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Country Guide

Western Europe

Boasting some of the world's most popular teaching destinations including Spain, France, Portugal and Italy, Western Europe offers reasonable salaries and working conditions. For EU citizens or passport holders work is easy to come by although competition is high in the most desirable destinations.

Americans and Canadians will need a visa and work permit to work legally in Europe and this can be a difficult proposition. To get a work permit you must be sponsored by an employer in the country who is willing to invest the time and money to help you get your papers and these can be difficult to find.

Working illegally is a difficult but not impossible option and there are currently thousands of Americans and Canadians working in Western Europe with and without permits. If this is the path you choose to follow remember that you will not receive the same job security, pay or benefits as your legal colleagues.

Teaching positions in Western Europe are most plentiful from September to October when the academic year begins. There is often a further recruitment drive from January to March as teachers fail to return from their Christmas holidays or schools open up new classes. If you arrive during of-peak hiring times you may well need a few weeks to build up you teaching hours to a sufficient level. Be prepared to work early mornings and late evenings.

Most major cities in Western Europe have a large number of private language schools and this is where the majority of work can be found. Whilst finding a teaching position from abroad is possible, many schools hire locally. Dress professionally and visit as many schools as possible with plenty of copies of your CV, TESOL Certificate, passport and university degree if you have one. Be prepared to give trail lessons and be tested on grammar.

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Western Europe

Central and Eastern Europe


Latin America

Middle East and the Eastern       Mediterranean

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Finding Work




Board of Academic Advisors

Finding work in the UK is easy during the summer when foreign students flood the popular tourist destinations like Cambridge, London and Brighton. Outside of this summer period work is harder to come by, especially for the newly qualified teacher. Competition is fierce and the more experienced and better qualified teachers stand the best chance of finding permanent work.

Taking on private students can be a good way to supplement your income and some teachers choose to teach entirely privately. Most cities and towns will have notice boards where posters can be left and leaving fliers around university campuses and places where professional people are likely to visit can produce rapid results. Freelance classes in local firms and companies can be found especially if you have a business background.

Teaching English in Europe

Teaching English in France

Teaching English in Italy

Teaching English in Spain

Central and Eastern Europe

As the former Soviet bloc countries of Central and Eastern Europe make the lengthy transition to free market economies, the demand for qualified English language teachers has developed swiftly. Countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic now have well established ELT sectors and finding work is easy.

As with many developing countries the level of pay is comparatively low and some of the poorer nations of Eastern Europe are served mainly by volunteer organisations. However, the cost of living is equally low and teachers here are able to enjoy comfortable lifestyles if not save any money.

One advantage of low salaries is fewer applicants for jobs and many more established schools provide additional teacher development opportunities. Central and Eastern Europe can also offer career minded teachers a step-up-the-ladder that would be harder to come by in other destinations.

The demand for English teachers in Russia has grown dramatically in recent years and there are many opportunities for newly qualified teachers. If accepting work in Russia be aware that many schools outside of the major cities have limited resources and it is wise to take your own materials.

Teaching English in Central and Eastern Europe

Teaching English in Russia


Countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan offer some of the industry's highest salaries and provide considerable savings opportunities. Although demand for English is great there is fierce competition for the best jobs and in these western-style economies comes a high cost of living and attractive compensation packages should be offset against this.

In general, working conditions and job benefits are good and in most cases expect your employer to at least contribute to your airfare and accommodation. Finding work is easy and can often be arranged in advance over the internet although turning up with your CV, TESOL Certificate and University degree might be necessary especially in larger cities where competitiveness for the best jobs is high.

English teachers in Asia normally find work in private language schools although salaries can be subsidised through offering private classes. Expect to teach children and adolescents wherever you go but it is possible to find corporate work if have a business background or Business English teaching qualification.

China has a booming TESOL market and there are now a huge number of private language schools springing up in even the smaller towns and cities. Some of these will provide a respectable wage and opportunities for professional development but conditions are variable and you are advised to research thoroughly before committing yourself to a job.

Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia offer lower salaries but perhaps supplement these with their local culture. Recruitment here and in the region's poorer countries takes place locally and it is normally possible to find work year round.

Teaching English in Asia

Teaching English in China

Teaching English in Korea

Teaching English in Thailand

Teaching English in Japan

Latin America

There is a substantial demand for English teachers in Central and South America due to its close economical and political ties with the United States. Many jobs can be found via the internet but it has always been easier for Americans teachers than British. Salaries are lower than much of Asia and Western Europe but this is offset with the low cost of living and a comfortable lifestyle is possible.

Costa Rica and Mexico usually offer the best rates of pay in Central America whilst Peru, Brazil and Chile are popular destinations further south. In small towns and cities, teachers are advised to apply for jobs in person and make sure that living and working standards are acceptable before taking jobs.

The academic year begins towards the end of February and it is advisable to turn up a few weeks early to hand out your CV. Work is available for both qualified and unqualified teachers but having a TESOL Certificate will enable you to find work offering better conditions.

Teaching English in Costa Rica

Teaching English in Brazil

Teaching English in Ecuador

Teaching English in Mexico City

Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean

The Persian Gulf States of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE offer some of the highest salaries for teaching English and it is possible to save large amounts of money. However, jobs are often only available to the highest qualified teachers and although living conditions are comfortable, teachers are often confined to compounds with little to do.

Egypt and Morocco offer opportunities for less qualified teachers and whilst it is unlikely that they will pay on the same scale as the Gulf States, a comfortable standard of living is possible with most compensation packages.

Turkey has a long established TEFL industry and offers a popular destination for newly qualified teachers, especially Istanbul and Izmir. Jobs are available in most cities but pay and conditions are variable and teachers are advised to check acceptability before taking a teaching position.

On-going unrest in Middle Eastern countries has lead to a growing Anti-Western sentiment and teachers planning to go to this part of the world should fully investigate conditions in the region they are planning to visit.

Teaching English in the Eastern Mediterranean

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