Finding a job teaching English abroad in 2023 should be on your to-do list – if it’s not already! But the question is: What are the best countries to teach English abroad in 2023?
If you’re interested in jobs teaching English abroad, no doubt you’ve been furiously googling top TEFL destinations and now you’re probably more confused than ever! So, we hear you ask, what IS the best country to teach English abroad in 2023?
Our answer? It depends!
Let’s break it down a little for you. You’ve probably read tons of articles on The Top 10 TEFL Destinations for 2023 and The Top Countries For TEFL in 2023.
But for WHO?
Our TEFL Academy alumni have shown us that there are a wide range of reasons they want to teach English as a foreign language. Some want to work their fingers to the bone to pay off their student debt. Some want to work as little as possible but still be able to visit all seven continents. Others are deeply passionate about education and want to do their bit by teaching in orphanages in underprivileged areas. Still others just want to get away and make a fresh start – anywhere, as long as it’s close to a beach!
How can there be a country which satisfies the needs of all of those people?
In order to truly decide which is the best country to teach English abroad in 2023 for YOU, we have to consider a few different options.
- The best countries to teach English abroad in 2023 for the piggy bank – for TEFL teachers who want to save their money
- The best countries to teach English abroad in 2023 for the wanderlust-er – for TEFL teachers who want to travel the world and live their best lives
- The best country to teach English abroad in 2023 for TEFL teachers with families
- The best countries to teach English abroad in 2023 for TEFL teachers without a degree
- The best country to teach English abroad in 2023 for the new TEFL teacher
- The best country to teach English abroad in 2023 for TEFL teachers who want a job NOW
- The best country to teach English abroad in 2023 for the mature TEFL teacher
- The best country to teach English abroad in 2023 for the digital nomad TEFL teachers
The best countries to teach English abroad in 2023 for the piggy bank: South Korea and United Arab Emirates
South Korea might be as old as the hills when it comes to TEFL destinations but it’s still got that x-factor. Attractive salaries coupled with a high demand for TEFL teachers ensure that it remains a firm favourite with TEFL teachers.
To teach in South Korea you need a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL qualification. The average teaching salary in South Korea is between ₩1.5 milliion and ₩4 million. It can be a challenging teaching gig when it comes to working hours but if you’re looking to save your cents and get a ton of experience under your belt, South Korea is for you.
Rea teaches kindergarten in Busan:
“The job is tiring, but I get a lot of time off too. I work Monday to Friday, nine until six and have every weekend off, plus a bunch of national holidays too. They have a holiday for everything in South Korea, including Budda’s birthday, Independence Day and even Children’s Day!
All this free time has allowed me to explore South Korea. I have even had the opportunity to visit Japan which is just a short two hour ferry ride away from Busan.
Teachers also get paid a lot in South Korea. Most schools offer you a free apartment and free round-trip air fare from your home country”.
Another good financial opportunity is the United Arab Emirates. This is an especially good option for more experienced teachers or those with further qualifications. The obvious perk of working in the UAE is the very generous tax-free salary, but its natural beauty, ultra-modern metropolises and convenience of travel make it even more attractive for intrepid travellers.
In order to teach in the UAE, you need to have a Bachelor’s degree, a TEFL certificate and a few years of teaching experience. Without a doubt, if you are looking to save up some money, then the UAE is where you should be looking for a job.
The best countries to teach English abroad in 2023 for the wanderlust-er: Thailand and Chile
Both Thailand and Chile are fantastic options for travellers, because they provide easy access to neighbouring countries. Plus their cost of living is low so travelling around their respective continents is do-able.
Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles – and who wouldn’t be smiling if you live in this paradise? Besides the fact that there are a ton of TEFL jobs available, the lifestyle in Thailand is easy. With its location, it’s super easy to travel around Asia so an adventure is just a tuk-tuk ride away.
To teach English in Thailand you need a degree and a TEFL certificate. You can expect to earn between THB25,000 and THB35,000, but with the cost of a meal in a (local) restaurant averaging about THB150 there is no doubt you can live a good life on a TEFL teacher’s salary.
Natalie teaches English in-house in Bangkok:
“Every day I feel blessed to live in this country. While the language is one of the more challenging to master, the people here will do all they can to help you. The cost of living is minimal, and the city is full of amazing food and places to visit. Every weekend we are spoilt for choice and visit new places all the time.
While this country is still poorer than others in Asia you can still feel at home with its modern transportation system, skyscraper apartment buildi,ngs and world-class shoppicentersres. Bangkok sometimes gets a bad rap, but behind its gritty exterior, it’s a beautiful country and will constantly challenge you to experience new things.”
Chile is a second option for TEFL teachers with itchy feet. It’s an up-and-comer when it comes to TEFL destinations but it’s status is definitely on the rise. Chile is a fascinating country geographically, with it being the longest country measuring from North to South. Not only does Chile have breath-taking natural beauty but it is also well-known for its laidback atmosphere. Chile is a great option for those TEFL teachers who enjoy taking it easy.
In terms of TEFL, you can usually find jobs in language institutes, high schools, colleges or in-house teaching Business English. The average TEFL salary in Chile is between 400,000 and 800,000 CLP.
The best country to teach English abroad in 2023 for teachers with families: Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is one of the countries which welcomes families of teachers with open arms. The generous packages usually include flights, accommodation and health insurance, and provisions are made for dependants. International schools are widespread.
Teaching jobs can be found in universities, military, oil companies and in-house for corporations. Most TEFL jobs are found in Riyadh and Jeddah. A degree is needed to teach English in Saudi Arabia, and you can expect to earn SAR8,000 to SAR15,500.
Read more: Teaching English Abroad With A Family
The best countries to teach English abroad in 2023 for teachers without a degree: Spain and Argentina
Spain is a European country that has featured regularly on lists of top travel destinations and now TEFL teachers have realised that they can live and work there too. Gorgeous weather, gorgeous beaches and gorgeous humans make being a TEFL teacher in Spain an easy decision. While you won’t earn enough to live in the lap of luxury, you’ll still be able to enjoy all the food, fiesta and flamenco that Spain has to offer.
In order to teach in Spain, you need a TEFL certificate. You don’t need a Bachelor’s degree for many schools but you do need to have an EU passport or eligibility to work in the EU. You can earn approximately €1,200 in Spain – but with the low cost of living compared to other European countries, you’ll be able to enjoy a relaxed lifestyle.
Saoirse is a TEFL Academy alumna from Ireland. She taught on a summer camp in Spain:
“Living in Spain was a dream in itself. The cost of living there is so cheap and the weather is another bonus. I finished work around 2.30 every day once I finished my planning for the following day. I would then walk to the beach and relax for the day. I really was living the life.”
A degree is also not required to teach in Argentina.
Argentina has something for any visitor – think wine farms, tango halls, ski slopes and TEFL jobs! It’s a country that you won’t want to leave so finding a TEFL job there is the best idea to fully experience its magic.
In Argentina you can find a job in a language school or university, often teaching Business English. You can expect to earn ARS3,600 – ARS6,100 as a TEFL teacher in Argentina – but you’re not coming here to earn a fortune. You’re coming here to have the experience of a lifetime.
Read more: Can I Teach English Abroad Without A Degree?
The best country to teach English abroad in 2023 for the new teacher: Vietnam
Vietnam is undoubtedly a backpackers’ paradise. Teaching jobs are aplenty, salaries are good and the cost of living is low. Vietnam offers amazing opportunities for adventure and travel.
Because of the laidback vibes of this country, Vietnam is a great starting point for TEFL teachers. It has a large expat community – which some teachers find reassuring – and a huge number of foreign TEFL teachers.
The TEFL Academy alumna Alana is teaching English to Young Learners in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. She says:
“Vietnam has a huge demand for English teachers as the economy explodes and therefore the pay is relatively high, and the benefits are fairly good because the schools compete for the best teachers. The country is also extremely naturally beautiful, the food is world class and it is slap bang in the centre of South East Asia so it is easy to travel.
The first week I had training with the other teachers and we got to watch TEFL teachers teach a class of grade 1 Vietnamese public school children. The school did a lot to prepare us for our first lesson by giving us books, props, lesson ideas and tips. I did feel nervous about teaching for the first time, given that I had no experience, but the amount of help I had from my school and The TEFL Academy tools, it wasn’t as daunting as I had initially thought it would be.”
The best country to teach English abroad in 2023 for teachers who want a job NOW: China
Living in China is an experience you won’t get anywhere else in the world, and this is one of the reasons TEFL teachers flock there. Whether it’s living the city life in Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou or opting for a more traditional existence in Xi’an, Hangzhou or Yangzhou, China offers plentiful jobs, good salaries and a guaranteed crazy adventure.
In order to teach in China you need to have a Bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate from a reputable provider. You can expect to earn between ¥ 10,000 and ¥ 20,000 a month.
Shannon has been teaching English in a kindergarten in Beijing for over four years. She met her husband in China and they now have a son together. She says:
“Obviously, teaching can be tiring at times, but not a day goes by when I don’t get a good laugh or a smile. I feel that I have developed a lot as a person since coming to China to teach English: I have become more social, more confident, I have learnt a new language (yes I can speak Mandarin!), met great friends from all over the world, travelled far and wide and fallen in love with a new culture.”
The best country to teach English abroad in 2023 for the mature teacher: Czech Republic
Certainly one of the more romantic countries in Europe, Czech Republic is becoming a top European destination for TEFL teachers. Gorgeous architecture, gourmet food and, of course, beer, make Czech Republic popular with tourists as well as teachers.
It is making a name for itself as a very friendly environment for more mature teachers. Working for private language schools is common though it’s also popular to work as a freelancer. You need a degree to work in Czech Republic and can expect to earn CZK20,000 – CZK30,000.
The best country to teach English abroad in 2023 for the digital nomads: online
And of course we couldn’t complete this list without mentioning teaching English online. There is a huge demand for online English teachers. Teaching jobs vary from working for an online English company or teaching private students in a freelance capacity. The beauty of online teaching is that you can teach from Brazil while your students are in Japan!
Maryse teaches English online:
“I’m a personal development blogger, a photographer, and an online undergraduate university student, and I’ve always imagined my long-term career to be quite similar to that of a digital nomad. Online language tutoring is a perfect way to complement my current work, and since I officially started, I love it!
“With my previous years of experience in blogging and my keen interest in digital marketing, setting up and managing a website seemed like a no-brainer in this instance. I initially created and shared flyers on social media, which advertised my teaching services, in different languages; English, French, Italian and Spanish. Non-native speakers would then be able to easily understand exactly what I was offering. I then took the leap and created another website, with a scheduling tool and a mailing list, for my teaching journey!
In this way, I am able to be very flexible with regards to my time and terms, and I am also able to set aside the necessary time to manage my other projects. It benefits me, as well as my students.”
If you’re interested in spreading your wings and becoming a TEFL teacher, head to our website to find out more about our award-winning courses. Or chat to us and we’ll tell you everything you need to know!