My tefl Blog

English Teaching Destinations Around the World

destinations-blog-banner I’m Rachel, an ex-English teacher and now part of the MyTEFL job placement team. With this position I specialize in helping new TEFL course graduates find great teaching jobs overseas. One thing I’ve learnt in this position is that everyone has their own reasons for choosing to teach English – excitement, adventure, money. The list goes on. However for me, it was the freedom. Being able to spend the summer teaching in China, then moving south to Thailand for the winter, and then over to Colombia the following year. Unless you’re thinking of becoming a pilot, there’s no job quite like teaching English overseas. So to help you set your feet down on foreign ground, I’ve put together a list of different teaching destinations around the world, and what you need to know about them.


As South America’s largest country with a fast growing economy, Brazil is a great destination for EFL teachers. The country itself is gorgeous, with miles of pristine beaches, tropical rainforests, modern cities and an energetic go go vibe. With the up-coming 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil propelling the tourism industry, there’s a higher demand for English teachers now than ever before.

The average monthly salary for a full time teacher is between $800-$1500US, depending on location and hours.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Brazil.


Cambodia used to be a volunteer only type of EFL destination, but has recently seen an upswing in tourism which is increasing demand for English learning. Paid positions are easy to find in larger cities and towns like Siam Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. Due to the relative newness of the market, and the high demand, very little is expected in terms of qualifications. Often just being a presentable, professional looking native speaker can secure a position! Having a BA and/or TEFL helps secure the best jobs.

Schools in Cambodia tend to pay by the hour. The rate is currently between $8 and $15 per hour.  The cost of living in Cambodia is quite low, and teachers working a full schedule can easily save quite a bit every month.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Cambodia.


Chile has a strong growing economy and a modernized infrastructure. While teaching English to business professionals is the mainstay, classes for children and students planning to take the TOEFL or IELTS are becoming more popular. It is better to have a bachelor degree along with a 100 hour plus TEFL certificate to secure a position.  The major cities, including Santiago, Valpairaso and Antofagasa have the most opportunities for EFL positions. The country itself has stunning geography and offers easy accessibility to Argentina, Peru and Bolivia.

The salary in Chile is generally paid by the hour, with average rates being $10-$20US. The cost of living is expensive, so saving extra cash is difficult.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Chile.


These days, China may very well be the ultimate EFL destination. With a huge population, large geographical area, a myriad of exciting food, dialects, customs, culture, and a hot roaring economy to boot, China is tough to beat. Regardless of what you are interested in, China is more than likely to satisfy you. A bachelor degree is required for a work visa, and in major cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen you should be 25 years old and have two years of working experience. However, demand is so strong that many schools hire those with only a TEFL and find a way to obtain a legal working permit for teachers. There are thousands of jobs advertised online at any time of the year in big cities, medium sized towns, and even rural villages.

Salary range varies widely depending on location and type of school. Universities and colleges tend to pay $800-$1200US per month for a 20 hour work week. Roundtrip airfare, accommodations and insurance are normally included in a 1 year contract. Private schools pay higher, generally from $1000US all the way to $3000US per month with the same benefits. However the work week is generally longer and teachers may have to travel between classes or campuses. China is still relatively affordable in smaller cities and many teachers can save quite a bit.

Let us help you find you a great teaching job China.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic can be considered the gateway between Western and Eastern European culture. It is a delightful little country full of cobblestone roads, narrow winding alleys, gorgeous architecture and a hip nightlife scene in Prague. The demand for EFL services have grown considerably over the past decade in both the public and private education systems. In order to be competitive in the public schools, a Bachelor degree and an accredited TEFL are required. Private schools will accept candidates with a recognized TEFL certification. There is more demand for EFL in Prague, but there are also plenty of English speakers seeking to live their due to the lovely environment and culture.

The salary a teacher can expect to earn ranges from $600 – $1200US working 25 hours per week. The Czech Republic is not a cheap destination, so savings will pretty much be nonexistent.

Read more info on teaching jobs in the Czech Republic.


An often overlooked destination, Indonesia is a great place to spend time in an EFL position. Indonesia is the 5th largest country in the world by population, and is comprised of over 17,000 islands! The country itself is full of diverse people, food, activities and nature. Street markets pulse with energy, while gorgeous beaches earn Bali it’s famed reputation. The cost of living is quite cheap, so an EFL salary can go a long way, although don’t expect much in savings. There are plenty of opportunities with public schools and private education organizations. EFL teachers must have either a Bachelor Degree, or else a valid TEFL certificate in order to obtain a legal working permit.

The average EFL salary in Indonesia is $800-$1000US, and most employers will provide a round trip airticket for teachers who complete a one year contract.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Indonesia.


Famed for its rich culture, breathtaking architecture and landscapes, delightful cuisine, classical art, stunning fashion and Mediterranean climate, Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Securing an EFL position in Italy allows one to explore and get intimately involved with this lovely country. Being a western European country also makes adapting and living here less of a challenge than many other EFL destinations. Although the economy in Italy is weak, there is still demand for EFL teachers year round. Due to the popularity of Italy as a destination, securing a position in Italy can be challenging. But with the right attitude and a good TEFL certificate all is possible!

The average TEFL salary in Italy is $1500 – $2000US per month. The cost of living in Italy is quite high, so don’t expect much in savings. Bear in mind that Italy is part of the EU, and it can be quite difficult to obtain a work visa unless you are a British or Irish passport holder.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Italy.


Japan is a mainstay in the EFL world, with demand for English stretching back to the 80’s. The country itself is an adventure in its own right with a unique culture, a welcoming population, cutting edge technology, hot springs, volcanoes and even beaches. It is probably the best example of ardently preserved tradition mixed in with extreme modernity. English teachers are always in high demand, and it is quite easy to secure a well paying position in Japan. On that note the salary is quite high, and depending on lifestyle, many teachers can save up quite a bit. Japan provides a very safe environment on top of it all.

The average salary for teachers in Japan ranges from $2500 -$3500US. The cost of living can be quite high, especially in major cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. However, it is not difficult to save even in these places.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Japan.


Korea is a destination that has been at the top of EFL teacher’s lists for many reasons. The salaries are high compared to the cost of living, the country is relatively developed with good infrastructure, especially in the cities of Seoul and Pusan, and it possesses a unique culture. Teachers are in demand year round due to the large number of private institutes catering to both corporate clients and children.

The average salary for a teacher in Korea is $2000-$3000US. EFL teachers can save quite a bit, especially if they are not living in a major city. Many Korean contracts include return airfare and a stipend for accommodation.

Let us help you find a great teaching job in Korea


Mexico is a destination with many EFL positions available, but with plenty of red tape and patience required to obtain a work permit. The regulations changed in 2012, making the process more difficult and cumbersome. The highest demand for English teachers is in large cities. EFL teachers with business or business teaching experience will find the most positions open to them. Many schools will require a bachelor degree and an accredited TEFL (100 hour minimum) certificate, although some schools will accept only a TEFL.

An average EFL salary in Mexico is $900-$1200US with an average of 30 teaching hours per week.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Mexico.


Oman is an up and coming entrant to the EFL world. It is a little known gem that offers a more open culture than traditional Middle Eastern destinations, and a low cost of living coupled with potentially high salaries. Oman is gaining popularity as a budget tourist destination due to its beautiful geography (deserts and beaches) and hospitality. Due to increased tourism activity, people in Oman are eager to learn English.

The average salary in Oman is $1200 – $3500US per month, and is completely tax free! The cost of living is low, resulting in savings for EFL teachers.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Oman.


A lovely tropical island paradise, the Philippines offers plenty of beaches, snorkeling, seafood and biodiversity. The people are known to be friendly, laid back and peace loving. However, due to the high level of English present in the country, it is a bit more difficult to secure a well paying EFL position. It takes more time, more dedication, and the pay will be correspondingly lower. On the flip side the cost of living is also quite low.

The average salary of an EFL teacher is $400-600US per month. Companies and schools in the Philippines generally do not offer benefits such as airfare or accommodation.

Read more info on teaching jobs in the Philippines.


A country with an unstable and tumultuous past, the Poland of today is a safe, historic, culture rich destination. Ever since joining the EU in 2004, demand for EFL teachers has soared in this bustling country. While the majority of jobs are in denser urban areas, there are opportunities available in rural landscapes as well. There are plenty of options including in-company, private language schools, public primary and secondary schools, and intensive language camps. Private language schools tend to pay highest, while public schools offer the opportunity to get away from cities. Recruitment happens year round in private schools, with starts for public schools being typically in September and January.

The average salary for an EFL instructor in Poland is between $700 and $1900US.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Poland.

Saudi Arabia

Most people get a surprised look on their faces when Saudi Arabia is mentioned as an EFL destination. While it has some rules that are difficult for some people to accept (no alcohol), it is just another country which has been poorly represented in the media and Hollywood. This country has experienced rapid economic growth, lifting the majority of its population out of poverty. With the growth and push towards international integration, Saudis of all ages are learning English. Salaries are very good for EFL teachers and costs are minimal as most contracts offer plush furnished accommodations, roundtrip airfare, international medical insurance, high bonuses and zero taxes on salaries. So savings are very easy to accumulate. If you are looking for a real adventure off the beaten path, where many do not venture, Saudi Arabia just might appeal to you!

The average salary in Saudi Arabia is $2000 – $4000US per month.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Saudi Arabia.


Taiwan is an oft overlooked island paradise, full of gentle lush mountains, thousands of rivers and brooks, friendly locals, food to die for, and a nice mix of the traditional and the modern. There is something here for everyone; beaches, surfing, temples, hot springs, night markets, fashion and more. Taiwan used to be an EFL hotspot, but is no longer flourishing like it used to. Obtaining a position in Taiwan will require a bit more patience than destinations like China or Korea. The salary is reasonable, but besides food, the cost of living in major cities is not cheap. Teachers will be able to save according to the lifestyle they choose to live.

The average salary of a full time EFL teacher in Taiwan is $1800 – $3000US per month.

Let us help you find a great teaching job in Taiwan!


Beautiful beaches, beautiful smiles, delightful food, and never a dull moment; that pretty much sums up Thailand! Visitors flow in and out of the tropical paradise every day, releasing their stress and enjoying the moment. Want to turn that into a daily occurrence? Teaching English in Thailand is a great way to do it. The good news is there are plenty of positions available in Thailand. While the salaries aren’t high, with some basic budgeting it is easy to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in the land of smiles.

The average salary varies from $700 – $1200US per month.

Let us help you find a great teaching job in Thailand!


Turkey is a country with amazing diversity. Each region holds distinct culture, practices, history and beliefs. The country is intersected by Europe and Asia, creating an interesting juxtaposition of culturally mixing and clashing. The people are extremely friendly to foreigners, and the geography is stunning and varied. Traveling through Turkey is an experience one will never forget. Most of the jobs tend to be located in urban centres such as Istanbul, Izmir, and Ankara. There are many jobs available, especially if you hold a bachelor degree and a good TEFL certificate. The salary is decent, although cost of living is high. EFL teachers will most likely break even in this country with little savings.

The average salary for an EFL position is $1000 – $1250US per month.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Turkey.


The UAE is famous for mainly one thing; luxury! Home to the world’s tallest building and many other superlatives, the UAE is a jewel in the middle of the desert. The UAE is comprised of 7 different regions each with its own leader. The most famous ‘Emirates’ are Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The cities are populated with hundreds of thousands of expats as many positions in all sorts of companies are outsourced to foreign workers. The UAE is a tax free haven, meaning plenty of shopping and zero deductions from your paycheck! EFL teaching is in demand here, mainly through the public school system. There are positions in private international schools and Universities which will require a master’s degree and many years of experience. There are plenty of activities to do in the UAE including water sports, camping, desert trekking, indoor skiing, nightlife and almost anything else you can conjure!

The EFL salaries in the UAE typically start at $1600 and run up to $3500US (regular teaching positions). Accommodation is often included as well as round trip airfare and insurance.

Read more info on teaching jobs in the UAE.


Despite poor relations with the United States, and civil unrest, there is still a thirst for learning English in Venezuela. Venezuela is blessed with natural beauty including the tallest waterfall in the world, and of course warm Atlantic beaches. TEFL salaries are not high, and neither are the costs of living. However, don’t expect to be saving much. There are jobs available in both the public sector (elementary and middle schools) as well as private language schools catering to the corporate world.

The salaries to be expected in Venezuela range from $400 to $600US per month.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Venezuela.


A newer entrant to the Asian EFL scene, Vietnam is being hailed as the ‘next China’. The economy is experiencing rapid growth, the cost of living is still very low, infrastructure is being upgraded, and EFL salaries are quite high in comparison to the cost of living. Tourism along with foreign investment is the main driver behind the English gold rush. Vietnam is a unique culture as well, having rebuilt the country after the war, and reintegrating with the international community. The food is delicious, the people are quite friendly and accommodating, and you will find the students are eager to learn.

EFL teachers can expect to earn $1200 – $2200 US per month in Vietnam.

Read more info on teaching jobs in Vietnam.

Not sure where to choose?

If you’re not sure which TEFL destination is right for you, take our 2 minute TEFL quiz to find out!

Still need your TEFL certificate?

Getting your TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification is the first step to starting your life overseas. It only takes 120 hours to complete from the comfort of your own home (that’s about 6-8 weeks)  and shows schools around the world that you’re qualified to teach. button-img-green

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