This mountainous nation located on the ancient Silk Road is known for its rugged beauty and unique culture. It also offers a growing number of opportunities for English teachers seeking adventure off the beaten path.
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked, yet beautiful nation which continues to break its way into the Western world after its separation from Soviet Russia. There are just 29.5 residents for each square kilometer of land, making Kyrgyzstan one of the world's least crowded countries! If you're an outdoors enthusiast, Kyrgyzstan may be the country for you - the mountainous Tian Shan region covers 80 percent of Kyrgyzstan which is often referred to as the "Switzerland of Central Asia"; its highest point is Jengish Chokusu, at 7,439m (24,406 ft).
English teachers in Kyrgyzstan can find teaching jobs all year round and interviews are usually conducted in advance over the phone or Skype. It is not uncommon, however, for some schools to request in-person interviews in Kyrgyzstan. Teachers are typically responsible for their airfare and housing although there are some instances where free housing will be provided. Most teachers live in apartments recently vacated by previous teachers, and many share an apartment with other English teachers.
The salary earned in comparison to the monthly cost of living in most cases is break-even, however, English teachers are still able to live a comfortable lifestyle. Schools offer approximately 20 to 30 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time to explore. While a BA is preferred, it is not required to teach English in Kyrgyzstan, 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. Most of those teaching English in Kyrgyzstan will find jobs in the major cities of Bishkek and Osh.