As teaching English abroad becomes an increasingly popular choice for people looking for a new career, gap year experience, means to travel and explore the world etc. – new opportunities are popping up all over the world. This is great news for prospective teachers looking to start a career in the country of their dreams. For those hoping to make a living out of TEFL, you may be interested in looking at where you can find plenty of long-term contracts. To help you best understand, we have constructed a small guide on which countries are the most suitable TEFL destinations for you.
It’s well known now that China is one of the biggest TEFL markets in the world – if not the biggest. There’s a reported shortage of 100,000 English teachers in China, so it’s not hard to see why TEFL jobs here are plentiful. Of course, to take full advantage you need to know some facts.
Hiring period: Private schools hire all year. Public schools tend to favour the months of January and February for teachers to start.
Pay: Wages can vary greatly depending on school, experience, and location. Expect between 6,000 RMB to 14,500 RMB (£600 to £1700). However, private schools often offer even more for experienced teachers.
Qualifications: As the country’s educational standards improve, it is a basic requirement that applicants carry a degree and a TEFL certificate. We say that, to be sure, complete a 140-hour Premier TEFL course at the very least so as to improve your chances.
With generous rates of pay, benefits such as accommodation and flight reimbursement, and more available jobs than you can count, China should be a top choice for anybody aiming for a long-term teaching job abroad.
Continuing with the trend of Asian countries having booming TEFL industries, South Korea. It’s easy to see why, too: a blend of tradition and modernity help to shape South Korea into a powerhouse of good education and high living standards.
Hiring period: Like China, South Korea’s private schools, or Hagwons, hire throughout the year. Public schools tend to hire around the start of academic years, so around late August and early March.
Pay: Around 1.5 million – 3.5 million KRW (approx £850 to £1850) per month. Again, this varies greatly depending on what type of school you apply for. Private and international schools will be on the higher end of the scale.
Qualifications: A Bachelor’s degree is needed in South Korea. It would also be a good idea to complete a TEFL course and gain a certificate. This will put you one step ahead in South Korea’s competitive TEFL industry.
South Korea is understandably a very popular choice for TEFLers. Lucrative benefits and salaries, along with a unique and fascinating culture means a lot of TEFL teachers are drawn here. It would be wise to consider teaching here for those wanting a long-term teaching placement abroad.
The only western country on this list, Spain is a fantastic choice for anyone planning to teach abroad. Famous for its sun and beaches, Spain is so much more. As well as cultural delights, mouth-watering cuisine, and beautiful scenery, Spain is home to a prosperous TEFL scene.
Hiring period: Term starts in September, so try to get your application in before then. As is normal in the rest of Europe, the most effective method of landing a job is to apply ‘on the ground’.
Pay: Teachers will be looking at around £750 to €1700 a month, without as much variation as the China or South Korea.
Qualifications: Schools are slightly more lenient when it comes to qualifications here. You can land a job without a degree, but a 120-hour TEFL certificate is definitely advised. The best jobs will be the ones asking for some sort of TEFL qualification.
Despite the country’s economic issues, the TEFL industry is still going strong so don’t hesitate to search for jobs here.
As the largest country by size on Earth, it should come as no surprise that the country’s opportunities to teach are just as diverse as the land they reside on. English, particularly business English, is becoming a desired skill amongst many Russian employers so the demand for teachers is ever-increasing.
Hiring period: Demand is large enough in the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg that schools can hire all year round. Of course, it’s a different story in smaller cities and more rural areas.
Pay: The average monthly salary is around £850 but can be much higher if teaching in a private school or doing business English.
Qualifications: Slightly stricter than Spain, but less so than Asia, teachers in Russia will require at least a 120 hour TEFL certificate to prove they have the necessary skills.
The capital, Moscow, and its northern neighbour, St. Petersburg, are the best places to hunt for jobs. Both cities are beautiful and modern, full of stunning historical landmarks and each with a world-class nightlife. With good income and stable job prospects, Russia is a must.