Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) will push you to step outside of your comfort zone, grow as a person, and challenge yourself like never before. You have to consider quitting your job and saving money. Your confidence levels will soar with all that you’ll achieve from teaching English abroad. With a quality TESOL program, you’ll have many options to consider.

However, one of the hardest parts is simply deciding where to go. There are so many great countries where you can TESOL, but the best destinations are different for everyone, depending on what your own priorities are. If you’ve not got a fixed destination in mind or are simply weighing up your options, then keep reading. We’ve compiled a list of 5 countries every ESL teacher should consider. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it might just be the source of inspiration you’re looking for.

Madrid Spain

1. Spain

Spain is a popular TESOL destination in Europe and for a good reason too. The job market for ESL teachers is head and shoulders above many other European countries. Jobs for teachers with the right qualification and a strong work ethic are in abundance.

Besides, there is no shortage of English teaching jobs; Spain is a beautiful and relatively low-cost country to live in with a very vibrant culture. The Spanish know how to step back from work, relax and enjoy a slower-paced approach to life. So, enjoying your time off from work shouldn’t be too difficult! 

Whether your ideal teaching job is against the backdrop of a buzzing city like Madrid or Barcelona, or perhaps more rural, such a small picturesque village in Andalucia or the Basque country, then you can take your pick!


2. Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the most affordable countries to TESOL in. Teachers there can expect a decent wage, which is substantial enough for them to live and travel comfortably. Often those who return from teaching in Vietnam have found they’ve also been able to put away some savings without sacrificing living life to the full!

Vietnam is known for its serene and dramatic scenery – and not to mention its incredible food. Living in Vietnam will give you the chance to indulge in its wonderful fresh cuisine that’s arguably best experienced at street food markets (which are in abundance).

Making the most of your time off work will involve seeing as much as you can. The UNESCO World Heritage site, Ha Long Bay, is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Vietnam to enjoy and things to do. Unique limestone towers topped with vibrant greenery amidst crystal blue waters are a beautiful sight to see. Major landmarks such as the Temple of Literature and Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi will be worth visiting given a chance and Saigon Opera House and the Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh City.

Seoul Cityscape

3. South Korea

South Korea is an increasingly popular country to teach English in. Teachers can expect to be well looked after by employers, often having many expenses accounted for, including accommodation, bills, visas, and having their flights reimbursed upon completion of their contract.

While South Korea has so much worth seeing around the country, be sure not to pass up an opportunity to spend some time in Seoul. Learn about its history while visiting some of its many cultural heritage sites, including the Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung Palaces, 

When teaching in this country, you’ll notice that they’re unafraid to contrast the old with the new. The country is known for being at the center of new cutting-edge technologies, reflected in many of its modern, futuristic structures, including Zaha Hadid and Samoo’s, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, and the Lotte World Tower, the world’s 6th tallest building.

Mexico City

4. Mexico

Mexico is known for its vibrancy in every sense of the word. Here you will find delicious cuisine packed with flavor, spice, and zing; friendly, good-humored people; towns and villages full of history and character; and cities that are bursting with color and culture.

While in Mexico, you can expect to be paid fairly as an English teacher but have very low living costs. This will allow you to enjoy everything it has to offer, wherever you are. Whether that’s living in a beautiful apartment, embarking on action-packed weekend activities, relaxing on one of its many stunning beaches, or traveling at every given opportunity.

Rome Skyline, Italy

5. Italy

Italy is another popular destination for English teachers in Europe. With the sun shining for a good part of the year, a rich history everywhere you go, friendly locals, and incredible food, there are few reasons why Italy wouldn’t be a great place to live for adventure-seeking English teachers.

You won’t make a big wage teaching in Italy, but it should be relative to the cost of living wherever you are. There are so many different ways to experience all the culture Italy has to offer. Whether you spend your time off escaping to a vineyard wine tasting, venturing to Venice to see its art galleries, St Mark’s Square, and Doge’s Palace, or hiking in the Dolomites to be presented with spectacular views stretching for miles – there is something for everyone.

So, there you have just 5 of many fantastic places to teach English abroad. Maybe you now know where you want to go, or maybe you’re more confused than you were before. The great thing about TESOL is that you can do it long or short-term, so really, you can move around as much as you please and even teach in all of these destinations! However, it’s worth noting that before you get too invested in one possibility, always check out the specific visa and employment requirements, as these can vary significantly depending on where you’re going.

If you’re keen to find out more about where you can TESOL, check out this article.