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Explore teaching opportunities in Asia

Many travel to Asia to see new places and different cultures, but others want more.

Asia is a continent so vast and varied that is impossible to describe. It attracts millions of tourists every year, and it’s clear to see why. From the numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites dotted around the continent to the breathtaking beauty of the natural landscapes, Asia is a vibrant and exciting place to explore.

Let’s see a few fun facts about Asia:

  • With more than 4.6 million people, it is the most populated continent on Earth, with at least 2,300 languages spoken throughout.
  • One hundred of the tallest mountains in the world are located in Asia, and so are nine out of the top ten rice-producing countries.
  • Wild tigers can be found in 13 Asian countries and the Asian elephant is the largest land mammal in this continent.

However interesting, data and numbers can’t be what makes Asia so appealing. Many travel to Asia to see new places and different cultures, but others want more. They want to experience it and live like a local. This cannot be achieved with a typical two-week holiday – it needs time and a lot of it.

Planning your life in Asia
Spending time abroad requires money. Assuming that you need a job to sustain your life abroad, you might have already considered different possibilities, but have you thought about TEFL – English as a foreign language teaching in Asia?

From a teacher’s point of view, teaching English abroad is your getaway to different cultures.

Understanding other cultures leads to developing empathy and tolerance, which are needed in every aspect of your personal and professional life. In this job, you’ll develop your communication and adaptability skills in unfamiliar environments, which are transferable skills in any employment sector.

All this while earning enough money to live a comfortable life while exploring new countries and experiencing different cultures. What’s not to love? But more importantly, where are you heading first? Let’s see if you can find some inspiration from the guide below.

China
Let’s start with the most populous country in Asia. China is a huge country of 9.6 million square kilometres that encompasses all sorts of landscapes. Its 26 provinces each offer an equal number of cultures, each with its own traditions. Whether you crave a vibrant urban lifestyle or tranquil village life, China has it all, with 660 modern cities and thousands of traditional villages. Metropolises like Shanghai and Beijing are exciting, hectic, and full of energy, while Guangzhou and Shenzhen blend modernity with affordability. Let’s not forget Hangzhou and Nanjing, charming and peaceful with a lakeside setting. It’s safe to say that you can never be bored in China.

Japan
Let’s continue with a country that needs no introduction. Living and teaching in Japan offers a rich cultural experience, but you must be aware of cultural differences. Respectful body language, understanding Japanese communication nuances, and embracing the teaching environment are crucial. Japan boasts high teaching salaries and various teaching opportunities, from private academies to international schools and universities. Urban areas offer higher salaries but come with higher living costs, while rural areas offer unique experiences with smaller classes. Government-led programs like JET and university positions are highly competitive but offer excellent benefits. Understanding the diverse teaching landscape in Japan ensures a fulfilling experience and avoids disappointment for English teachers.

Thailand
South-East Asia, particularly Thailand and Vietnam, is increasingly popular for TEFL due to its stunning landscapes, rich traditions, welcoming environment, and affordable living costs. Teaching in Thailand requires proficiency in English, a bachelor’s degree, and a clear background check. Visa processes are crucial, with initial non-immigrant visas leading to work permits. Living costs are low, with basic meals under $4 USD and rents under $200 USD. Salaries range from $800 to $1200 USD per month, affording a comfortable lifestyle. Bangkok offers a bustling environment, while Phuket boasts scenic beaches and higher living costs. Chiang Mai, rich in culture, offers a peaceful alternative in northern Thailand. But beyond an affordable and simple way of living, in Thailand, you can experience the essence of a truly welcoming country.

Vietnam
Vietnam offers diverse opportunities for TEFL teachers, from adventurous activities to vibrant cuisine. Most job prospects for English teachers can be found in kindergartens, public schools, private language centres, and international schools. North Vietnam, centred around Hanoi, offers a wide range of teaching opportunities and a large expat community, in case you feel a little homesick. South Vietnam, anchored by Ho Chi Minh City, provides a bustling atmosphere and friendly locals. Whether kayaking through bays or teaching in urban centres, Vietnam promises an enriching experience for English teachers seeking adventure and cultural immersion.

South Korea
South Korea is a popular country among TEFL professionals due to its competitive salaries, benefits like furnished housing and health insurance, and diverse job opportunities. In South Korea, teachers experience safety, reasonable living costs, and four distinct seasons. But beyond the practical aspect, living in this country you can expect cultural immersion, travel opportunities, and personal growth. Teaching options include public schools, international schools, private academies, known as hagwons, and universities. There are some programs organised by the government for international teachers, like EPIK for example, that provide stable work, cultural exchange, and support for teachers adjusting to life in South Korea.

Hong Kong
Also known as ‘the vertical city’ for the number of skyscrapers that tower this land, Hong Kong is famous for its dynamic environment. Hong Kong has the nickname of ‘Asia’s world city’, and if this is anything to go by, Hong Kong would be ideal for teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). With a strong demand for English language education, there are plenty of work opportunities for TEFL teachers that offer competitive salaries and generous perks. Living in Hong Kong offers a rich cultural experience amidst a blend of tradition and modernity, with a vibrant expat community and efficient public services.

Next stop: Asia
From a metropolis in China to a skyscraper in Hong Kong, this continent offers a myriad of possibilities to any TEFL professional who loves to work hard and explore new countries even harder. Have you picked your Asian destination yet?

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