10 Best Job Markets for Teaching English Abroad in 2018

Best Countries to teach English abroad in 2018

Will 2018 be the year that you see the world?

Do you seek the international adventure of a lifetime in 2018?  With 1.7  billion people using and learning English worldwide, the international job market for teaching English abroad has never been stronger with new opportunties opening every single day from China & Turkey to Vietnam & Costa Rica. Teaching English overseas provides more opportunities than any other field for English speakers from all walks of life and all backgrounds to live, work and travel abroad in foreign countries across the globe. 

And guess what? No prior teaching experience is required! However, taking an accredited TEFL certification course will allow you to gain the skills and qualification you need to get hired and to teach on the professional level.

As we look forward toward to 2018, here are 10 of the top job markets to consider as you look at your options for teaching English abroad this coming year....

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10. Cambodia - Kingdom of the Khmers

Cambodian people possess an unbreakable spirit and a remarkably infectious sense of optimism- after prevailing through years of hardship, a return to peace has sparked an influx in tourism during the past decade. Cambodia's south coast is fringed with beautiful islands that are worth exploring, and its pristine environment provides a gorgeous backdrop for outdoor exploration. The Cambodian landscape is one of fertile plains, rice paddies, impressive waterfalls, and shining crater lakes. Plan a day trip to the ancient temple city of Angkor Wat, one of the world's truly spectacular monuments, or one of the endless Buddhist pagodas and museums throughout Cambodia.

Best Countries to Teach English in for 2018

While not as large as some other Asian nations, Cambodia is one of the fastest growing job markets in Asia and the world for teaching English abroad. It's also a country where you will not need to have a four-year degree or be a native English speaker to get hired to teach English - but you will need to earn your TEFL certification. Those seeking to teach English in Cambodia can find jobs year round because demand is high. Most positions are in private language schools that cater primarily to adults. Typically interviews are in-person, some are conducted in advance over the phone and via e-mail. Instructors are responsible for airfare and housing expenses. Those teaching English in Cambodia often share an apartment with other English teachers. The major city for English teaching jobs is Phnom Penh.

By Asian standards, salaries are modest, but the low cost of living affords English teachers a comfortable lifestyle. Schools typically offer 20 to 25 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time to travel and explore.

Learn more about TEFL Certification in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and for firsthands account, check out Teaching English in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Alumni Q&A with Melanie Boulet and Phnom Penh, Cambodia English Teaching Q&A with Kori Johannesen

9. Mexico - Land of the Aztecs

Best Countries to teach English inLiving as a local in Mexico, you'll have the chance to truly recognize the extent of its awe-inspiring cultural and natural attractions. Whether browsing the wares of street vendors in Mexico City, soaking up the sun in Acapulco, or exploring ancient Mayan ruins in Tulum, the history and culture of Mexico are among the most captivating in the Western Hemisphere. Mexico is an ideal choice for those looking to improve their Spanish language skills!

Boasting broad cultural and natural diversity, Mexico offers one of the largest job markets for TEFL Certified English teachers. Instructors teaching English in Mexico can typically find work year-round (though major holiday periods like Christmas & Easter will be slow). While there are many opportunities to interview in advance over the phone and via e-mail, most English teachers interview in person and are responsible for airfare and housing. Most English teachers live in apartments and many share accommodations with other English teachers.

Best Countries to Teach English Abroad in 2018

A solid hourly wage affords English teachers the opportunity to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Schools typically offer around 20 to 25 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time to travel and explore. While English teachers are not required to have a bachelor’s degree to teach in Mexico, it is preferred. An accredited TEFL certification is typically essential to teach English in Mexico. English teaching jobs in Mexico are found in the larger cities of Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla, Juarez, Puerto Vallarta, and León.

Learn more about TEFL Certification in Guadaljara, Mexico and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For a firsthand account of teaching English in Mexico, check out Queretaro, Mexico English Teaching Q&A with Stacey Robison and Guadalajara, Mexico English Teaching Q and A with Ekaterina Nastina.

8. Vietnam

Top Places to Work Overseas

From the highlands of Sapa and colorful street markets of Ho Chi Minh City to the sprawling delta of the Mekong River, Vietnam is a feast for the senses and a treasure trove of fantastic cultural and natural offerings. 

It also represents one of the fastest growing job markets in Asia for teaching English abroad. The capital of Ho Chi Minh City is home to hundreds of language schools and represents the largest job market, however schools across the country hire new English teachers on a regular basis.  Due to good salaries and a low cost of living, most foreign English teachers earn enough to save the equivalent of $500+ USD each month after expenses. Schools highly prefer to employ citizens of native English-speaking nations and a four-year degree (bachelor's degree) is required, often in addition to an accredited TEFL certification.


To learn more, check out the Teaching English in Vietnam - Country Profile & read firsthand alumni accounts about teaching English in Vietnam

7. Nicaragua - Land of Lakes & Volcanoes

Best places to teach English overseas

Nicaragua?! Yep. It may be a dark horse, but if you seek an authentic Latin American experience in a fast-growing teaching market that remains virtually undiscovered, Nicaragua provides a perfect option. In addition according to a 2014 Gallup Survey, Nicaragua is regarded as the safest country in the region.

Nicaragua may be the best kept secret in Latin America. Like Costa Rica, Nicaragua is a small country in the heart of Latin America that offers alluring beaches, lush topography and a fast-growing job market for teaching English abroad. However, unlike Costa Rica and Panama, Nicaragua remains largely undiscovered by tourists, retirees and cruise ship operators. Those who want to teach English in Nicaragua will typically find jobs in larger cities such as Managua (the capital), and Grenada and Leon, two beautiful 500-year-old cities known for their vibrant street life and magnificent colonial architecture. In addition, the cost of living in Nicaragua is super low.  For example, most foreign English teachers rarely pay more than the equivalents of $100-$150 a month in rent and basic necessities like food and transportation often cost five to ten times less than what you might be used to paying in the U.S., Canada or Europe.

Nicaragua - Tope Countries for Teaching English Abroad in 2018

Typically, to get hired to teach English in Nicaragua, you should plan on going there to interview in person, and jobs open throughout the year.  Those who hold an accredited TEFL certification should absolutely be able to gain employment within a week or two of contacting and interviewing local language schools.  Private tutoring is also a great way to earn extra income.

Learn More about TEFL Certification in Nicaragua.

6. Colombia - Nation of Los Cafeteros

Colombia is a top job market for teaching English in Latin America

Twenty or 30 years ago, Colombia was a "no-go" zone ravaged by drug violence and political turmoil, but today, after two decades of economic reform and political stabilization it represents one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America as well as one of top job markets for teaching English. Cities like Bogota and Medillin have become dynamic centers of commerce and culture, renowned for their colorful markets and fast-paced nightlife. In addition, Colombia offers magnificent beaches, lush rain forests, and rich history and culture.

English teachers will find opportunities in private language schools and the Ministry of Education has also begun to recruit foreign instructors as well. A growing number of schools interview English teachers in advance and it is also possible to find many opportunities locally as well. •

• Teaching English in Colombia - Country Profile 

• Teaching English in Colombia: Public School Opportunities

• Bogota, Colombia English Teaching Q&A with Elisa Cruz

Teach English in Colombia in 2018

5. Czech Republic - Land of Castles & Beer

If you seek to live in a classic European setting complete with medieval castles, cobblestone streets, picturesque villages and great bars and cafes, then teaching English in the Czech Republic will be your kind of place for teaching English abroad. As an up-and-coming economy in the heart of Europe, Czech Republic is also one of the top job markets for teaching English in Europe even though it is not a large nation. 
For Americans, Czech Republic is a nation where it is easier to get a legal work permit to teach English than it is in some other European nations, and the cost of living is lower than in some Western European nations like France and Germany.Inadditoin, its prime location in the heart of Europe makes it very convenient for travel to countries like Poland,Hungary,Germany and Austria.
To learn more read Czech it Out! Top 6 Reasons to Teach English in the Czech Republic and check out International TEFL Academy's 4-week TEFL certification class in Prague.

For a firsthand account of teaching English in the Czech Republic, check out this Prague, Czech Republic Q&A with Andrea Perkins and Staff Report: The Job Market for Teaching English in Prague, Czech Republic

 4. Taiwan - The Legendary Island of Formosa

Taiwan is a top job market for teaching English abroad in 2018

Combining its rich cultural heritage with a high tech economy and tropical island topography redolent of Jamaica, Taiwan offers a unique experience for those looking to teach English in Asia.  Most jobs are concentrated in major cities like Taipei, which is known for its grand museums, soaring skyscrapers, and colorful night markets and food stalls. In addition, as a small island nation location at the same latitude as the Bahamas, Taiwan offers beautiful beaches with acitivities such as surfing and wind surfing. Meanwhile, the mountainous interior of the island is an outdoor lover's paradise, ideal for hiking, zip gliding, and cycling.  It is also known for the abundance of natural hot springs.

While not as lucrative as South Korea, Taiwan is still a country that offers good pay and benefits for TEFL certified English teachers, and many teachers are able to save the equivalent of $500+ each month after expenses. 

Read about Teaching English in Taiwan.

Check out firsthand accounts from ITA alumni teaching English in Taiwan .

3. South Korea - Home of the 2018 Winter Olympiad

Teaching English in Korea - top countries for teaching English abroad

Want to live in an uber-modern country in the heart of Asia that boasts thousands of years of history, high-tech cities and some of the best barbecue on the planet? 

How about receiving free airfare, free housing and making enough salary to save $1,000 a month or more after expenses

That's the deal for those who teach English in South Korea.
best countries for teaching english abroad

Those who teach English in Korea can expect to receive 2-4 weeks paid vacation, health insurance and the opportunity to live in some of the most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities in the world like Seoul and Busan. The 170-Hour Online TEFL Certification Class is recommended for those looking to teach English in Korea as schools and recruiters will interview you from your home country and you will receive job placement during the course so you can get going with the interview and job search process.

To learn more read A 6-Step Plan: How to Get a Job Teaching English in South Korea 
and What are the basic requirements to teach English in Korea?

Want to check out firsthand accounts about teaching English in Korea? Check out ITA alumni stories about teaching English in South Korea.

Download your Essential Guide to teaching English in South Korea

2. Spain - Land of Tapas & Flamenco

Barcelona is the best place to teach English in Spain

Despite a sluggish economy - or perhaps because of it - the demand for English teachers in Spain remains among the strongest in Europe. The key for getting a job in Spain is to be on the ground with a TEFL certification and ready to interview during prime hiring seasons: mid-September through mid-October and again in January right after 3 Kings Day, which is January 6.  The biggest job market by far is Madrid, which makes it an ideal spot for beginning your job search.  Barcelona is also a large job market, and you may want to consider a city like Bilbao, which is not as well-known and therefore is less competitive, but still offers an awesome experience. 

To learn more, check out our Spain Student Visa options page, as well as our Madrid Student Visa Program and Barcelona Student Visa options to live and teach English legally in Spain. 

Read firsthand accounts of ITA alumni teaching English in Spain!

Click here to receive your Essential Guide  to Teaching English in Spain. Everything you need to know  to plan your move to live, teach, and travel in Spain.

Teach English Abroad in 2018

1. China - The Middle Kingdom

Watch ITA graduate Jonathan Ogden discuss his experiences teaching English in China

With an estimated 300 million Chinese learning English, it's no secret that the world's most populous nation is also the largest job market in the world for teaching English abroad.  In fact, according to conservative estimates, more than 100,000 foreigners teach English in China each year.  Not only that, but China is one of the most lucrative job markets for teaching English overseas.  Many English teachers receive benefits such as free housing and free airfare and a combination of good salaries and a relatively low cost of living enables many English teachers in China to make enough to save $500 - $1000 a month or even more after expenses.

Top places to teach English abroad

But teaching English in China is not just about the ease of getting a job or making a good salary.  Living and teaching English in China provides the opportunity of a lifetime to explore the history and culture of one of the world's greatest and most important civilizations while also experiencing one of the most dynamic and fast-changing countries in the world.  The bottom line is that if you're looking for international work experience in the most important center of business in the world, then China is a place you need to consider.

To learn more, read What are Salaries for English Teachers in China? and Staff Report: The Job Market for Teaching English in China.

For a firsthand account of what it's like to actually teach English in China, check out Shenzen, China Q&A with Armand Diab.

Teach English in China in 2018

Are You Interested in Teaching English Abroad in 2018?

Request a free brochure or call 773-634-9900 to speak with an expert advisor about all aspects of teaching English around the world, including TEFL certification, the hiring process, salaries, visas and more.  Do it now to make this the best year of your life!

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