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Teaching English Abroad
Your Ticket For Fun and Adventure

So you want to take the big leap, go on the grand adventure. Hm... teaching English abroad...You've decided that your ho-hum job or life just doesn't do it for you anymore.

There's a lot of life out there, a lot of places to be seen and experienced, you've made your list of all the things you want to do in your life and traveling all over the world is one of them.

Well, say hello to your new vehicle, teaching English abroad.


I can't think of a better way to see other countries, actually work there, be part of the culture, live with the natives, make new friends (sometimes for life), try different cuisines, and make money at the same time than teaching English abroad.

What could be better?

And the great thing about teaching English abroad is that adults of ALL ages do it from college students all the way to retired folk. The world is virtually open to you, a life of fun and adventure is on the horizon and waiting for you.

What's great about teaching English abroad is that you can work full time work for a year or several years or just part time from a few weeks to a few months.

And if you're clever you could possibly schedule yourself so that you teach for a time in one country or city and then pack up and move to another place to a new job. In fact there are people who make careers out of doing just that.

Teaching English abroad. The possibilities are, to use the cliche, virtually endless.

Japan is considered to be one of the finest places to get a teaching English abroad job. Not only is it a modern society but the Japanese are very polite and respectful toward English language teachers and the pay can very good especially if you teach privately.

Here are what are considered to be the most popular places for teaching English abroad:

  • Asia (South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Pakistan, Nepal and India)
  • Eastern Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Estonia, Latvia and Croatia)
  • Western Europe (Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Finland)
  • Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama and Guatemala)
  • Middle East (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Lebanon, Qatar, Bahrain, Syria, Libya, Oman, Yemen, Dubai and Iran)
  • Africa (Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Tanzania and Nigeria)
  • Native English-Speaking Countries (United States of America, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland and Ireland

Of the above places considered BEST for teaching English abroad are:

  • Asia: South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan
  • Middle East: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain
  • Western Europe: Germany, Spain, Austria
  • Eastern Europe: Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey
  • Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile
  • Africa: Egypt, Morocco

And of these the Top 10 considered places for teaching English abroad are:

  • New Zealand
  • Brazil
  • Poland
  • Japan
  • Italy
  • Australia
  • Korea
  • China
  • Spain
  • Portugal

If I had to choose I would pick either Spain, Italy or Portugal.


These countries are on the Mediterranean and that part of the world is soooo nice. (Not that Australia or New Zealand and the other countries aren't nice.) It's just that Spanish, Italian and Portuguese are easy languages to learn and the atmosphere in these countries are friendly and fun. (Not that Australia and New Zealand aren't fun.)

And they are full of life, the Latins!

I would add Turkey to that top 10 (I know, that would make it 11). I was there in April 2004 and was told that I could easily find a really good job teaching English and be paid very well.

In doing a little research I've found out that English teaching jobs are plentiful in Istanbul particularly and you can afford to be choosey. The drawback is that Turkish is not an easy language to learn. Pronunciation is fairly easy but the grammar... whoa... forget about it.

The good part though is that the Turks are wonderful people. I have several close Turkish friends and have never been treated with such generosity and respect. And if you are a woman, because it's a Muslim country, the men will leave you alone, which is more than I can say for the Latin countries.

Maybe things have changed since I lived in Spain 20 years ago and men are now more respectful toward women. Let's hope so. Also in Turkey the food is GREAT and healthy and there are so many beautiful places and so much history!

Turkey was not on my list of places to go. But as fate decreed, I took on a private Turkish student who quickly became my very close friend (one of the perks of teaching English).

He invited me to Istanbul for two weeks and took me all over the country. I loved it. If Turkey is not on your list of places to visit, put it there with 5 stars. It is a must-see.

If a good ole adventure is your thing...

One of the best ways to see the world and make money at the same time is getting a job teaching English abraod.

Of course if adventure is what you are looking for you can travel the world teaching English and in some places even make a really good living. Not only will it expose you to new cultures but if you are so inclined can give you the opportunity to learn another language yourself.

I think it's good if we can get out and really experience other cultures. It enriches our lives and can really give us new perspectives on world events and on our own history. Also, I think it makes us more tolerant of people and more understanding.

There are hundreds of opportunities for teaching English abroad. As I said before some places pay handsomely other places pay just enough for you to live on.

(When I was teaching ESL in Spain I got paid rather well by Spanish standards. Things were inexpensive. I had a nice apartment, ate well, travelled some and was even able to put money in a savings account.)

Some schools are more restrictive in their curriculum, others more flexible. Some schools you may teach a few hours a day, others eight hours. (I personally wouldn't want to teach any longer than four hours a day, but that's just me.)

If you're thinking about teaching English in another country for just a short while you can do that too. I know there are schools in Mexico that you can do just 3 month stints.

But I Don't Speak Nepalese!

Relax. You don't have to.

That's the great thing about teaching English. Everybody wants to speak it! (Well, almost everyone.) And one of the best ways for a non-English speaker to learn the language is to be in a class in which the teacher cannot speak the native language. It forces the student to communicate in English.

Now, I must admit that it is a little more difficult to teach beginning students if they don't have a rudimentary understanding of English. I can speak Spanish somewhat so it makes it a little easier to get through some concepts with my Spanish-speaking students.

Most schools don't require that their teacher speak the native language of their students. But still a rudimentary knowledge of your students' language can be very helpful as well as making it a little easier getting around in the country you may be working.

So just imagine...

You could make a career traveling the world teaching English abroad.

Just think you could teach in Mexico, South America, Australia (yes Australia), Egypt, Turkey (lots of jobs, pays well), Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, China, Nepal, Africa, the former Eastern block countries. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Taking the Big Leap...

So maybe you're thinking ...

"I don't know, this sounds like a good thing, but I don't know if I can do it, if I should do it. Do I have what it takes, can I be a good teacher?

"Can I just stop what I'm doing and do something else? What about my career? My expensive college degree? What if I don't like it?"

What if, what if, what if...

Well, I gotta admit that the way I started teaching English was really by accident. Teaching ESL, let alone teaching English abroad was the furthest thing from my mind, in fact I didn't even know it was a possibility.

I just fell into it when I was in Seville, Spain. So it wasn't something I had to think about, or choose to do. Heck, I wasn't even looking for it.

Read this interview of how I got started teaching English in Spain.

What I suggest is, if it's something you're not sure about it just do something to get the ball rolling:

Just do something to be in action and see how you feel while doing it. Of course, there may be some trepidation, some fear. That's normal. This is something new.

But look to see if there might be a little excitement behind that too, something that spells that maybe your life is about to change, and in ways you can't now even imagine.

However, if you're not the careful planner, the cogitator, then maybe you are the true adventurous type and just want to jump into it feet first.

I say go for it.

Welcome to the exciting world of teaching English abroad.