Due to the ever-increasing popularity of English as a second language, there are dozens of great options when it comes to picking a destination for teaching abroad. There are popular destinations on every continent (maybe not Antartica), where jobs are widespread and the quality of life you can expect as a teacher is above the local average. However, there are some places that are easier to get set up in than others. We have looked at a wide range of criteria such as job availability, the visa process, average income compared to average outgoings, how welcome you will feel on arrival, and even the local cuisine, to come up with the following list of great destinations for teaching English abroad. To provide a range of options we have limited it to one country per region.
There are many reasons why so many TESOL qualified teachers love South Korea. It is widely considered to be one of the easiest countries to teach English due to the vast number of potential jobs on offer and the competitive salaries offered by employers. The average teacher’s salary is around $2000 to $2500 per month, with a cost of living that is relatively low compared to some others in the region. Many positions will include a generous benefit package on top of your salary, with paid housing, free flights in and out of the country, and end of contract bonuses all commonplace.
Other positives include a modern infrastructure that makes it very easy to travel within the country during your time off, and well disciplined students who are unlikely to cause any major problems in the classroom. Obtaining the required visas and permits is also relatively straightforward and your employer will usually do much of the hard work in this regard. Finally, as anyone who has ever visited Korea will tell you, the local food is fabulous.
Germany is sometimes overlooked as a teaching destination, but there are many reasons why it is well worth considering. For a start, the country’s famous love of discipline and order is very good news for those working in classrooms full of young learners. The spirit of making things work efficiently also leads to few problems when trying to sort out the paperwork required to live and work legally. The location is great as well as you will be right in the heart of Europe, within easy reach of dozens of other countries you might want to explore.
Salaries for TESOL qualified teachers in Germany average around $2000 per month, although this can go anywhere up to $5000 if you have a high level of qualifications and some experience. Jobs are widespread throughout the country in kindergartens, language centers, international schools, and large corporations. There is also a national shortage of teachers in general, which is further good news for anyone who likes the idea of teaching English in one of Europe’s most organized destinations.
Latin America has long been popular with teachers from all over the world, but especially those from the US and Canada. However, Colombia is a relatively new kid on the block having only recently emerged from many years of seclusion. As the economy booms and the government makes it easier and easier for foreign teachers to get the documentation they need to work legally, the number of teachers arriving is set to climb year-on-year. The number of vacant positions is steadily growing in cities such as Bogota and Medellin, where private language schools and local mainstream schools compete to get the best teachers through their doors.
One of the big attractions in Colombia is the warm welcome that it offers visitors. In fact, the country was recently declared the second happiest nation in the world, which bodes well for any new arrival. Other attractions include a low cost of living, steadily rising salaries, a vibrant social scene, and stunning landscapes to explore. If you are looking for somewhere that is a little off the beaten path, Colombia takes some beating.
Due to its close proximity to Europe and a thriving international tourism industry, Morocco has a very high demand for English teachers. Private language schools and international schools are the most likely employers, although private tutoring is also a popular option. One of the main attractions for teachers is the country’s wide diversity of students, who have a range of languages, beliefs, and backgrounds, as well as a fierce desire to succeed in the classroom. Other highlights include the year-round warm weather, superb local cuisine, countless miles of beaches, and incredible opportunities for exploring deeper into the African continent.
The United Arab Emirates
Although technically part of Asia, we have included the UAE on this list as the Middle East is such a huge part of the ESL teaching world. This region is well known for the high salaries it offers foreign teachers, so those that make the grade will be able to live a very comfortable lifestyle and still put aside a sizable chunk of cash for traveling or paying off student debt, etc. Most jobs also come with a great benefit package that normally includes airfares, paid accommodation, and a range of cash bonuses. If all that isn’t enough, your salary will be tax free as well. Although you will need to meet a high standard when applying for jobs, once employed you should find that your workplace is relaxed, working hours are relatively short, and your students highly respectful.