When you first think about the option of teaching English abroad one of the first questions that probably comes into your head is– where would I live? Well, although the experience of teaching English abroad is new to you, the good news is that there have been millions that have done it before you and hundreds of thousands doing it at the moment, indeed a report in the UK Independent in 2012 estimated there were 100,000 TEFL teachers working in China alone. What this means is that those schools that employ TEFL teachers have become attuned to either providing accommodation or assisting in sourcing accommodation for new TEFL teachers, therefore finding accommodation when teaching English abroad isn’t a huge issue.
Accommodation supplied by your employers:
There are many job types and job locations where accommodation is provided by your employer as part of the package on offer to TEFL teachers. Summer camp work, where you teach on a 2-10 week contract in English language camps around Europe (mainly Italy, Spain & France) generally always involves accommodation and meals as part of the remuneration package. This accommodation may be with a host family or dormitory style or even in some instances, chalet accommodation.
For longer term TEFL roles, employers in South East Asia almost always include accommodation as part of the package on offer, especially in South Korea, Japan and most of China. This is usually a furnished apartment with the schools in question often having a contract with, or even owning, their own apartment blocks. Roles on offer in the Middle East, e.g. the UAE, Saudi Arabia, etc. see the provision of accommodation as standard.
Finding your own place:
Even if accommodation is not included as part of the package on offer for the role, your employer will often be the best source of information and advice when it comes to securing somewhere to live. They will be aware of the good housing services and landlords and as they will usually already have TEFL teachers working in the school, new teachers will often stay in a previous teacher’s apartment or even share accommodation with existing teachers at the school.
As the salary you receive working as a TEFL teacher will usually be very respectable by local standards, finding accommodation of good quality should not be a problem for you. The experience of living in a new place and making new friends is part of what the TEFL adventure is all about.