10 Best Job Markets for Teaching English Abroad in 2016

Best Countries for Teaching English Abroad in 2016

 Will 2016 be the year that you see the world?

Do you seek the international adventure of a lifetime in 2016?  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 2016, here are 10 of the top job markets to consider as you look at your options for teaching English abroad this coming year....

10. Vietnam - Ancient Nation on the Rise

Best countries for Teaching English Abroad
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.

Watch ITA graduateJacklynn Blanchard discuss her adventures teaching English in Vietnam

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

9. Nicaragua - Land of Lakes & Volcanoes

Teaching English in Nicaragua - Top job markets for teaching English abroad

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 Teaching English in Nicaragua in 2015find 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.

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 and the International TEFL Academy Nicaragua Volunteer Program.


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8. Colombia - Nation of Los Cafeteros

Top countries for teaching English abroad in 2016


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.

7. 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.Teaching English Abroad in 2015

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


6. Taiwan - The Legendary Island of Formosa

Top Job Markets for Teaching English Abroad in 2016


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 jTaiwan-Noah_CooperTemple_of_Literature.jpgobs 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 .


5. Turkey - Crossroads of East & West

 Watch ITA graduate, Ben Jackson, discuss his experiences teaching English in Turkey

From Biblical prophets and Homeric Heroes to Roman centurions, Crusader knights and Ottoman sultans, the lands of Turkey have been a crossroads of history and culture from the dawn of civilization itself. In 2016, modern Turkey offers one of the largest and fastest growing job markets for teaching English abroad this side of East Asia. The top job market is Istanbul, an ancient yet dynamic city that combines the cosmopolitanism of Europe with the architecture and mystique of the  Middle East. 

Advantages of teachTeach English Abroad in 2015ing English in Turkey include the ability to get a job in advance and the fact that most teachers receive work visas and do not have to consider "working under the table" without a work visa or work permit.  In addition, the cost of living is lower than in much of Europe, and Turkey's historical, cultural and natural offerings - including fantastic beaches along the Mediterranean and Aegean seas - is equal to anything that Greece and Italy have to offer. 

To learn more read 6 Great Reasons to Teach English in Istanbul, Turkey and check out International TEFL Academy's 4-week TEFL certification class in Istanbul.

For firsthand account of teaching English in Turkey, check out this Istanbul, Turkey Q&A with Ayni Hailicka and Alumni Video: Teaching English in Istanbul, Turkey with Sarah Tomlinson.


4. Brazil - Host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games


As it did during the FIFA World Cup of 2014, the sporting world will turn its eyes on Brazil in 2016 as Rio De Janeiro plays host to the 2016 Summer Olympiad. 

With a huge population and a fast growing economy that is increasingly making the nation a major international economic force, Brazil is now in major demand for English language instruction. This has only increased as Brazil has cemented its international profile while preparing to host such major events as the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympiad of 2016. The event will bring together millions from across the globe, many of whom will communicate in English during Ben-Penner-Brazil4-1.jpgtheir visit.

Foreign English teachers in Brazil are nearly always hired locally, so be prepared to earn you TEFL certification and head to major cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to get hired and begin your career teaching English in Brazil. Most positions will be landed teaching English at private language schools that cater primarily to those in business and tourism, in addition to university students.  Most English teachers in Brazil also take on private students to earn income for travel and to enjoy all that Brazil has to offer.

To learn more, check out the Brazil Country Profile and read about International TEFL Academy's 4-week TEFL certification class in Rio De Janeiro.

Also, learn more by reading firsthand stories from ITA alumni teaching English in Brazil.


3. South Korea - Land of the Morning Calm

Top Teaching Destination for Teaching English Abroad in 2015

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.

South Korea may be no larger than the state of Indiana, but this nation of 50 million has transformed itself in a matter of three generations from a small war-torn, third world nation into an economic powerhouse that has emerged as one of the world's most prosperous and technologically advanced countries. A strong commitment to education and a Best countries to teach English abroad in 2016recognition that their continued success depends on competing in an international marketplace dominated by English has led Koreans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in English language education and every year, approximately 25,000 foreign English teachers gain employment.

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.

2. Spain - Land of Tapas & Flamenco

Spain- Teach English Abroad in 2016

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 sTeaching English Abroad in 2016pot 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 read about TEFL Certification in Madrid and International TEFL Academy's new Teach English-Study Spanish in Madrid Student Visa Program.  

Read firsthand accounts of ITA alumni teaching English in Spain!


1. China - The Middle Kingdom

Watch ITA graduate Jonathen 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.

Teaching English Abroad in 2015But 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.

Are You Interested in Teaching English Abroad in 2016?

These are just some of the many nations around the globe offering fantastic opportunities to live and teach English abroad.  From Germany, Brazil and Costa Rica to Thailand, Japan and Poland, the choices are nearly endless.

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.


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