Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) has become a popular job of choice for recent college graduates and those who are between jobs- and for a good reason. It not only gives you working experience and a paycheck, but also the chance to travel and explore another culture before settling down.
Asia has quickly become a “hot-spot” for those who want to become an ESL teacher, but how do you know which country is right for you? Here is a breakdown of a few of the top spots that will allow you to not only break even while getting a cultural experience but walk away with more than what you started with.
$$$$ South Korea
Although a bachelor’s degree is required, working in South Korea can lead to having a healthy savings account at the end of the yearlong contract. On top of free housing and airfare reimbursement, a typical monthly salary is between 1,800,000 and 2,400,000 KRW. It’s not uncommon for ESL teachers in South Korea to be able to save about $1,000 each month. At the end of the typical 12-month contract, teachers have plenty to bring home or continue their travels on.
After South Korea, Japan allows ESL teachers to go home with the happiest savings account. However, flights are not commonly paid for and interviews typically take place about three months prior to the start of the contract. Teachers wanting to head overseas right away might want to look elsewhere.
If you do not have an undergraduate degree you will want to check out teaching jobs in China since a degree is preferred, but not always required. Housing and air-fare for ESL teachers in China are typically paid for along with a monthly salary of 6,000-12,000 RMB. Those hoping to do as much sight-seeing while abroad can look forward to about two weeks off for the Chinese New Year.
Although airfare and housing are not usually paid for in Taiwan, ESL teachers can expect to save about $500 each month it an average monthly salary of 46,000-68,000 TWD. Thanks to the Chinese New Year teachers will also enjoy a two-week break for travel.
While teaching English as a second language in Asia probably won’t make you rich, depending on the country you choose it will allow you to save some for when you return home. Plus, the cultural experience alone is worth its weight in gold!
*Salary based on typical 2013 salary rates