The Top Places to Teach English in Asia in 2019

Are you eager to travel and see the world but debt is standing in your way?

Wanting to get out of the rat race or just need a gap year?

Maybe you just need a break from North American culture for a while.

If only you could travel and get paid at the same time…

Drum roll, please! YOU CAN do all of these by teaching English in Asia.

But where do you start?

Nearly half of the world’s teaching opportunities are in Asia, and with so many countries to choose from, we’re here to help you narrow down your search. We’ve looked at salary, culture, and those little perks that make each country special, to come up with our picks for the 7 top places to teach English in Asia!


Photo by Florian Wehde

The Top 7 Asian Countries to Teach in Compared at a glance:

Korea China Vietnam Taiwan Thailand Cambodia Hong Kong
Best For The Outgoing Opportunist The Culture Junkie The Thrill-seeking Adventurer The Laid-back Lifestyler The Extroverted Island Hopper The Gap Year Adventurer The Urban Sophisticate
Saving Potential ⭐⭐⭐
$500-$1000 /mo. USD
⭐⭐⭐
$500-$1000 /mo. USD

$300-$800 /mo. USD
⭐⭐
$300-$500 /mo. USD

$200-$400 /mo. USD

$200-$300 /mo. USD
⭐⭐⭐
$500-$700 /mo. USD
Cultural Immersion Potential
KFCs and 7-11s abound
⭐⭐⭐
Vast countryside/dense cities filled with locals
⭐⭐⭐
Can you say rice paddies?
⭐⭐
Food stalls filled to the brim with delicacies
⭐⭐
Islands, mountains, beaches, find it all here
⭐⭐⭐
Experience temples like the locals

High rises and shopping malls – need we say more
Expat Community ⭐⭐⭐
Facebook groups, meetups, school groups – you’re set

Very dependent on how big your city and school are
⭐⭐⭐
Just facebook ‘foreigners in Vietnam’ and sift through the friend requests
⭐⭐
Your school is your best bet for new friends
⭐⭐⭐
So. Many. Expats.

Llive like a local
⭐⭐
Find a hobby and go forth and make friends
Work / Life Balance
Shifts between 9-12 hours long (but the money to back it up)
⭐⭐
5-8 hours/day and plenty of holidays
⭐⭐
Shift work and split shifts
⭐⭐⭐
Short shifts, plenty of holidays and weekends off
⭐⭐⭐
Build your own teaching schedule
⭐⭐
Standard 8 hour days
⭐⭐
Standard 8 hour days
Job Requirements + Experience (competition) ⭐⭐
Degree and TEFL required
⭐⭐
Degree, TEFL and experience required
⭐⭐
Degree required. TEFL optional
⭐⭐
Degree and TEFL required
⭐⭐
Degree required. TEFL optional

Degree not required
⭐⭐⭐
Degree, TEFL and experience required
Best Resource / Connection Adventure Teaching Adventure Teaching Adventure Teaching Reach to Teach Recruiting Teach Away International TEFL Academy Go Overseas

Teach English in Korea

This country is perfect for: The Outgoing Opportunist

Teach English in Korea – The Money

  • Salary is definitely one of the most important factors for people looking to teach English abroad.  South Korea is our TOP CHOICE to go if you want to save money. It’s standard practice for Korean schools to provide their teachers with airfare and furnished apartments.
  • The salary to teach English in Korea is $2000 – $2500 USD a month and both taxes and living expenses are low. Imagine how much money you could save without having to pay rent!
  • Benefits also include a bonus month’s salary at the end of the contract!
  • Expect to SAVE $500 – $1000 USD a month when you teach English abroad – and that’s if you’re living it up, travelling, and making the most of  your weekends! You can save even MORE on a budget. Adios, student loans!


Photo by Sunyu Kim

Teach English in Korea – The Culture

  • South Korea is an exciting place to live as a foreigner. The food, music and fashion are out of this world!
  • Some must-try dishes include:
    • Bulgogi (marinated beef barbecue)
    • Kimchi (fermented vegetables)
    • Ddukbokki (spicy rice cake)
  • There’s an awesome karaoke culture, but in Korea it’s called noraebang. When you noraebang in Korea you get your own private room for you and your friends, tambourines included!
  • And you will definitely make lots of friends with your fellow teachers or within the large expat community. The Korean people are extremely friendly. Even if you’re teaching in a rural town, it’s super easy to travel to Seoul (South Korea’s capital) or the popular coastal town, Busan (southern tip of the peninsula), on the weekends.
  • While you’re there, we recommend checking out the Gangnam district to experience the K-Pop scene, wild fashion, and bustling city nightlife.


Photo by Steven Roe

Teach English in South Korea – The Stats

Salary: $2000 – $2500 USD per month

  • Teaching Hours: 22 – 30 hours a week, Working hours: 40 hours a week
  • Peak Hiring Season: All year round
  • Benefits:
    • Paid airfare
    • Housing provided
    • Pension plan
    • 50/50 medical plan
    • End of Contract Bonus equivalent to one month’s salary
    • 2 weeks paid vacation and government holidays
    • Only 3 – 7% tax
  • Bachelor’s degree required and TEFL certificate is recommended

How to get started:

Are you ready to take the next step in considering teaching English in Korea? Download our Ultimate Guide here. [This needs to link to a download of the pdf]

If you’re ready to get the process started, we strongly suggest working with Adventure Teaching as your partner. They have firsthand experience on how to navigate this job market and have been in business for more than 10 years. They know what they’re doing, care personally, and everyone on their team has lived and worked abroad!

Teach English Abroad in China

This country is perfect for: The Culture Junkie

Teach English in China – The Money

  • Want to save some serious bank? China has one of the most lucrative job markets for teaching English abroad. Over 300 million Chinese students are taking English classes this year! This means there’s a huge demand for English teachers, so schools are offering great teacher perks including airfare stipends and free housing.
  • The salary to teach English in China is $1250 – $2850 USD. The salary scale has a lot to do with whether or not your placement is in a rural area or one of China’s massive urban centers. You make less in a rural area but the cost of living is also lower.
  • Expect to SAVE $500 – $1000 USD a month when you teach English abroad in China. Imagine how amazing it would feel to come home with a comfortable $12,000 in the bank account!


Photo by Tiraya Adam

Teach English in China – The Culture

  • China is vast and it has so much to discover (pandas, anyone?!)! China’s sites, traditions and tastes are completely unique. When you teach English in China you can experience spectacular wonders like the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and the Terracotta Army. This is the ultimate place to explore.
  • Prepare to get adventurous with your food, too. You’ve probably experienced Chinese food at home, but it’s nothing like the unique and delightful dishes that await you in China. You’ll be sure to see ingredients that you’ve never even heard of before.
  • Our best advice? Be open and have fun with it. We suggest trying the Beijing roast duck and definitely have a Hot Pot in the Sichuan Province. Chinese food is incredibly delicious, plentiful and cheap!

Teach English in China – The Stats

Salary: $1250 – $2850 USD

  • Working Hours: 35 – 40 hours a week
  • Peak Hiring Season: All year round
  • Benefits:
    • Airfare stipend
    • Housing provided
    • The visa process only takes 2 – 3 weeks! (compared to the 2 – 3 month Korea visa process)
  • Bachelor’s degree required and TEFL certificate is recommended


Photo by Sam Beasley

How to get started:

Adventure Teaching has your back in China. Whether it’s lush mountainside or bustling city-life you’re after,  they have the right school for you. With trustworthy partners, you’ll feel cared for, and ready for your adventure.

Teach English Abroad in Vietnam

This country is perfect for: The Thrill Seeking Adventurer

Teach English in Vietnam – The Money

  • The Vietnamese government wants YOU to teach English in Vietnam!
  • There’s been a super high demand for English teachers since the government launched a National Foreign Language Program called Project 2020. The goal of the program is to get all high school graduates proficient in a second language. Since starting the program 10 years ago, there has been a seemingly insatiable supply of jobs available for those wanting to teach English in Vietnam!
  • English teachers at public schools in Vietnam can expect to earn $15 – 20 USD an hour and teach 20 – 25 hours a week. There are also opportunities for expats to work at private English language centers in Vietnam. Teaching rates at language centers are $18 – $23 USD per hour and teaching hours range from 9 – 35 a week.
  • Expect to SAVE $300 – $800 USD a month when you teach English abroad in Vietnam.


Photo by Ammie Ngo

Teach English in Vietnam – The Culture

  • Vietnam is vibrant and exciting! Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are bustling metropolises and there’s so much to be discovered by open minded adventurers. The country has a majestic landscape with lush green mountains, beautiful beaches and a tropical climate.
  • Not to mention, the cost of living is ridiculously low. You can get yourself a beer at your local watering hole for $1.50 and finding cheap accomodation isn’t difficult! We recommend looking on Facebook groups like this one in Saigon.
  • Expect to spend about $250 – $400 per month for rent – no complaints here!


Photo by Larm Rmah

Teach English in Vietnam – The Stats

Salary: $1300 – $2000 USD

  • Teaching Hours: 20 – 25 Hours a week
  • Peak Hiring Season: All year round
  • Benefits:
    • Amazing destination for travel
    • Low cost of living
  • Bachelor’s degree required and TEFL certificate is recommended

How to get started:

Once again, our top choice here are the trusted advisors over at Adventure Teaching. Do you get the hint yet? Their service, knowledge and understanding of the ESL market is unparalleled. Not only do they walk you through the cumbersome visa process, their staff genuinely care about making sure you’re in the right school!

Teach English Abroad in Taiwan

This country is perfect for: The Laid Back Lifestyler

Teach English in Taiwan – The Money

  • If having free time is important to you, teaching English in Taiwan is your BEST BET! Schools in Taiwan typically have shorter hours (compared to South Korea) and there’s a ton of flexibility for teaching hours.
  • Teachers in Taiwan are normally paid by the hour and rates start at around $20 an hour.
  • Expect to SAVE $300 – $500 USD a month when you teach English abroad in Taiwan.


Photo by Andrew Haimerl

Teach English in Taiwan – The Culture

  • Taiwan is a great place to relax and unwind. The culture is very friendly and it has a tropical climate with mountains, hot springs and beautiful white sand beaches.
  • Another big draw for Taiwan is the food, especially if you’re a vegetarian. Taiwanese food is delicious and there’s an incredible selection of exotic fresh fruit.
  • You won’t be hurting for cash, either – meals typically run at about $2 – $5 from buffet style restaurants. Check out Travel Inspiration 360 to get a handle on the amazing food selection.


Photo by Andrew Haimerl

Teach English in Taiwan – The Stats

Salary: $1400 – $2100 USD

  • Teaching Hours: 15 – 25 hours a week
  • Peak Hiring Season: After Lunar (Chinese) New Year and July – August
  • Benefits:
    • Vegetarian friendly
    • High standard of living
  • Bachelor’s Degree is required and TEFL certificate is recommended

How to get started:

Reach to Teach is one of the better resources out there for teachers looking to get to Taiwan. Their experienced staff will walk you through the visa process and they have a ton of excellent schools on their roster! Hit them up to find your next adventure!

Teach English Abroad in Thailand

This country is perfect for: The Extroverted Island Hopper

Teach English in Thailand – The Money

  • When you teach English in Thailand you can enjoy some of the most incredible scenery in the world, live comfortably, and still save. Thailand offers a unique mix of city and island life.
  • In Bangkok, you can shop til you drop at the enormous Chatuchak market and then party until dawn on glamorous rooftop bars. If city living isn’t your thing, the islands offer a beautiful nature-driven lifestyle with world-class scuba diving, rock climbing, and hiking galore.
  • Fun fact: “The Beach” was filmed in Thailand’s Maya Bay – it’s only a quick boat trip from Koh Phi Phi!
  • Expect to SAVE $200 – $400 USD a month when you teach English abroad in Thailand.


Photo by Frankie Spontelli

Teach English in Thailand – The Culture

  • If you’re an outgoing adventurer, Thailand is the spot for you. It’s easy to meet locals and other travellers in “the land of smiles”. The people are some of the warmest and most hospitable in the world.
  • Maybe they’re so happy because Thailand has a TON of official holidays. There’s at least one three or four-day long weekend a month, which means you’ll have ample opportunity to explore!
  • And exploring is a hungry business. Which is good, because Thai food is simply incredible! Pad Thai is just the beginning. Our favorite dishes are thai green curry, papaya salads and tom yum. Trust us, your stomach will love you if you teach English in Thailand.


Photo by Hanny Naibaho

Teach English in Thailand – The Stats

Salary: $950 – $1300 USD

  • Working Hours: 35 – 40 hours a week
  • Peak Hiring Season: February – April & August – October
  • Benefits:
    • Some schools offer a housing allowance
    • 50/50 health insurance
    • Some schools offer an end-of-contract bonus
  • Bachelor’s degree required and TEFL certificate is recommended

How to get started:

Take our advice and check out Teach Away for some fantastic options in Thailand. With their extensive job board, you’ll be sure to find the perfect spot. Their positions are ideal for teachers looking to advance their professional careers, or for social, active individuals looking to travel and explore new employment opportunities in a dream location.

Teach English Abroad in Cambodia

This country is perfect for: The Gap Year Adventurer

Teach English in Cambodia – The Money

  • Don’t have a degree but still want to teach English abroad? Cambodia is a great option for you! The city of Phnom Penh has tons of teaching jobs at private language schools, where you don’t necessarily always need a degree to get hired!
  • The cost of living here will make your friends at home jealous: a beer only costs 50c – $1 at a bar and rent is $200 – $300 a month.
  • You’ll make a bit less than in other countries in Asia, but you can share accomodation with other teachers to save money. This is a great way to make friends and really max out your adventure!
  • Expect to SAVE $200 – $300 USD per month when you teach English abroad in Cambodia.


Photo by Florian Hahn

Teach English in Cambodia – The Culture

  • Cambodia is known as the Kingdom of Wonder. From the temples of Angkor Wat to the stylish seaside town of Kep, there is plenty to see and do in Cambodia.
  • The country is filled with stunning lakes, dramatic rice paddies and beautiful pagodas. This gorgeous landscape is picture-perfect every time. Check out @cambodiabest25 to see what we mean..
  • We also love the friendly locals and the delicious local food they prepare. The best part? A delicious dinner at a restaurant is only $3 – $5!


Photo by Florian Hahn

Teach English in Cambodia – The Stats

Salary: $700 – $1200 USD

  • Teaching Hours: 20 – 25 hours a week
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year round
  • Benefits:
    • Very easy to get a teaching position
    • Low cost of living
  • No degree required, TEFL certificate is recommended

How to get started:

Let the experts at International TEFL Academy (ITA) help you you filter all the noise. Not only do they have experienced advisors to help you make the right choice, their job boards are filled with the resources YOU need to find your perfect placement.

Teach English Abroad in Hong Kong

This country is perfect for: The Urban Sophisticate

Teach English in Hong Kong – The Money

  • Hong Kong is an exciting blend of East-meets-West. It was once a British colony and now operates as an independent part of China, so the culture has a unique blended flavor.
  • Both English and Cantonese are official languages, however, 98% of the population is Chinese so there’s a big demand for English teachers. The government runs an English program which offers teachers a monthly salary of $4000 and includes room and board.
  • Expect to SAVE $500 – $700 USD per month when you teach English abroad in Hong Kong.


Photo by Ryan McManimie

Teach English in Hong Kong – The Culture

  • Hong Kong is vibrant and cosmopolitan. Do you love restaurants, nightlife and incredible designer shopping? Then you’ll love Hong Kong! Think of it as the “New York of Asia,” with all the big city amenities.
  • It’s easy to get around and explore the sights and scenery when you teach English in Hong Kong. A perfect day here would be egg tarts for breakfast, shopping local designs at PMQ and then island hopping to Lamma.


Photo by Sankalp Sharma

Teach English in Hong Kong – The Stats

Salary: $2300 – $4000 USD

  • Teaching Hours: 25 – 30 hours a week, Working hours: 30 – 45 hours a week
  • Peak Hiring Season: Year round
  •  Benefits:
    • Healthcare is provided
    • Housing or accommodation stipend
    • Sometimes airfare is covered
    • Easy transition because English is so prevalent
  • Bachelor’s degree required and TEFL certificate is recommended

How to get started:

Your Hong Kong adventure starts with Gooverseas. They are one of most reputable resources for ESL teachers around and will guide you as you take the leap. Find a plethora of jobs on one of their job boards and let them take the hard work off your plate by providing step by step instructions about how to prepare.

Next steps to Teaching English Abroad

The decision to teach English abroad is a big one, but you’re not alone. Make sure to check out all these resources to find the best fit for you!

We also recommend getting a TEFL Certification if you want to teach English abroad. This will give you the training and qualifications that English language schools are looking for in their teachers. We think the International TEFL Academy are great, check them out here.

Do you have any questions? We’d love to support you in moving and living abroad.

Contact the experienced Arrival Store Team today!

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