Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. Other popular places include Europe, South America, and Central America. Many countries in Southeast Asia enjoy a tropical climate, it is either warm or hot all year round, are proud of their rich culture, have many beaches, and offer a variety of wonderful local food. But we haven’t got to the most important point yet. Most importantly, the costs are very low in most Southeast Asian countries. That is also why many ESL instructors think about teaching English in Southeast Asia.
If you are one of the ESL instructors considering Southeast Asia as your teach abroad destination, this article will help you decide which country you want to go to. There are a number of amazing countries in this part of the world for you to choose from. Look into the details and let us know which country you would travel to if you decide to teach English in Southeast Asia. One thing to keep in mind is that teachers’ salary in Southeast Asian countries is relatively low. If you are looking for well-paying countries, these might not be the best options for you.
Teaching English in Southeast Asia
Check out the list of Southeast Asian countries where ESL instructors can find English teaching job opportunities. They are all unique in their own ways, so look into the details and see if any of these countries catch your attention. You might already have one of these countries on your travel bucket list as they are all known to be extremely beautiful.
Teach in Singapore
Singapore is one of the best countries to teach English in Asia. Singapore’s major city, where you can find most of the English teaching jobs, is Singapore city. Interestingly, the capital city and the name of the country are the same.
- Best city to find a job: Singapore
- English teaching jobs in Singapore: language school, international schools, private tutoring
- ESL teacher’s salary in Singapore: $2,200 – $3,050 USD monthly
- Work hours: 20 to 30 hours per week
- Requirements for teaching English in Singapore: a university or college degree
- Cost of living in Singapore: $1,100 – $1,400 USD per month
Learn more about teaching ESL in Singapore.
Teach in Vietnam: ESL in Southeast Asia
Vietnam is also one of the best countries for teaching English in Asia, along with Singapore. Also, Vietnam ranked 40th among the world’s best countries list in 2021. The country is well-known for its delicious food, kayaking, caves, and Sapa (one of the best natural wonders in Vietnam).
- Best city to find a job: Hanoi
- English teaching jobs in Vietnam: language academy, international school, private tutoring
- ESL teacher’s salary in Vietnam: $900 – $1800 USD monthly
- Work hours: 18 to 25 hours per week
- Requirements for teaching English in Vietnam: a university or college degree
- Cost of living in Vietnam: $700 – $1400 USD per month
Learn more about teaching ESL in Vietnam.
Teach in Thailand
Not surprisingly, Thailand is also on the list of the top 10 places to teach English in Asia. It is a very famous tourist destination for several reasons. Food, islands, parties, and the rich culture are just a few to mention.
- Best cities to find a job: Bangkok, Chiang Mai
- English teaching jobs in Thailand: private and public school, private tutoring, colleges/universities
- ESL teacher’s salary in Thailand: $800 – $1200 USD monthly
- Work hours: 40 hours per week
- Requirement for teaching English in Thailand: a degree
- Cost of living in Thailand: $650 – $ 1000 USD per month
Learn the details about teaching ESL in Thailand.
Teach in the Philippines: English in Southeast Asia
If you love islands and beautiful beaches, put the Philippines on your list. The country consists of over 7000 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. Of course, diving and surfing are two very popular sports in the Philippines.
- Best city to find a job: Manila
- English teaching jobs in the Philippines: technical and vocational education, private language academies, private tutoring
- ESL teacher’s salary in the Philippines: $800 USD monthly
- Work hours: 40 hours per week
- Requirements for teaching English in the Philippines: a degree, TEFL certificate, ESL teaching experience
- Cost of living in the Philippines: $400 USD excluding rent
Learn more about teaching ESL in the Philippines.
Teach in Laos
Laos is a landlocked country in mainland of Southeast Asia. It is a popular travel destination among animal and nature lovers. The land of a million elephants is the nickname of Laos.
- Best city to find a job: Vientiane
- English teaching jobs in Laos: language schools, volunteer programs
- ESL teacher’s salary in Laos: $500 – $1000 USD monthly
- Work hours: 20 to 30 hours per week
- Requirements for teaching English in Laos: TEFL certificate
- Cost of living in Laos: $900 USD per month
How to teach ESL in Laos.
Teach in Malaysia
Malaysia is popular among ESL teachers who wish to teach abroad because of the laid-back lifestyle, amazing tropical climate, and low cost of living. It is a great option for teachers who wish to have a relaxing year while still gaining teaching experience.
- Best city to find a job: Kuala Lumpur
- English teaching jobs in Malaysia: language schools, international schools, public colleges or universities, private tutoring
- ESL teacher’s salary in Malaysia: $1000 – $2300 USD monthly
- Work hours: 20 to 25 hours
- Requirements for teaching English in Malaysia: a degree, TEFL/TESOL certificate, two or more years of teaching experience
- Cost of living in Malaysia: $400 excluding rent per month
Learn more about teaching ESL in Malaysia.
Teach in Cambodia
Cambodia is well-known among tourists for historical sites like Angkor Wat and the fact that the Buddhist religion is practiced by the majority of the population. If you are interested in a country with religion deeply embodied in the culture, Cambodia will definitely be a great option!
- Best city to find a job:
- English teaching jobs in Cambodia: private schools, language academies
- ESL teacher’s salary in Cambodia: $700 – $2,000 USD monthly
- Work hours: 20 to 25 hours per week
- Requirements for teaching English in Cambodia: a TEFL certificate
- Preferred qualifications: university/college degree, native English speaker
- Cost of living in Cambodia: $500-$1000 per month
Learn all information about teaching ESL in Cambodia.
FAQ About Teaching English in Southeast Asia
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about teaching English in Southeast Asia. Check out the answers!
How do I become an English teacher in Southeast Asia?
Most countries in Southeast Asia will require English teachers to have a university degree and a TEFL or TESOL certificate. Some jobs can ask for teaching experience in addition.
Does Thailand need English teachers?
There is high demand for English teachers in Thailand. Foreign ESL teachers can get an English teaching job in Thailand if they have a university degree and native English speaker level fluency in the language.
How can I teach English in Malaysia?
In order to teach English in Malaysia, teachers will need a university or college degree, a TEFL certificate, and a minimum of 2 years of teaching experience.
How much do English teachers make in Indonesia?
On average, English teachers make around $600 – $1,100 USD per month. If you are looking for a higher salary within Indonesia, you can aim to get English teaching jobs at international schools rather than private language schools and kindergartens.
Teaching English in Southeast Asia: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on teaching English in Southeast Asia? Is it the right place for you? Do you want to go to any of the countries on the list, or are you looking for a different country like Japan, Korea, or China? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!