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Best Five Countries to Teach English in 2024


With 2024 kicking off to a good start, you might find yourself looking for new opportunities and challenges that could take your professional development to a new level.

Or perhaps you are only starting to think about teaching English as a foreign language as a possible career path. Regardless of where you are coming from, working abroad as an English teacher is definitely something to consider – an enriching experience that will help you grow both personally and professionally. To get you off to a good start, in this blog post, we will share the best five countries to teach English in 2024.

Reasons for teaching English abroad

There are numerous advantages of teaching English abroad. Bringing your expertise and love for the language to others and helping them progress will make a real difference in their lives.

Cultural immersion and exchange are undoubtedly significant benefits as well, as is making a good living. You will be able to live quite comfortably on your teaching salary, and depending on your destination and lifestyle, even put something aside for a rainy day.

👉🏻Not a teacher yet? Read our article How to become an English teacher

Things to keep in mind

Before you pack your bags and set off for your dream destination, give it all a good think:

  • How can I get ready for the new culture? What do I need to know to adapt to it well?
  • What is the local salary for teachers and the cost of living? How about the work-life balance?
  • What kind of ESL jobs are available in the country of my choosing?
  • How can I get the best teaching jobs? What kind of work permit do I need? How long does the process take?
preparing to travel
Before you pack your bags, read this blog post

Finding answers to these questions via thorough research will set you up for success. If you are unsure where to start, our selection of five great places to work as an English teacher might give you some initial pointers.

The best places to teach English in 2024

There are many popular destinations across Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East that attract English teachers for different reasons. Your decision will essentially be shaped by your personal goals and preferences and visa requirements of a respective country. The countries that made it to our top-five list were selected for their appeal in terms of culture, salary and saving potential and range of job opportunities.

Teach English in the United Arab Emirates

The Gulf states as a whole are a lucrative and sought-after destination for English teachers. The UAE feature a cosmopolitan culture with locals and expats adding to its colorful mosaic.

Teach English in United Arab Emirates
Teach English in United Arab Emirates

English is spoken widely, the demand for teachers is high, but the market is very competitive. You will be able to find a position more quickly if you have a high-quality teaching qualification (e.g. the Cambridge CELTA or a teaching license, or both!), a university degree (often a master’s in education is preferred), or, for those seeking higher-earning positions a Trinity DipTESOL qualification (or Delta) and at least two years of teaching experience.

If you find yourself at the beginning of your career, you should not despair – since most jobs are advertised through recruiting agencies such as Footprints Recruiting, make sure to contact one so that they can work with you personally and advise on the best placement. Smaller cities might also be worth considering and easier to find employment in if you are new to the field of English teaching.

The English teaching contracts are usually signed for 2 or 3 years, and they routinely include perks such as free accommodation, health insurance and airfare. The salaries are tax-free, which makes for a real treat, and they range from 2,500 to 5,000 dollars a month.

You can expect to see job openings in preschools, public and international schools, private language academies and universities.

Teach English in South Korea

South Korea is an amazing country where the past and present mix together to give you the full package: from green hills, temples and cherry trees in the countryside to high-tech cities like Seoul, you will find everything that you want to explore in abundance. South Koreans are hard-working people who work long hours and are used to a quick pace of life.

Teach English in South Korea
Teach English in South Korea

The country boasts a top education system, and with such emphasis, the market for teaching English as a foreign language is ever-growing. Teaching young learners is especially in demand since English is taught in public schools as well as in private language academies (called “hagwons”). Year after year, parents give more and more importance to their children studying English and the instruction starts already in preschool. Teaching adults at universities or in language schools is also an option.

You will be able to make anywhere between 1,500 and 3,000 dollars per month depending on the type of school and your teaching qualifications. You can usually enjoy some solid perks, too!

Going through a reputable recruiter in South Korea is the safest and most convenient path to take, as they will guide you every step of the way. Recruiting services are always free for English teachers, and, per a government policy, you will need to have a four-year bachelor’s degree to have your work visa issued.

Teach English in China

China surely doesn’t need any lengthy introductions. Unique culture, rich history, great cuisine and cheap travel to get to know it all!

teach English in China
Teach English in China

As one of the two most populous countries in the world, China will always have plentiful opportunities for new and seasoned English teachers alike, across the whole spectrum of language learning institutions, from preschools to international schools to universities.

You will need a university degree for the purposes of processing your work permit, but if you do not have one yet, you can still get a feel for teaching English in China by applying for 5-month internship programs under which you will be able to work on a student visa.

Your teaching salary, ranging from 1,500 to over 3,000 dollars per month, will depend on the school type, location and your experience:

  • public schools offer a bit more than training centers
  • the wages in tier 1 cities are higher than in tier 2 or tier 3 cities (and so is the cost of living),
  • several higher-level teaching qualifications and more teaching experience can lead you to jobs at international schools which are paid best.

Additionally, just like the UAE or South Korea, the benefits that come with the contract will certainly make it all worth your while. Flight tickets, contract completion bonus, free housing (or housing allowance), health insurance, and even free meals and Mandarin lessons, which you should definitely take advantage of.

Teach English in Vietnam

Not that sure about the hubbub of Beijing and Shanghai? You could consider teaching English in a place like Vietnam – a great work-life balance, a low cost of living, great saving potential, welcoming locals and over 3,000 km of coastline to explore!

teach English in Vietnam
Teach English in Vietnam

It might well be that your first year in Vietnam will turn into ten. Many teachers find themselves establishing their lives there long-term, and especially when they secure a job with a larger language institution where they can grow professionally and find opportunities in more senior levels or in other departments.

Vietnam is a great place for those who have just obtained their TEFL qualification and are only starting their teaching career. Employers usually provide the initial training and continuous support for the duration of the contract, which includes comprehensive relocation packages, and even some benefits like housing stipends. Because of the low cost of living, the salary, which can be anywhere between 1,100 and 2,000 dollars a month, will go a long way.

The demand for English teachers is high in Vietnam. New centers are continuously opening, public schools, private schools and language academies are hiring year-round. Not only this, with advanced teaching qualifications and experience, you will be able to find a job placement with highly coveted international schools and universities. Whether you prefer major cities or smaller towns, opportunities abound.

“ILA has been really helpful with every part of my arrival. They have made it as easy as possible, considering all the challenges with moving to a new country. I have already started teaching and it has been going well so far. I enjoy my classes and the kids are lovely.” Aoife, Oxford TEFL CELTA graduate

👉🏻Find out how to start teaching English in Vietnam via our partnership in ILA, Vietnam.

Teach English in Spain

Spain has always been a top destination for those English teachers who are keen on teaching English in Europe. Spain is known for its laid-back culture, picturesque architecture, beautiful nature and rich history. The education system has a good reputation and English has its place in the curriculum from the preschool level and up.

👉🏻Planning to go to Barcelona? Read our step by step guide to getting started in Barcelona.

Teach English in Spain
Teach English in Spain

Young learners and Cambridge exam preparation classes are among the most popular, followed by general English and Business English lessons for adults. You will also likely consider adding some private classes to your schedule to complement your main job in a language school, an international school or a public school.

The salary starts from 1000 to 1,900 dollars per month. This rather wide range is due to the impact of the location, type of school and number of hours you will be able to secure. Teaching job opportunities abound in the biggest cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia with hundreds of language academies to apply to. The cost of living, especially the rent, can take a big chunk of your earnings, so exploring available options in slightly smaller towns with quite attractive salaries (1,500 dollars per month) can provide attractive alternatives.

If you are not an EU citizen, you can still teach English in Spain on a long-term student visa, or alternatively, explore other types of visas as well as government-sponsored teaching assistant programs with placements in Spain offered in your home country.

Before you go…

Choosing any of these destinations will surely bring you satisfaction on many levels. To increase your chances of being interviewed and eventually hired for the position of your liking, you should definitely:

  • Get certified. Your best bet is the Cambridge CELTA – the most prestigious and internationally recognized certification for English teachers.
  • TEFL-ize your CV. Make sure it stands out. 7 seconds is all it takes to capture the recruiter’s attention.
  • Consider boosting your CV and your expertise by acquiring new skills in a specific field of teaching English, like exam preparation or teaching young learners, depending on what is in demand in your destination country.
  • Find expat groups to talk to and ask questions before and when you arrive – they are always happy to share their experiences.
  • Do your homework. Make sure you understand all the aspects of living abroad before you make your move. You will be more successful and able to cope with the novelty of the experience if you do.

And finally, we hope you enjoyed finding out more about the best 5 countries to teach English in 2024. With some careful planning, wherever you decide to teach English abroad, we are sure it will be a rewarding and enriching experience. Happy teaching!

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