Teaching English Abroad: How to Choose the Best Place for You

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Everybody is going to need and want certain things in their potential location that may not be important to other people. Maybe you just want to save money. Maybe you just want to travel as much as you can. Maybe you're just interested in a great experience and memories; you're not concerned about the money. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of the 4 main continents for teaching abroad, so you can see which area fits you best:

(These are very general, just to give you an idea of which continent you'd like to take a deeper look into)


View my TikTok about it first, then keep on reading:

Asia

Asia typically has high salaries in most countries, with low cost of living (in nearly all countries except Japan). It's also pretty easy to get hired, you typically just need a Bachelor's degree and TEFL certificate.


Europe

Europe is probably the most common dream for people who want to move abroad. Which is why the salaries are typically even with cost of living, so you will most likely live paycheck to paycheck & won't be able to save much. It's also harder to get hired because most opportunities are only available for EU citizens.


Middle East

The Middle East by far has the highest salaries on the market, which is appealing to a lot of people. But the reason they pay so well is because they have stricter regulations for hiring teachers, you typically need to be a certified teacher in your home country.


South America

South America has a low cost of living and it's really easy to get hired, some don't even require Bachelor's degrees at all. But their salaries are pretty low, so you won't be able to save a lot of money.

Overall

If you're looking to save money, the Middle East and Asia are your best options. If you just want to have an experience abroad without saving any money, then follow your heart to Europe or South America.


Narrowing it Down

Once you've picked which continent is best for you, it's time to narrow down your country, or even the specific city! When thinking about this, these are some questions you should be asking yourself:

  • Is saving money a top priority?

  • Do you prefer living in the city or surrounded by nature?

  • In which region of the world would you prefer to live and travel?

  • Are you willing to work hard or would you prefer to relax?

  • Does it matter if there are other foreigners living near you?

Everybody's preference is different so there is no particular way to say that one destination is better to teach English than another. It's all subjective.


For me

So for me personally, these were the things I was considering when moving abroad to teach English:

  • I have student loans, so I needed a decent salary.

  • I knew I wanted to backpack Asia after my year of teaching, so that means I needed a country/city with a low cost of living so I could save.

  • Even though I was focused on saving money, I didn't want to miss out on the fun within my new city and country. So I knew I wanted a country I could easily explore on weekends.

  • I was also hoping to have a strong expat community so it would be an easier transition to living abroad.

This is why I ended up picking Asia, and more specifically China. It ticked off all the boxes on my wish list, and now that I've already done it, I can honestly say it was the best choice for me. I have absolutely no regrets, and would definitely do it again!


Read more about my experiences teaching abroad:

Teaching in China

My Experience Working at EF in Chongqing, China


Pin this to read again later!