What are the best TEFL Destinations?
Every year around this time TEFL teachers all over the world are making New Year’s resolutions that include visas, plane tickets and suitcases. If you’re already teaching or if you’re thinking about taking the plunge in the New Year, now is the time to think about where you want to be in 2019. Truth be told, the possibilities are endless. But there are definitely a few favourites which look set to be on your bucket list for 2019.
Our top ten TEFL destinations for 2019
Thailand has been a popular TEFL destination since the beginning of TEFL. For the last few years its popularity has waxed and waned but it’s back on the radar in 2019. It’s not surprising really. In terms of lifestyle, Thailand is hard to beat. With a TEFL teacher’s salary you can live like a king and in your free time you can spend your days at some of the most beautiful places in the world.
If you’re worried about a job, there are schools looking for TEFL teachers around every corner in Bangkok and even at a few holiday resort towns too. Many EFL teachers in Thailand also supplement their income by online teaching or blogging.
Staying in Asia, Japan is another popular EFL destination. Balancing ancient history with the modern world, Japan is so different to many cultures that it is very attractive to many people. You are most likely to find jobs in Tokyo, Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka, teaching adults in language schools, children in government schools or private students.
If you are fascinated by ancient history, interesting culture, beautiful landscapes and deliciously different cuisine, Japan is the place for you to go.
South Korea is remaining as popular as ever for TEFL teachers. It’s not surprising really, considering the generous package – usually including flights, medical aid, lots of holidays and high salaries. There is a big expat population in the bigger cities too, which can make dealing with the culture shock a bit easier.
You need to be prepared to work hard if you want to come to South Korea. You will probably work long hours, but the holidays spent exploring the country and the dollars in the bank will make it all worthwhile.
China continues to grow and grow in popularity. It gets a lot of bad press but there is something about this country that draws people to it. It could be the combination of ancient culture and ultra-modernity. It could be its exquisite natural beauty. It could be the sheer volume of EFL teaching jobs available. Whatever it is, China is booming in terms of TEFL at the moment.
There are loads of different possibilities to teach in China. You can find a job teaching children at a school, adults at a language school or adults at a university. But if you’re not sure that China is the best place for you, why not try an internship for a few weeks first? Then, once you’ve fallen head over heels for the dumplings, you can look for a more long-term position.
The United Arab Emirates
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are moving up the ranks of people’s bucket lists. People are becoming more open to the possibility of exploring the Middle East and it’s becoming more common to find Westerners enjoying dune safaris or shopping in the souks. Add to that the fact that EFL jobs here are very well-paid and it’s not hard to understand why more and more EFL teachers are trying to find their way into EFL teaching positions here.
Just a word of warning: living in the United Arab Emirates is probably very different to what you are used to. You will need to respect the culture you are living in and follow the laws of the land. Basically, if you’re looking to go to work in shorts and a t-shirt, the UAE is not the place you should be considering.
Germany is fast becoming a favourite EFL destination in Europe. It has one of the largest EFL markets in Europe and there is no shortage of students looking for teachers. Plus, with its positioning in Europe it offers amazing travelling opportunities for your time off.
In Germany you will find lots of work teaching Business English for companies, so most jobs can be found in the big cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Stuttgart. It is common for EFL teachers in Germany to work as freelancers rather than be employed by a school (though there are language schools if you’d prefer to try to find work there). This means that you have total flexibility over your working hours.
What’s not to love about Spain? The food, the weather, the afternoon siestas and late-night lifestyle – Spain is a vibrant and energetic place to live. Though the economy in Spain is not doing so well right now – or perhaps because of this – the demand for EFL teachers is high. Spanish people may struggle to find jobs in their country so they understand they need to learn English if they want to work abroad.
You’re most likely to find a job at language schools in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Valencia. Your workload won’t be overly heavy so even though your paycheck will reflect this, you will have plenty of time to hit the beach and chill out.
Russia may be the biggest country in the world but not many people have dared to venture there. There is a growing awareness of the importance of English among Russians, which means there are hundreds of thousands of eager language learners waiting for teachers.
In Russia you will either teach in a public or a private school or in one of the growing number of language schools. EFL jobs are well-paid and often accommodation is one of the most expensive costs of living in the country.
Latin America has long been the destination of choice for travellers from all over the world but it hasn’t yet found favour with EFL teachers. This looks set to change in 2019. Chile is one of the safest countries in Latin America and its natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle make it a very attractive country to live.
Finding a job in Chile usually means living in Santiago, Valparaiso, Serena or Concepcion. You will probably be teaching in a language school, though it is possible to teach in a public school through the government’s Open Door programme.
A few years ago you might have thought we were pulling your leg if we told you that you should go and teach in Colombia, but those days are over. Colombia is now politically stable and one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. Plus it has a booming market for EFL teachers.
You can teach in Bogota or Medellin in language schools, or you can try for one of the new posts in Colombia’s government schools. To supplement their income, many EFL teachers teach private students or teach online when they are not at school. In your time off there are beaches, rain forests, shopping and late-night parties to keep you occupied.
Of course these are not the only options you have as TEFL destinations for 2019. Other countries which deserve a mention are Vietnam, Czech Republic, Mexico and Hong Kong. But we’re convinced these are the top ten TEFL destinations for 2019. So choose your TEFL destination, pack your bags, book your tickets, kiss your loved ones goodbye and off you go!