10 Best Places to Teach English in Asia & the South Pacific in 2018

by Published

Ever heard the quote, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach”? Whoever came up with that must have been sorely mistaken because teaching is one of the most rewarding things you can do with your life. For instance, you get to make a difference in the lives of your students, whether they’re still saying dada or learning English for the first time as an adult. If you choose to teach abroad, even better! 

Kids from India

Want to teach English in Asia and the South Pacific? They’re waiting for you.

When it comes to ESL jobs abroad, teaching in Asia is super popular, followed by teaching in the South Pacific, including teaching jobs in Fiji. Because English is considered a passport to a better job and a better life, this region is always looking for English teachers, which makes this region very hot property indeed for TEFL opportunities. Teaching English in Asia is also the place to make the big bucks because the salaries there are among the highest in the world.

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to the best countries to teach English in Asia. Get ESL jobs in Asia, in Japan, South Korea, and China. Teach English in Southeast Asia, in Thailand, Vietnam, or Singapore. On the other hand, you can find teaching jobs in the Pacific islands like Samoa or in larger countries like Australia and New Zealand. Teach in classrooms at public schools, universities, companies, or private language schools. If you’re up to it, you can also tutor students one on one on the side. 

Here are the 10 best countries to teach English in Asia and the South Pacific for 2018!

1. Japan

Busy street

Head to Japan, one of the best countries to teach English in Asia.

If you’re thinking about teaching ESL in Asia, Japan should be at the top of your list. The land of the samurai offers some of the most competitive English teaching jobs in Asia. You can act as an assistant language teacher in public schools, lecture at universities, or teach English at eikaiwa (private language schools). Teachers in Japan can also teach the language at conversation cafes and at multinational companies as big and famous as Sony and Mitsubishi. 

Recommended program: Teach abroad in Japan with Interac

See ALL teach English abroad programs in Japan

2. Thailand

Kids in a classroom

Not only is the world your oyster, but also your classroom while teaching in Thailand

If all day you dream of mango sticky rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then teach English in Asia, Thailand to be exact. Wannabe ESL teachers should head to Bangkok, the tourist hotspot and best place to find TEFL jobs. If you’re seeking more Zen and an escape from the party scene, why not head north to Chiang Mai for teaching English jobs in Asia? On the other hand, if you’re looking to work on that tan, catch two pigeons with one fava bean and head to Krabi and Surat Thani for beaches and jobs!

Recommended program: Teach abroad in Thailand with ACT

See ALL teach English abroad programs in Thailand

3. South Korea

Young korean girls

Learn about the local culture through relationships with your students.

One of the best countries to teach English in Asia is South Korea. The salaries are pretty attractive, often including bonuses, free rent, and tickets to and from home at the beginning and end of your teaching contract. Whether they teach at a public school or hagwon (cram school), ESL teachers often have plenty money to tide them over at the end of the month to explore the hermit country and the rest of Asia or pay off debts at home. 

Recommended program: Teach abroad in South Korea with i-to-i TEFL

See ALL teach English abroad programs in South Korea

4. China

Family praying at a temple in China

Live with a Chinese family while teaching abroad in Asia.

Kindergartens and private language schools are big business in the Middle Kingdom and are always looking for native English-speaking TEFL teachers. Teach abroad in Asia, in trendy Shanghai, the capital, Beijing, or in the home of the Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an. If you’ve got a masters, you can even teach at Chinese universities. Teaching in Asian countries like China will not make you filthy rich but you’ll have enough to live comfortably and travel around during your time off. 

Recommended program: Teach abroad in China with Aupairia

See ALL teach English abroad in China

5.  India

Girl looking at landscape from train window

Could India be your next great move?

Teach in Asia, in one of the region’s most beautiful and idiosyncratic cultures. People either love or hate India but if you choose to teach there, you’ll be head over heels for this subcontinent in no time! India never disappoints with regal palaces and mausoleums, extraordinary food, and color everywhere! Goa, Mumbai and New Delhi are the top places to teach English in Asia or you can immerse yourself totally in Indian culture while teaching in rural villages way off the beaten path.

Recommended program: Teach abroad in India with ITTT

See ALL teach English abroad programs in India


Individual wearing a straw hat sits on a bench in a park

Rest easy with a TEFL certificate and job in Vietnam.

Forget what you think you know about Vietnam from Apocalypse Now. In fact, this Southeast Asian nation is one of the best countries to teach English in Asia. You can find yourself teaching and brushing up your Vietnamese in remote villages or in humming cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. To earn better salaries and get the best gigs, be sure to get TEFL certified before you go or as soon as you touch down. 

Recommended program: Teach abroad in Vietnam with International TEFL Academy

See ALL teach English abroad programs in Vietnam

7. The UAE

View from burj khalifa

Make the big bucks teaching in the UAE.

You heard right. One of the best places to teach English in Asia is the UAE. This oil-rich nation is like catnip to ESL teachers seeking generous salaries and other perks. The seven emirates are some of the most diverse places on the planet to teach English so you could have a veritable United Nations in your classroom! When you’re off duty, spend those tax-free dirhams binge-shopping in glitzy malls, offroading in the desert, or sunbathing on the Arabian Gulf. 

Recommended program: Teach abroad in the UAE with Teach Away

See ALL teach English abroad programs in the UAE

8. Taiwan

Kid holding grad glasses

With your help, these kids will improve their English in no time.

If you want to teach English in Asia, Taiwan should definitely be on your radar. This island paradise has enough beaches, mountains, and cities to keep you busy and lots of ESL jobs to fund your adventures there. Teach at private and public schools in bustling Taipei, Kaohsiung, or Taichung. Spend any of Taiwan’s 14 national holidays exploring the secrets of the island or traveling to mainland China. 

Recommended program: Teach abroad in Taiwan with Premier TEFL

See ALL teach English abroad programs in Taiwan

9. Australia


You might be the teacher, but you have plenty to learn, too!

Who knew you could teach English in Australia, a native English speaking country? Straya is one of the top places for Asians to learn English as a foreign language and pursue higher education so there are tons of language schools and universities dotted across the island continent. You can also volunteer to teach refugee children in English centers. Go off the grid in the Outback, soak up the sun in Brisbane and Perth, or teach in metropolises like Sydney and Melbourne. 

Recommended program: Teach abroad in Australia with Teaching House

See ALL teach English abroad programs in Australia

10.  Qatar

View from Doha

Teach English in Qatar before the World Cup gets there!

Teaching in Asia doesn’t always mean you have to be stuck in the Far East or Southeast Asia. Try something new and teach English in Qatar in the heart of the Middle East. ESL teachers flock to Doha for placements across the capital. Teach at well-resourced universities, international schools, and public schools to earn a lot of tax-free dough. Do note that Qatari employers prefer teachers who are well qualified: with teaching experience, TEFL certification, and a teaching license.

Recommended program: Teach abroad in Qatar with Edvectus

See ALL teach English abroad programs in Qatar

A note from GoAbroad

We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.

Learn more about our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here.

Read the full report here.

Browse more of this year's report on top destinations to find English teaching jobs abroad

Find your next great teaching job