A Guide to Teaching in Asia

Ask most people where they would most like to teach English in the world, and the chances are most will say Asia. This continent is a fantastic destination for teachers who are interested in stepping out of their comfort zone and experiencing a new way of life. By applying you can immerse yourselves into local lifestyles and enjoy an inexpensive way to live abroad and travel. Salary and job packages are very competitive.

The diversity of continental Asia means that your choices are endless. Whether you want to be teaching in the beautiful coastal Thailand to a bustling city like Tokyo, there are a variety of English teaching opportunities to suit every taste. Thousands of international staff have taught in Asia and there is a big demand for English teachers throughout the continent. 




Top Reasons to Teach in Asia

Here are just some of the benefits of applying:

  • Experience a different culture, friendly people, tasty cuisine and world famous tourist sights
  • Local people are very respectful, both adults and children are very keen to learn English
  • Expect some of the best wages in the world, this is one of the biggest attractions for foreign teachers
  • You also have a lot of choice, from living in big cities to more peaceful beachside locations
  • There are literally thousands of jobs located throughout this continent meaning you have a good chance to gain employment
  • High salaries
  • Ability to save money due to low cost of living


Eligibility & Qualifications

TEFL jobs are plentiful in Asia as there is a large demand for native English teachers. While some English teaching jobs in Asia require only that you are a native English speaker, others expect at least a degree, and the best insist on TEFL certification. The more qualifications you have, the higher the salary and vice versa.

General Requirements:

  • A passion for educating young learners and a keen interest in their development 
  • Ability to command the attention of large groups of children in an engaging and compelling manner
  • Energetic, enthusiastic, animated approach to storytelling and delivering content to learners 
  • Ability to thrive in a fast paced, high-change work environment
  • Professionalism in oral and written communications
  • Customer-service oriented with creative problem solving skills 
  • Ability to relocate to Asia for a fixed term contract 
  • Demonstration of a neutral accent, clear pronunciation, good intonation and English language rhythm
  • English language fluency including but not limited to: proper grammar, sentence structure, word tense, subject-verb agreement, and proper use of adjectives and adverbs


Salary & Cost of Living

When teaching in Asia on average you can expect to save around 25% - 60% of your salary as this continent is very cheap compared to Europe for example. Salaries in countries like Korea and Japan are generally higher than those on Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.


Top Tips for Landing a Teaching Job in Asia

  • Learn local words and phrases
  • Know the best times and places to find employment
  • Research work permits way before departing 
  • Work out wages to cost of living
  • Learn about local culture and etiquette
  • Consider un-paid positions to gain experience


TEFL Courses in Asia

TEFL TESOL Courses Asia

Taking a TEFL course in Asia opens up a whole new world of opportunities, maybe you are looking for a change in direction, would like to live abroad and start a new career. Getting your TEFL qualification in Asia is a lot of fun and will help you to land a teaching job in Asia.

Asia is a popular tourist destination which attracts millions of visitors every year, you can spend a bit longer than your average holiday by studying and training to become a teacher of foreign languages. There are a range of teaching courses available and you can join all year round. So whether you would like to get TEFL certified or would like a career teaching abroad we have the courses to help you. A lot of TEFL courses are flexible meaning you will have lots of time to enjoy your surrounds and fully get immersed into the Asian culture.

If you are looking to take a TEFL course abroad and experience an amazing region of the world you should consider going to study in Asia. This continent is full of culture and places of interest to visit and there are lots of locations where you can live and gain a TEFL certification. Incorporated into any holiday, besides the learning that naturally occurs within a foreign land and its cultural differences, can be a teaching course that will provide academic accreditation to your trip or gap year. Many TEFL course providors now run online that can be accessed from anywhere in Asia as long as you have connection to the internet.

No previous experience is required to take a course and support will be on offer throughout the courses chosen through our website. There are lots of options including online courses which can be completed via your computer or you can join a classroom lesson in your home country or in selected destinations around the world. 


Top Reasons to Take a TEFL Course in Asia

A TEFL certificate really is an exciting way to live in Asia and get paid, courses can be joined throughout the year and you will need to book in advance to secure a place. Once you are qualified and have completed a TEFL course it is usually fairly easy to obtain a teaching job in Asia or anywhere in the world. Please note just having a certificate is not a guarantee of a job though, like any market teaching is quite competitive and getting the first step on the ladder can sometimes be tough.

Places where you can take a TEFL course include Thailand, Cambodia, China, Japan, Indonesia and India but there are options throughout the region. We recommend you be flexible to destinations as there is a lot of choice. Having a TEFL course on your CV / resume will look great to future employers, this is also a great way to gain hands on experience if you are considering a career in education / the teaching profession. So what are you waiting for, view our featured TEFL courses in Asia and sign up for one might be one of the greatest experiences of your life. 


Types of Certifications


The courses we have listed are internationally recognised and respected within the TEFL industry meaning you will stand a good chance of gaining employment on competition of a course. You can choose from short 20 hour weekend classroom TEFL courses or if you are seeking more advanced certifications there are also 120 and 250 hour options as well. The weekend and short beginners courses are perfect if you are a total beginner, these will allow you to see if this career appeals to you. There are weekend and 4 week courses available.

If you want a bit more freedom you might want to consider taking an online TEFL course and exploring Asia at the same time. When seeking employment overseas you will find most employers in Asia want people who have at least 120 hours of TEFL training with an accredited TEFL provider so you might want to book one of our advanced options. These courses will help you get to grips with teaching and most language schools will be able to help you secure esl employment, once you have completed a course this will be valid forever. 


Best TEFL Courses in Asia

If you have been researching options you will know there is a lot of choice when it comes to companies and courses.

We highly recommend SEE TEFL who offer a 4 week TEFL course in Chaing Mai with a guaranteed job offer. They also offer a paid TEFL internship in Thailand.

ITTT are also recommend and offer TEFL courses throughout Asia.



Anyone can join a course, there are no Nationality restrictions and you do not need any previous experience to join either.

What to Expect
All lessons are given in English and so you will not need to know any local language. People from all around the world apply. There are usually around 5 - 20 people on each classroom course but this depends on the location and time of year you join. Our TEFL courses in Asia are led by experienced tutors who will make the classes fun, enjoyable and also as informative as possible. On a course you will learn recommended teaching methods, writing, listening, grammar and lesson skills. You will also get lots of tips for dealing with a classroom of students and advice about gaining employment afterwards. At the same time you will be living in a new culture and also get experience working with local children which can be a great way to learn.

Prices vary depending on the course you choose but generally you can expect to pay around £150 ($250) for a weekend course or £1000 ($1500) for a longer more advanced certification. Be sure to book ahead to get a place on your preferred date - this continent is a popular place to train.

After Getting Qualified
Once you have completed a course there is no expiry date and you will be able to use it this year or in future travels. TEFL courses can be taken in literally most worldwide locations, an online course gives you freedom and flexibility to work in your own time from home or via your computer. If you want a more personal experience we recommend classroom lessons where you will learn with a teacher and also get to meet other TEFL'ers. View our guide to teaching in Asia for postions.


Asia TEFL Course Reviews


If you have ever taken a TEFL course in Asia and would like to add a review, write about your experience or share any recommendations please contact us.


How to Apply

If you need any help arranging an teaching position in Asia please get in touch. To get started view our teaching jobs or search TEFL courses in Asia.


Asia TEFL Reviews & Experiences

If you have ever been to teach in Asia and would like to add a review, write about your experience or share any recommendations please contact us.

"I just wanted to live and going the TEFL route seemed the best option. I have now been teaching in rural China for 3 years and have no plans to return anytime soon. Salaries are high and I am able to save lots of money as my school pays for accommodation." Matt B, UK

"I have been teaching in Bangkok for over a year which I arranged through an agency. The city is fantastic, if not a little hectic sometimes but I get lots of time off to head to the islands. My best advice is to take a TEFL course it will really help you" - Emma A, UK

"If there is one thing I have learned from living and teaching in Asia, it is to respect its traditions, culture and people and remember that it is you who must adapt, not your adopted country. If you can follow this belief of mine, your experiences abroad will become a lot more enjoyable." - Kenneth Quillinan, USA

Joshua Stone decided to embark on a TEFL career, here he shares his experience: "The ELI is the English Language Institute at the University of Alabama. It was on my first day on campus where I met Indy, an exchange student from Taiwan, and thus, the seed was planted for my career in teaching English as a second or foreign language.  I graduated from university on December 16 and was Asia bound ten days later. Happy New Year, indeed!

There are positives and negatives to living abroad but it is those experiences that allow us to grow and better ourselves. My experiences teaching in South Korea and Japan have provided me with invaluable lessons, both life and professional, and have molded me into the person I am today. Living and teaching abroad has allowed me to discover myself and that is a gift I am truly grateful for receiving from the people of South Korea, Japan, the United States, and various other nationalities. All of who I would not have been introduced to had I not decided to teach abroad. Do what your heart tells you before your head causes you to miss an opportunity!" - Joshua Stone, USA

"I constantly think about the immense value of education for the future of our global society.  Children are the roots of every nation. If teachers can wholeheartedly provide a quality education can we enable the children and give them the skills to grow into themselves and one day become happy, healthy, creative, innovative and contributing citizens..." - Holly Krasniuk