3 Off-the-Beaten-Track ESL Destinations
Countries like Thailand, China and South Korea are where most ESL expats end up. With a low cost of living and high salaries, it’s no wonder these countries have become the go-to destinations for English teachers.
But with new countries opening up their borders and introducing government-sponsored programs, it’s easier than ever to get the off-the-beaten-ESL-teacher track.
Here are three unique countries to explore.
Sick of overrun tourist destinations like Thailand and Bali? Head to Myanmar! It is one of the few South-east Asian countries that has yet to be affected by hordes of tourists and drunk gap year students.
As an ESL teacher, not only will you be able to experience the unique culture of this country before globalisation kicks in, but you will be one of the first to help develop Myanmar’s education system. It’s a unique opportunity to experience a country with over 135 different ethnic groups and get a glimpse into a country that is still free from western commercialism (for now).
Salary Expectation: $1,500-$2,000 a month
If you are looking to make a lasting impact while exploring a country that is as diverse in landscapes as it is in cultures, head to Colombia.
With the country’s economy booming, the government is pushing hard for a greater presence of English in schools. In fact, they hope to have the language fully integrated in all schools by the end of the decade.
In a bid to achieve this, Colombia has launched the Teach English in Colombia program to help foreign teachers find jobs, but to also give disadvantaged children access to an English education. This new program has made it incredibly easy for ESL teachers to find a placement and receive visa support all before setting foot in the country.
Salary Expectation: $700-1000 per month
Don’t let bad press stop you from considering Russia as your next ESL destination. Modern day Russia is a vibrant country that is filled to the brim with culture, a rich history and students who are eager to learn.
The demand for ESL teachers in Russia significantly exceeds the supply, with many young Russians needing the language to get a high-paying job or to pursue a life abroad.
But one of the most attractive parts about teaching here is that a position usually includes airfare and accommodation. With rent usually $700-1000 a month in Moscow, this is a great bonus that will help you save while exploring the largest nation on Earth.
Salary Expectations: $1000-1,200 or $1,500-$2,200 at a private school.
Take The Road Less Travelled
If you are looking for an entirely different ESL experience, consider one of these three destinations. Whether you want to immerse yourself in a previously closed off culture or make a lasting impact, one of these destinations is bound to meet your needs (Of course, if you’re looking to teach abroad at one of the better-known locations, we’ve got you covered).
About the Author
Lauren Melnick is a South African travel blogger and ESL teacher currently living in Ubon, Thailand. When she isn’t making lesson plans and watching nursery rhymes on YouTube, you can find her eating up a storm, taking selfies with dinosaurs, and planning her next adventure.