Sunday, July 21, 2013

Best Places to Teach English

English tesaching is probably the most popular job among those who want to live abroad or finance long term travel, and while it is often possible to find teaching work of some kind in virtually any non-English speaking country, rates of pay and conditions can vary enormously.

There is an interesting post on the blog of Nomadic Matt ( giving his opinion on some of the most rewarding places to pursue this type of work. He himself has taught English abroad, and rates South Korea and Japan as the top two destinations in terms of pay and standard of living. The Middle East comes in third--I presume he means mainly Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, not poorer countries like Egypt and Jordan. He also favours Mexico for the friendly people and pleasant lifestyle, Central Asia for its remoteness, and Argentina mainly for its way of life. His only choices in Europe are Prague and Ukraine. Most English teaching positions in the states of the European Union are closed to those without European nationality.

I have not visited all of the countries he mentions, so cannot comment on them. However, from what I have read the Middle Eastern oil states are very difficult places to live, especially for women. The pay may be good, but you earn it in terms of putting up with a lot of boredom. I agree that Mexico and Argentina seem generally to be pleasant places to live, as do Prague and Ukraine.

Matt's comments are addressed mainly to younger readers, not to middle-aged and older people who choose English teaching as a second career. The latter will find some destinations, such as Saudi Arabia, off limits because of their age.

Matt does not mention Russia as a good place to teach English, but it certainly seems to offer a lot of jobs of this type. For those willing to work as private tutors living with a family, pay can be very good--shades of Czarist times, when Russian nobles employed tutors from Western Europe for their children. A good source of information on teaching jobs in Russia is the Website


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