November 26

Most affordable countries to teach English and travel abroad?

Why teach English abroad?

 Teaching English abroad offers countless benefits. It is a great way to expand your horizons and have an enriching cultural experience. If you have always wanted to visit the National Monument in Jakarta or visit a Panda sanctuary in Chengdu, this could be for you. Teaching English overseas allows you to travel while earning. You might be wondering whether you will have enough money to live? Surprisingly it’s feasible to live comfortably and even save a sizeable portion of your income. It's necessary to choose a country with a relatively low cost of living while offering the ultimate cultural experience.

 The options may feel daunting, but help is on the way. This article narrows down the most attractive opportunities. Read on to see the top recommendations for affordable countries to teach English as a language instructor.


 With a 5000 year civilisation, China is rich in culture, flavour and landscape. For the nature lover, there is hiking and trekking. Famous sights include the Great Wall of China and the breathtaking Shanghai Skyline. There are approximately 400 million learners of English in China. Opportunities are widely available.

 The cost of living in China is increasing at a staggering rate. You can still afford to live comfortably and even set aside excess income to travel to other Asian countries. China has three megacities that accommodate over 20 million people: Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing. You can travel inexpensively between the cities by high-speed train. Transportation by bus is less than 30p and taxi rides are as low as £3. Eating at a local restaurant will enhance your cultural experience, and it won’t leave a dent in your pocket. A traditional meal costs around £2.30 and add a beer for an extra 80p.

The average monthly salary is around £1650, depending on qualifications and experience. Most teaching jobs are provided with accommodation or a housing allowance. A one-bedroom accommodation costs approximately £320 per month, meaning you can save this amount if you don't have to pay rent. You will be entitled to free return travel, paid holidays, in addition to an end of contract bonus. These benefits give peace of mind that you can afford to live comfortably on the average salary. If you receive a housing package and choose to live frugally, you can save up to a staggering £1250 per month. You can obtain your financial goals, whatever they may be.


Shanghai Skyline - Stock Photo Dreamtime


 With a population of over 250 million, Indonesia ranks as the 4th most populous country globally. Teaching opportunities in the capital Jakarta, and the Island of Bali are plentiful. Indonesia provides a rich experience. It's a country diverse in culture and history with over 17,000 islands and hundreds of volcanoes. The beaches of Bali are breathtaking and worth a visit. Furthermore, the locals are well-known for being welcoming.

 The average salary is approximately £850 per month. Some employment packages will include accommodation, but this is not always the case. The cost of living in Indonesia is the lowest in South-East Asia. Though low compared to Western countries, rent is the most considerable expenditure. Rent in the city centre is approximately £290 per month. To reduce your outgoings, you can share accommodation with a fellow teacher.  Either way, you can live comfortably and have potential savings starting from £300 per month. Food costs can be reduced to a minimum if you opt to eat local cuisine or cook your own. A dish from a local vendor will typically cost less than £1.50. Local cuisine is usually rice cooked in sweet coconut milk; seafood is also popular. There are plenty of activities to take up in your free time; scuba diving is very popular. The cities also have a vibrant night scene, so they'll be an opportunity to meet other ex-pats. You can travel inexpensively within Indonesia by bus, train and ferry.


Indonesian active volcano - besthqwallpapers 


Due to its booming economy, English Language teaching has gained popularity in Vietnam. Most teaching jobs are concentrated in the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chin Mi City. Vietnam is a popular destination for English teachers with countless beaches, remote islands, mountains, and river systems. You can expect to earn a monthly salary between £876 - £1460 depending on experience and qualification. The contract typically includes healthcare and a completion bonus. Accommodation is inexpensive compared to living in Europe or North America. A studio apartment in a central location can cost around £320 a month. An even cheaper option would be renting shared accommodation.

Food is comparatively as cheap as rent. You can enjoy flavourful dishes such as Pho or Banh Mi for £1.50 per meal.

Bus and metro travel cost less than 30p a ride; a monthly metro card is a mere £5.60 and taxi rides start at 50p. Getting around in areas outside the city will be easiest on a scooter or motorbike. You can rent them monthly for approximately $40, or it might be worth purchasing one.

Vietnam borders China and Cambodia; during your free time, you can hop on a plane to either of these locations for under £50.

Depending on your lifestyle, you can save anything from £365 per month getting paid to teach English in Vietnam.

Vietnam river system - pixabay

South Korea

 South Korea inhabits over 10 million people. There is a huge job market for teaching English. It’s a trendy location for EFL Teachers because it offers a desirable lifestyle and inexpensive living costs. If you’re an adventure seeker, South Korea is the place to be. The main cities are Seoul, Gwanju, and Daegu. You can find museums and magical palaces in the cities and national parks in the more remote areas. If you travel further afield, you can discover islands, waterfalls and caves.

The average monthly salary is £1,580, on top of that you will have paid holidays and an annual bonus. Free housing and return airfare are standard measures in South Korea. You will have very few expenses. Bills and utilities total at around £50. Groceries can be as little as £20 per week. It will cost the same if you eat local street food. For example, a plate of kimchi can set you back a mere £1.50. A restaurant meal would be around £6, including an alcoholic beverage.

Travel to other countries in Asia is very affordable, such as a flight to Tokyo for £150.

Many teachers working in South Korea have been able to save as much as half their salary. Given that there are no accommodation fees, you could potentially save over £1000 a month if you are a spendthrift.


Palace South Korea - pixabay


Teaching English in Taiwan is extremely popular as the standard of living is very high. It's a very safe country that has affordable health care. Major cities such as Taipei and Taichung are bustling, people are amiable, and the beaches are idyllic.


The average monthly salary is £1,835. You will also be entitled to a completion bonus. Housing packages are rarely offered because accommodation is inexpensive. Rent in the Northern cities of Taipei and Taichung is costlier compared to the south but still very affordable. The salary affords you the option to rent according to your preference. You can rent a two-bedroom property in the suburbs of Taiwan for approximately £200 per month. This low-cost rent will allow you to save more than half of your salary. Eating out is inexpensive provided you eat local cuisines such as noodles, fish and rice. It is still affordable to cook your meals if you prefer. The schools usually also offer you a lunch of rice and fish, another opportunity to save money and reduce your monthly food expenditure.

Public transport is cheap and convenient in Taiwan. Most of the major cities have a metro system, with one-way tickets as low as 30p. A scooter will be a requirement if you live outside of the city. Travelling outside of Taiwan is also very affordable. Flights to mainland China cost around £100


You'll have access to a wide range of outdoor actives such as hiking, surfing and swimming. There are countless historical places to visit, including cathedrals and castles.

You can typically save $1000 per month teaching in Taiwan, especially if you live in shared accommodation. In smaller towns, your rent will be less, and there are fewer opportunities to spend money. If you want to save the maximum, this is a better option.


Taipei at night - good free photos


How do I qualify for a teaching job abroad?

So you've decided you want to apply for your dream job overseas? What's the next step? You'll need to get TEFL certified by an internationally recognised provider. TEFL is an acronym for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Getting certified and learning the essentials of English language teaching will increase your chances of securing an excellent employment package. 

TEFL Org, a world-famous provider, has trained over 140,000 teachers. Their courses are designed to give you all the tools you need to teach English, help you with everything from lesson planning to lesson delivery, giving you the confidence you need in the classroom.

Find out more here





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