Places to Teach English

Teaching jobs are available throughout the world, but some expat locations offer better lifestyles and working conditions than others. Here’s our guide to places to teach English.


China is becoming an increasingly popular destination for expatriates who wish to teach English as a foreign language. Competition for jobs is becoming fierce and for this reason, the best schools now only accept candidates who have a degree or full teaching qualification. That said, some schools will accept TEFL certificates, although the pay in such schools may be slightly lower. On the whole, the pay on offer to teach in China is lower than that of many other countries and ranges between $300 for teaching in rural areas through to $1500 per month for top jobs in the cities. However, because of the very low cost of living in this country, many expat teachers live very comfortable lives. When finding a suitable teaching position in China it is crucial that you thoroughly research the school you are considering contracting with. Not all schools are legitimate and there are some horror stories of teacher’s passports being taken away from them until they fulfill their contracts.

For further information about living in Hong KongBeijing or Shanghai, see our city guides, which contain extensive coverage of everything you need to know about living and working in these cities.

South Korea

Korea is a well developed and technologically advanced city that offers expatriates a high standard of living. The demand for qualified English and TEFL teachers is very high and this entails that expatriates who choose to teach here can expect a higher salary than some of the other areas in the world. The typical length of a teaching contract in Korea is 12 months, but 6 month contracts are occasionally available. As a teacher in Korea you will be expected to work around 40 hours a week. 20-22 of these will be classroom based, while the remainder will be spent on planning and administration activities. The typical salary for a 40-hour working week is $1900 per month plus living and accommodation expenses. However, those will full teaching qualifications and degrees can expect to earn more and the possibility of saving money while living in Korea has made this city one of the most popular places to teach English.


Japan is one of the most popular places to teach English for expatriates who wish to teach while living abroad. However, in recent years some of the best schools in Japan have suffered a financial downturn and jobs are a lot less common than they used to be. But after the covid pandemic, things are looking up for studying in Japan. A degree of some type is usually required to teach in Japan and most schools favor candidates who have previous teaching experience. A month’s salary generally ranges between $1900 and $2400. However, while the salaries offered are relatively high, it is worth bearing in mind that the cost of living in some of Japan’s cities is also very high and for this reason, if you do not secure an accommodation allowance, you can expect to spend a large percentage of your salary on accommodation, travel and food.

For further information about living in Tokyo see our city guide, which extensively covers everything you need to know about living and working in this city.


In order to teach in Russia you will be required to have a TEFL or TESOL certificate of some description. Not all schools will accept online teaching certificates and previous teaching experience is preferred (but not always essential). The salary for a teacher of English in Russia ranges between $1000 and $1200 per month and quite often teachers are paid additional bonuses if they fulfill their entire contract. Given the current war in Ukraine, studying in Russia is probably not a great idea given.

For further information about living in Moscow see our city guide, which extensively covers everything you need to know about living and working in this city.


Thailand is a very popular place to teach English and it attracts a large number of English teachers from all over the world. A basic requirement for teaching in Thailand is a university degree although preference is given to those who have teaching qualifications. The monthly salary of under $1000 may seem low to many candidates but the low cost of living entails that this is more than enough for expatriates to live comfortably.

For further information about living in Bangkok see our city guide, which extensively covers everything you need to know about living and working in this city.


Vietnam’s young population coupled with the desirability of English as a job qualification entails that there is currently a strong demand in Vietnam for teachers of English as a foreign language and is it quickly becoming a popular place to teach English. Expats living here can generally expect to earn between $1000 and $2000 per month for teaching full time and $10- $20 per hour for part time positions. The best, and most highly paid, positions can be found at the international schools but these jobs are hard to come by and will require a full teaching qualification. Many expatriates opt to tutor privately as there is a large demand for one on one teaching services and the pay is good. Quite often it is expatriates themselves who demand such services, especially those from Japan and Korea.

For further information about living in Hanoi see our city guide, which extensively covers everything you need to know about living and working in this city.

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