Which Teaching Abroad Program Is Right For You?

Countries around the world welcome native English speakers to explore new places and get paid to teach English. For recent high school and college graduates, these positions can be great first steps into the working world.

As a balance between regular employment and all-out exotic adventuring, teaching abroad programs are plum opportunities for those reluctant to dive straight into the 40+ hour work week. But which program should you pursue? Here's a list of some of the most popular and beloved options.

1. TEFL Certification

A TEFL certification isn't location-specific, but we're including it on this list because many teaching programs require it as a prerequisite. TEFL stands for "Teaching English as a Foreign Language." No previous experience is required to receive this accreditation. The TEFL program has trained more than 120,000 teachers over the past decade.


The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) is a non-profit teaching exchange with posts located all over the world. As well as study-abroad programs, they operate teaching programs in Spain, Chile, China, Hungary, Italy, the Czech Republic, Vietnam, Portugal, Morocco, South Korea, and Thailand.

You can choose programs by departure season, duration, and location, making CIEE a great choice for travelers with different needs. CIEE also has a global alumni network, meaning you can take advantage of your program long after it ends.

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3. Maximo Nivel

For adventurers curious about Latin America, Maximo Nivel is worth checking out. They offer a range of internship, volunteer, and teaching abroad options in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Peru. If you want to teach, you can specialize in concentrations like business English or international exam preparation.

4. UAE Government Schools

In the United Arab Emirates, you'll find plenty of high-paying teaching positions for foreign nationals. Note that many positions require certification or a couple of years of experience, or both. If you have that under your belt, you're free to apply to these positions which often provide round-trip flights, benefits, housing, and a tax-free salary. Check out some available positions here.

5. The JET Program

The Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program allows young professionals to live and work in cities, towns, and villages all over Japan. Most participants serve as assistant teachers and can work in both public and private schools throughout the country.

You'll need a bachelor's degree and to be a citizen of the United States. Contracts usually last about 10 months and require 35 hours of work a week. In exchange, you'll get a salary, a visa, and transportation to and from Japan.

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6. The Language House Prague

If you'd like to complete your TEFL course in Prague, the Language House is the place to do it. After you complete the four-week course, they'll help you find a teaching job in Prague or around the world.

About 95% of the graduates who look for work in Prague secure employment within a few weeks of course completion. They also claim that 100% of their graduates who job hunt in Asia ultimately find employment. So if you don't want to wait to finish your certification before setting off on an adventure, this might be the program for you.

7. The EPIK Program

The English Program In Korea (EPIK) is one of the most popular teaching abroad options for recent college graduates. Participants will teach in Korean public schools, and while they will run their own classrooms, there is often a co-teacher available to guide lectures and corral students.

EPIK is known for its high wages and generous benefits - your housing is provided, you get a one-time moving stipend, and you get a severence bonus if you complete your contract.

Whichever program you choose, teaching abroad will be a great way to transition to living and working in a different country. Good luck!