Three Great Places to Teach English Abroad
Teaching English abroad has long been a popular life choice for young people in English speaking countries. With English’s status at the de-facto language of international business, a huge number of middle class and wealthier people from some of the world’s biggest economies are willing to pay good money for their children to learn it. Their governments will often encourage young English teachers to immigrate too, through tax breaks, organised accommodation programmes and other financial incentives.
However, with dozens of countries vying for young westerners’ attention, discovering which region offers the best lifestyle, salaries and other perks can often be a hard task. That’s why we’ve taken a look at the three best options around the world right now, and what those countries can offer you in return for your educational services.
A top-tier destination for English teachers for many years now, South Korea is a modern, free and democratic country with enviable electronic infrastructure and an excellent cultural attitude towards education. Bustling modern metropolises such as Seoul or Busan offer a diverse mix of contemporary Asian culture and serene historicism. Gamers and tech-heads will also love it here as South Korea boasts the fastest average broadband speeds in the world, with up to 95% of the country counting themselves as regular internet users.
English teachers can expect to earn around £12-15,000 for a 12-month contract – plus an extra bonus month’s salary in many cases. Government assistance also means you may be eligible for reimbursement for your airfare and free accommodation too.
With 300 million students enrolling for English lessons every year, China is the world’s largest market for travelling English teachers. A fascinating blend of Western capitalism and the traditional values of one of the world’s oldest continuous civilisations, China is a hugely diverse country with a rapidly growing economy.
However, their government is known to be quite authoritarian and some culture shock is inevitable. For example, it is technically illegal to use Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter while in mainland China – although the risk of an individual being prosecuted for using a VPN to access these services is very low. Still, cultural sensibilities and the law are two things that must be considered a little more carefully here than in South Korea or Italy, for example. English teachers in China can expect to earn anywhere between £400 and £2000 a month – often with accommodation paid on top. There’s also a huge variety of places and regions to choose from, as the world’s largest population means dozens of mega cities too.
The Gulf States
The Gulf States, made up of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait, are the destination of choice for English teachers who want to make bank and live in a little luxury while teaching abroad. Massive oil wealth in the region has created a huge upper class, who can afford to pay £2000-plus a month (tax free) for their children to learn English. Benefits can include a courtesy car, furnished housing, health insurance for your whole trip and much more. Be warned though – competition is fierce for the best paid jobs, and you might even need a degree just to be considered for some positions.