Top 5 Places to Teach English Abroad as a Newbie

By Scott Beckman
September 25, 2012


You’ve never taught abroad before and as excited as you are about this adventure, you’re having a hard time deciding where in the world to go. There are so many countries, and you’ve been told there’s demand for English teachers in nearly every one of them. Well, here’s where think you should consider going.

1. South Korea

First of all, it’s super easy to find work in South Korea. The market is practically insatiable. Secondly, you’ll find work through a recruiter; basically, you sign up (for free) with a company that will then work to find you a job. It can’t get much easier. Finally, there are so many teachers in South Korea that you shouldn’t have any trouble making friends with other foreigners. Oh, plus you’ll make all kinds of money, in case that’s the sort of thing that interests you.

2. Costa Rica

Similar to South Korea, the high demand for teachers and the enormous number of expats means it’s easy to get a job and find peers to befriend. You may not earn a high salary but Costa Rica has the additional benefit of being pretty darn close to the US and Canada so if that’s where you call home, you’ll be just a short flight away.

3. Thailand

The popularity of this country as a TEFL destination speaks for itself. The jobs are plentiful, the people are friendly, and the climate is great for anyone who likes heat and sun. And if you don’t, then, well, you’ve probably never experienced a bad Denver winter and since this is my list, heat and sun get major points!

4. Chile

It seems to me that Chile has a little bit of everything. Santiago is clean, safe, and modern. The beach is close-by and the mountains are, too. Opportunities to teach business English abound and you’ll earn enough to make a living. Everyone I’ve talked to who’s taught in Chile thought it was the bees’ knees. Oh, and there’s also this cool little program arranged by the Chilean Ministry of Education and the United Nations Development Project that hires hundreds of people every year to teach throughout the country and it gets rave reviews as well: check out English Opens Doors by clicking here.

5. China

With millions of English language learners, the demand for teachers is unquenchable. New teachers will have no problem finding work here; most likely, you’ll be turning down a number of jobs! There’s also huge variety in the types of jobs available for teachers so whatever age or type of student you want to teach, you can find a school to pay you to do it in China.

If you’ve already taught abroad, let us know in the comments about where your first contract was and why you picked that country!