Top TEFL Destinations 2019

Looking for inspiration on where to teach English abroad in 2019? No problem, we’ve put together a list of the top 3 countries to teach in, based on the most popular destinations amongst our 2018 TEFL Org graduates!


Spain has a lot to offer budding EFL teachers, if the hot weather and delicious traditional food haven’t already sold the idea to you, then maybe siestas – an afternoon nap taken at the hottest part of the day – will!

In research published by EF (English First), English proficiency in Spain is ranked 32nd out of 88 non-native English-speaking countries and regions. There are areas in Spain where English proficiency is relatively low – offering an explanation to the constant recruitment drive for EFL teachers.

Teaching salaries vary hugely across Spain. Your salary will be based on your teaching role, type of institution and your location. On average, you can expect to earn anywhere between $750-$2,000 per month.

Note: As a non-EU citizen, obtaining a visa to teach in the EU can be tricky but not impossible. We recommend students check out visa requirements of each individual country to find out their eligibility first. Employers in Spain can favor EU citizens; however, we do see some employers come through our site who also accept non-EU citizens applications.


Situated on the banks of the Turia River is Spain’s third-largest city, Valencia. Valencia is a bilingual city, with Spanish and Valencian both widely spoken. In EF’s research, the English proficiency rate in the Valencian community is considered moderate at 55% – making the city a top TEFL destination.

Not only is Valencia known as the birthplace of paella, but the city is also recognized for the City of Arts and Sciences.  This architectural complex includes an IMAX cinema, planetarium, open-air oceanographic house, museum and performing arts center and is definitely worth checking out.


The Catalan capital, Barcelona, is another hugely popular city to TEFL in. In Barcelona, Catalan and Spanish are both spoken, with 95% of Barcelona residents understanding and speaking the Catalan language.

Home to lots of quirky architecture, 68 urban parks and 55 museums – Barcelona is undoubtedly an attractive city to reside in. The TEFL jobs market is thriving in Barcelona and we see a number of Jobs in the city come through our Jobs Centre.

Fact: Barcelona was voted the ‘best beach city’ in the world by National Geographic despite all their beaches being artificial!

South Korea

Ranking in a at 31 out of 88 non-native English-speaking countries and regions for English proficiency is South Korea.

As English is considered the ‘international language of business’, more and more multi-national companies are now adopting English as their corporate language. This has increased the demand for English teachers in South Korea as thousands of students look to study English to increase their chances of employment.

South Korea is an attractive country to TEFL in for a number of reasons. Firstly, employers in South Korea tend to offer great benefit packages, often covering accommodation costs, bills and flights. Secondly, salaries in South Korea are pretty high. You can expect to earn anywhere between 1.9 million to 2.4 million won ($1,600 – $2,000 USD) – and most of this will be disposable income.

TEFL Org graduate, Sarah, relocated to South Korea with her husband in February 2018. You can read all about Sarah’s South Korean adventure here.


Home to 10 million people, the bustling capital city of Seoul is the most popular South Korean destination for EFL teachers, this is down to a number of reasons. For one, the social aspect of living in Seoul cannot be matched, the city has a number of unique, award-winning dance clubs that are open until the very early hours. Secondly, whilst Seoul is an incredibly busy city, it has a diverse landscape, so you are never too far from beautiful gardens and parks.

The global city is also host to a number of transnational companies’ headquarters, including Samsung, LG & Hyundai. Fact: Seoul has the fastest internet connection in the whole world! The constant tech innovations and developments in Seoul, make it a very exciting place to live.


Incheon is the 4th largest city in South Korea – the city has experienced extraordinary growth in the last few years and has become one of the wealthiest cities in South Korea. Located between Seoul and Korea’s main international airport, Incheon allows for convenient travel either to the country’s capital and nearby countries (think, weekend trips to Japan and China).

Officially known as ‘Incheon Metropolitan City’, you will never be short of things to do and see. Popular attractions in Incheon include Songdu Central Park, Jajangmyeon Museum and Yeongjongdo Island.


Out of the 88 non-native English-speaking countries and regions, Japan comes in at 49 with a relatively low level of English proficiency, ranking 11/21 in Asia.
The TEFL industry in Japan is well-established with an abundance of opportunities available throughout the country. As an EFL teacher in Japan, you can expect to earn anywhere between 200,000 – 600,000 yen ($1,700 USD – $5,000 USD per month). Hourly rates in Japan also tend to be quite high, with the average rate being 3,000 yen ($25 USD). Cities tend to pay more than the rural areas in Japan, although this is relative to the areas living costs.


Japan’s capital, Tokyo, is the biggest city in the world and offers many great opportunities to EFL teachers. Located in the South Kanto region of Japan, Tokyo is known as the country’s center of politics and culture.

Tokyo is also home to one of the busiest railway stations in the world. Shinjuka station sees 3.7 million people pass through each day – the station employs Oshiya’s which translates to ‘pushers’, their job is to push people onboard trains during rush hour.

Fact: vending machines are available in Tokyo at every 12-meter distance!


Japan’s third largest city, Osaka, is regarded as Japan’s economic and commercial hub. Whilst the city is a far cry from Tokyo, often branded ‘ugly’ in comparison, the city’s unique feature is its people – Osakan’s are known for being both good natured and humorous – some of Japan’s most famous comedians come from Osaka.

Top attractions in Osaka include Minami (namba), Osaka Castle, Sumiyoshi Taisha, Tenjin Matsuri, Shitennoji Temple.

Osaka is also close to Kyoto and Nara, two beautifully picturesque Japanese cities with lots of history. Kyoto and Nara are both renowned for their collection of palaces, temples, shrines and gardens – a must-visit for anyone living in Osaka or nearby.

Have you taught in Spain, South Korea or Japan? We love to hear our students’ stories, get in touch by emailing



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2 thoughts on “Top TEFL Destinations 2019

  1. I’m from Egypt and I was wondering if you can tell which TEFL provider is most accredited in Egypt for the 120- hour – in class training .

    Thanks in advance .

  2. If you’re worried about a job, there are schools looking for TEFL teachers around every corner in Bangkok and even at a few holiday resort towns too. Many EFL teachers in Thailand also supplement their income by online teaching or blogging.

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