Top Countries to teach English in Asia
Deciding which country to spend a gap year in Asia is only part of the excitement. Here are our top picks for the best countries to teach English in Asia.
Want to check out an Asian country that has it all? Teach in pristine rural areas or in the big cities that give China the reputation of being a “global powerhouse”. What’s more, China has a huge diversity of ethnic groups with unique customs, cuisine, fashion and more. Finally, China is a country of opportunity so whether you want to further a career in teaching English in Asia or taking advantage of the other high-paid work opportunities for foreigners in China, there’s scope to further your job prospects in China.
A country that is becoming increasingly popular for teaching English in Asia, South Korea has many appealing destinations like Seoul and the island paradise, Juju Island. There is a great mix of the old and the new. If you are looking to immerse yourself in Asian history, South Korea is a fascinating destination.
As a smaller island in Asian, it’s easier to get around the attractions like beautiful beaches and wonderful waterfalls in Taiwan. Days off will never be boring. As for teaching English, the booming economy is making teaching jobs easier to find than it once was.
Usually on the top of a budgeting backpacker’s travel list, Vietnam has heaps of attractions and culture to experience cheaply. Mixing this travel experience with a teaching job is a great way to extend your time there and really soak up the culture, however, wages are often lower than what you might experience in China or South Korea.
The most foreigner-friendly of our list, Japan has plenty of English-speaking communities tucked into many corners of the islands. Yet, you still get that cultural experience of the food, fashion and Japanese customs.
Requirements for teaching English in Asia
Teaching English in Asia is surprisingly accessible to native English-speakers.The requirements for teaching in Asia tend to vary depending on the country, school and the program you choose to go with. To give you a general idea, these are the usual requirements to teach English in Asia:
- A Bachelor’s Degree in any subject.
- Must be a native English-speaker – citizens of New Zealand, Australia, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland or South Africa are often favourable. Plus, you usually don’t need to know a second language.
- A TEFL or TESOL Certification will give you more options but it is not necessary.
- At least two year’s experience in teaching English will benefit your application but is not necessary.
- You must be willing to work abroad for at least one year.
- You must be able to clear a background check.
What’s in it for you?
Signing up to a teaching in Asia program is one of the gap year experiences with the largest wealth of benefits. Because English teachers are highly sought after in Asian countries, you may expect remunerations that will not only give you an unbeatable teaching experience in a foreign country but allow you to make money too! Not to mention that it adds Valuable Experience on Your CV / Resume. After all the inclusions of the program, plus your monthly wage, you’ll find that your gap year in Asia is, well, free! (Providing that you don’t blow all your wages in a Macau casino).
So what can you expect from a typical teaching English in Asia program? Well, the remunerations look a little something like this:
- A salary of around 8,000 16,000 RMB per month (that’s around NZ$1,610-$3224 per month).
- About five weeks’ paid holidays and paid public holidays.
- Free furnished accommodation.
- Up to 9000 RMB annual flight subsidy – you may be required to pay this prior to arrival in Asia, then you will be reimbursed at the school.
- A Z-visa – this is your work visa to teach in Asia. You will usually be reimbursed for this upon arrival at the school.
- Free comprehensive medical insurance.
What type of Schools and accommodation to expect
Schools for Teaching English in Asia
Teaching opportunities in Asia go right through the education spectrum, including elementary (primary), middle schools (intermediate), high schools, polytechnics and universities. What level you will teach at and who you will teach depends on your experience, availability and your preference.
Accommodation for English Teachers
As we mentioned above, accommodation is often provided for English teachers in Asia as part of a program. Although a little different to the accommodation you might be used to in New Zealand, the accommodation is usually fully-furnished with all the essentials for cooking, sleeping, showering, etc. Many schools have their own apartment blocks for teachers, which are small but comfortable. There is often the opportunity to upgrade your accommodation at a cost from your wage should you want to treat yourself. For specifics on the accommodation and schools available, contact your program provider.
How to get started[Update: The company mentioned below, Teach in Asia, is no longer operating. This section will be updated as soon as a recommended teaching in Asia program has been found].
Does teaching English in Asia sounds like your next adventure? It’s time to go through your Checklist for Leaving New Zealand and kickstart to your gap year in Asia with Teach in Asia.
The free service connects potential English teachers like you with schools and universities across Asia. You’ll get a free welcome pack, as well as a monthly wage, free accommodation, visa, flight subsidy, medical insurance and unbeatable work experience abroad!
The team at Teach in Asia specialise in placing English teachers, whether you have experience or not, into some of China’s top schools and universities. If China’s not for you, ask them about the opportunities in other countries, and they’ll work on finding the right placement for you! So start planning the next step and broaden your horizons by teaching in Asia!