Where on earth should I teach English abroad? [With free TEFL country comparison chart]

teaching english overseas requirements

One of the trickiest parts of moving abroad to teach is figuring out where you should actually go.

(Been there, done the excessive amounts of paperwork...and fallen into our fair share of internet rabbit holes along the way).

At Teach Away, there isn’t a day that goes by without someone asking one of us what the requirements for teaching English abroad are and where the best place to go is. But the fact is, there’s just no one quick answer and no one-size-fits all ESL destination. It really varies from country to country and person to person, especially when it comes to factors out of your control, like visa regulations, education and experience requirements, age and nationality limits...the list goes on.

So, if you’re not sure where you want to teach abroad, our chart below is a great place to start. At a glance, you can see which countries pay the most, what the average salary for an ESL teacher is overseas, what the visa situation looks like, who your students are likely to be, the average contract length, education requirements and information about common perks like housing and flights.

So have a look - maybe you know all about South Korea but never considered options like Bolivia or Costa Rica.

teaching english abroad salary comparison

But before you scroll any further...read
this

You just want to get out there and travel the world, amirite?

Our advice is to buckle down, get your TEFL certificate out of the way and move to the next action point on the list.

(And yes, you should get TEFL certified before you teach abroad!)

But keep this in mind while you’re TEFL shopping - most countries hiring ESL teachers want to see a 120-hour TEFL on your application (either online or in-person will do). If you’re planning on investing in a TEFL course (and we suggest you think of it as an investment - this is your future we’re talking about ) you might as well choose one that meets the minimum requirements for most countries.

In short, we like to think of a 120-hour TEFL course as your passport to teaching English practically anywhere in the world.

Now, onto the good stuff - our humongous beast of a chart.

TEFL country comparison chart

Asia

CountryTEFLDegreeTeaching experienceAge limitNationality restrictionsVisaTypical studentsAverage salary (USD)/monthBenefits (housing, flights, etc)

Cambodia

Cambodia

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumNot requiredSometimes requiredUnder 65 years oldNone Proof of fluent EnglishTourist / Work visaSchool children, private tutoring & business professional$700 - 1,000Not included

China

China flag

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumMost positions Require BA/BSNot requiredUnder 55 years oldNone
Prefer native English speakers
Work visa in advanceSchool children, private tutoring & business professionals$1,500 - 2,000Housing,flights & benefits

Hong
Kong

Hong Kong

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumBA(English major preferred)PreferredUnder 60 years oldNoneWork visaBusiness professionals, children (public & private schools)$2,000 - 3,000Sometimes cover flights & accommodation

India

India

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumB.Ed. OR any BA/BS with teaching experienceExperience required If you don’t have a B.Ed.NoneNative English speakers preferred Proof of fluency requiredWork visaBusiness professionals, private language schools, adults and children$680 - 1,400Not usually included

Indonesia

Indonesia

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumBA requiredNot requiredUnder 60 years oldNative English speakersWork visaPrivate & public schools, business professionals & children$700 - 1,100Sometimes housing and flights are covered

Japan

Japan

 

TEFL preferredBA requiredPreferredUnder 65 years oldEducated through English for a minimum of 12 yearsWork visa in advancePublic & private schools, adults & children$2,200 - 3,000Usually included

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

 

TEFL preferredBA/BS preferredNoneNoneNo preferenceWork visaBusiness professionals & children$800 - 1,500Sometimes flights & housing

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan

 

Required no minimumBA/BS preferredNot requiredNoneNative English speakers preferredWork VisaBusiness professionals & children$400 - 800Sometimes provide housing

Laos

Laos

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferredBA/BS preferredTeaching experience preferredNoneNative proficiency English speakersTourist/work visaPrivate & public schools, Business professionals & children$500 - 1,000Not included

Lebanon

Lebanon

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferredBA/BS requiredTeaching experience preferredNoneNative English speakerTourist/work visaPrivate & public schools, Business professionals & children$900 - 1,500Not included

Malaysia

Malaysia

 

CELTA or TEFL required 120 hours minimumBA/BS required MA preferred2-3 years’ teaching experience preferredUnder 60 years oldNative English speakers preferred Proof of fluencyWork visaBusiness professionals, school children, public & private$1,200 - 2,300Occasionally provide housing & flights

Myanmar
(Burma)

Myanmar

 

TEFL required 120 hour Minimum preferredBA/BS requiredSome experience requiredNoneNative English speaker preferredWork visaBusiness professionals & children$1,500 - 2,000Sometimes included

Russia

Russia

 

100 hour TEFL required minimumNot requiredTeaching experience requiredNoneNative English speakers preferred Proof of English fluencyWork visaBusiness professionals, school children & private schools$500 - 2,000Sometimes included

South
Korea

South Korea

 

120 hour TEFL requiredBA/BS requiredTeaching experience preferredUnder 60 years oldNative English speakersWork visa in advancePrivate & public schools$1,800 - 2,500Flights & housing included

Thailand

Thailand

 

120 hour TEFL required minimumBA required2 years’ teaching experience preferredUnder 60 years oldNative English speakers South African candidates need an IELTS testWork visaBusiness professionals, children, public & private schools$950 - 1,300Usually includes housing & flights

Vietnam

Vietnam

 

TEFL required 120 hour preferredBA/BS required Under 60 years oldNo nationality restrictions Proof of English fluencyTourist / Work visaBusiness professionals, school children, Private & public schools$1,000 - 2,000Not included

Europe

CountryTEFLDegreeTeaching experienceAge limitNationality restrictionsVisaTypical studentsAverage salary (USD)/monthBenefits (housing, flights, etc)

Austria

Austria

 

TEFL required no minimumBA/BS requiredPreferredNoneEU, American & CanadianEU members can legally work here Work visaSchool children, private tutoring & business professionals$1,900 - 2,800Not included

Belgium

Belgium

 

TEFL required no minimumBA/BS RequiredNot statedNoneEU citizenship, some exceptionsEU members don’t need one, work visas in exceptional casesBusiness professionals & private students$1,400 - 2,000Not included

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumNot requiredSome teaching experienceUnder 65 years oldEU members preferredEU member or work visaSchool children, private tutoring & business professionals$350 - 650Not included

Czech
Republic

Czech Republic

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumBA in English usually requiredPreferredNoneEU members preferred Proof of fluent EnglishEU member or tourist visa change to work visa or work visa in advancePrivate schools, summer camps & foreign language schools$700 - 1,100Not included

France

France

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumBA/BS requiredPreferredNoneEU members preferred Proof of English fluencyEU members or work/tourist visaBusiness professionals, summer camps, language schools, children$900 - 2,000Not included

Georgia

Georgia

 

TEFL preferred no minimumAssociate’s degree or diplomaNot requiredUnder 60 years oldUK, EU, IRE, USA, CAN, AUS, NZ, SA nationals preferredTourist Visa can depend on nationalityForeign language schools, private students, children$220Accommodation & flights possible

Germany

Germany

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumBA/BS preferredNot requiredNoneNative English speakers preferred, proof of fluency requiredEU members preferred or tourist visa converted to a work visaBusiness professionals, private schools & tutoring, children in summer camps$900 - 2,200Not included

Greece

Greece

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumBA/BS preferredNot requiredNoneEU citizens preferred Prove of fluency in EnglishEu citizens with some exceptions for private tutors on holiday visasBusiness professionals, private students, public school children$800 - 1,200Not included

Hungary

Hungary

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumBA/BS requiredSome experience requiredNoneNo preference statedTourist or Work VisaBusiness professionals, private students, public school children$650 - 950Not included

Italy

Italy

 

TEFL required 100 hours minimumNot required but is preferred1-2 years preferredNoneEU members preferred Proof of fluency in EnglishEU members preferred Tourist/Work visaPublic schools & private language schools$1,100 - 1,850Not included

Lithuania

Lithuania

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferredBA/BS requiredTeaching experience requiredNoneNative proficiency English speakers EU membersEU citizenship requiredBusiness professionals, private schools$550 - 900Not included

Poland

Poland

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferredBA/BS required1 year of teaching experienceNoneEU citizenship preferredEU citizenship, work/tourist visaBusiness professionals, private tutoring$750 - 1,000Often include housing & travel allowance

Portugal

Portugal

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferredBA/BS requiredSome teaching experience preferredNoneEU members Proof of English fluencyEU citizensBusiness professionals, private tutoring$1,000 - 1,300Not included

Romania

Romania

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferredTeaching license usually preferredTeaching experience preferredNoneEu citizenship preferred Proof of English fluencyEU member/ work visaBusiness professionals, school children & private schools$600 - 1,000Not included

Russia

Russia

 

100 hour TEFL required minimumNot requiredTeaching experience requiredNoneNative English speakers preferred Proof of English fluencyWork visaBusiness professionals, school children & private schools$500 - 2,000Sometimes included

Slovakia

Slovakia

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferredBA/BS requiredTeaching experience usually requiredNoneEU member preferred Proof of English fluencyEU member or work visaBusiness professionals, school children & private schools$425 - 950Not included

Slovenia

Slovenia

 

TEFL required no minimumBA/BS preferredTeaching experience preferredNoneEU member preferredEU member, student visa or youth mobility visaBusiness professionals & private tutoring$700 - 1,200Not included

Spain

Spain

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferredNot requiredNot requiredNoneEU members preferredEU members preferred, work/tourist visaBusiness professionals & children, private & public schools, summer camps$900 - 1,800Not included

Turkey

Turkey

 

TEFL required 120 hour preferredNot requiredESL experience strongly preferredUnder 65 years oldNative English speakers preferred Proof of English fluencyTourist/work visaBusiness professionals, school children, Private & public schools$1,000 - 1,800Sometimes housing/flights can be included

Ukraine

Ukraine

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferredBA/BS preferred2 years’ teaching experience preferredNoneProof of English fluencyWork visaBusiness professionals, private schools$600 - 1,000Sometimes housing is included

United
Kingdom

UK

 

CELTA requiredBA/BS requiredExperience requiredUnder 55 years oldEU members preferred Proof of English fluencyWork visaBusiness professionals & private schools$800 - 1,000Not included

Middle East

CountryTEFLDegreeTeaching experienceAge limitNationality restrictionsVisaTypical studentsAverage salary (USD)/monthBenefits (housing, flights, etc)

Bahrain

Bahrain

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumBA/BS Required
MA preferred
Usually, need 1-2 years’experience.CompetitiveNoneNot statedWork visa(sponsored by school)Business professionals & children$1,500 - 3,000Housing, flights & benefits

Egypt

Egypt

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumUniversity DiplomaPreferredNoneNative English speakersWork visa preferredPrivate language schools, private students, children & adults$1,000 - 1,500Not included

Iraq

Iraq

 

TEFL required no minimumBA requiredPreferredNoneNative English speakers preferredWork visaChildren & adults at language schools$1,500 - 3,000Usually covered

Jordan

Jordan

 

TEFL required no minimumBA/BS preferredNoneNoneNative English teachers preferredWork visaChildren & business professionals$1,000 - 1,500Not included

Kuwait

Kuwait

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferredBA/BS required Licensed teachers & MA preferred1-2 years’ experienceNoneNative English speakers preferredWork visaBusiness professionals & children$1,500 - 3,000Often includes flights & housing

Qatar

Qatar

 

TEFL required 120 hour preferredBA/BS required MA preferredTeaching experience preferredNonePreferred: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South AfricaWork visaBusiness professionals & school children, private schools$1,600 - 4,000Flights & housing included

Saudi
Arabia

Saudi Arabia

 

CELTA/TESOLBA required in English/TESOL/ Linguistics2 years of teaching experience preferredNoneNative English speakersWork visa in advanceBusiness professionals, school children & private schools$3,000 - 4,000Housing & flights included

United
Arab
Emirates

Uae

 

TEFL required 120 hourBA/BS required Licensed teachers preferredExperience requiredNoneNative English speakersWork visa in advanceBusiness professionals, school children, Private & public schools$2,000 - 5,000Housing & flights included

Central and South America

CountryTEFLDegreeTeaching experienceAge limitNationality restrictionsVisaTypical studentsAverage salary (USD)/monthBenefits (housing, flights, etc)

Argentina

Argentina

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumNot requiredRequired, but a relevant degree can replace itNoneNone
Proof of fluent English
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longerPrivate school students(children & adults)$500 - 1,100Not included

Bolivia

Bolivia

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumNot required1-year teaching experienceNoneNone
Proof of fluent English
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longerPrivate & Public schools(children & adults)$500 - 900Not included

Brazil

Brazil

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumNot requiredNot requiredNoneNone
Native English speakers preferred
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longerBusiness professionals & private studentsl$800 - 1,300Not included

Chile

Chile

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumNot requiredNot requiredNoneNone
Proof of fluent English
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longerSchool children, private tutoring & business professionals$750 - 1,000Not included

Colombia

Colombia

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumNot requiredNot requiredNoneNone
Proof of fluent English
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longerSchool children, private tutoring & business professionals$500 - 1,500Not included

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumNot requiredNot requiredNoneNone
Proof of fluent English
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longerPrivate tutoring & private schools$700 - 900Not included

Ecuador

Ecuador

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferredBA/BS preferredPreferredNoneNative English speakers preferredTourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longerPrivate schools & English language schools$500 - 800Not included

Guatemala

Guatemala

 

TEFL not requiredBA/BS preferredNot requiredNoneNo preference statedTourist visaBusiness professionals, private tutoring$500 - 600Not included

Haiti

Haiti

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumBA required2 yearsNoneNative English proficiency but no preference for citizenshipWork visaInternational schools$1750 - 2,200Included

Honduras

Honduras

 

TEFL preferred 120 hours preferredBA/BS requiredPreferredNoneNo preference statedTourist / Work visaChildren or business professionals, usually private$500 - 1,200Not included

Nicaragua

Nicaragua

 

TEFL preferredBA/BS requiredTeaching experience preferredNoneNative English speaker preferredTourist visaBusiness professionals & children$500 - 700Not included

Peru

Peru

 

TEFL 120 hour Minimum preferredBA/BS requiredTeaching experience preferredNoneEU members preferred Proof of fluency requiredEU members preferred Tourist/work VisaPrivate students & business professionals$500 - 700Often include housing & flights

Uruguay

Uruguay

 

120 hour TEFL preferredBA/BS preferredTeaching experience preferredNoneNo nationality restrictionsTourist/work visaBusiness professionals & private schools$500 - 1,000Not included

North America

CountryTEFLDegreeTeaching experienceAge limitNationality restrictionsVisaTypical studentsAverage salary (USD)/monthBenefits (housing, flights, etc)

Haiti

Haiti

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimumBA required2 yearsNoneNative English proficiency but no preference for citizenshipWork visaInternational schools$1750 - 2,200Included

Mexico

Mexico

 

TEFL 120 hours Minimum preferredBA/BS preferredTeaching experience preferredNoneProof of English fluencyTourist / Work visaBusiness professionals & children$1,000 - 1,800Sometimes include housing

United
States of
America

usa

 

CELTA requiredBA/BS required
MA preferred
Teaching experience requiredUnder 70 years oldNative English speakers preferred Proof of English fluencyWork visa in advanceBusiness professionals & private schools$2,000 - 2,500Not included