5 Of The Best Destinations for TEFL Teachers

5 Of The Best Destinations for TEFL Teachers

So you want to be a TEFL teacher; fantastic! Once you’ve got your certificate, where in the world do you want to teach?

More and more countries are calling for TEFL teachers so you might have a tough time trying to decide where to go.

If you’re tired of staring at your Atlas, have a look at our top five destinations for TEFL teachers.

  1. Taiwan

Teach English in Taiwan - Teach English Abroad

Located on China’s south east coast, Taiwan gives you the chance to enjoy a subtropical environment – mountains, beaches and amazing views – alongside sophisticated culture.

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree.

Salary: Approximately $3,000 a month.

You’ll have to pay for your own flight and accommodation – sometimes a room is provided but generally it will be unfurnished. However, your respectable salary, and Taiwan’s low cost of living, will mean that you should be able to cover your daily costs easily. Taiwan places a high value on speaking English, so there are also plenty of opportunities to do freelance tutoring if you want to. You will also meet lots of other TEFL teachers too.

Where to go on your day off:

Tzushr Temple – Dedicated to Qingshui Tsu-Sze, a general from the Song dynasty and reputed to have the power to protect the tea industry. Look out for ancient pillars and beautifully decorated ceilings.

  1. Vietnam

Teach English in Vietnam - Teach English Abroad

Vietnam is in south east Asia and has a unique cultural blend of Buddhist Khmer and Chinese Confucianism. There are busy cities for urbanites, but also an endless number of mountains and coastlines to explore for those who love nature.

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certificate, experience not essential.

Salary: Approximately $2,000 a month.

While it’s not the highest TEFL salary compared to other countries, your money will go a long way thanks to Vietnam’s low living costs.  Which means of course that you should still be able to save some money if you want to (which you can use to travel and explore some of Vietnam’s beautiful beaches, forests and temples).

Although Vietnam is relatively new to TEFL, it’s fast taking off and there’s now a good demand for TEFL teachers, with loads of ESL centres in the two main cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Where to go on your day off:

Cu Chi Tunnels – An underground war museum that gives you a look into the lives the of Viet-Cong soldiers. The tunnels are 120km long with trapdoors, armouries, hospitals and even kitchens.

  1. Japan

Teach English in Japan - Teach English Abroad

Japan is famous for its delicate cuisine of rice, noodles and of course sushi. It is also known for being a hub for the advancement of technology and robotics. But Japan is also a country with a long history, a unique style of architecture and some landscapes right out of a film.

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certificate. Experience isn’t always essential but it helps as competition for a job can be steep.

Salary: Approximately $3,000 a month

In areas with a high cost of living (such as Tokyo) you probably won’t have a lot left over after paying your bills and other expenses, but if you’re looking for quality accommodation, great food and an amazing experience, it’s probably worth the cost.

Help will be on hand from your Japanese employers to help you find suitable flights and accommodation; in some cases, the school can also act as a guarantor when you are looking for a room or apartment to rent.

Teaching in Japan is often said to be greatly rewarding, despite a very regimented teaching structure. There are opportunities to teach in both public and private schools, and children who are eager to learn from foreigners – and find them fascinating!

Where to go on your day off:

Tsukiji Market – Get a taste of Japan at this well-known market: fruit, flowers, vegetables, meat, and roughly 2,000 tonnes of seafood!

  1. United Arab Emirates

Teach English in the UAE - Teach English Abroad

Make no mistake, the UAE has a long and rich history which overlaps with many cultures, from Roman to Syrian. Due to the UAE’s oil wealth, the economy is booming and there is a very high demand for English teachers.

Qualifications: A Bachelor’s degree, with a TEFL certificate and relevant experience.

Salary: Approximately $5000 a month depending on TEFL experience.

As well as one of the highest TEFL salaries going, benefits have been known to include free health insurance, a stipend for furnished accommodation and flights covered. However, there are a few drawbacks; women in particular will find there are certain restrictions they must adhere to, including covering up in certain areas. That being said, if you’ve got good TEFL experience, the UAE is the place to be, with welcoming locals and a handsome salary for the right teacher, giving you plenty to spare for sightseeing.

Where to go on your day off:

Dubai Museum – Occupying the Al Fahidi Fort, built over 200 years ago, this museum will help you get to grips with the emirate’s remarkable history. Look out for the walk through exhibition on Bedouin life in the desert.

  1. South Korea

Teach English in South Korea

South Korea is undoubtedly one of the top countries for any TEFL teacher, because it has something for everyone. Do you love history, architecture, culture, exploring islands or enjoying cosmopolitan life? It’s all here! South Korea is a bit of a culture shock for westerners but there’s also plenty to experience.

Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree and TEFL certificate

Salary: Approximately $2,050 a month

It’s not the highest salary compared to neighbouring country China, but South Korea has a vibrant culture that more than makes up for it. And it comes with generous employees too. Not only are your flights likely to be covered, you’re given fully furnished accommodation for the duration of your contract.

There’s also a large Expat community which is great for making new friends, alongside your pupils who have a reputation for being lively and hard working.

Where to go on your day off:

Bongeun-sa – This is a Buddhist temple located on tree covered hillside and founded in 794 AD. It’s hard to miss the 23-meter statue of Buddha!  Go on a Thursday, if you can, to learn the dado tea ceremony from monks and volunteers.


Remember to be true to yourself; what kind of climate and culture do you want to explore? At the end of the day, all these countries are desperate for TEFL teachers, which gives you the chance to make a difference in someone’s life, wherever in the world you go.

Written by Ical Tefl. You can follow them on twitter @ICALTEFL

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