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March 2015

Teaching English abroad

A look at the best countries for teaching abroad in 2015

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “What the World Will Speak in 2115”, English will remain the dominant language for the foreseeable future. While many predict that Mandarin might supersede the current linguistic leader, the difficulty required to learn Mandarin paired with the ubiquity of English makes it unlikely, in terms of practicality, to rise as leader.

Fluency in the English language, therefore, will remain desirable for at least another century, if we go by the article, making English teachers a hot commodity in countries where the language is not the primary one. Certainly, many adventurous types leave their homes to teach English abroad. And while it sounds like a romantic and financially beneficial endeavor, this is not always the case. Finding a job and getting paid are just part of the equation; taking into account a country’s cost of living is a very important factor.

Teaching abroad is a popular vocation. You may know someone who has done it. But some countries are better than others if you’re looking to make a good living teaching. For example, many first-world countries already have institutions that teach English, as well as locals who speak English fluently, making competition for jobs higher. Paired with more expensive living costs, you may not survive easily.
So what are the best countries to teach English in 2015? Let’s find out (in no particular order).Before you leave, you might want to enhance your English fluency and get certified with telc - we offer language tests for ten different languages.

Costa Rica
With a thriving tourism industry catering to many Westerners, Costa Ricans find it increasingly important to brush up on their English in order to find a desirable job. Your best bet won't be the beach, unfortunately, but rather in the country's capital city, San Jose. Ranked sixth in important Latin America destinations by The MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index 2012, you'll find everything you could need here from culture to modern accommodations. More info on teaching English in Costa Rica

Increasingly popular with travelers, a strengthened economy and high salaries paired with a really low cost of living make Vietnam a popular draw for English teachers. If you’re interested in Southeast Asia, you ought to check out Thailand as well, another notable neighbor where English courses are desired. More info on teaching English in Vietnam

There was a time when travel to Colombia was discouraged due to drug problems and political problems. Today’s Colombia is a different place, the country having had several decades of growth and reforms. Say goodbye to thoughts of Pablo Escobar's country and hello to one full of warm and friendly locals. The country's Ministry of Education hires teachers, and you can seek out positions at one of the many private language schools. More info on teaching English in Colombia

Saudi Arabia
Oil-rich Saudi Arabia attracts people from around the world. Money is plentiful and business demands mean you’ll find work here teaching. Additionally, if you’ve got your eye on the Middle East, Saudi Arabia may be the most comfortable choice as the country is relatively more westernized than some of its neighbors. The United Arab Emirates would be another notable choice within this region. More info on teaching English in Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking to stay in Western Europe, Spain is the choice for you. Unlike Southeast Asia, the competition will be fiercer, work visas can be difficult to attain, and the demands upon you as a teacher will be greater. Employment can also be found in established schools where teaching assistants are required. And there’s nothing like Rioja wine with some tapas to relax after classes. More info on teaching English in Spain

Like China, Japan’s metropolises are centers of international business, and those looking to succeed globally look to improve their English. While English teachers may not be as highly needed as in decades past, you’ll still find good work here. Additionally, established institutions like the government’s JET exchange program, though highly competitive, make the process of getting a job more streamlined and formal. More info on teaching English in Japan

Cambodia offers a low cost of living paired with an increased demand for English learning due to the country’s progress in development. Plus you can visit ancient temples like those at Angkor Wat while relaxing on some of Asia's most beautiful beaches in one trip. Like Colombia, Cambodia is a formerly war-torn country that is now a hotspot for travel. More info on teaching English in Cambodia

South Korea
High salaries and plenty of jobs for English teachers makes South Korea a great destination for teachers. Language institutions also often offer housing and benefits like subsidized airfare. Additionally, the country is a relatively safe one. Its international marketplaces make English language a necessary skill, ensuring you’ll find a place there. More info on teaching English in South Korea

China has people, power, and lots of money. The economic powerhouse has already surpassed the United States in terms of purchasing-power-adjusted GDP. A center for commerce and international business, many are looking to improve their English skills and they have the money to pay. While not as cheap as it once was, China still has a relatively low cost of living. More info on teaching English in China...

If you could teach English anywhere abroad, where would you go? Let us know on Facebook and be sure to “like” TELC English for more articles on languages and culture!