Educators from all stripes and spots are all-too familiar with the concept of a hiring season. Whether you’re gunning for a preschool position in your hometown, crossing your fingers for a high school history teacher position anywhere in Iowa, or seeking an international teaching gig in your dream destination, there’s a waiting game when it comes to getting hired in TEFL.
Hiring seasons don’t have to be a drag, especially if you play your cards right and optimize your application period to fit the window of opportunity for your country of choice.
When is hiring season?
No wonder flocks of aspiring TEFL teachers are heading to Cambodia: the low cost of living, exotic, jungle feel, and kind locals make it a wonderful place to work, live, and travel. It’s not everyday that you can watch the sunrise over an ancient Hindu temple or bargain for fresh lychees at a floating market—unless you live in Cambodia, that is.
Want even more good news? Cambodia hires TEFL teachers year-round.
It’s big. It’s wacky. It’s awesome. China has long been a draw for foreign teachers, and this Asian giant doesn’t seem to be leaving the TEFL hot list anytime soon. We reckon the pork dumplings and hardworking, ambitious children keep the English teachers coming back!
The TEFL hiring season in China will depend largely on your preferred program arrangements. Do you want to live with a family, get to know the culture on a deep, personal level—and maybe even improve YOUR language skills (#nihao, y’all!). Then a live-in homestay program, available year round for 2-3 months, is the gig for you.
If you want to sharpen your classroom command skills and learn the inner-workings of an international education system, then consider a program that places you in a school. Be warned, however: The hiring season for teaching in a Chinese school peaks in February and August, right before semester start-times. If you’re seeking an even longer teaching commitment, a Shanghai teaching internship (which hires in April, June, October, or December) will be a great fit.
Learn the beauty of a slower paced life, not to mention the joy of eating tea (yes, you read that right). Life in Myanmar for TEFL teachers can be as fast paced as a poppin’ city nightclub OR as lackadaisical as the sway of a monk’s apricot robe. You make the call.
You can teach in Myanmar for five month stints, but you’re more likely to get a job in the fall—Myanmar hires most of its TEFL staff in September and October of every year, just in time for the Thadingyut Festival (festival of lights!).
For a small island, these TEFL opportunities are HUGE. Grab your milk tea, hop on your bike, and get to school—your kiddos are counting on you, especially since you’re their TEFL teacher for an entire school year.
Taiwan’s TEFL hiring season is highest in the summertime, with many jobs being posted in July and August. However, additional hires are made intermittently throughout the year (November and February), so aspiring TEFLers can find openings even in the low-season.
The darling of Southeast Asia TEFL opportunities, Thailand more than delivers its fair-share of teaching possibilities (and curry sauces). May and October see an uptick in open positions for short-term teaching internships in Thailand, whether you prefer chilled out Chiang Mai or something with a little more buzz.
A major plus: There’s no “bad” time to be teaching in Thailand. The beaches always deliver, the fruit shakes go down smooth whether rainy season or not.
The “S” curve of this unpredictable country can only mean one thing: Super awesome TEFL jobs. Whether you prefer the idyllic, green, relaxed vibe of Vietnam’s gorgeous countryside or seek the chaos of its major cities, there’s a big bowl of pho—and a classroom of eager students—waiting for you.
TEFL interns seeking positions in January and August will have the most luck finding opportunities to teach in Vietnam, where the TEFL hiring season aligns with a typical school calendar. Get ready for the best 4.5 months of your life!
You might not immediately think of Romania when you think of teaching abroad, but you’d be wise to add it to your shortlist. It offers incredible access to all of Europe, but you probably won’t want to leave the country anyway—the Black Sea, Dracula’s home, and “Little Paris” will be enough to fill your free time.
TEFL jobs in Romania seek qualified teachers year-round, so whenever you hear the call of a vampire, you’re encouraged to answer it.
The TEFL hiring season in Spain is one of the shortest: If you’re not applying in September, you can say hasta luego to job ops til the following year.
Even so, it’s worth the wait. TEFL opportunities in Spain are as fetching as the lilt of a distant flamenco guitar. A teaching experience abroad dotted with tapas, siestas, beach trips, fortresses, plazas, fresh squeezed sangria, and aspiring English speaking students can’t be beat.
Flame-broil those steaks and wind up the bandoneón, TEFL jobs in Argentina can be found year round! That’s right, you can jumpstart a six month teaching gig in Buenos Aires during the month of your choosing (might we recommend early spring, so you can help harvest grapes for this year’s varietal of Malbec?!). If you’re interested in opportunities a little shorter or a little longer than that, you’ll have the most luck applying to other TEFL jobs in Argentina in March or July.
If getting *all up in* lots of world class, epic nature is high on your TEFL to-do list, then you’d be wise to seek opportunities in gorgeous, coastal, mountainous, desertous, forested Chile. There’s a landscape to meet all of your needs here. And with medium-to long term TEFL positions hiring round the clock, you have zero excuses for not packing up your hiking boots to head south STAT.
Get hired to teach English abroad
Increase your chances of landing that dream job or position by matching your application submissions to individual country’s preferred TEFL hiring season. You’ll be reviewing grammar structures and brainstorming lesson plans before you know it!
Want another #TEFLhack? Take the guesswork out of job validity and the headaches of moving to a new country by using an organization like Premier TEFL to take the stress out of every step.