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This time of year can be the perfect time to kickstart your TEFL career! The academic year is just beginning in many countries, as students worldwide are ready to learn English after the summer holidays. If you’ve got your TEFL qualification and are eager to head abroad to start your adventure, you’ve come to the right page! With TEFL, the world is your oyster – many opportunities await can be overwhelming to decide where you want to start teaching. You should also consider other factors, such as requirements for specific countries and working conditions. With this Ultimate Guide to Teach English Abroad, you can make a more informed decision to get started!

Top tips

First things first, to be able to get into the world of TEFL, you need to become TEFL-certified. If you haven’t done this already, this should be your priority! After all, your TEFL certification is your passport to the TEFL world!

Don’t forget to do your research about where you want to go. You must be aware of local culture and the job conditions you’re offered. Remember that each country has its way of doing things, and the work culture in your country might not be the same in your chosen destination.

Part of your research should be the requirements for a visa if you need one. At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to ensure you do things properly. Some jobs may offer assistance, but make sure you do your due diligence to ensure things are done right!

Learn the lingo! Even if you feel that you can get by using English in your host country, you should try to learn the local language as soon as possible. No one expects you to be fluent, but starting with a few phrases here and there can get you a very positive reaction. The more you learn, the more you can appreciate the culture and the people. It might also come in handy more than you think!

Best places to teach abroad 2019

Popular Destinations 


Europe is one of the most popular continents for TEFL teachers, teach English abroad. Within the continent, you can find various jobs, each providing an exciting opportunity to get to know a diverse culture. Each country is different, but you don’t need to be a native speaker to teach in many European countries. A degree helps but is often not compulsory. 

Countries have different work visa requirements so check this out before applying anywhere. Employees won’t give you a second look if you don’t have the right to work in the country. If you have an EU passport, the process is much easier in many places.


Often known as the “TEFL jewel” of Europe, Spain is a popular destination for English teachers. There are many work opportunities, primarily in local language academies. This work mainly consists of teaching children and adults during the afternoons and evenings. A typical TEFL work week can consist of teaching 20-25 hours. You might also teach exam classes, a highly sought-after subject in Spain.

Teaching TEFL in Spain can bring you a reasonably relaxed lifestyle and the chance to get to know a vast and exciting country. It has an extensive public transport system which can help you explore all over and cheap flights to the islands for some summer adventures also!


Another country for great TEFL opportunities! Many independent language schools are looking for teachers. These jobs consist of teaching young learners, adults and exam classes. Sometimes weekend work is also offered. There may also be the opportunity to assist with extra courses in local public schools. 

TEFL in Italy can genuinely be la dolce vita! If you haven’t been, you’ll relish exploring this beautiful and fascinating culture in your free time – not to mention the food! Travelling between Italian cities and places of interest is straightforward, so that you can cover a lot of ground in an academic year!


Bulgaria is becoming a booming TEFL destination for those looking to be teach English abroad, thanks to its lower cost of living and its well-positioned for teachers to explore Eastern Europe and further afield.

Many local language schools in larger cities in Bulgaria hire TEFL teachers. The work may also involve going into public schools and businesses to deliver lessons there.

In Bulgaria, locals are welcoming, and there are beautiful points of interest to discover within the country. Did you know Bulgaria is home to one of the most continuously populated cities in the world? You can also go skiing in winter and to beautiful beaches in summer! It truly is a mix of everything!

South America 

Are you looking to head farther afield? Then South America is waiting for you! Being a native speaker helps a lot here, but if you have a C2 level of English, there are also jobs available. Often, it helps to be in the country already to get a job, as employers prefer face-to-face interviews, so bear this in mind when you’re job hunting! There are many gems in South America, each with unique adventure offerings, but here are a few to consider!


Ecuador has many different opportunities, ranging from local language schools to universities and public schools. If you want to work in higher education or an international school here, you will need a degree, and some experience would help. If you don’t have these, there is plenty of work in academies and private lessons. Business students and university students are a big part of the market here.

Ecuador is developing rapidly economically and becoming a trendy South American destination. Its rich culture and warm people are just a few reasons to head here!


Colombia has seen a lot of change in recent decades and is now more popular than ever for travellers…and TEFL teachers! In the larger cities, many local academies are looking for teachers to deliver General, Exam and Business English classes. If you have experience and more qualifications, you can also look at teaching in international schools.

Colombia is an exciting country which continues to grow economically each year. Many colourful, vast cities and miles of intriguing jungles and forests exist! TEFL teachers can live comfortably here but supplement their income with private/ online lessons.


Of course, Asia is such a vast continent; we would need days to write about all the countries you could explore! There is an excellent variety in Asia for TEFL jobs from the Middle East to Central Asia, China, Thailand, and more! Being a native speaker and having a degree is a requirement for a visa for many countries, soo ensure you check this. As it is a visa obligation, there’s no legal way around this, so watch out for any “agents” who offer you alternatives to work…which might get you into immigration trouble!

Teach Abroad as a non-native speaker

South Korea 

South Korea is one of the most profitable countries for TEFL teachers. The job placements often come with housing and airfare and offer a healthy salary. This is perfect for exploring South Korean cities such as Seoul, Busan and Daegu and travelling to nearby countries (a trip to Japan, anyone?).

There is a lot of work in language schools in South Korea, and after a few years of experience, you can also aspire to get a high-paying job at a university. Business English is a big part of the demand here,, so if you have any extra qualifications to teach this topic confidently, this will serve you well! 


Japan is a beautiful country and is often voted one of the world’s most exciting and happiest countries to explore. You can get work in a language school or for universities in many of the major cities. Remember, don’t just consider Tokyo! You might find a more relaxed way of life and a lower cost of living in other cities such as Osaka and Kyoto. The pay is generally good in Japan, and the job offer often includes accommodation. 


Out of all the countries that we could talk about here, Cambodia has made the list for being known for accepting non-native speakers – so it’s important to include! A degree is sometimes preferred, but not a requirement either. This country may be perfect for teachers who don’t hold a degree and are starting in TEFL English abroad.

Cambodia is becoming increasingly popular as a travel destination, with the tourist industry seeing a boom. This means that more and more locals want to learn English to be able to work in tourism. In more touristy areas such as Siem Reap, there is even more work due to this reason. Cambodia is a beautiful country with important history behind it.

So there you have it, our Ultimate Guide to Teach English abroad! These include some of the most popular countries to move abroad to and teach English, but remember, there are many more options to consider! Each day, job adverts are posted from all over the world, each with unique interest and allure!

What is best for you depends on your profile (education, experience,, .etc.) and your professional and personal goals. It’s essential to research local culture, salaries and working conditions before you take the plunge! Once you’re informed, go for it! You won’t regret undertaking your teaching English abroad! Whether short-term or long-term, you will gain some invaluable memories and unforgettable experiences!

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