HI Hostels Blog

Five Destinations to Teach Overseas

Jetting off around the world? One way intrepid travellers are funding these epic journeys is through TEFL or Teaching English as a Foreign Language. As contracts can vary from a few months to a full year TEFL provides a great opportunity to travel on a budget and pick up plenty of friends along the way!


Oh, Thailand – isn’t it on everyone’s travel-must list? Endless beaches, crystal waters, oh and don’t even get us started on the food there!

Whilst holiday-makers flock to the beaches of Krabi, the growth in tourism has led to a nationwide demand for English teachers. Teacher’s salaries in Thailand might not be the most lucrative but the cheap cost of living and the excellent scenery certainly makes up for it. As a new teacher you can expect to earn around 27,000 – 36,000 Baht per month but this can extend to up to 60,000 a month depending on your experience.

What’s it like to live there? Most TEFL teachers spend their weekdays teaching, planning lessons and snacking on 50 Baht pad Thai before heading to the beach or a quick trip to Laos over the weekend… the hard life of a TEFL teacher!

Top travel tip: Head to paradise at Ko Tarutao – the largest island at Ko Tarutao National Park –think postcard-perfect!

See what HI hostels are available within Thailand.


Inter-railing around Europe and want to top up the travel fund? Summer camps are a fantastic short-term TEFL teaching opportunity to help fund your travels as you train your way around Europe. Italy offers a large collection of summer camps which are great for gaining teaching experience without having to commit to a long-term contract as positions vary from two weeks to three months. You will need to organise a placement before you head off on your travels through a Jobs Board.

What is summer camp life like? When you’re not teaching English you’ll be expected to join in the fun and games of camp lifestyle so expect lots of outdoors activities (many summer camps have a focus on sport). And remember, you’re in Italy…only one of the finest cuisines on the planet!

Italy not for you? Spain, France Germany and Finland are also popular summer camp destinations!

Don’t forget to also check out HI hostels in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Finland!



Heading to Japan? Home to both the traditional and the fantastically futuristic! As Japan’s thriving business community continues to grow, there’s a constant demand for English teachers. A great option for short-term teaching contracts in Japan is to offer your services as a private tutor to business professionals who are keen to brush up on their conversational English.

The great thing about private TEFL tutoring is that it gives you more time to explore your local area…and what a place to be! Popular teaching destinations include Kobe, Tokyo and Kyoto!

Top tip: Head to a Japanese onsen for the perfect after-work treat!

HI have fantastic hostels to choose from in Japan.



Home to carnivals, a dedicated football following and more carnivals! As it is such a vibrant country, it is no wonder that Brazil is the number one destination in South America amongst TEFL teachers. Like most parts of South America, the best way to find a job in Brazil is to look whilst you’re in the country.

Living and working in Brazil is all about the experience! So if you’re looking for a destination where you’ll rake in lots of hard-earned cash…I’m afraid Brazil isn’t the one! Salaries for full-time jobs start at around 1,500 Brazilian Real (US$845) a month, rising up to 3,000 Brazilian Real (US$1,700) a month for experienced teachers in bigger cities – look at Rio, Sao Paulo and Brasilia.

Living in Brazil is very reasonable indeed. Food is cheap at around 25 Brazilian Real (US$14) for a three-course meal.

What to do on your weekends? If you’re living in Rio then a trip to Copacabana beach is a must – expect tiny, tiny bikinis and, you guessed it, more football!

There are many great HI hostels in Brazil offering affordable accommodation, to check them out, click here.


If you’re something of a trend-setter then Turkey is the place to start before hordes of prospective TEFLers find out about this (not so) best kept secret! Turkey is fast becoming the TEFL destination of the year with the historic Istanbul being the hub of the teaching community and tourist hotspot, Izmir not too far behind.

Turkey is another destination where jobs are often found whilst in the country – teaching contracts are often negotiable so meeting in person gives you the chance to let you get a feel for the place and your working environment too. Opportunities vary from private language schools and state schools alike.

Top tip: Look out for opportunities that offer return flights as an end of contract bonus!

What to do on the weekend? If you’re based in the touristy area of Izmir, head to Ephesus for a history lesson around this ancient Roman city!

Have a look at the fantastic HI hostels available in Turkey.


Where else can you go? Check out the 22 country guides to living and teaching abroad on www.onlinetefl.com

Thailand photo by Argenberg

Related Posts