How Will I Find a Place to Live when I Teach English Abroad?

The prospect of navigating unfamiliar housing markets and ensuring a comfortable living arrangement can be both exciting and daunting. Fortunately, we're here to help!

Most people looking to teach English abroad are concerned regarding the questions of  “where am I going to live” and “how do I find housing in a foreign country?” With more than 250,000 English teachers living abroad each year, it really a revolving door of teachers coming and going.

Guess what? They all find places to live, very often with other foreign English teachers. There are numerous ways to find housing while living abroad as an English teacher, and in most cases, the school that hires you is going to be your best resource. 

How do I find a Place to Live While Teaching English Abroad?

To find a place to live when teaching English abroad, explore school-provided options, utilize online resources like housing websites and Facebook groups, connect with local real estate agents, and seek advice from fellow teachers or expat communities.

In some cases, housing for English teachers abroad is provided by the employer (10-20% of TEFL jobs). And in most cases (80-90% of TEFL jobs), you will find housing on your own.

Housing Provided By Employer (10-20% of TEFL Jobs)

In certain countries like South Korea, China, and the Persian Gulf countries in the Middle East, it is standard that schools provide furnished housing to foreign English teachers. In fact, many schools have contracts with or even own their own apartment complexes to house their teachers.

housing abroad as english teacher

Government-run programs like the Jet Program in Japan or Spain's Ministry of Education program provide free accommodation as part of your teaching agreement (typically a studio apartment). Other government programs in developing countries such as Chile's Opens Doors Program or the Georgia Ministry of Education program, provide English teachers from abroad with homestays with a local family for the duration of their contract.

Read more: Where Do Schools Provide Free Housing for Teaching English Abroad?


Finding Your Own Housing (80-90% of TEFL jobs)

In cases where your school does not provide housing, your employers are still going to be your best resource, especially because every year they hire teachers from abroad who need to find housing.  Your employer can often recommend housing services or landlords. Many times, new teachers will stay in a previous teacher’s apartment, or move in with other English teachers. 

In countries where it is necessary to interview in person, it is common for English teachers to first stay in a hostel, guesthouse, or hotel during the job search process. Once a job is found, they will look for a place to stay that is close to their school or other desired location and share an apartment with the other newly hired teachers.

Your new employer and fellow English teachers will invariably be able to provide you with advice and guidance regarding the question of how to find local housing. 

Typical hostel booking websites:

In many instances, finding an apartment or a permanent living situation abroad is going to be similar to finding a new apartment in your home country. Don't hesitate to utilize the types of resources that you would use when moving to any new city: future employers, newspapers, local yellow pages, the Internet, colleagues/friends/family contacts, etc.

Most major cities around the world are home to their own English-language newspapers, magazines, websites and so forth, many of which cater specifically to expatriates living in that city. It is also important to understand that while setting up permanent accommodation before you arrive in a specific country is certainly possible, being physically present in a specific country is going to provide for the most opportunities.

A website that has listings of rooms for rent in many countries all over the world is In the right-hand corner of the website, you will find a drop-down menu where you can find various countries to choose from. Craigslist can be useful in some cases, but be wary because much of the time, the apartments/rooms for rent are targeted at foreigners so the prices are greatly inflated.  

Finding a nice place to live abroad is always a major concern for new English teachers but the benefits of being able to choose your own place, location and roommates for a year or longer makes this a good option for many people.

Short-Term Housing

Another useful Internet site for short-term accommodation is has become an International phenomenon as a way to meet locals, get first-hand advice, and find a place to stay short-term or even sometimes long-term. The best part is: it is completely free.

Finding housing during your TEFL class abroad

For the four-week duration of onsite TEFL courses, there are a variety of housing options provided at an additional cost that the course director can help arrange. The housing typically consists of your own room in a shared apartment with classmates, a homestay with a local family, or a hostel.

Finding a nice place to live abroad is always a major concern for new English teachers but the benefits of being able to choose your own place, location and roommates for a year or longer makes this a good option for many people.

Go further: Where do schools provide free airfare?


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