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6 Best Countries for Teaching English Abroad in 2022
Learn about the best countries to teach English and where you can find jobs teaching English abroad in 2022.
Written By: Jessie Smith | Updated: February 10, 2022
Written By: Jessie Smith
Updated: February 10, 2022
The industry of TEFL certification and teaching English abroad has seen some drastic shifts in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here at International TEFL Academy (ITA), we’ve been doing our best to monitor these constant changes and continue to give prospective students and alumni the most current information about matters like hiring, the market for English teaching jobs abroad, and visa restrictions.
Read More: TEFL & Coronavirus FAQs
When looking for the best countries to teach English during the COVID era, it is worth noting that an accredited TEFL certification has proven to be an invaluable credential. It is a legitimate means to find TEFL jobs abroad and teach professionally, even if you don't possess a degree or prior teaching experience. This is especially true for those looking to teach English online safely from home.
That said, we've analyzed over 80 countries, gathered feedback from our actively teaching students, and looked at the market worldwide for TEFL jobs abroad. As a result, we've pinpointed the six best countries to teach English in 2022 so far, and we hope to keep adding to the list as the year progresses.
What are the best places to teach English abroad in 2022?
Teaching English abroad is a life-changing and rewarding experience. Choosing the right place to teach plays an important role in that regard. So where should you go? Let's dive right into it:
Where can I teach English abroad?
In normal times, English teaching jobs abroad are available in up to 100 countries worldwide and for teaching English online. Even without a college degree, if you get TEFL certified, there are more than 50 nations where you can realistically get paid to teach English as a foreign language.
Which country is best for teaching English?
For 2022, 6 countries stand out as the best places to teach English abroad:
Poland hasn’t been hit by COVID as significantly as other European countries, so schools have mostly returned to in-person learning. As a result, we have seen American English teachers find work and get sponsored for work visas in Poland pretty steadily since the second half of 2020. Poland is therefore an attractive destination for ESL teaching jobs abroad in 2022.
Why Poland is one of the best TEFL countries in 2022:
- Private language schools in Poland have been hiring English teachers in advance from their home country, as long as teachers process their work visa in their home country prior to departure.
- English teachers in Poland live a comfortable life due to a good hourly wage. Schools typically offer around 20-30 hours per week of work, leaving you plenty of opportunities to travel and explore the nation's rich history and culture.
A TEFL certification is still required to get hired in Poland, but teachers do not need to have a bachelor's degree, though it may be preferred by some schools. Prior teaching experience is also not required to find ESL jobs overseas in Poland.
"In Poland, I am independently middle class. I can easily afford the life I want, which is simple, comfortable, and travel-filled."
Hungary is a fast-growing English teaching market in the heart of Europe for international ESL jobs. During COVID, we’ve seen TEFL-certified English teachers getting hired in Hungary via the Central European Teaching Program (CETP).
Why Hungary is attractive for TEFL jobs abroad:
- Teachers pay a placement fee for this program, but there are some fantastic benefits, even during COVID, for those who teach in Hungary through CETP, including a solid salary, accommodations, and paid vacation time.
- CETP hires teachers in advance from their home country.
A TEFL certification is required to become a foreign ESL teacher abroad in Hungary and a bachelor's degree is required.
"I'd definitely recommend teaching English in Hungary. It's a wonderful country full of history, good food, good people and amazing architecture!"
4. Costa Rica
Pre-COVID, Costa Rica has always been an attractive destination for English teachers overseas. It has been one of the hottest markets for English teaching jobs in Latin America. In 2021, we've seen an increasing number of TEFL-certified teachers enter the country to find ESL jobs. Costa Rica appears to become once again a top destination for finding TEFL jobs abroad.
Why Costa Rica is one of the best countries to teach in 2022:
- You can live a comfortable lifestyle as an English teacher in Costa Rica thanks to a solid hourly wage, a low cost of living, and affordable start-up costs when transitioning into the country.
- You can expect to work around 20-25 hours per week, leaving plenty of time to travel and explore the region.
A TEFL certification is required and a bachelor’s degree is also strongly preferred to become an ESL teacher abroad in Costa Rica.
"My standard of living is pretty comfortable. I love my apartment; it's in a safe neighborhood, very cute, and literally a few steps from the beach.'
3. The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic had a strong demand for English teachers before the pandemic, making it one of the top TEFL job markets in Europe. This was true throughout the country but especially in its capital city, Prague. Despite some recent lockdown measures, we've noticed that many English language schools and academies are now looking to hire native English teachers again. The Czech Republic should then be on your radar for finding English teaching jobs abroad in 2022.
Why the Czech Republic is an attractive destination for teaching English abroad jobs:
- You can live a comfortable lifestyle as an English teacher in the Czech Republic thanks to a solid hourly wage.
- You can expect to work around 20-25 hours per week, leaving plenty of time to travel and explore Europe.
- You can find summer job opportunities at English language camps.
A TEFL certification is required and a bachelor’s degree is also typically required to become an ESL teacher abroad in the Czech Republic.
'My first year, I was hustling. Now, I would consider myself upper-middle class by Czech standards. I would say I am quite comfortable and satisfied.'
Before the pandemic, Spain was one of the strongest markets for English teaching jobs abroad. It remains a popular destination in Europe and around the world for teaching English abroad thanks to the variety of options the country offers for finding TEFL jobs. As such, we've started to see more teachers move to Spain with teaching programs and enter the country on a student visa. The Spanish government programs are also now recruiting for the 2022-2023 academic year. Therefore Spain is a strong contestant on this list of best countries to teach English in 2022.
Why is Spain one of the best TEFL countries that need English teachers in 2022:
- ESL Job opportunities are abundant, from government and student visa programs to English summer camps and private tutoring in person or online.
- You can expect to work around 20-25 hours per week, leaving plenty of time to travel and explore Spain and the rest of Europe.
A TEFL certification is required and a bachelor’s degree is also strongly preferred to become an ESL teacher abroad in Spain. You must be a native English speaker as well.
'Living and teaching in Spain has been, by far, the best experience of my life. I would highly recommend moving to another country to teach.'
1. South Korea
South Korea is no stranger to our top teaching market’s list at ITA and is one of the largest and strongest English teaching markets in the world. During COVID, we’ve continued to see qualified English teachers get hired in South Korea. Government programs, including the popular EPIK program, are also now recruiting for the 2022-2023 academic year. As a result, South Korea is one of the top ESL countries for 2022.
As always, all interviewing and visa paperwork will be handled in your home country before departure.
Why South Korea is one of the best countries hiring English teachers in 2022:
- Cost of living & saving opportunities:
- Airfare and housing are typically paid for and provided by local English schools.
- Salary ranges from $1,600-$2,000 USD. You can expect to save up to 50% of your salary after expenses.
- A typical contract for a first-time English teacher in Korea includes a free return flight, paid vacation, and a 1-month salary bonus.
To qualify for international ESL jobs in South Korea, teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, be a native English speaker, and have a clean FBI background check.
- South Korea TEFL Country Profile
- What are the basic requirements to teach English in Korea?
- What is the EPIK Program for Teaching English in South Korea?
''Im able to save a lot of money while still paying off loans back home and traveling around Asia. There aren't many jobs that allow you to do that!'
BONUS: Teaching English Online
The industry of teaching English online was booming even before COVID, and demand for TEFL-certified English teachers has increased substantially during the pandemic. It’s important to note that all online English schools operate differently and maintain different hiring requirements. It’s possible to teach English online without a bachelor’s degree and without prior teaching experience, though you may have a more competitive job search.
In the COVID era, teaching English online has proven to be a realistic side hustle or even a full-time job that you can safely do from home. Pay for online English teachers varies depending on the school and your credentials, but the average rate is $10-$20 per hour. More experienced teachers, especially those who run their own private lessons, can earn higher hourly rates.
"I am able to set my own own hours, rates and lesson materials which provides me with a lifestyle that never feels like I’m working.'
Posted In: Teach English Abroad, Job Search Guidance, Teach English in Hungary, Teach English in Spain, Teach English in Poland, Teach English in South Korea, Teach English in Czech Republic, Teach English Online, Teach English in Costa Rica
A journalism major at the University of Iowa, Jessie took the ITA Online TEFL Course and taught English in South Korea & Vietnam before joining the team. As one of ITA's most senior writers, Jessie is the author of numerous articles about teaching English abroad & TEFL certification, and she has spoken at various conferences about working & teaching abroad, including the Lessons from Abroad (LFA) symposiums in San Diego & Portland. Her articles have also appeared in such popular online publications as InternQueen.com.
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