6 Best Places to Teach English Abroad in the ‘New Normal’

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Looking for the best places to teach English abroad in the new normal?

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused a drastic decline in teaching abroad opportunities in 2020 and 2021, it appears things are getting back to normal and people are once again journeying overseas to teach English. An estimated 250,000 native English speakers currently have teaching jobs abroad, according to the International TEFL Academy, a leading provider of teach abroad opportunities. 

This is great news, as teaching and volunteering abroad is truly back. With that said, things are a little different. The COVID-19 virus remains a major consideration with travel, and some locations aren’t as open as others. Furthermore, inflation has increased costs and there are geopolitical risks in certain areas. 

So, a bit more planning must go into teaching English abroad than before. But don’t worry — we’re here to help!

In this article, we’ll discuss the best places to teach English abroad in the ‘new normal’. We’ve chosen these 6 places based on a variety of factors, including: 

  • Affordability
  • Safety
  • Experience
  • Job Market: Work culture, number of openings and volunteer opportunities, potential salary, etc
  • COVID-19 Restrictions: The less restrictions, the easier it is to find work there
  • Location: To give you a diverse number of locations, we’ve chosen one country in East Asia, Central America, Africa, South Asia, Europe and South America

Without further ado, let’s discuss! 

  • In case you haven’t read it, check out our 2022 Teach Abroad Guide. It covers all you need to know about teaching English and other subjects overseas, including how to save money on your travels. 

South Korea

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Why South Korea is one of the best places to teach English abroad

From the bustling cosmopolitan city of Seoul to the glorious landscapes and incredible cuisine, South Korea keeps you on your toes and ready for action at every turn. 

The ESL job market is one of the best in the world, with an abundance of job opportunities across every major city. Pay is solid too, typically reaching $2,000 – $2,500+ per month with housing provided.

ESL Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, TEFL certification, native English speaker

COVID-19 Guidelines: No major restrictions; you must take a PCR test within 3 days of arrival 

Recommended Program: You can obtain TEFL certification through International TEFL Academy (ITA), an organization that provides accredited TEFL courses with lifetime job guidance. After completion, ITA will help you land an English teacher position in South Korea. Click here to learn more!

Costa Rica

Why Costa Rica is one of the best places to teach English abroad

There are no limits in Costa Rica, whether you’re centering yourself on a surfboard, journeying through bat-filled caves, or ziplining in the jungle. Known for its world-class nature and warm hospitality, Costa Rica is quite close to being an ideal destination. 

Thanks to a robust tourism market, Costa Rica has a need for English language speakers (and therefore ESL teachers). Pay averages around  $1,000 per month and you’ll find open positions throughout the country, from San Jose to the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. 

ESL Job Requirements: TEFL certification, native English speaker

COVID-19 Guidelines: No restrictions

Recommended Program: Maximo Nivel, a leading volunteer travel organization in Latin America, offers volunteer teaching positions in San Jose as well as Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Program fees start from $1,015 for three weeks. The volunteer teaching experience is a great springboard to a long-term teaching position in Costa Rica. Click here to learn more!

Kenya

Why Kenya is one of the best places to teach English abroad

A proud people, stirring landscapes, abundant wildlife, and a rapidly growing economy make Kenya one of the most exciting places in Africa to live and work. Whether you shop in Nairobi or head out on a safari during your free time, your time in Kenya can be truly fulfilling.

As one of Africa’s largest economies, Kenya has lots of opportunities for English teachers. Salary is typically around $800-$900 per month, with the most open positions usually at schools in the capital city of Nairobi.

ESL Job Requirements: 4-year degree, TEFL certification, native English speaker

COVID-19 Guidelines: No major restrictions; proof of vaccination or negative PCR test

Recommended Program: Volunteering Solutions, a leading provider of affordable volunteer abroad programs, has a great volunteer teaching program in Nairobi, Kenya. During the project, you volunteer to teach English to underserved communities of Kenya. It’s a great chance to help stop the vicious cycle of poverty, as English skills can help students obtain jobs later in life. Plus, this volunteer experience can help connect you to full-time teaching positions in Nairobi. Program fees start from just $270. Click here to learn more!

Italy

Why Italy is one of the best places to teach English abroad

Italy is the epicenter of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance. It’s a place where art and life merge effortlessly and where a good meal is always a moment away. Be prepared to be pulled in, and fall in love. 

When it comes to the best places to teach English in Europe, Italy has long been at the top, with positions in cities such as Rome, Milan and Naples widely available. Pay can exceed $2,000 per month.

ESL Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, TEFL certification, native English proficiency

COVID-19 guidelines: No restrictions

Recommended Program: You can obtain TEFL certification through International TEFL Academy (ITA). After completion, ITA will help you land an English teacher position in your preferred destination in Italy. Click here to learn more!

Nepal

Why Nepal is one of the best places to teach English abroad

Nestled in the Himalayas, Nepal literally sits atop the world. Home to some of Buddhism’s most important temples, incredible trekking routes, gorgeous nature and charming cities, Nepal is not only a great travel destination, but also a great place to call home. 

While you won’t find tons of salaried English teaching positions in Nepal, you’ll find plenty of volunteer teaching positions, and many of these can lead to more formal positions later. Nepal is also a place that places high importance on education, and that makes being a teacher there a truly wonderful experience. 

ESL Job Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, TEFL certification, native English proficiency

COVID-19 guidelines: No major restrictions; proof of vaccination or negative PCR test

Recommended Program: If you’re looking to get your foot in the door, GoEco, a top volunteer abroad organization, offers you the chance to Volunteer in a Buddhist Monastery. How amazing is that? You can engage in positive cultural exchange with Buddhist monk students while helping them improve their English. This is one program where you may actually learn more than your students! Interested? Program fees start at just $1,500 for 4 weeks. Click here to learn more!

Peru

Why Peru is one of the best places to teach English abroad

Known for its epic ancient sites and delicious cuisine, Peru also amazes with thriving urban centers and abundant nature. Whether you enjoy a drink at the pub or hike on the trails, you’ll find yourself at home in this exquisite country. 

Thanks to a robust tourism market and rapidly growing economy, Peru’s need for English language teachers is growing and the country is one of South America’s strongest ESL markets. Salaries for ESL teachers can exceed $1,000 per month in cities like Lima.

ESL Job Requirements: TEFL certification, native English speaker

COVID-19 Guidelines: No major restrictions; proof of vaccination or negative PCR test

Recommended Program: Maximo Nivel, a leading volunteer travel organization in Latin America, offers volunteer teaching positions in Cusco, a city in the Peruvian Andes that was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Program fees start from $1,295 for four weeks. The volunteer teaching experience is a great springboard to a long-term teaching position in Peru. Click here to learn more!

Teach English Abroad Now!

We hope this teach abroad guide has helped you prepare for your post-pandemic trip. Whether you’re looking for a short-term volunteer English teaching position or a long-term paid ESL teaching job, the programs listed here are a good place to start. 

Just remember, traveling abroad in the post-pandemic normal is a little different, as COVID-19 remains a factor. There are also economic issues to consider, namely labor and supply chain shortages that can disrupt travel schedules. To have the best teach abroad experience, read over these tips:

  • Stay flexible: Volunteer programs and teaching positions may have to change dates. Travel delays may occur. Be ready to shift times. 
  • Plan ahead: 4-6 weeks may have been enough in 2019. Now, we recommend planning 2-3 months in advance to prepare your passport, visa, finances, etc. 
  • Budget accordingly: Inflation and a post-pandemic travel surge have made flights and hotels rise in price. Plan to spend more getting to your destination, and save money elsewhere if possible. We have plenty of guides that show you how to save money on volunteer and teach abroad programs: Volunteer Abroad Scholarships & Grants; Volunteer Abroad for Free; Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs

Now, that concludes our guide on the best places to teach English abroad in the ‘new normal’. We hope you’re inspired to take the next step and start applying to ESL teaching positions abroad. Good luck!

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Header Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/01hH6y7oZFk

Kenya Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/Zkao_QBEjk8

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