What to expect Teaching English in Asia

Teach English Abroad

There is no question that Asia currently offers the hottest opportunities for English teachers around the world. With so many great countries to choose from, it can be hard to decide. Here is a short overview of what to expect from the top teaching destinations.

Teach English in Japan

Teach English in Japan

  • Wages: Around $2,500 per month; transportation is generally included but not housing.
  • Cost of Living: High, at around $1,500 to $2,000 per month, but you can still save money due to the relatively higher salaries.
  • TEFL requirements: You must have any university degree to get a work visa. Your chances of securing a job will be better if you have a teaching certification.
  • Teaching demand: High, with a competitive job market. The boom is long over in Japan but they are are still plenty of jobs.
  • Weather: Very hot and humid summers will winters that get to zero.
  • Traditional food: Some of the best and healthiest food in the world. Sushi, rice dishes, ramen,
  • Culture: Very rich culture with numerous festivals and events throughout the year. Japanese people are generally respectful, polite, formal, and punctual.

Teach English in South Korea

  • Wages: Around $2,000 per month; schools will often provide housing and return airfare.
  • Cost of Living: Low; with provided accommodations you can definitely save money.
  • TEFL requirements: You need a B.A. and are not required to have a teaching certificate, though having one will increase your chances of securing a job.
  • Teaching demand: High all over the country.
  • Weather: Humid summers will cool winters.
  • Traditional food: Side dishes with rice, Korean barbecue, and fermented foods like kimchi.
  • Culture: Though modern on the outside, South Korean culture is still quite traditional in terms of respecting your superiors and holding to traditional gender roles. Giving small gifts and accepting social invitations will get you far. Karaoke is a popular nighttime entertainment.

Teach English in Taiwan

  • Wages: Around $2,000 per month, and more with credentials. You may be provided with an apartment.
  • Cost of Living: Low; you should be able to save money.
  • TEFL requirements: No teaching certificate required, though beneficial for job opportunities and higher salaries.
  • Teaching demand: High, especially in Taipei.
  • Weather: Humid subtropical and tropical monsoon climate; very rainy.
  • Traditional food: Includes rice, pork, chicken, seafood, and soy.
  • Culture: An interesting mix of traditional Chinese culture and modern society.

Teach English in Vietnam

  • Wages: $1,000 to $2,000 per month.
  • Cost of Living: Relatively low, at $800 to $1,000 per month; you should be able to save a little money.
  • TEFL requirements: It helps to have a TEFL certificate but previous teaching experience may not be necessary.
  • Teaching demand: Very high all around the country.
  • Weather: Humid subtropical; windy in winter and rainy in summer.
  • Traditional food: Noodle soups, sandwiches, and sweetened iced coffee.
  • Culture: Teaching is a very formal occupation, so make sure you dress for it.
  • Other useful things to know: Vietnam is a great place to explore the outdoors and go backpacking or travel to other Asian countries. Ho Chi Minh has become popular for digital nomads.

Teach English in Thailand

  • Wages: $700 to $1,500 per month.
  • Cost of Living: Very low. $1000 per month is enough to live comfortable for most.
  • TEFL requirements: A teaching certificate is not necessary but will increase your chances of getting a job.
  • Teaching demand: Moderate in Bangkok and Chiang Mai with fewer opportunities at lower pay in other locations. Many volunteer opportunities in the north.
  • Weather: Beautiful winters with hot, humid and wet summers.
  • Traditional food: Great curries, stir fries, soups and other dishes
  • Culture: One of the most accepting cultures in the world. Everything seems permitted. Devoutly Buddhist.
  • Other useful things to know: Many teachers arrive without a work visa and teach illegally by doing frequent visa runs to nearby countries.

Teach English in China

Teach English in China

  • Wages: $1,000 to $2,000 per month; you may be provided with free housing and airfare.
  • Cost of Living: Increasing rapidly so it’s getting harder to save money.
  • TEFL requirements: A teaching certificate is not necessary but will increase your chances of getting a job.
  • Teaching demand: Very high all over the country. Unsurprisingly, the world’s most populated country offers the most teaching jobs.
  • Weather: Varied, depending on where in the country you are.
  • Traditional food: Rice, soy, noodles, vegetables, pork, chicken and duck. Typically greasier food.
  • Culture: Traditional Chinese culture mixed with ultra-modern lifestyles in the cities.
  • Other useful things to know: Using a recruiting agency to help you find a job in China will make the process a lot less confusing and stressful. There are large expat communities in all of China’s big cities.

Asia is unquestionably the hottest area in the world for travellers, digital nomads and English teachers. Not only are there plentiful teaching  opportunities, but the close proximity of neighbouring countries make any teaching destination a great starting point to explore the region. Where will you teach?