Teach English in Mongolia

a world of opportunities

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Kirsten Colquhoun
June 7, 2024

Content

Why Teach English
Best places
Requirements
Jobs and programs
How to get a job
Salaries and benefits
Common benefits
Cost of living
Life and culture

As a TEFL teacher, the world is your oyster. Perhaps not surprisingly, many teachers opt for teaching destinations like South Korea or Spain. But if you’re a bit more adventurous, you should consider teaching English in Mongolia.

The land of the Gobi Desert and snow leopards, Mongolia is known for its stunning natural beauty, unique culture, and nomadic lifestyle. Located between Russia and China, if you’re considering teaching English abroad, Mongolia could be a great option. 

In this article, we’ll explore why teaching in Mongolia is a fantastic opportunity, the best places to find English teacher jobs, the qualifications and requirements needed, types of jobs and programs available, salaries and benefits, and the cost of living.

Why start teaching English in Mongolia?

Mongolia is a fascinating country with a rich and unique history and culture. Mongolia is known for its nomadic lifestyle, with many families still living in traditional yurts, and herding animals on a daily basis. 

It might be cold in winter (okay, that’s an understatement!) but Mongolia enjoys 250 days of sunshine a year! This results in plenty of outdoor activities to keep you occupied in your time off. 

English teaching is now compulsory in schools across Mongolia from Grade 4, meaning that there is a huge demand for English instruction. Besides schoolchildren, you can expect to teach older students who want to study abroad, and professionals who need English for business.

Teaching English in Mongolia is a great way to gain international teaching experience, improve your teaching skills, and challenge yourself in a new environment. 

Best places for English teaching jobs in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar

As big a city as you’re going to get

The capital city is a great place for foreigners to settle in. You can explore the city’s vibrant markets, museums, and galleries, and try delicious local cuisine such as buuz (steamed dumplings) and airag (fermented mare’s milk). 

Erdenet

For the penny pincher

Erdenet is the third-largest city in Mongolia. It’s known for its mining industry and – oddly – for being one of the cleanest cities in the country. One of the benefits of teaching in Erdenet is the lower cost of living compared to the capital city. However, job opportunities may be more limited compared to Ulaanbaatar.

Darkhan

For a true cultural experience

Darkhan is the second-largest city in Mongolia, located in the Darkhan-Uul Province. It’s an industrial and transportation hub, with a growing tourism industry. There are only a few schools and language centres in Darkhan that offer jobs for TEFL teachers.

Living in Darkhan is a great opportunity to experience Mongolian culture outside of the capital city. There are plenty of local markets, museums, and historical sites to explore, as well as opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and horseback riding.

Khovd

As far off the beaten track as you can go

Khovd is a city in western Mongolia. It is known for its multicultural population, with a mix of Mongolian, Kazakh, and Muslim ethnic groups living in the area. There are a few schools and language centres in Khovd that offer English teaching jobs.

Teaching in Khovd is a unique experience due to the city’s diverse population and location near the Altai Mountains. 

How do I qualify to teach English in Mongolia?

You might be surprised by the requirements needed to teach English in Mongolia, as they are perhaps not as lax as you might think.

Visa requirements

To work legally in Mongolia, you need a work visa. The visa application process varies, but you typically need to provide a passport, a completed visa application form, and a letter of invitation from your employer.

TEFL certification:

Most employers in Mongolia require a TEFL certificate. You might consider The TEFL Academy’s combined TEFL course which offers 10 hours of in-class teaching practice. 

This additional classroom training may give you an edge during the application process. Plus, when you sign up for a Level 3 or a Level 5 TEFL course with The TEFL Academy you are given free access to three Top-Up Courses, to make your CV shine even more.

Bachelor’s degree:

Most jobs for TEFL teachers require a Bachelor’s degree in any subject. However, some employers may require a degree in education or a related field.

Experience:

Some employers may require previous teaching experience, while others may accept newly qualified teachers.

Start-up capital:

You’ll need to have some savings to cover the cost of flights, visas, and initial living expenses. Let’s look at this in more detail.

  • Accommodation: If accommodation is not provided by your employer or included in your salary, you’ll need the first month’s rent and a security deposit.
  •  TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  •  Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and notarising your degree and TEFL certificate.
  •  Flight ticket: Variable. 
  •  Visa application: The cost of getting a visa is subject to your home country. A work visa for Mongolia costs between $15 and $270.
  • Living expenses: You will need one month’s worth of start-up capital of about ₮1.8 million ($500) to live off until your first paycheque.

Types of English teaching jobs in Mongolia

Private language schools

Teachers are required to have a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate, although some schools may hire teachers without these qualifications. The salaries are generally considered competitive compared to other types of English teaching jobs in Mongolia.

The teaching hours at private language schools in Mongolia can be quite long, with some schools requiring teachers to work evenings and weekends. 

These schools are generally well-funded and well-equipped, with modern TEFL teaching resources.

Some of the well-known private language schools in Mongolia include:

  • Success School of English.
  • The American School of Ulaanbaatar 
  • Language Link 
  • Talk Talk English Mongolia.

Public schools

The Mongolian government has emphasised the incorporation of English into the school curriculum, making jobs in public schools available primarily in Ulaanbaatar. The pay may not be as high as universities and private schools.

Universities

Universities have a more rigorous selection process, requiring at least a Bachelor’s degree and teaching experience. Universities such as Raffle’s International University offer teaching opportunities for qualified teachers.

International schools

To teach at international schools in Mongolia you need the following: 

  • Teaching qualification ( teaching license or a TEFL certification) 
  • Teaching experience in English and another subject
  • Native-level fluency in English
  • Salaries are typically higher than those offered by public schools and language academies.
  • Teachers are usually offered:
    • health insurance
    • housing or housing allowances
    • paid holidays
    • annual flights 

Some schools may offer additional benefits such as professional development opportunities, tuition discounts for dependents, and retirement benefits.

How to get a job teaching English in Mongolia

One way to find teaching jobs in Mongolia is to look at job postings online. The TEFL Academy’s jobs board has hundreds of job advertisements posted online. There are often jobs fairs in different countries in a drive to recruit teachers to Mongolia.

For international schools and language schools, you can try contact the school’s directly.

What is the average teacher salary in Mongolia?

On average, you can expect to earn between ₮1.8 million – ₮3 million ($530-$880) a month. Bear in mind, Mongolia offers good benefits which adds to the value of your salary. 

What are the common benefits for TEFL jobs in Mongolia?

Common benefits for TEFL jobs in Mongolia include housing, airfare reimbursement, and health insurance. Some schools offer paid holidays and sick days. Private language academies offer additional benefits such as performance bonuses or professional development opportunities. 

Cost of living in Mongolia

Mongolia is a relatively affordable country to live in compared to other countries in Asia. The cost of living in Mongolia varies depending on location and lifestyle, but overall it’s considered to be low. 

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: ₮1 million ($285)
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: ₮675,000 ($190)

 Utilities

  • Electricity, water, and gas: ₮190,000 ($55)

 Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: ₮700,000 ($200)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: ₮15,000 ($4)

 Transport

  • One-way bus ticket: ₮500 ($0.10)
  • A monthly pass: ₮25,000 ($7)

 Internet

  • Unlimited: ₮42,000 ($12)

 Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: ₮125,000 ($35)

It’s possible to save money as an English teacher in Mongolia, although the amount will depend on your lifestyle and spending habits. Working overtime or teaching privately will help you save some cash.

What is it like living and working in Mongolia?

In terms of culture, Mongolia has a rich history and unique nomadic traditions. There are many opportunities to explore the countryside and experience the culture firsthand. The Mongolian language may be challenging to learn, but English is widely spoken in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.

Mongolia is known as the ‘Land of the Eternal Blue Sky’. Don’t let the sunshine fool you – the winters are long and cold (temperatures can drop to -40 °C) and the summers short, but at least you won’t suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency.

If you suffer with any respiratory illness, the pollution levels are very high and will exacerbate your condition.

Be mindful of the conservative practices in Mongolia, although it is acceptable to dress in a western way, being modest is advised.

Dreaming of exploring Mongolia’s Steppes on horseback? Tempted to try salt milk tea? Want to visit where the first dinosaur eggs were found? Then you should get a job teaching English in Mongolia. And we can get you there!

 

Content

As a TEFL teacher, the world is your oyster. Perhaps not surprisingly, many teachers opt for teaching destinations like South Korea or Spain. But if you’re a bit more adventurous, you should consider teaching English in Mongolia.

The land of the Gobi Desert and snow leopards, Mongolia is known for its stunning natural beauty, unique culture, and nomadic lifestyle. Located between Russia and China, if you’re considering teaching English abroad, Mongolia could be a great option. 

In this article, we’ll explore why teaching in Mongolia is a fantastic opportunity, the best places to find English teacher jobs, the qualifications and requirements needed, types of jobs and programs available, salaries and benefits, and the cost of living.

Why start teaching English in Mongolia?

Mongolia is a fascinating country with a rich and unique history and culture. Mongolia is known for its nomadic lifestyle, with many families still living in traditional yurts, and herding animals on a daily basis. 

It might be cold in winter (okay, that’s an understatement!) but Mongolia enjoys 250 days of sunshine a year! This results in plenty of outdoor activities to keep you occupied in your time off. 

English teaching is now compulsory in schools across Mongolia from Grade 4, meaning that there is a huge demand for English instruction. Besides schoolchildren, you can expect to teach older students who want to study abroad, and professionals who need English for business.

Teaching English in Mongolia is a great way to gain international teaching experience, improve your teaching skills, and challenge yourself in a new environment. 

Best places for English teaching jobs in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar

As big a city as you’re going to get

The capital city is a great place for foreigners to settle in. You can explore the city’s vibrant markets, museums, and galleries, and try delicious local cuisine such as buuz (steamed dumplings) and airag (fermented mare’s milk). 

Erdenet

For the penny pincher

Erdenet is the third-largest city in Mongolia. It’s known for its mining industry and – oddly – for being one of the cleanest cities in the country. One of the benefits of teaching in Erdenet is the lower cost of living compared to the capital city. However, job opportunities may be more limited compared to Ulaanbaatar.

Darkhan

For a true cultural experience

Darkhan is the second-largest city in Mongolia, located in the Darkhan-Uul Province. It’s an industrial and transportation hub, with a growing tourism industry. There are only a few schools and language centres in Darkhan that offer jobs for TEFL teachers.

Living in Darkhan is a great opportunity to experience Mongolian culture outside of the capital city. There are plenty of local markets, museums, and historical sites to explore, as well as opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and horseback riding.

Khovd

As far off the beaten track as you can go

Khovd is a city in western Mongolia. It is known for its multicultural population, with a mix of Mongolian, Kazakh, and Muslim ethnic groups living in the area. There are a few schools and language centres in Khovd that offer English teaching jobs.

Teaching in Khovd is a unique experience due to the city’s diverse population and location near the Altai Mountains. 

How do I qualify to teach English in Mongolia?

You might be surprised by the requirements needed to teach English in Mongolia, as they are perhaps not as lax as you might think.

Visa requirements

To work legally in Mongolia, you need a work visa. The visa application process varies, but you typically need to provide a passport, a completed visa application form, and a letter of invitation from your employer.

TEFL certification:

Most employers in Mongolia require a TEFL certificate. You might consider The TEFL Academy’s combined TEFL course which offers 10 hours of in-class teaching practice. 

This additional classroom training may give you an edge during the application process. Plus, when you sign up for a Level 3 or a Level 5 TEFL course with The TEFL Academy you are given free access to three Top-Up Courses, to make your CV shine even more.

Bachelor’s degree:

Most jobs for TEFL teachers require a Bachelor’s degree in any subject. However, some employers may require a degree in education or a related field.

Experience:

Some employers may require previous teaching experience, while others may accept newly qualified teachers.

Start-up capital:

You’ll need to have some savings to cover the cost of flights, visas, and initial living expenses. Let’s look at this in more detail.

  • Accommodation: If accommodation is not provided by your employer or included in your salary, you’ll need the first month’s rent and a security deposit.
  •  TEFL certification: A TEFL course can cost between $100 and $500, depending on the length and level of the course and the course provider. 
  •  Document fees: Any costs related to certifying and notarising your degree and TEFL certificate.
  •  Flight ticket: Variable. 
  •  Visa application: The cost of getting a visa is subject to your home country. A work visa for Mongolia costs between $15 and $270.
  • Living expenses: You will need one month’s worth of start-up capital of about ₮1.8 million ($500) to live off until your first paycheque.

Types of English teaching jobs in Mongolia

Private language schools

Teachers are required to have a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate, although some schools may hire teachers without these qualifications. The salaries are generally considered competitive compared to other types of English teaching jobs in Mongolia.

The teaching hours at private language schools in Mongolia can be quite long, with some schools requiring teachers to work evenings and weekends. 

These schools are generally well-funded and well-equipped, with modern TEFL teaching resources.

Some of the well-known private language schools in Mongolia include:

  • Success School of English.
  • The American School of Ulaanbaatar 
  • Language Link 
  • Talk Talk English Mongolia.

Public schools

The Mongolian government has emphasised the incorporation of English into the school curriculum, making jobs in public schools available primarily in Ulaanbaatar. The pay may not be as high as universities and private schools.

Universities

Universities have a more rigorous selection process, requiring at least a Bachelor’s degree and teaching experience. Universities such as Raffle’s International University offer teaching opportunities for qualified teachers.

International schools

To teach at international schools in Mongolia you need the following: 

  • Teaching qualification ( teaching license or a TEFL certification) 
  • Teaching experience in English and another subject
  • Native-level fluency in English
  • Salaries are typically higher than those offered by public schools and language academies.
  • Teachers are usually offered:
    • health insurance
    • housing or housing allowances
    • paid holidays
    • annual flights 

Some schools may offer additional benefits such as professional development opportunities, tuition discounts for dependents, and retirement benefits.

How to get a job teaching English in Mongolia

One way to find teaching jobs in Mongolia is to look at job postings online. The TEFL Academy’s jobs board has hundreds of job advertisements posted online. There are often jobs fairs in different countries in a drive to recruit teachers to Mongolia.

For international schools and language schools, you can try contact the school’s directly.

What is the average teacher salary in Mongolia?

On average, you can expect to earn between ₮1.8 million – ₮3 million ($530-$880) a month. Bear in mind, Mongolia offers good benefits which adds to the value of your salary. 

What are the common benefits for TEFL jobs in Mongolia?

Common benefits for TEFL jobs in Mongolia include housing, airfare reimbursement, and health insurance. Some schools offer paid holidays and sick days. Private language academies offer additional benefits such as performance bonuses or professional development opportunities. 

Cost of living in Mongolia

Mongolia is a relatively affordable country to live in compared to other countries in Asia. The cost of living in Mongolia varies depending on location and lifestyle, but overall it’s considered to be low. 

Accommodation

  • One-bedroom apartment in city centre: ₮1 million ($285)
  • One-bedroom apartment outside city centre: ₮675,000 ($190)

 Utilities

  • Electricity, water, and gas: ₮190,000 ($55)

 Food and groceries

  • Monthly shop: ₮700,000 ($200)
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: ₮15,000 ($4)

 Transport

  • One-way bus ticket: ₮500 ($0.10)
  • A monthly pass: ₮25,000 ($7)

 Internet

  • Unlimited: ₮42,000 ($12)

 Entertainment

  • Gym, cinema, clubbing: ₮125,000 ($35)

It’s possible to save money as an English teacher in Mongolia, although the amount will depend on your lifestyle and spending habits. Working overtime or teaching privately will help you save some cash.

What is it like living and working in Mongolia?

In terms of culture, Mongolia has a rich history and unique nomadic traditions. There are many opportunities to explore the countryside and experience the culture firsthand. The Mongolian language may be challenging to learn, but English is widely spoken in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.

Mongolia is known as the ‘Land of the Eternal Blue Sky’. Don’t let the sunshine fool you – the winters are long and cold (temperatures can drop to -40 °C) and the summers short, but at least you won’t suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency.

If you suffer with any respiratory illness, the pollution levels are very high and will exacerbate your condition.

Be mindful of the conservative practices in Mongolia, although it is acceptable to dress in a western way, being modest is advised.

Dreaming of exploring Mongolia’s Steppes on horseback? Tempted to try salt milk tea? Want to visit where the first dinosaur eggs were found? Then you should get a job teaching English in Mongolia. And we can get you there!

 

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