You’ve obtained a certificate that will virtually allow you to go anywhere in the world and find a job, you have to choose where it is you want to go! There are 7 continents, 195 countries and thousands of cities across the globe. Now, you have to decide where the best place for you to teach TEFL is. And no, this is not always an easy task.
This part of your TEFL career requires a little bit of research on your end. It also requires you to go within and understand what it is that you want or need living in a new country. Do you want to experience 4 seasons or just have warm weather? What kinds of foods are you willing to eat? Formality of schools? All of these aspects matter and will play a huge part when you arrive in your new home abroad.
Once you have determined what your wants and needs will be, its time to look into the countries that offer those things. At this point, you’re going to want to research the respective job markets, average salaries and cost of living.
I’ve decided to make this a series of blog posts. This is part 1 of a 5 part series. In the coming weeks, be on the lookout for new posts on different areas of the world and the best cities on each continent to find TEFL jobs at the current moment. Chances are you’ll be surprised to learn about some of the hot TEFL spots.
In this article, we’re going to dive in and look at the best place in Asia to work as a TEFL teacher. Here we go…
Is it just me or does it seem like a ton of TEFL teachers are heading to South Korea to teach English recently? Nope, not just me! Korea is one of the hottest destinations, not only in Asia, but in the world, to teach right now! So, why is it that everyone is flocking to S. Korea, you ask? There are a few reasons…
First of all, it’s pretty cheap to live there. This is a huge winning point for many TEFL teachers. As most TEFL teachers don’t make a ton of money, it’s nice when the cost of living is relatively inexpensive. Meals, drinks and transportation are very affordable. Plus, it’s pretty common to receive housing accommodations or subsidized housing when hired as an English teacher.
Weather and Terrain: South Korea
Next, South Korea is absolutely stunning! The country boasts over 20 national parks and unparalleled natural beauty throughout. Its mountainous terrain allows for adventurous weekend excursions (+ really cool Instagram photos that will make your friends with cubicle jobs very jealous!)
In fact, I believe that many new TEFL teachers are drawn to teaching English in Korea because of its natural beauty. The winters are cold, while summers are hot; giving teachers a great seasonal balance. Additionally, there are many outdoor activities to partake in during any season. Skiing and snowboarding are available in the winters and swimming/hiking in the summers.
People in South Korea
Korean people are known to be very friendly! They are welcoming and accepting of foreigners into their culture. Through teaching English, you will be able to meet locals and learn how to live like them. Learning new cultures is so important and Korea is a truly wonderful place to do so.
The Korean people also place a high value on education, which is why in recent years, the need for more and more TEFL teachers has grown. Korean children are pushed to their limits in terms of academics, but also in sports or any other extra-curricular activities, they partake in. Youths are taught from a young age to “be the best”, so it is certain that you will have dedicated students in your classroom.
Teachers are very well-respected in South Korea. Young students are taught to always respect their teachers. This makes for a good classroom environment. When students respect you as their teacher, you will respect them in return, making this learning experience an ideal one.
Let’s take a quick minute to discuss the cuisine in South Korea. I have heard it is incredibly delicious! If I could go anywhere to teach right now, Korea would be high on my list for this reason. The local food is unique: kimchi (deliciously fermented vegetables, bibimbap (mixed rice bowls), bulgogi (marinated beef)…I’m getting hungry just writing about it! And as I mentioned before, the Korean people are so friendly that they love to share their food style foreigners. Plus, meals are very inexpensive, so you’re able to try lots of menu items!
Cities to Teach: South Korea
Daegu is becoming the most popular place to teach English in South Korea. Located in the southeastern part of the country, it’s a medium sized city located about an hour from South Korea’s amazing beaches. Smaller and less crowded than Seoul, Daegu still has the amenities of a big city.
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is the biggest and most populated city in the nation. I can assure you that you will never be bored teaching here! I have a friend that moved to Seoul a year ago to teach TEFL and her life has been nothing but an adventure since you arrived. She loves her job and her city but says that during some weekends it is really nice to get out of the hustle and bustle and find some peaceful quiet time.
On the contrary, you can find TEFL jobs in towns on the outskirts of Seoul. This would afford you more peace and quiet during the week, which means you could easily travel into Seoul for a weekend excursion of city life, bar-hopping or shopping. Ilsan and Anyang are two of these cities. Ilsan is a small city with a beautiful lake that offers lots of outdoor activities. Anyang is considered a miniature Seoul, where you can find outdoor markets, parks and many students walking around. Both of these cities have easy access to Seoul through a subway system.
South Korea seems like a seriously awesome place to jet set to and teach some TEFL! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new adventure. Of course, it isn’t the only place in Asia that is looking for TEFL teachers. Japan, Vietnam and Thailand all have great TEFL job markets right now, too.
As I mentioned in the beginning, figure out the things you want first, then start looking into the places that may offer those.
Stay tuned over the next coming weeks to hear where you should teach in all the different parts of the world. Up next…Latin America!
As always, feel free to comment with any questions or ideas you have for me!