TEACH ENGLISH IN LAOS

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About Teaching English in Laos

The Republic of Laos has approximately 6.5 million citizens, who are often divided according to altitude into lowland, midland, and upland Laotians. Many of the older generation speak French, while the younger generation speaks English as well as their native languages. Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Its neighbors include Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Myanmar and the aforementioned Thailand, which makes for some great travel opportunities.

Laos is a very undeveloped country, so there is not a large demand for English yet, compared to its neighboring countries. A majority of the positions available in Laos are volunteer, however, private language institutes can be found in larger cities like Vientiane and Pakse. 

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Although the salary earned in comparison to the monthly cost of living is breakeven, English teachers are still able to live a comfortable lifestyle due to a very low cost of living. Schools offer approximately 20 to 30 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time to explore. 

A BA degree is not required to teach English in Laos however, a TEFL certification is absolutely necessary. Please also note that while a Bachelor’s degree is not required to secure a job in this country, it still can be strongly preferred by employers. If you do not have a degree, you should be prepared for a more competitive job search. 

Teaching Requirements

TEFL CERTIFICATION

A TEFL certification is required to teach English in Laos. You do not need professional teaching experience but earning your TEFL certification will provide you with the training and qualification you do need to get hired. 

Teachers interview in-person in Laos. Because of this, it is common to take one of the following TEFL courses:

You may also wish to take one of the 4-Week In-Person TEFL Courses that we offer in 21 locations worldwide.

NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER

You do not need to be a native English speaker to teach English in Laos, however, you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level to be considered for teaching jobs. Citizenship from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa is typically preferred but not always required.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

While a Bachelor's degree is not required to secure a job in Laos, it still can be strongly preferred by employers. If you do not have a degree, you should be prepared for a more competitive job search.

TEFL Jobs in Laos

JOB TYPES

The most common job types in Laos consist of:

  • Teaching adults or children in private language schools.
  • Private tutoring for both children and adults.
  • Teaching Business English to adults.
  • Teaching English Online.

HIRING & VISA

English teachers in Laos can expect to find jobs year-round. It is most common to interview on the ground,  in-person.

Teachers in Laos typically teach on a tourist visa. You can apply for a Laos tourist visa upon arrival or prior to departure at a Laos embassy. This tourist visa is good for 90 days and can be extended for up to an additional 60 days while in country and costs $2 USD per day. You can also leave Laos by going to a neighboring country and upon reentry, you'll receive an additional 30-day visa.

HOURS

English language schools in Laos offer approximately 20 to 30 hours of classroom work per week plus additional hours for prep time. This allows for plenty of time to travel and explore. 

STUDENTS

It is most common that your students will be children, adults, and business professionals. 

Salary & Cost of Living

START-UP COSTS

Start-up costs will range from $1,000 - $1,500 USD. These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Laos until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

SALARY

A solid hourly wage enables teachers the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle while in Laos. Teachers can expect to make $500 - $1,000 USD per month. It is common for teachers in Laos to also teach English online to supplement their income.

There are no flight or housing benefits/stipends provided so you will need to remember to account for accommodation or temporary housing for your first few weeks in your start-up costs until you find an apartment to rent. 

COST OF LIVING & SAVINGS

The cost of living typically ranges between $500-$1,000 USD per month.

English teachers in Laos can expect to break-even month over month. If you are hustling and taking on private tutoring lessons and/or teaching English online in addition to your regular teaching schedule, you may increase your ability to save.

What does teaching in Laos look like?

Check out our blog to read stories from our alumni teaching English in Laos and Asia.

Want more? We've got you covered! Visit our Video Library to watch day in the life videos from our alumni and get a glimpse into what your life as a teacher in Laos could look like!

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Teaching English in Laos FAQs

What are the requirements to teach English in Laos?

To teach English in Laos, make sure you understand what is and is not required:

Required:

  • A TEFL certification
  • Understanding of the types of English teaching jobs that are available
  • Savings for start-up costs

Not Required:

  • A four-year college degree is not required to secure a job in Laos, however, it is still strongly preferred by employers. If you do not have a degree, you should be prepared for a more competitive job search.
  • You do not need to be a native English speaker, but you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level to be considered for teaching jobs. Citizenship from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa is typically preferred but not always required.

What is the salary for teaching English in Laos?

Teachers can expect to make $500 - $1,000 USD per month in Laos. If you are hustling and taking on private tutoring lessons and/or teaching English online in addition to your regular teaching schedule, you may increase your ability to save.

Start-up costs will range from $1,000 - $1,500 USD. These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Laos until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

There are no flight or housing benefits/stipends provided so you will need to remember to account for accommodation or temporary housing for your first few weeks in your start-up costs until you find an apartment to rent.

What type of visa do I need to teach English in Laos?

Tourist visas, also known as Visas on Arrival, are common for English teachers to work on in Laos. These visas  have to be renewed every 30 to 90 days.

To obtain a Laos tourist visa, you can apply for it upon arrival in Laos or at a Laos Embassy prior to departure. 

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Why Our Alumni Love Us!

Joshua Bottorff

Taught English in Cambodia

Joshua Bottorff

I decided to teach English in Cambodia in the city of Phnom Penh. SE Asia was an area I had yet to explore in my travels. I realized that I could see another part of the world while providing some of the most impoverished countries with the knowledge I had gained. I wanted to give back as much as I had gained.

 

Alan Polasky

Teaches English in Vietnam

Alan Polasky

I liked the ITA TEFL course. It wasn't easy for me! Hadn't been in class in 25 years. I was a bit rusty on my grammar rules, terminology. My instructor was Sharon Miller. She was great. Well traveled. Helpful and encouraging. 

Kate John

Teaches English in Cambodia

Kate John

I help to train teachers in rural provinces, who do not have the best English, but teach English. I have been able to give them some pointers from the TEFL course that have helped them improve the quality of education they can provide to their students. So the TEFL course has been far reaching.
 

Visit the Asia section of our blog to read more articles and stories by our alumni about their experiences teaching English in Asia and across the rest of the world!