The Best Places To Teach English Abroad

This is a real toughie because it depends what you’re looking for. I can tell you a little about other TEFL teachers experiences and perhaps some of that will relate to you.

I’m going to put this in order of what I think, listening to other teachers, are the best places in the world to teach, but any of these places would be a great experience. Here’s my top 5.

#5 Italy. Whether it’s Rome, Tuscany or Sicily, Italy is stunning. Then there’s the food, the speed of life, it’s intoxicating. The people are fun and warm it’s got it all.

The one minor drawback is the pay. It’s OK, but compared to other countries it’s a little tight. This becomes a problem if you’re living in a city, where the money doesn’t go so far. The answer is normally a couple of extra private students, to top up your salary. Not a big problem.

#4 Barcelona. Yeah, I know it’s a city, not a country, but it’s not just any city… it’s the city. Spain, in general, is a great place to teach English. A lot of people love Madrid or pick some of the tourist places on the coast but there is no city like Barcelona.

You have culture, architecture, the beach, the nightlife, the atmosphere. It’s not Spain, it’s Catalan. The people are something else. Colourful, passionate and if you are willing to learn a little bit of Catalan, very welcoming.

#3 Thailand. Who wouldn’t like to go spend some time in paradise? Thailand has everything. There’s an abundance of teaching jobs, you get a slower pace of life and you get to live next to the most beautiful beaches on the planet.

It never used to need a visa before now, you can leave the country and re-enter every 3 months, but they’ve tightened up, and you’ll not get allowed back in. You might make it once if you’re lucky.

#2 China. The most popular place on the planet to teach. Probably because it’s so culturally different. It’s only impossible to boil it down to one experience because within China it’s so vastly different too.

China made the decision to use native teachers to learn English. This makes total sense because a lot of Chinese English teachers didn’t have a clue in terms of phonetics and you’d find intermediate level students who couldn’t correctly pronounce in basic vocabulary.

These law changes mean there is an almost a constant need for teachers all over the country. The good news is, in most cities, you’ll earn plenty of money to live comfortably, without becoming rich.

#1 South Korea. I’ve never been to South Korea, but every single teacher I’ve ever met who has spent time teaching in South Korea tell me it’s their favourite place to teach English. Many of them have spent time in a lot of the other countries that made the top 5, so they have a good set of experiences to judge South Korea against.

The country is technologically advanced, it’s naturally beautiful and you get paid really well, by local standards. But what really matters are the people. They’re so welcoming and friendly. They love their teachers.

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