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.

TEFL country comparison chart

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

Country TEFL Degree Teaching experience Age limit Nationality restrictions Visa Typical students Average salary (USD)/month Benefits (housing, flights, etc)

Cambodia

Cambodia

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum Not required Sometimes required Under 65 years old None Proof of fluent English Tourist / Work visa School children, private tutoring & business professional $700 - 1,000 Not included

China

China flag

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum Most positions Require BA/BS Not required Under 55 years old None
Prefer native English speakers
Work visa in advance School children, private tutoring & business professionals $1,500 - 2,000 Housing,flights & benefits

Hong
Kong

Hong Kong

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum BA(English major preferred) Preferred Under 60 years old None Work visa Business professionals, children (public & private schools) $2,000 - 3,000 Sometimes cover flights & accommodation

India

India

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum B.Ed. OR any BA/BS with teaching experience Experience required If you don’t have a B.Ed. None Native English speakers preferred Proof of fluency required Work visa Business professionals, private language schools, adults and children $680 - 1,400 Not usually included

Indonesia

Indonesia

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum BA required Not required Under 60 years old Native English speakers Work visa Private & public schools, business professionals & children $700 - 1,100 Sometimes housing and flights are covered

Japan

Japan

 

TEFL preferred BA required Preferred Under 65 years old Educated through English for a minimum of 12 years Work visa in advance Public & private schools, adults & children $2,200 - 3,000 Usually included

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan

 

TEFL preferred BA/BS preferred None None No preference Work visa Business professionals & children $800 - 1,500 Sometimes flights & housing

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan

 

Required no minimum BA/BS preferred Not required None Native English speakers preferred Work Visa Business professionals & children $400 - 800 Sometimes provide housing

Laos

Laos

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferred BA/BS preferred Teaching experience preferred None Native proficiency English speakers Tourist/work visa Private & public schools, Business professionals & children $500 - 1,000 Not included

Lebanon

Lebanon

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferred BA/BS required Teaching experience preferred None Native English speaker Tourist/work visa Private & public schools, Business professionals & children $900 - 1,500 Not included

Malaysia

Malaysia

 

CELTA or TEFL required 120 hours minimum BA/BS required MA preferred 2-3 years’ teaching experience preferred Under 60 years old Native English speakers preferred Proof of fluency Work visa Business professionals, school children, public & private $1,200 - 2,300 Occasionally provide housing & flights

Myanmar
(Burma)

Myanmar

 

TEFL required 120 hour Minimum preferred BA/BS required Some experience required None Native English speaker preferred Work visa Business professionals & children $1,500 - 2,000 Sometimes included

Russia

Russia

 

100 hour TEFL required minimum Not required Teaching experience required None Native English speakers preferred Proof of English fluency Work visa Business professionals, school children & private schools $500 - 2,000 Sometimes included

South
Korea

South Korea

 

120 hour TEFL required BA/BS required Teaching experience preferred Under 60 years old Native English speakers Work visa in advance Private & public schools $1,800 - 2,500 Flights & housing included

Thailand

Thailand

 

120 hour TEFL required minimum BA required 2 years’ teaching experience preferred Under 60 years old Native English speakers South African candidates need an IELTS test Work visa Business professionals, children, public & private schools $950 - 1,300 Usually includes housing & flights

Vietnam

Vietnam

 

TEFL required 120 hour preferred BA/BS required   Under 60 years old No nationality restrictions Proof of English fluency Tourist / Work visa Business professionals, school children, Private & public schools $1,000 - 2,000 Not included

Europe

Country TEFL Degree Teaching experience Age limit Nationality restrictions Visa Typical students Average salary (USD)/month Benefits (housing, flights, etc)

Austria

Austria

 

TEFL required no minimum BA/BS required Preferred None EU, American & Canadian EU members can legally work here Work visa School children, private tutoring & business professionals $1,900 - 2,800 Not included

Belgium

Belgium

 

TEFL required no minimum BA/BS Required Not stated None EU citizenship, some exceptions EU members don’t need one, work visas in exceptional cases Business professionals & private students $1,400 - 2,000 Not included

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum Not required Some teaching experience Under 65 years old EU members preferred EU member or work visa School children, private tutoring & business professionals $350 - 650 Not included

Czech
Republic

Czech Republic

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum BA in English usually required Preferred None EU members preferred Proof of fluent English EU member or tourist visa change to work visa or work visa in advance Private schools, summer camps & foreign language schools $700 - 1,100 Not included

France

France

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum BA/BS required Preferred None EU members preferred Proof of English fluency EU members or work/tourist visa Business professionals, summer camps, language schools, children $900 - 2,000 Not included

Georgia

Georgia

 

TEFL preferred no minimum Associate’s degree or diploma Not required Under 60 years old UK, EU, IRE, USA, CAN, AUS, NZ, SA nationals preferred Tourist Visa can depend on nationality Foreign language schools, private students, children $220 Accommodation & flights possible

Germany

Germany

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum BA/BS preferred Not required None Native English speakers preferred, proof of fluency required EU members preferred or tourist visa converted to a work visa Business professionals, private schools & tutoring, children in summer camps $900 - 2,200 Not included

Greece

Greece

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum BA/BS preferred Not required None EU citizens preferred Prove of fluency in English Eu citizens with some exceptions for private tutors on holiday visas Business professionals, private students, public school children $800 - 1,200 Not included

Hungary

Hungary

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum BA/BS required Some experience required None No preference stated Tourist or Work Visa Business professionals, private students, public school children $650 - 950 Not included

Italy

Italy

 

TEFL required 100 hours minimum Not required but is preferred 1-2 years preferred None EU members preferred Proof of fluency in English EU members preferred Tourist/Work visa Public schools & private language schools $1,100 - 1,850 Not included

Lithuania

Lithuania

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferred BA/BS required Teaching experience required None Native proficiency English speakers EU members EU citizenship required Business professionals, private schools $550 - 900 Not included

Poland

Poland

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferred BA/BS required 1 year of teaching experience None EU citizenship preferred EU citizenship, work/tourist visa Business professionals, private tutoring $750 - 1,000 Often include housing & travel allowance

Portugal

Portugal

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferred BA/BS required Some teaching experience preferred None EU members Proof of English fluency EU citizens Business professionals, private tutoring $1,000 - 1,300 Not included

Romania

Romania

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferred Teaching license usually preferred Teaching experience preferred None Eu citizenship preferred Proof of English fluency EU member/ work visa Business professionals, school children & private schools $600 - 1,000 Not included

Russia

Russia

 

100 hour TEFL required minimum Not required Teaching experience required None Native English speakers preferred Proof of English fluency Work visa Business professionals, school children & private schools $500 - 2,000 Sometimes included

Slovakia

Slovakia

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferred BA/BS required Teaching experience usually required None EU member preferred Proof of English fluency EU member or work visa Business professionals, school children & private schools $425 - 950 Not included

Slovenia

Slovenia

 

TEFL required no minimum BA/BS preferred Teaching experience preferred None EU member preferred EU member, student visa or youth mobility visa Business professionals & private tutoring $700 - 1,200 Not included

Spain

Spain

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferred Not required Not required None EU members preferred EU members preferred, work/tourist visa Business professionals & children, private & public schools, summer camps $900 - 1,800 Not included

Turkey

Turkey

 

TEFL required 120 hour preferred Not required ESL experience strongly preferred Under 65 years old Native English speakers preferred Proof of English fluency Tourist/work visa Business professionals, school children, Private & public schools $1,000 - 1,800 Sometimes housing/flights can be included

Ukraine

Ukraine

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferred BA/BS preferred 2 years’ teaching experience preferred None Proof of English fluency Work visa Business professionals, private schools $600 - 1,000 Sometimes housing is included

United
Kingdom

UK

 

CELTA required BA/BS required Experience required Under 55 years old EU members preferred Proof of English fluency Work visa Business professionals & private schools $800 - 1,000 Not included

Middle East

Country TEFL Degree Teaching experience Age limit Nationality restrictions Visa Typical students Average salary (USD)/month Benefits (housing, flights, etc)

Bahrain

Bahrain

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum BA/BS Required
MA preferred
Usually, need 1-2 years’experience.Competitive None Not stated Work visa(sponsored by school) Business professionals & children $1,500 - 3,000 Housing, flights & benefits

Egypt

Egypt

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum University Diploma Preferred None Native English speakers Work visa preferred Private language schools, private students, children & adults $1,000 - 1,500 Not included

Iraq

Iraq

 

TEFL required no minimum BA required Preferred None Native English speakers preferred Work visa Children & adults at language schools $1,500 - 3,000 Usually covered

Jordan

Jordan

 

TEFL required no minimum BA/BS preferred None None Native English teachers preferred Work visa Children & business professionals $1,000 - 1,500 Not included

Kuwait

Kuwait

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferred BA/BS required Licensed teachers & MA preferred 1-2 years’ experience None Native English speakers preferred Work visa Business professionals & children $1,500 - 3,000 Often includes flights & housing

Qatar

Qatar

 

TEFL required 120 hour preferred BA/BS required MA preferred Teaching experience preferred None Preferred: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa Work visa Business professionals & school children, private schools $1,600 - 4,000 Flights & housing included

Saudi
Arabia

Saudi Arabia

 

CELTA/TESOL BA required in English/TESOL/ Linguistics 2 years of teaching experience preferred None Native English speakers Work visa in advance Business professionals, school children & private schools $3,000 - 4,000 Housing & flights included

United
Arab
Emirates

Uae

 

TEFL required 120 hour BA/BS required Licensed teachers preferred Experience required None Native English speakers Work visa in advance Business professionals, school children, Private & public schools $2,000 - 5,000 Housing & flights included

Central and South America

Country TEFL Degree Teaching experience Age limit Nationality restrictions Visa Typical students Average salary (USD)/month Benefits (housing, flights, etc)

Argentina

Argentina

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum Not required Required, but a relevant degree can replace it None None
Proof of fluent English
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longer Private school students(children & adults) $500 - 1,100 Not included

Bolivia

Bolivia

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum Not required 1-year teaching experience None None
Proof of fluent English
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longer Private & Public schools(children & adults) $500 - 900 Not included

Brazil

Brazil

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum Not required Not required None None
Native English speakers preferred
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longer Business professionals & private studentsl $800 - 1,300 Not included

Chile

Chile

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum Not required Not required None None
Proof of fluent English
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longer School children, private tutoring & business professionals $750 - 1,000 Not included

Colombia

Colombia

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum Not required Not required None None
Proof of fluent English
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longer School children, private tutoring & business professionals $500 - 1,500 Not included

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum Not required Not required None None
Proof of fluent English
Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longer Private tutoring & private schools $700 - 900 Not included

Ecuador

Ecuador

 

TEFL required 120 hours preferred BA/BS preferred Preferred None Native English speakers preferred Tourist visa for 6 months, work visa for longer Private schools & English language schools $500 - 800 Not included

Guatemala

Guatemala

 

TEFL not required BA/BS preferred Not required None No preference stated Tourist visa Business professionals, private tutoring $500 - 600 Not included

Haiti

Haiti

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum BA required 2 years None Native English proficiency but no preference for citizenship Work visa International schools $1750 - 2,200 Included

Honduras

Honduras

 

TEFL preferred 120 hours preferred BA/BS required Preferred None No preference stated Tourist / Work visa Children or business professionals, usually private $500 - 1,200 Not included

Nicaragua

Nicaragua

 

TEFL preferred BA/BS required Teaching experience preferred None Native English speaker preferred Tourist visa Business professionals & children $500 - 700 Not included

Peru

Peru

 

TEFL 120 hour Minimum preferred BA/BS required Teaching experience preferred None EU members preferred Proof of fluency required EU members preferred Tourist/work Visa Private students & business professionals $500 - 700 Often include housing & flights

Uruguay

Uruguay

 

120 hour TEFL preferred BA/BS preferred Teaching experience preferred None No nationality restrictions Tourist/work visa Business professionals & private schools $500 - 1,000 Not included

North America

Country TEFL Degree Teaching experience Age limit Nationality restrictions Visa Typical students Average salary (USD)/month Benefits (housing, flights, etc)

Haiti

Haiti

 

TEFL required 120 hours minimum BA required 2 years None Native English proficiency but no preference for citizenship Work visa International schools $1750 - 2,200 Included

Mexico

Mexico

 

TEFL 120 hours Minimum preferred BA/BS preferred Teaching experience preferred None Proof of English fluency Tourist / Work visa Business professionals & children $1,000 - 1,800 Sometimes include housing

United
States of
America

usa

 

CELTA required BA/BS required
MA preferred
Teaching experience required Under 70 years old Native English speakers preferred Proof of English fluency Work visa in advance Business professionals & private schools $2,000 - 2,500 Not included