want to save money to pay off loans?
- Do you want to live like a local and not worry about finances?
These questions can help you decide which country you should teach in.
Some countries have a tough working environment but you are rewarded generously. Some countries offer a more relaxed teaching schedule, so you have more free time to explore.
And some countries offer a decent salary but a correspondingly low cost of living. Even though you may not be earning the equivalent of in your home country, your lifestyle is much richer in other ways.
If this sounds like you, then read on!
Here are a few of our favourite cheap TEFL destinations, where you may not earn tons of cash but you will certainly earn enough to live well and enjoy your experience.
Thailand is top of many lists when it comes to TEFL, and this one is no different. Thailand has gorgeous beaches, a vibrant capital city, amazing food and friendly locals – you couldn’t ask for more in a teaching English destination. If you look at the finances, it looks good too:
Average monthly salary: THB 20, 000 – 35, 000
Average monthly cost of living: THB 15, 000 – 20, 000
Fergal Murphy is a TTA alumnus living and teaching in Thailand.
“This country is a paradise, and it is very easy to see why people love to come here as not only is it a picture postcard country to visit at every turn, it is very cheap and very affordable to live here or visit.”
Vietnam is a rising star on the TEFL horizon and it is becoming increasingly popular with TEFL teachers. It’s no surprise, really, considering its natural beauty, awesome food and great travel opportunities.
Average monthly salary: VDG 22,000 – 44,000
Average monthly cost of living: VDG 14,000 – 21,000
David Parry is living and teaching in Vietnam:
“Considering the cheap cost of living in Vietnam, ESL teachers working here earning anywhere around $1200+ per month live a very adventurous and luxurious lifestyle…Additionally, my weekly working routine is far healthier and more balanced, allowing for plenty of free time for me to pursue ventures into my own personal hobbies and passions.”
The Pearl of the Orient is an archipelago of over 7,000 islands – a must-visit destination for any beach-lover. Besides its natural beauty, the Philippines has a lot to offer culturally and historically. TEFL teachers can find teaching jobs in big cities, beach towns, university towns or more rural areas.
Though this may not be the most popular TEFL destination, if it’s a comfortable lifestyle you’re looking for, then try and find yourself a job in the Philippines.
Average monthly salary: PHP 40, 0000 – 95, 000
Average monthly cost of living: PHP 20, 000 – 40, 000
This colourful little country has such fascinating history, heritage and culture, though it is probably most well-known for its giant tortoises and huge iguanas. If it’s a quiet, simple life you’re looking for Ecuador is more than qualified to satisfy this requirement.
Though teaching positions can be found in local schools, most TEFL teachers in Ecuador work for language schools, universities or private companies.
Average monthly salary: USD 400 – 1, 200
Average monthly cost of living: USD 400 – 700
Though relatively small for the area, Costa Rica is a tropical paradise in a very politically stable environment. Even though it’s not a large country, there are a number of cities offering teaching jobs, mostly in language schools and universities.
With comparatively generous salaries and a low cost of living, Costa Rica is popular with TEFL teachers who enjoy a laidback lifestyle and easy living.
Average monthly salary: CRC 250, 000 – 550, 000
Average monthly cost of living: CRC 2000, 000 – 400, 000
So, while you may not be able to save up to pay of your student loan with these TEFL destinations, you will most certainly be able to splash out on good food, amazing experiences and enviable holiday trips.
The TEFL Academy was the world’s first TEFL course provider to receive official recognition from government regulated awarding bodies in both the USA and UK. This means when you graduate you’ll hold a globally recognised Level 3 (120hr) Certificate or Level 5 (168hr) Diploma, meaning you can find work anywhere and apply for jobs immediately.