Yup, it’s why we all do it - to get out there and see the world.
When salary is taken out of the equation, we are left with an incredible and generally stress-free career that allows us to see the best of what the world has to offer. We never have to worry about heading back to the dreary, grey skies, traffic and the horrible desk-bound job with even more horrible colleagues. The days of post-holiday depression are over. We are very lucky to do what we do, as there are many others out there who simply haven’t had the confidence to leave their comfort zone and explore the world. Coming up with a list of the best places to live and work as an ESL teacher is a purely subjective task, however this article will look at some of the options and give you some ideas where you could be searching for your dream job.
ESL Dream Destinations
Wow, Bali? Yup! Known as the island of the gods, Bali offers quite a lot of opportunities for ESL teachers. Although most first-timers may have a little difficulty finding jobs there, those with a year or two under their belt could easily find work at the various language centres scattered around the island. For those with the right quals, there are two international schools on the island, which provide a fully-furnished house, car, driver, maid, and all the trimmings that you could possibly imagine. The salary at language centres in Bali is a little more basic, but if you aren’t tempted by the world-class restaurants while being prepared to eat ‘nasi goreng’ from a street side vendor, you should have no problems living off the salary. A motorbike is needed to get around Bali, but for even those with no experience on a bike, the traffic on Bali’s roads goes practically at snails pace. For anyone who’s looking for a job in Bali, there is a rather prominent language centre based on Jalan Sunset, just a five minute’s motorbike ride away from the world-renowned Kuta Beach.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Koh Samui is located in the south of Thailand and is a quiet, island paradise. The island is a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Bangkok and is where some of the country’s best beaches are located. While a long way from Bangkok, the island still provides all the modern amenities that one would come to expect in the West. ESL teaching opportunities on Koh Samui are really slim pickings, as this is where many want to be. Teachers can find a few high schools and primary schools, all of which employ a native speaker, while a handful of language centres are located in the built up areas. The ultimate job for the ESL teacher in Koh Samui is language training at hotels. Teachers who train at hotels are often paid top dollar and have their accommodation and food paid for – What a life!
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Probably not the best place in the world for those who like to have the sly drink after class, Dubai is rapidly becoming a hub for expats, who absolutely love to spend money. Shopping in Dubai competes with the likes of Paris these days, and there is an incredible amount of things to see and do. Dubai is also one of the more relaxed cities in the Middle East, which makes it a great place for westerners to live and work. Asides from the usual international schools, teachers who have the best wages are generally teaching English at companies, either for ESL providers or on their own. Some of these teachers are making up to $4000 with a bonus and flights! Dubai also probably has one of the best party scenes in the Middle East, while not on par with the west many visitors from across the region come here to indulge on some forbidden fruits, unavailable in their own country.
Situated in the centre of the heart of the Indian Ocean, the former French colony of Mauritius provides a great little tropical setting for the ESL teacher who wants to work and truly live the life. Most of the ESL jobs are in and around Port Louis, which is located to the north of the island. Like anywhere in the world of ESL teaching, international schools provide the best jobs. Very much like Koh Samui, for those lucky enough to be involved in training at luxury resorts, accommodation and food is generally provided. But for those who really want to find a job, a number of language centres can be found around the capital.
‘Bangkok – Oriental setting, and the city don’t know that the city is getting’ as the 80s song from Murray Head goes. While Bangkok is a large, chaotic city, there is something about the place that attracts many to leave their high paying jobs back at home and pack up for a 30,000 baht a month lifestyle. What makes Bangkok an ideal place for foreign teachers is that it takes the best of the east and combines it with the west. Plus it has a party scene to boot! Many ESLers living in Bangkok describe the accessibility of the place as one of its many advantages. Delicious and cheap food is practically everywhere, and if you need to buy your groceries in the middle of the night, but you can’t see a 7/11, then you’re probably not in Bangkok. ESL opportunities are endless and the jobs just keep on coming. While wages are low and conditions are sometimes not the best, Bangkok provides a great place to live and work.
So for those who are stuck in a cold, dreary destination somewhere in the world and seeking a change, maybe this could give you a few ideas when it comes to choosing a destination for your next job!
Have taught in one of these countries? We'd love to hear from you!