The best places to teach English abroad in 2021.
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The issue with using superlatives is that experiences are subjective and what one person will describe as being the best isn’t necessarily what another person will. So these 5 teaching English destinations are generally considered to be the best TEFL destinations of 2020/2021, but shouldn’t be considered a set-in-stone compulsory list. Destinations are listed alphabetically. Remember: before buying your ticket and packing that travel bag, always research country entrance requirements and employment visa laws.
(1) Cambodia. The land of the Khmer has been developing at a steady rate in more recent times and you will find little issue in finding a relatively well-paid teaching English job in the main cities of Battambang, Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. Forget the image of teaching on a beach though – an increasing marketing ploy adopted by some TEFL schools to entice new students onto their courses – as it is in the cities where you will find teaching English positions. Wages vary, but generally speaking, you should expect to earn around $10 USD per hour with a TEFL certificate, with the hourly wage increasing slightly in Phnom Penh and decreasing slightly in Siem Reap. It is possible to apply for job positions from abroad, but more preferable to be in-country when you apply. See our 10 tips on finding a teaching English overseas job for more information on this. A degree is preferred, but not mandatory. $10 USD might not sound like much, but considering the generous affordability of day-to-day life, it will contribute to a much more than ample monthly salary. Plus, the locals are extremely warm and hospitable. And at the weekends when you might find yourself wanting a break from urban life? Well, there are all those beaches and islands in the south of the country to stretch out on while sipping chilled 75 cent Angkor beers and affordably munching on delicious seafood.
(2) China. It should come as no surprise to you that the world’s second largest economy has become the largest TEFL market in the world. Teaching English jobs are easy to come by and the salaries are competitive: $1,500 – 2,000 USD per month on average. A degree in any subject is mandatory. No TEFL certification is required, but having one can often start you off in a higher-paid position. Given China’s strict visa policies, it is recommended to look for teaching English jobs whilst at home and apply from abroad. The top TEFL destinations within China are Beijing, Yangzhou, Harbin, Guilin, Shanghai, Chengdu and Xi’an. The feedback which we have received is that Chinese students are incredibly respectful of teachers and teachers are highly regarded throughout China. Plus, there are lots of public holidays and due to the low cost of living, you can expect to put away a sizeable chunk of your salary each month.
(3) Czechia. Formerly ‘The Czech Republic’, Czechia still retains the title as one of the must go-to TEFL destinations in the world. It has everything you could possibly wish for: accessible countryside, a superb transport system, excellent local beers and wines, hearty cuisine, medieval castles, a favorable location in Central Europe and it’s a much more affordable location than Western Europe. Being a landlocked country though, it is missing the white sands and glistening azure of those beaches. Still, there are hundreds of lakes to choose from, should you have a desire to be close to a large body of water. It is still extremely easy to find teaching English jobs in Prague, but salaries have remained plateaued for some years now and it is no longer the amazing deal that it used to be. However, you should still expect to be earning in the general amount of $15 USD per hour, and around $20 USD if you teach privately. A degree is often stipulated, but in reality just turning up armed with a TEFL certificate will get your foot in the door. See our FAQs for more information on this. You won’t come out rich, but the experience of teaching English in the Czech Bohemian, Moravian and Silesian lands is priceless.
(4) Slovakia. Slovakia, you say? Yes, Slovakia! If you are tired of the hoards of tourists which seem to consume every street in Czechia’s capital, then we can definitely recommend it’s smaller, former sibling: Slovakia. The two countries were, up until fairly recently, connected as one Czechoslovakia, but when the Slovaks voted for independence in 1992, both countries went their separate ways. Like Czech Moravia, Slovakia is steeped in folklore and spending any time here you will have a sense that there are many traditions very much alive from many days past. Slovakia boasts some excellent cuisine, majestic mountains and some of Europe’s friendliest people. Also, you can earn more in it’s capital city, Bratislava than you can in Prague. The hourly rate in Bratislava sits at around $20 USD per teaching hour, with daily costs being on par with Czechia’s capital city. Be warned though that once you venture out of Bratislava, that salaries do drop. But prices also drop, so it is a logical trade-off. As with Czechia, it is best to look for work once you are in-country. The only real negative of teaching in Bratislava is the chronic shortage of available apartments for rent, so for the first month or so you might want to rent a short-term room until you find something more permanent. Other cities in Slovakia where you can easily find teaching English work are Banska Bystrica, Kosice, Nitra and Presov. Our tip though is to start off in Bratislava, where you are an hour’s train ride from Vienna and from where you can easily access other locations within the welcoming, Slovak lands.
(5) Vietnam. Good morning! Vietnam has, in recent times, begun earning the moniker of ‘Asian Tiger’ in reflection of its booming economy. And wherever there is a boom in economy there is a growing middle class, and wherever there is a growing middle class there is a surge in demand for English language tuition. If this list were ranked by most favorable location, then Vietnam would be at the top. It has everything: mountains, picture postcard coastlines, energetic metropolises, some of the world’s best coffee, outstanding food and much, much more. The country is often (crudely) divided into north and south, with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City being the default central hubs for English teachers looking to get on the teaching English gravy train. Salaries range from $1,000 to 2,000 USD per month, depending on the school you work for and your qualifications. Teaching English jobs are easy to come by, with the majority of expats choosing to settle in Ho Chi Minh City. A university degree is mandatory for the work permit process, although it is sometimes possible to navigate around this rule. A TEFL certificate will increase your chances of finding work with the more reputable companies. The cost of living is low and the options for travel throughout the region are endless. If we were to pick one location to start out teaching English abroad, it would be Vietnam.
Written by Mia Williams for Trusted TEFL Reviews.
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