Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

The Best Places to Teach English Abroad

Teaching AbroadAs native English speakers, we all automatically possess one skill that’s always in demand abroad, and teaching English remains one of the best ways to fund your overseas expat lifestyle.

If you’re just getting started looking for the best places and programs to teach for, the internet scene can be a bit overwhelming. Of course, you have to be careful for shoddy promises, scams, and programs which end up costing more money than they’re worth. But with the right research and planning, there are bountiful opportunities to live comfortably and even save money on an English teacher’s salary alone.

While there are opportunities almost anywhere, there are a few countries where the demand is always high and the pay is consistently good. If you’re open-ended with your destination, you might want to consider one of these places first:

Saudi Arabia:

This remains the most lucrative place to teach English abroad. Some teachers can potentially reel in upward of $75,000 a year. There are some downsides, though. The best paying positions are found in remote locations for more elite clientele, isolated from the real culture and people of Saudi Arabia. That basically means that nightlife is nil and the experience is often diluted. Still, if you’re looking to get paid a lot and save money for more extensive travels later, it’s hard to ignore a salary like that.


There’s no shortage of opportunity for teaching English in the Land of Smiles, and it’s not a bad gig to be living in paradise. The only downside is that finding a good paying position can be difficult. Salaries for teachers are lower here, and putting money away for a lifestyle away from the classroom isn’t always easy.


The Japanese are constantly begging for native English speakers, and the pay can be generous. The only catch? Life in Japan can be expensive, and the higher paychecks quickly get siphoned off for that higher cost of living.

Czech Republic:

If you’re looking to teach in Europe, the Czech Republic remains the best place to look for opportunities. The positives are that there’s relative ease of entry and, well, you’re in the Czech Republic! Remember when Prague was called the Paris of the 90’s? It’s still a choice location, and an expat’s dream. Though as always, make sure to balance out those living expenses with the salary you’re given.


Let’s be honest, you can go almost anywhere in Asia as an English teacher. But programs for teaching in China have been expanding exponentially in the last decade, paychecks are competitive, and the perks are undeniable: many programs may even cover your airfare.

South Korea:

If you look up ‘teaching English abroad’, you’ll undoubtedly be inundated with more offers to teach in Korea than anywhere else. It remains the heavyweight champion of luring and demanding native English speakers. All in all, you have to be careful to research the program, as scams are prevalent, but lucrative opportunities are numerous. Aside from some of the bigger cities like Seoul, the ratio between cost of living and salary is exceptional in South Korea.


6 thoughts on “The Best Places to Teach English Abroad

  1. if you teach in south korea be carefull and don;t teach for hagwons – the private schools you want to teach for public schools only!

  2. How do you find good employment in Saudi Arabia, I understand it can be quite difficult. Is there a website of english teachers where you can connect with other teachers who have been there, or are there currently?
    Thank you,
    Megan Short

  3. if you work for a nice boss, hagwons can be excellent gigs; although, there are certainly positives and negatives to the public vs. private debate. private is less vacation but can be a better work environment. some people find that their co-workers become like family at a hagwon. public is nice because the jobs are more consistent and you know what you’re getting into. generally the english teacher is somewhat detached from the rest of the school, which can be good and bad depending on if you are a loner or not.
    megan: try dave’s esl cafe for jobs!

  4. A terrible summary of the countries listed. You’ve picked your own biases and ignored everything else, plus rejected recent developments in those markets.

    In Saudi the best places ARE NOT in the most rural locations, in Thailand there’s a shortage of good jobs, the Japanese are not constantly begging for English teachers, China has as many dodgy schools as South Korea and the cost of living in South Korea is not as good as you suggest.

  5. Joseph, for all your negative commentary you don’t give one single insight that is relevant. In essence all you have done is complain about someone elses work, cry more.

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