Teaching jobs in Asia are some of the most sought after international teaching positions in the world. Top teaching destinations in Asia provide the opportunity to explore diverse cultures, try unique food, and travel to popular bucket list destinations (Mount Fuji, anyone?). Also, the demand for qualified English teachers can make it easier to secure a teaching job.
What to expect
The requirements for most ESL teaching positions in Asia are a 4 year Bachelor degree in any subject, a TEFL certificate and being a native English speaker (or native fluency). Teaching experience is not always necessary, but it can help you secure a position with more pay.
Teachers can expect competitive teaching salaries and comprehensive benefit packages. Teaching contracts often include return airfare, accommodation, health insurance and visa sponsorship, but these contract benefits will vary by destination and school.
Things to consider
The demand for English speaking teachers in Asia is high, but so are the expectations for educators. If this will be your first time teaching foreign language students, be sure that you’re prepared with the fundamental skills to excel in the classroom. Lesson planning as well as managing a classroom are some of the biggest challenges for first-time teachers. Look for jobs that include on-the-job training and take an ESL teaching course before you depart such as TEFL.
Also, private English schools in Asia thrive on the demand for learning English, and many private schools are run like a business. This isn’t to say that every private school is like this, or that public schools are a better option (both private and public schools each have their share of pros and cons), but it’s recommended that you do your research, ask lots of questions and request to speak to a foreign teacher currently working at a school before signing a contract.
Choose Asia if…
You’re new to teaching or have little to no formal teaching experience, and are looking for an opportunity to travel and save money. In some countries in Asia, teachers can save up to 50% of their income, which offers teachers the fantastic opportunity to travel after completing their contract or send money back home.
Top teaching destinations in Asia
With such a demand for native English teachers, South Korea offers some of the best contract benefits in the world for teachers without a teaching license or experience. Teaching jobs can often be secured before leaving your home country through a recruiter, and your school will arrange your visa sponsorship, housing and flights.
JET (the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program) is a Japanese government initiative that is one of the most popular choices for English teachers wishing to teach in Japan thanks to the comprehensive contract benefits, that include free airfare and sometimes partial rent subsidies. Outside of JET, English teachers can work for private English schools in larger cities, but shouldn’t expect to have airfare or accommodation paid for by their employer.
Teaching contracts in China offer free airfare, accommodation, health insurance and visa sponsorship. Positions in rural areas of the country often offer the very best contract benefits, and reward teachers for living outside of the hustle, bustle and convenience of a big city.
While teaching contracts in Vietnam typically do not offer accommodation and airfare, the country’s low cost of living allows teachers to live comfortably. Teachers can opt for a full time teaching contract with a major school, or take on multiple part time teaching contracts at smaller institutions. This type of flexibility draws in a lot of teachers looking for a laid back lifestyle with “no strings attached”. Most teachers secure a teaching job after arriving in Vietnam.