Will 2017 be the year that you see the world?
Do you seek the international adventure of a lifetime in 2017? 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 2017, here are 10 of the top job markets to consider as you look at your options for teaching English abroad this coming year....
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 graduate Jacklynn 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
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.
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.
8. Colombia - Nation of Los Cafeteros
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
7. Czech Republic - Land of Castles & BeerIf 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.
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
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 .
5. Poland - Rising Star of Eastern Europe
Since since the end of the Cold War a generation ago, Poland has emerged as an economic star among the old Eastern Bloc nations. With a dynamic economy dependent on competiting in a global economy, Poland is experiencing a major boom in demand for TEFL-certified English teachers. But it's not just the job market that Poland has to offer. Major cities like Krakow, Gdansk & Warsaw offer English teachers a wealth of fantastic architecture, history & culture.
Qualified Americans and other non-European Union (EU) citizens can interview and line up a job in advance from their home countries, while EU citizens can often line up an English teaching job locally in Poland. Many English teachers share an apartment with co-workers or other English teachers in Poland.
Some schools in Poland will sponsor a work visa for Americans and other non-European Union citizens (teachers will also need to get a residence permit upon arrival). While some non-EU citizens may work on a tourist visa "under the table", this is not as common as it is in some other European countries like Spain & Italy.
To learn more about Poland, check out the Poland Country Profile & the following alumni accounts:
- Gliwice, Poland English Teaching Q and A with Elizabeth Rippon
- Zory, Poland English Teaching Q and A with Rebecca Sparagowski
4. Brazil - Host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games
As it did during the FIFA World Cup of 2014, the sporting world turned its eyes on Brazil in 2016 as Rio De Janeiro hosted the immensely successful 2016 Summer Olympiad.
With a huge population 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 hosting such major events as the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympiad of 2016.
3. South Korea - Land of the Morning Calm
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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 2017?
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