As a globe-trotting English teacher you are able to live and work in almost any country in the world, so long as they have a market for English classes. This provides you with opportunities to see some really unique places that none of your friends and family back home will ever dream about. Where will you go next? What's an interesting country to teach and live in for a year or more?
You can close your eyes and point at a spinning globe and hope you land on someplace neat (and safe), or you can use this handy list of 5 interesting countries you should definitely try teaching in!
*Please note that I've only taught in 2 of these countries, but after long discussions with other teachers who have been there, I can confidently endorse all five of them.
Nestled along the shores of the Black Sea and sandwiched between Greece, Turkey, Romania and Serbia, this ancient country is filled with history, culture, diverse cuisines and beautiful sandy beaches. The climate stays relatively mild all year; relative, that is, to colder countries like Russia and Poland.
Bulgaria has a stable and growing TEFL market, particularly in the capital city, Sofia. I can't think of a prettier-sounding city to work in!
During the summer the beaches and forests of Bulgaria are filled with international ESL students from all over Europe, and summer TEFL teachers/camp counsellors are in demand. Check out American TESOL or the ESL Jobs page for Bulgaria.
There is something exotic and slightly daring about Vietnam, and while many people do a backpacking tour in this famous Asian nation, only a few actually stick around to teach and live here. For those that do, it is a land of wonder, spicy food and unending culture and history.
Vietnam has followed China's example and opened up to the world, economically and culturally. GDP is rising and demand for English lessons is high. Although you can't expect to earn much as an English teacher in Vietnam, you will earn enough to live comfortably there. People teach in Vietnam for the experience, not for the money.
The culture, the architecture, the history, the women...no words can sum up Mother Russia, and one must live there in order to begin to understand this amazing country. Whether you're exploring baroque museums or walking where Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Tchaikovsky once stood, or you're investigating Second World War battlefields, Russia has everything a culture and history nerd can ever want.
The two big metropolis of Russia, Moscow and St Petersburg, pay decent salaries. You can expect to make $2000/month or more, while smaller cities in the south or Siberia pay just enough to live off. The experience, in many instances, is what matters when teaching in Russia.
Indonesia is a land of contrasts. It is a booming south-Pacific tourist getaway as well as a nation recovering from conflict, dictatorship and disaster. It is a rich manufacturing base famous for textiles and coffee, as well as a poor third-world nation. The people are friendly and beautiful, the weather is always warm and the beaches are tropical and welcoming. As an added bonus, if you like spicy food, this is the place for you!
Like most of the interesting countries on this list, salaries for English teachers are low. You can expect to break-even, so it's the really the experience and lifestyle that you're in Indonesia for. If you love the tropics and enjoy 20-hour work weeks, then you'll love living in Indonesia.
Coffee, beaches, warm and passionate people and a land steeped in history makes Columbia my #1 choice for teaching. The country is a mix of jungle, urban sprawl and sandy beaches, and the night club scene in Bogota is fantastic. Because Columbia is of a smaller size, it's easy to visit all the interesting points of the country in a year or so. Plus the food is delicious and the people are incredibly friendly!
Teachers in Columbia have the option to teach part-time or full time, although if you're teaching part-time you'll really need to find a second source of income because you won't make enough to live on. Columbia, surprisingly, has a stable TEFL market and a teacher with the right qualifications (usually a degree, TEFL certificate and a little bit of experience) can find a job here easily enough.
Check out Travel Bud for some job opportunities in Columbia.
This list isn't exhaustive and is meant to introduce you to 5 interesting countries you may want to consider teaching English in. If you want to know more, be sure to sign up for the Travel Teach & Play newsletter and don't forget to follow on Facebook!