With the vast world stretching out before you, embarking on an overseas teaching journey as an Australian English teacher is nothing short of thrilling. And imagine, the possibility of sharing the nuances of the English language while immersing yourself in vibrant cultures far from home!

Countries from the bustling streets of Tokyo to the historic alleyways of Prague beckon with open arms. As Australians, we’re uniquely positioned with an accent and teaching style that’s globally sought after. And with this, comes an abundance of opportunities across continents, each offering a world full of experiences and memories.

So, pack your teaching tools and let’s explore the top countries where you’ll find plenty of English teaching opportunities. To start with, let’s list these top TEFL destinations:

  1. Japan
  2. South Korea
  3. Vietnam
  4. China
  5. Thailand
  6. Spain
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Costa Rica
  9. Taiwan
  10. United Arab Emirates

Now, let’s dive into each destination, unraveling teaching opportunities, potential earnings, and insights unique to every country. Get ready to uncover what makes these countries truly stand out for English teachers!

1. Japan

A Top Destination for Australian English Teachers!

Teach English in Japan

Stepping into Japan, you’ll find a country where tradition meets modernity, and where there’s an ever-growing demand for English education. With Japanese schools like “Eikaiwa” (private English conversation schools) and “JET Program” (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program), the country offers a plethora of teaching options for Australian teachers.

  1. Teaching Prospects: Japan has a well-established system for hiring foreign teachers. From the JET Program, which places teachers in public schools, to Eikaiwa schools and universities, there are positions for every level of experience.
  2. School Types: Beyond public and private schools, you can explore “Yochien” (kindergarten), “Shogakko” (elementary schools), and “Chugakko” (junior high schools). Each offers unique teaching experiences and curriculum.
  3. Government Programs: The JET Program is a renowned initiative by the Japanese government. It’s a unique opportunity for Australians to work in local government offices, boards of education, and schools. With this program, one can truly immerse themselves in Japanese culture and communities.
  4. Salary & Benefits: English teachers in Japan can expect a monthly salary ranging from 250,000 to 535,000 JPY ($1750 to $3750 USD). Benefits often include subsidized accommodation, bonuses, and sometimes even flight reimbursements. Add to this, the experience of living in a country with such rich culture and history, and it’s a win-win.
  5. Visa: For Australian English teachers eyeing Japan, the most common visa is the Instructor Visa, tailored for those teaching in public schools or under the JET program. Alternatively, the Specialist in Humanities/International Services visa is for educators in language schools (Eikaiwa) and private institutions. Fortunately, under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA), Australians have a more streamlined application process, making it somewhat easier compared to other nationalities. Prior job placement can further simplify this application journey.

And remember, Japan isn’t just about work. Weekends can be spent under cherry blossom trees, exploring ancient temples, or savoring sushi at a local market. For Australian English teachers, Japan is more than a teaching destination; it’s an adventure waiting to be embraced.

2. South Korea

From Palaces to Neon Skylines!

Teach English in South Korea

South Korea, a confluence of historical wonders with state-of-the-art skyscrapers, resonating with the hum of K-pop and the serenity of traditional tea ceremonies. For an Australian teacher, this Land of the Morning Calm offers a unique blend of cultural immersion and professional growth.

  1. Teaching Prospects: South Korea’s thirst for English education is palpable. Whether it’s “Hagwons” (private after-school academies) or the “EPIK Program” (English Program in Korea), opportunities abound for English teachers keen to impart their linguistic expertise.
  2. School Types: Alongside Hagwons, you’ve got “Chodeung Haggyo” (elementary schools) and “Jung Haggyo” (middle schools) vying for passionate teachers. Each school paints a different picture of the Korean educational landscape.
  3. Government Programs: The EPIK Program is a golden ticket for many. It places foreign teachers in public schools and offers competitive salaries, structured contracts, and an authentic Korean experience.
  4. Salary & Benefits: Earning anywhere from 1.8 to 2.7 million won per month, English teachers can also look forward to perks like free housing, settlement allowances, and even severance pay at the end of their contracts. And with the relatively low cost of living, there’s much to save and even more to explore!
  5. Visa: For Australians wishing to teach English in South Korea, the main visa is the E-2 Foreign Language Instructor Visa. This visa caters to those keen on teaching at hagwons (private academies) and public schools through the EPIK (English Program in Korea). Alternatively, the H-1 Working Holiday Visa, available for Australians aged 18-30, offers flexibility for part-time teaching and travel in South Korea for up to a year. Most educational institutions will facilitate and sponsor the visa, ensuring a smooth transition from the sun-burnt lands of Australia to the bustling streets of Seoul or the scenic coasts of Busan.

With every sunrise in Korea, imagine the thrill of waking up to the prospect of making a difference, of bonding over shared stories, and of discovering the hidden gems this country holds. Dive in, for South Korea promises an odyssey of memories and milestones.

3. Vietnam

From Lush Landscapes to Urban Pulse!

Teach English in Vietnam

With every step you take in Vietnam, there’s a story waiting to be told. Verdant rice terraces, bustling marketplaces, and ancient pagodas – this is a nation steeped in history yet pulsating with modern energy. And for the young or experienced Australian teachers, it’s a blank slate teeming with opportunities and heartfelt connections.

  1. Teaching Prospects: The demand for English in Vietnam has skyrocketed. From bustling Hanoi to the serene Mekong Delta, “Trung tâm” (language centres) are on the hunt for native English speakers ready to ignite the flame of knowledge.
  2. School Types: Beyond language centres, Vietnam boasts of “Trường học” (schools) ranging from kindergartens to high schools, and even universities, all eager to blend traditional teaching with a dash of Aussie flair.
  3. Government Programs: While there aren’t widespread governmental initiatives like in Japan or South Korea, the Vietnamese government fully supports the push for English proficiency, ensuring job security and an embracing environment for foreign teachers.
  4. Salary & Benefits: While the monthly earnings of $1,000 to $2,000 might seem modest, when compared with the incredibly low cost of living, it’s a lavish sum! And let’s not forget the added benefits like housing allowances, medical insurance, and tropical holidays just a stone’s throw away.
  5. Visa: For Australians desiring full-time teaching in Vietnam, the Work Permit paired with a Business Visa is common, necessitating an employer’s endorsement. For more casual or short-term teaching roles, many opt for a Tourist Visa and renew as needed, but always ensure teaching activities adhere to local guidelines.

With the morning sun casting a golden hue on the Hoàn Kiếm Lake, envision starting your day to the sound of temple bells, preparing for another day of enlightening eager minds. Dive deep, Vietnam isn’t just a teaching journey; it’s a soulful odyssey waiting to be experienced.

4. China

An Epic Odyssey of Ancient Dynasties!

Teach English in China

Picture this: You’re standing at the foot of the Great Wall, a testament to human tenacity. And then, there’s the electric pulse of Shanghai’s skyline, glittering with promise. China, with its vast shades of history and modernity, encourages Australian educators to embark on an unparalleled teaching escapade.

  1. Teaching Prospects: The Middle Kingdom’s appetite for English is insatiable. Cities and even rural towns are teeming with “Yingyu xueyuan” (English academies) that hold a special place for Aussie educators with their unique brand of teaching.
  2. School Types: From “Yōuchēng” (kindergartens) to esteemed universities, the avenues are endless. “Gongli xuexiao” (public schools) offer a structured environment while private institutions promise flexibility and higher remuneration.
  3. Government Programs: The “Fupin jiaoshi” program is just one initiative, focusing on alleviating poverty through education, where Aussie spirit and expertise can truly make a difference.
  4. Salary & Benefits: Salaries range from 10,000 to 30,000 yuan monthly, depending on qualifications and location. Coupled with free accommodation, flight allowances, and often a bonus upon contract completion, the financial allure is undeniable. And given China’s rich diversity, every penny can be an adventure waiting to unfold!
  5. Visa: The “Z Visa” is the official permit for foreign language teachers wanting to teach in China. Securing employment beforehand can streamline the visa application, paving the way for a transformative teaching experience in the Middle Kingdom.

With every lesson taught, imagine forging connections deeper than language, understanding traditions passed down through millennia, and being part of China’s magnificent educational renaissance. In China, every classroom door opened is a gateway to a world of wonder and wisdom.

5. Thailand

Sun-Kissed Shores and Eager Classrooms!

Teach English in Thailand

As dawn breaks, imagine the tranquil serenity of a Thai temple and the distant hum of a tuk-tuk gearing for the day. With its fusion of sun-dappled beaches and rich heritage, Thailand is a haven, not just for wanderlust souls, but for Australian teachers eager to leave a mark.

  1. Teaching Prospects: English is gaining ground in “The Land of Smiles”, and with it, a myriad of teaching positions in both urban skyscrapers and tranquil countryside “Satree” (schools). And for the Australian educator’s touch? Always in high demand.
  2. School Types: “Prathom” (elementary) and “Mathayom” (secondary) schools offer the charm of young, enthusiastic learners. Then there are the language centers and universities in bustling cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, ever-eager for the Aussie blend of education.
  3. Government Programs: The “English Program” in Thai schools integrates English into core subjects and often seeks native speakers. It’s here that an Australian teacher can dive deep, moulding young minds and integrating curriculum with culture.
  4. Salary & Benefits: While monthly earnings of 25,000 to 40,000 baht might seem modest, in Thailand’s context, it promises a comfortable life. Often, schools provide accommodation, medical perks, and sometimes, even a dash of Thai language lessons.
  5. Visa: For Australians looking to teach English in Thailand typically secure a Non-Immigrant B Visa. Generally, you will need a job offer or a formal contract from a school or educational institution in Thailand. For part-time or short-term engagements, one many utilize the Tourist Visa and explore informal teaching, but it’s vital to ensure teaching undertakings adhere to Thai visa rules and regulations.

And with every Thai greeting, “Sawasdee”, envision bridging worlds, understanding ancient customs, and crafting lessons that transcend textbooks. Thailand doesn’t just offer a teaching position; it offers an embrace, a community, and countless sunsets that whisper tales of yore.

6. Spain

Where Teachers Dance to the Rhythms of History and Hope!

Teach English in Spain

With the echoing strums of a flamenco guitar and the cobblestone whispers of ancient streets, Spain beckons. A land drenched in sun and steeped in tradition, it’s a canvas awaiting the vibrant strokes of Australian instructors.

  1. Teaching Prospects: The surge in Spain’s English learning has paved pathways for “profesores” from Down Under. Whether you’re in the bustling heart of Madrid or the quaint alleyways of Seville, the Spanish “escuelas” are hungry for that distinct Aussie approach.
  2. School Types: Dive into “educación infantil” (early childhood) or explore the vast realms of “educación secundaria” (secondary education). And then, there’s the allure of private academies and “universidades” with their academic vigor.
  3. Government Programs: The “Auxiliares de Conversación” program stands out, inviting native English speakers to assist in public schools. It’s a chance not just to teach, but to blend, learn, and grow with the Spanish ethos.
  4. Salary & Benefits: A monthly package ranging from €700 to €1,200 might seem humble. But factor in the lower living costs, potential housing benefits, and the richness of Spanish life, and it’s pure gold. Not to mention the siestas and fiestas that dot the Spanish calendar!
  5. Visa: Australians eyeing full-time English teaching in Spain typically require a Work Visa, secured with a valid job contract. For part-time roles, the Student Visa, attained via language assistant programs, is popular. Alternatively, the Youth Mobility Visa allows Australians aged 18-30 to work and travel in Spain for up to a year.

And as the Spanish say, “El mundo es un pañuelo” – the world is a handkerchief. Every corner interwoven, every story intertwined. Imagine the thrill of teaching under the Iberian sun, where every lesson is a dance and every day, a melody. Spain doesn’t just offer a job; it offers a heartfelt embrace into its vibrant life.

7. Czech Republic

Where Gothic Spires Meets Passion!

Teach English in Czech Republic

With the hush of snow-covered streets and the timeless echo of bell towers, the Czech Republic is a realm of fairy tales. And nestled within its heart is a classroom seat, warmed by the sun, awaiting the vibrant spirit of Australian educators.

  1. Teaching Prospects: The thirst for English in this central European gem is palpable. From the historic alleys of Prague to the Moravian vineyards, Czech “školy” (schools) are opening their arms wide for Aussie enthusiasm and expertise.
  2. School Types: From “základní škola” (elementary schools) to renowned “gymnázia” (grammar schools), the Czech Republic offers diverse settings for every teacher’s passion. And don’t forget the language academies spread across picturesque towns, each awaiting your unique touch.
  3. Government Programs: Programs like the “Assistant Teacher Program”, backed by the Ministry of Education, see Australian educators not just as teachers, but as cultural ambassadors, weaving threads of connection.
  4. Salary & Benefits: While monthly earnings of CZK 20,000 to CZK 30,000 might seem modest, when paired with the country’s affordable living, it’s a bountiful offering. And then there are the perks: from cultural excursions to immersive language courses, the heart of Europe is yours to explore.
  5. Visa: For full-time English teaching in the Czech Republic, Australians often seek the Employee Card with a valid job contract. For part-time roles or shorter stays, the Trade License is a versatile option, allowing freelance teaching. Additionally, the Working Holiday Visa provides Australians under 31 a year-long opportunity for work and travel.

And so, amidst cobbled streets, beneath the watchful gaze of ancient castles, imagine crafting lessons that resonate with the heartbeat of Europe. In the Czech Republic, every Aussie teachers finds more than a teaching position – they find a home, a history, and a heart that beats in harmony with theirs. Come, be part of a story that’s been waiting centuries to be told.

8. Costa Rica

Where Rainforest Sings!

Teach English in Costa Rica

Beneath the emerald canopy, where toucans glide and waterfalls cascade, Costa Rica – the jewel of Central America – radiates life. And amidst this pura vida, there’s a classroom echoing with laughter, yearning for the touch of Australian educators.

  1. Teaching Prospects: The call for English is vibrant and spirited. From the bustling avenues of San José to the serene beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rican “escuelas” and “colegios” are eager for the fresh, dynamic approach of Aussie tutors.
  2. School Types: The “escuelas públicas” (public schools) offer an authentic immersion, while private academies and international schools present a fusion of global curricula. And for those Aussie souls who seek depth, there are community projects that beckon.
  3. Government Programs: The “Teach English, Empower and Build” initiative, among others, emphasizes not just learning but nurturing – a sentiment every Aussie can resonate with.
  4. Salary & Benefits: While the monthly wage of CRC 300,000 to CRC 600,000 might sound unfamiliar, when weighed against Costa Rica’s cost of living and the richness of experiences, it’s beyond rewarding. Imagine breaks spent surfing Pacific waves or trekking cloud forests!
  5. Visa: Australians targeting full-time teaching in Costa Rica typically apply for a Work Visa (“Visa de Trabajo”) with an employer-backed contract. For part-time or short-term roles, many opt for a Tourist Visa and renew it every 90 days, although this method lacks formal work rights. Consulting local schools or legal advisors for guidance is recommended.

With the whisper of the trade winds and the warm embrace of Tico hospitality, imagine blending teaching with tropical allure. In Costa Rica, Aussie educators don’t merely impart lessons; they embrace a culture, a rhythm, a life in technicolor. So, with the heartbeats of the rainforest as your soundtrack, get ready to start teaching in Costa Rica.

9. Taiwan

A Landscape of Traditions and Tomorrow!

Teach English in Taiwan

As lanterns illuminate the night and ancient temples stand sentinel amidst modern metropolises, Taiwan unfurls like a poetic scroll. For Australian teachers, this island of wonder promises a symphony of old-world charm and forward-thinking classrooms.

  1. Teaching Prospects: The appetite for English here is fervent. Dive into the heart of Taipei or venture to cities like Tainan and Taichung – everywhere you go, “Yingyu” (English) teachers with that Aussie sparkle are treasured.
  2. School Types: “Guóyǔ” (Mandarin) forms the crux, but English is the golden edge. From “Xiǎoxué” (elementary schools) to “Zhōngxué” (high schools) and even prestigious universities, there’s a niche awaiting every Aussie educator’s flair.
  3. Government Programs: Programs such as the “FET Program” (Foreign English Teachers Program) are gems, creating bridges between international educators and local Taiwanese students, fostering cross-cultural understanding.
  4. Salary & Benefits: With salaries spanning from NT$50,000 to NT$80,000 monthly, the rewards are generous. Often adorned with housing allowances, bonuses, and the promise of exploring Taiwan’s natural beauty, it’s an offer hard to resist.
  5. Visa: For Australians keen on full-time teaching in Taiwan, the Work Permit and Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) are essential, secured via an employer’s sponsorship. For part-time or short-term engagements, some opt for the Visitor Visa and seek extensions, but it’s vital to ensure compliance with local regulations for teaching.

With each sunrise painting the Taipei 101 and night markets coming alive with tales and tastes, imagine being more than just a teacher. Become a storyteller, an ambassador, a lifelong learner. For in Taiwan, every class is a dialogue with history and every student, a bridge to the future.

10. United Arab Emirates

Teaching Amidst Dunes and Skylines!

Teach English in UAE

With the golden embrace of the desert meeting the shimmer of ultra-modern skyscrapers, the United Arab Emirates is an orchestration of contrasts. And, amidst its dazzling horizon, there’s a space carved for Australian instructors, where tradition meets aspiration.

  1. Teaching Prospects: The UAE’s vision for global acumen has surged the demand for English educators. From the bustling avenues of Dubai to the cultural heart of Al Ain, Emirati “madaris” (schools) await the unique vibrancy Aussie teachers bring.
  2. School Types: While “al-Madaris al-Khassa” (private schools) boast of international standards, the public schools under the UAE’s Ministry of Education are undergoing revolutionary change, making room for global pedagogies. And then, there are the prestigious international academies and universities, each echoing with multicultural dialogues.
  3. Government Programs: The “Teach in UAE” initiative, among others, beckons educators from afar to be part of the UAE’s grand educational vision. Being part of this is not just about teaching; it’s about sculpting the future.
  4. Salary & Benefits: Salaries, often ranging from AED 8,000 to AED 15,000 per month, stand out strikingly. Factor in housing allowances, flight reimbursements, and top-notch medical benefits, and you’re looking at an incredibly attractive package.
  5. Visa: Australians pursuing full-time teaching in the UAE typically require an Employment Visa, backed by an employer’s sponsorship. For part-time opportunities, the Freelance Visa is an option in designated free zones. Always consult with local schools or institutions to ensure the right visa and adherence to UAE’s regulations.

Amidst the call to prayer, the hum of bustling souks, and the glint of record-breaking edifices, imagine crafting lessons that shape tomorrow’s leaders. In the UAE, English teachers find more than a job; they discover a realm where innovation dances with heritage.


In this world of global education, Australians are finding rich and varied teaching opportunities across continents (from Asia, Europe to Latin America). And with each TEFL destination, there’s a unique ambiance, a vibrant cultural backdrop, and a tailored educational setting waiting to be explored. Embarking on such an international teaching journey doesn’t just boost one’s career; it deepens our connections and understanding of diverse cultures. So, for Australian teachers, it’s clear: the world isn’t just a place to visit, it’s their classroom, bursting with promise and positivity.