1- South Korea

South Korea has been the top ESL destination for over a decade. Its cost of living is relatively inexpensive, and salaries range from $1,800 and $2,300 a month, plus benefits and perks such as paid accommodation, reimbursed airfare (paid upon completion of the contract) and bonuses.
Teaching positions are found in both the public and the private sector, from elementary schools to colleges and universities. Private institutes and corporate businesses also offer English classes.

Jobs can easily be  found prior to arriving  in South Korea.  Contracts are mostly offered for 12-month periods.


2- Canada

Since the late 1990’s, Canada’s ESL industry has been booming, as many private ESL schools were established to serve international students who come to Canada to study English for a few months. Teachers’ salaries are very competitive, ranging from $16 to $24 an hour. Most of the teaching positions in Canada are to be found at ESL schools, and a TESL Canada certificate is required by the majority of them.

Because of Canada’s multiculturalism, it is not necessary to be a native English speaker or Canadian-born to obtain a job as an ESL teacher. You may work as an English teacher in Canada as long as you meet the educational requirements of the prospective employer, and as long as you are eligible to work in Canada. For foreign teachers, it is difficult to obtain a working visa in Canada as an English teacher unless you come from an English-speaking country.


3- Japan

Japan’s technological edge  fostered within a society that respects its wonderful ancient culture,  makes Japan a top destination for English teachers.

Salaries are very competitive, ranging from $2,000 to $2,500 a month, but the cost of living is also very high. However, many schools pay for accommodation and once the 1-year contract  has been completed they may also offer bonuses such as reimbursed airfare or an extra month of pay.

Jobs can be found in both the public and the private sector. The better paid jobs are in private English schools in Tokyo, but competition for these jobs is also tougher.

It is possible to find a job prior to your arrival in Japan.



Spain has a rich Mediterranean culture  in which  its cuisine, music, and mild climate intertwine with its beautiful medieval architecture and a very outgoing lifestyle.

Its ESL industry has grown tremendously, in pace with its economy, during the past decade, as it joined the European Union and became a leader in the globalized economy.

Salaries vary from $1,500 in the rural areas to $2,500 in the major cities. The cost of living also varies  widely depending on the location. The best jobs are in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia where many private English schools were established and where the majority of international businesses and  tourist industries are located.

Without a European passport, it might be difficult to obtain a working visa unless you are an experienced teacher.



 Thailand’s amazing beaches and rainforests, together with its mouthwatering cuisine and a culture that dates back hundreds of years make  it a wonderful destination for English teachers.

The cost of living does not top the $500 range, and salaries are between $800 and $1,300 a month. Some schools offer free accommodation and also reimbursed airfare (upon completion of the contract). Contracts are issued for 6- to 12-month periods. It is also possible to obtain a job prior to arriving  in Thailand. Most jobs are located in Bangkok,  the capital, in both public and private schools.



No  words  better describe what Italy is all about better than “La Dolce Vita”. Its beautiful landscapes filled with historical marvels provide Italians and tourists alike with a rich life experience.  Italy is also famous for its extraordinary  cuisine, its slow tempo, and the elegance of its architecture and music, which together create a very romantic atmosphere.

Most jobs will be found in private ESL institutes or businesses that need to train their employees. Salaries range from EUR 1,500 to EUR 2,500 and the experience of living and working for a year in Italy is priceless.

Without a European passport, it might be difficult to obtain a working visa unless you are an experienced teacher.


7-Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s paradisiacal landscapes attract tourists from all around the world. Within a 2-hour radius from the capital city of San Jose, you will find a great diversity of climates and regions,  featuring volcanoes, tropical beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, and a beautiful countryside. The short distance to a great variety of natural attractions makes Costa Rica a great destination in which to work and travel  since you can visit a lot of marvelous places  on the weekends.

Salaries range from $700 to $1,200 a month, and the cost of living is, on average,  $500 a month, but you can find private students to increase your income.

If you wish to work in local schools, colleges or universities, it is  best to apply between September and November because the school year runs from January to December, and schools offer 12-month contracts. Contracts in private ESL institutes can be more flexible.



Vietnam offers one of the most astonishing experiences for English teachers. Its serene ancient culture is well-kept in a thriving globalized economy. Vietnam is also famous for its sunny beaches, gorgeous mountain forests, and Mekong Delta’s floating markets.

Salaries are very good in Vietnam,  ranging from $800 to $1,500, while the cost of living does not top $500 a month, and many schools offer paid accommodation. Most jobs are available in the port city of Ho Chi Minh in the south and the capital, Hanoi, in the north. Most contracts are offered for 1-year periods.



Speaking English is an important asset for those who wish to advance in their careers because Mexico has very strong ties with Canadian and US businesses. ESL positions exist in public and private schools, private English institutes, colleges and universities.

The best salaries  are to be found in Mexico City, Guadalajara, or the beautiful and booming coastal city of Merida.  Salaries range from $400 to $1,200, but the cost of living is fairly inexpensive,  especially when some schools offer free housing, and  Mexico’s extraordinary food doesn’t cost much either. You can also make extra money by offering private lessons.

The best time to get hired is in early September, when the school year starts. Contracts are offered for 6-, 9-, or 12-month periods.



With over 1.3 billion people, English teachers are  in high demand in a country that is becoming an industrial superpower. China’s great openness to foreign businesses, its local businesses that are continuously expanding operations abroad, and its growing  tourism industry are the main motivational drivers for approximately half a billion  Chinese  who are studying the English language.

Pay ranges from $800 to $1,400 a month, and many schools offer benefits and perks such as paid accommodation, reimbursed airfare (paid upon completion of the contract), bonuses, and  free Mandarin lessons, so you will be able to save some money by the end of your stay.



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