Teaching English in Singapore 101
Having risen from a backwater fishing village to become a world economic power in little more than a century, Singapore represents one of the greatest national transformations of all times. While the glossy shopping malls and towering office buildings are impressive, the defining characteristic of Singapore is its strikingly cosmopolitan culture.
A true melting pot, Singapore is both financially and culturally rich. The city is home to Chinese, Malays, Indians, and Europeans, along with their languages and religions, with more than 40% of its residents holding passports from other countries. Dining on national specialties like chili crab, Hainanese chicken, and fish-head curry is considered by many to be Singapore’s national pastime, so make sure to bring your appetite as you journey to one of the most dynamic and diverse cities in the world.
As a city-state with a small population where English is an official language, the job market for English teachers in Singapore is smaller and more competitive than in most other Asian nations. That said,there certainly are opportunities especially for native English-speakers with a TEFL certification and some teaching experience. Interviews are typically conducted well in advance, both over the phone and via Skype or e-mail.
As Singapore is a prosperous nation that invests heavily education, good salaries afford English teachers a comfortable lifestyle, with the possibility to save up to $500 USD per month above the cost of living. English language schools in Singapore typically offer around 20 to 25 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time for you to take advantage of your location and explore. English teachers need to have a bachelor’s degree to teach in Singapore, and TEFL certification is required.