I'm a qualified English teacher from the UK. I have some debts that I want to start paying off and heard that teaching English abroad is a good option to make money with. Which countries are best for English teachers in terms of money, living expenses and safety (for a single woman)? I am thinking more about Asia, but open to other suggestions. Appreciate any responses!
Teaching English abroad is definitely a great way for expats to save money and see more of the world. Though it's possible to teach anywhere in the world, the largest markets are in South-East Asia and the Middle East.
For years, South Korea and China were the leaders in terms of how many jobs were available and the average income. However, China has become more and more of a gamble as there are loads of companies scamming hopeful expats which as lead to a number of foreigners being jailed due to visa issues. Teaching English in South Korea is a great option, salaries tend to be high and employers tend to include flights and accommodation in their packages.
In recent years Teaching English in Taiwan and Vietnam has increased in popularity. The lifestyle in Taiwan tends to be more relaxed compared to South Korea, making it a good option for expats looking for a slightly more laid back work environment. The ESL industry in Vietnam is still developing and isn't as well regulated as in other Asian countries. Though salaries are generally lower, working hours also aren't as intense. Teaching English in Japan seems to be the toughest market to break into, and is typically only recommended for those with a specific desire to live in Japan.
Teaching opportunities in the Middle East may pay more than those in Asia; however, requirements are much more stringent. Travel opportunities and lifestyle in the Middle East may also be much more restricted than in Asia.
Overall, the country you end up in will really depend on your priorities. If you want some adventure and travel with a good salary, Asian countries would be perfect. However, if your number one priority is only saving, paying off debts, and getting out, you should consider Middle Eastern destinations like Dubai or Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
Hope this helps!