The professional field of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) offers teaching opportunities all over the world. There is no shortage of jobs available for students who yearn to travel, learn new languages, make a living, interact with different cultures, and help others. Working conditions vary from country to country, with salaries ranging from $500 a month to over $4,000. The standard of living English teachers may experience in their new jobs will depend on the country chosen, the cost of living, and the hiring institution’s policies. Here’s a list of some of the best places to find work, earn decent wages, and enjoy traveling abroad.
1. South Korea
The market for TEFL opportunities in South Korea is one of the greatest, with 2,000 – 3,000 new job openings every month. Generally, teachers will have their round-trip airfare paid for, free housing, one-month salary bonus ($2,000), insurance, 15 – 18 national holiday paid days, and a paid vacation. Teachers are generally able to save up to $1,000 per month, while enjoying a comfortable lifestyle.
All public schools in Japan teach their students English, from age five through high school. Millions of adults also take English language courses. Huge TEFL opportunities exist year-round for teachers, with in-persons interviews being conducted three to six months in advance in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Teachers who obtain employment often receive visa sponsorship, housing, and partially funded national insurance. Teachers generally work up to 25 hours a week, and earn salaries of up to $3,000 per month, which allows them to live comfortably and save up to $800 per month.
Education reforms in Taiwan continue to make the island a good destination to teach English. Employment opportunities are available throughout the year in public and private schools, from kindergarten to university levels. Wages are comparable with those made in Korea, generally around $2,000 per month, with the advantages of lower costs of living, temperate winters, and tropical summers.
English language instruction is greatly valued and sought after in Vietnam by children in public schools, university students, and adults. There are great opportunities for TEFL instructors throughout this country, including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, and smaller towns and cities. Wages can be as high as $3,000 per month, and the cost of living is relatively cheap. Teachers generally are able to live comfortably and save money, while working 20 to 25 hours per week.
5. Latin America
Most Latin American countries offer a great opportunity for TEFL teachers to find employment. While the wages are not high, the cost of living is very low. Mexico generally has a large number of jobs available, and southern countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and Ecuador have large TESL markets that pay modestly well.
The average pay for a foreign English teacher in France is approximately 1,600 Euros, depending on the school you’re with. Paris is the most popular destination for English teachers, although jobs abound in other cities: plan your trip to Paris bearing in mind that you may end up seeking opportunities elsewhere in France, with cities such as Lyon and Marseille also offering competitive wages and working conditions. Note that schools throughout France are not known for covering airfare, accommodations, and other expenditures.
There are several teachers around Rome who take private students for English lessons or conversation workshops. To find students, try advertising on the various Roman classified sites, or place advertisements in the city’s student district of San Lorenzo. One word of advice: be sure you clearly agree upon a cancellation fee with your students, or else you will be losing both time and money on missed classes.