If you’ve been traveling for a long time and nearly out of money, yet hoping to extend your time in Asia, there is a single and abundant option: teaching English. It is possible to teach English all over Asia, often for quite a significant salary, and in some countries can be done without a university degree. Here are the best options for teaching English in Asia.
South Korea has long been at the top of the destination list for prospective English teachers, and it’s not hard to see why. Typical South Korean contracts include housing and transportation to and from your home country, as well as a one-month bonus upon completion of your contract. Add that to decent salaries and a relatively low cost of living and you can save quite a bit of cash while teaching in Korea. Plus, the food is great, the jobs are plentiful, and the technology is second to none.
Japan is another popular country for teaching English in Asia, and not only because of the mystique and allure of the country. Japan provides some of the highest salaries in Asia, though teachers must cover their own housing and transit. With a huge variety of teaching and living options, from major cities to small rural communities, as well as sushi aplenty, it’s not hard to see why people stay here for years. Teaching in Japan will always feel like traveling because the culture is so foreign to all outsiders.
If any destination in Asia is poised to become enormously popular in the next few years, it’s Taiwan. With a warm, semi-tropical climate, mountains and beaches, vibrant cities and an exciting food scene, this country has something for everyone – and potential English teachers are jumping on board. In Taiwan you can live in one of the best climates where you can earn a decent living teaching English. And in between teaching, there’s plenty of hiking and theme restaurants to discover.
China is a culture so fascinating that you could spend years there and still not have a grasp of the nuances of what guides everyday life. China is quickly becoming one of the hottest places to teach English, thanks to competitive pay, low cost of living (outside the key cities), short-term contracts, and not requiring a university degree. Perks include the diversity of Chinese food, getting to live and breathe culture shock, and getting to know a country whose global prominence is continuously growing.
Teaching in Thailand will have you up close with the things that make Thailand fantastic – street food, cheap massages, delicious fruit shakes. As nice as that is, Thailand doesn’t pay as much, and it can be difficult to save here. Thailand is the kind of place to teach when you’re looking for the experience rather than saving money for the future. And if that’s what you’re looking for, there are few countries in Asia more enjoyable day-to-day than Thailand!
Adding in a few months or a year of teaching English is the ultimate way to get into the local culture while traveling in Asia. You might learn more in a month of living in one place than you’d learn in six months of travel.