Asia is the most popular destination for newly-qualified TEFL teachers. It’s not surprising really – there is a plethora of jobs available and Asian hospitality is world-class. Many countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam offer a very low cost of living and an amazingly intoxicating array of cultural experiences to be remembered for as long as you live. Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore are more expensive to live in but the higher salaries tend to reflect this.
Most countries require a degree and a TEFL certificate although it is still very easy to find low-paid work without such qualifications in Thailand and Cambodia simply by knocking on doors and handing out copies of your CV. Needless to say, the better paying positions require 2 or 3 years of teaching experience. Privately-run language institutes advertise positions frequently and are the usual employers for first-year ESL teachers. Contracts with language institutes often include travel allowance for flights from/to the teacher’s country of origin.
The demand for English teachers in Korea and China is, quite simply, insatiable so there are a vast number of opportunities in those countries. In total contrast, it is incredibly difficult to find remotely well-paid positions in the Philippines unless you have a Masters degree. This is because the locals speak wonderful English already!
Southeast Asian nations are wonderful places to teach, with eager and well-mannered students keen to learn and chat. However, bear in mind that corruption is common in certain countries in the region and sometimes it seems that the emphasis in the business of education is on the appearance of success and accomplishment rather than genuine progress! That said, it’s incredibly easy to just go with the flow and enjoy yourself surrounded by some of the warmest, most humble, polite and gentle people in the world.
|Country name||Main places for jobs||Salary range (USD/month)||Typical requirements||Job availability|
|Bangladesh||Dhaka||500 – 2,000||Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp., local interview preferred.||*|
|Brunei||Bandar Seri Begawan||1,500 – 3,000||Degree, TEFL certificate, PGCE, 2-3 yrs exp.||**|
|Cambodia||Phnom Penh, Siem Reap||800 – 1,500||TEFL certificate, local interview preferred||***|
|China||All major cities||1,000 – 2,500||Degree, TEFL certificate||***|
|Hong Kong||Territory-wide||1,500 – 5,000||Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp., local interview preferred.||***|
|India||Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata||500 – 2,000||Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.||*|
|Indonesia||Jakarta, Bogor, Bandung, Surabaya, Medan||1,000 – 2,500||Degree (preferably in English or Education), TEFL certificate||***|
|Japan||All major cities and towns||2,000 – 4,000||Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.||***|
|Kazakhstan||Almaty, Astana||1,500 – 2,200||Degree, TEFL certificate||**|
|Korea||All major cities and towns||1,800 – 3,000||Degree, TEFL certificate||***|
|Kyrgyzstan||Bishkek||800 – 1,300||Degree, TEFL certificate||*|
|Laos||Vientiane||800 – 1,500||Degree, TEFL certificate, local interview preferred.||**|
|Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur and the Malaysian peninsula||1,000 – 3,500||Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.||**|
|Mongolia||Ulaanbaatar||800 – 2,000||Degree, TEFL certificate||**|
|Myanmar (Burma)||Yangon (Rangoon), Mandalay||1,200 – 1,800||Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.||***|
|Nepal||Kathmandu||500 – 1,000||Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.||*|
|Pakistan||Karachi, Lahore||500 – 1,000||Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.||*|
|Philippines||Manila, Baguio, Cebu||800 – 2,500||Masters Degree, TEFL certificate, 2-3 yrs exp.||*|
|Singapore||Throughout the island||1,500 – 4,000||Degree, TEFL certificate preferred, 1-2 yrs exp. preferred||**|
|Sri Lanka||Colombo||500 – 2,000||Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.||*|
|Taiwan||All major cities||1,300 – 3,000||Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.||***|
|Tajikistan||Dushanbe||600 – 1,000||Degree, TEFL certificate||*|
|Thailand||Bangkok, Surat Thani and throughout the country||750 – 2,000||Degree, TEFL certificate, local interview preferred.||***|
|Vietnam||Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Haiphong||1,200 – 2,500||Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.||***|