Home / Top 4 TEFL Destinations to Teach English in Asia

Breath-taking landscapes, affordable living, rich culture… There are so many reasons why Asia is a popular destination for tourists and teachers alike.

Where you choose to teach will be down to your preferences and goals. But one thing’s for certain, you’ll find the best balance of exhilarating adventures and valuable teaching experience on the world’s largest continent. Read on to find out more about the top destinations to teach English in Asia – and how we can help you get there!

  1. Thailand

where to teach english in asia: Thailand

‘The Land of a Thousand Smiles’ is one of the most popular destinations for TEFL teachers to teach English in Asia. Since the government has recently announced they will allow tourists back into the country, Thailand’s popularity as an English teaching destination promises to stay put.

Thailand is renowned for its rich and interesting culture, laid-back lifestyle and low living costs. Wages wages for TEFL teachers are quite low in comparison to other Asian countries (€780-€885 /$800-$1000). But it’s still possible to save money and travel around easily. You will typically work from 07.30am-16:00pm Monday to Friday, but your teaching hours will often only be 20 hours per week. You can expect to pay €1-€3 for a meal from the market. Usually, your accommodation will be organised by your school.

I lived and taught in a rural town in Thailand for a year through The TEFL Institute of Ireland’s internship program and it was the most enriching experience of my life. On my days off, I’d cycle through the countryside, head down to the sun-kissed islands in the south, such as Koh Phi Phi or Koh Tao. Or I’d head up north to Chiang Mai to see the elephants or have a cooking class.

You can do the same! Asides from the amazing experiences you will gain from living there, Thailand is also an excellent base to start your travels around Asia.

What you need to teach English in Thailand 
  • 4-year bachelor’s degree
  • TEFL certificate
  • Be a native English speaker or have a high level of fluency
  • Passport holder from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand.
  1. South Korea

where to teach english in asia: south korea

With thousands of English teaching jobs in South Korea available annually, it’s becoming one of the most sought-after destinations to teach English in Asia. This is due to the country’s generous benefits offered to teachers such as free airfare, free accommodation, and high wages. Your wages can go a long way thanks to the low living expenses. In fact, it’s common for English teachers to come home with a fair amount of savings in the bank!

Your wages can increase depending on your qualifications and your job position. For instance, you’re more likely to receive a higher wage if you teach in a Hagwon – a private English school – than if you work in the government school system. However, both school systems have different advantages and disadvantages. Find out more about what you need to know before teaching in South Korea here.

Although South Korea is a cosmopolitan country, as a foreigner you will still be in the minority. Be prepared for a lot of stares and direct questions as your Korean students will be eager to learn about your life. You should be excited to get an insight into theirs also. South Korea is famous for its K-pop, seafood and temples, so throw yourself into the experience. You won’t regret it. Read more about what this beautiful country has to offer in this blog.

What you need to teach English South Korea
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • TEFL certificate
  • Criminal background check
  • Be a native English speaker from Ireland, UK, South Africa, USA, Australia, New or Canada
  • Be in good health, both physically and mentally.
  1. Vietnam 

where to teach english in asia: vietnam

Vietnam has been one of the strictest countries regarding letting foreigners into the country since COVID-19. As a result, life has returned to normal there with schools, shops and nightclubs open. Although it’s still possible to enter the country, a job and a work visa before arrival and a two-week quarantine stay are required to enter. However, these requirements are subject to change as vaccines become more readily available.

You shouldn’t let this deter you from Vietnam because it’s definitely a country worth considering if you plan to teach English in Asia. It has one of the highest working wages for English teachers in Asia. Due to low living expenses, this money can go a long way. You can be living it up in a beautiful fully furnished apartment in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi for a mere €250/$300. Eating out is also very affordable. You can get three meals a day for under €8/$10 if you eat local foods and delicacies. The French and Vietnamese infused ‘Banh-mi’ is a national favourite, popular with both natives and tourists alike.

Aside from the high wages, Vietnam is popular with English teachers due to its large expat community. There are sports teams and living areas, such as Tay Ho in Hanoi, that are catered towards expats and great places to make friends. If you have a love for exploration, the country’s vast and diverse landscape is perfect for you. One weekend you could be trekking through Sapa, taking a river cruise around Ha Long Bay or catching some rays on the country’s 2000 mile long coastline. Learn more about working in Vietnam and our Vietnamese internship.

What you need to teach English in Vietnam 
  • University degree
  • TEFL certificate
  • Background check
  • Be a native English speaker or be able to prove a high level of fluency
  • Job and work visa secured before entry (COVID-19 requirements).
  1. Taiwan

where to teach english in asia: Taiwan

Not only is this small island off the coast of China home to 23 million people, but it’s the home of bubble milk tea and bao buns (yum!). It can be your home too if you’re ready to begin your TEFL career in this culturally diverse nation.

Due to Taiwan’s relatively low living costs and competitive teaching salaries (up to €1680/ $2000 a month), you can expect to live comfortably and save money at the same time. Typically, English teachers have a 40-hour working week, with 25 of these hours spent teaching in the classroom while the rest is spent on lesson planning.

If you’re worried about moving abroad to teach, especially as a solo traveller, then Taiwan might be the perfect place for you. Taiwan is considered an extremely safe place to live. It’s common for people to leave their umbrellas outside shops or their helmets on their bikes and return to find them where they left them. Taiwanese people are also extremely friendly and take a genuine interest in foreigners.

Taiwan also has an incredible transport system. In fact, you can travel the entire length of the nation in three hours if you hop on a bullet train. This makes exploring the island’s beaches, jungles and waterfalls on your long weekends and school holidays a reality. However, if you want to get a real feel for Taiwanese culture, you must try its eclectic food. From traditional Hokkien cuisines of Taiwan’s first settlers to Japanese food from the nation’s previous colonial rule and Chinese-inspired dishes, Taiwan’s melting pot of cuisine demonstrates the nation’s rich history and taste buds.

Find out more about teaching opportunities in Taiwan and our year-long internship in Taiwan.

What you need to teach English in Taiwan

  • Aged between 21-35
  • TEFL certificate
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Background check
  • Native English speaker
  • Passport holder from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland or New Zealand.

If you’d like to learn more about our top four destinations to teach English in Asia, contact us today. We can give you information about our internship programs and help you start your teaching career abroad.

Shopping Basket
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyBrowse Courses