If you’re planning on teaching English abroad, hold up! Have you got TEFL certified yet? No? Don’t procrastinate any longer! A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate is muy importante when it comes to teaching English overseas. Double that if you’ve never stepped foot in a classroom before! A good TEFL course will explain all the gobbledy gook so you can hit the ground running when you’re ready to educate!
When it comes to TEFL courses, there are literally thousands to choose from so here’s the lowdown. If you’re thinking of earning big bucks as a teacher abroad, you should look for a TEFL certificate of at least 120 hours. It should give you the skills to analyze the learning needs of your students, manage a classroom, and plan lessons efficiently. You should also check whether the course is accredited by a reputable organization. Good courses also include a classroom component where you get to teach real students.
Now that that’s sorted, where should you go to get that elusive TEFL certificate? Where is the best place for TEFL training and certification? Should you head to Europe? Africa? Asia? The Americas? There are just meh places to get certified and then there are the top TEFL destinations.
Skip the legwork and read this list. Brought to you by our wonderful community of meaningful travelers, here are the 10 best places for TEFL certification in 2018!
1. South Africa
In spite of its sad legacy of apartheid, today, South Africa is one of the best places for TEFL courses. It’s home to some of the most diverse and modern cities in Africa, like Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. Sign up for TEFL courses at local universities and language schools in the cities. During your free time, check out Robben island and Table Mountain, go a real African safari, or catch some of South Africa’s most gnarly waves!
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified with PremierTEFL
2. United States
Stay close to home (language wise) while earning a TEFL certificate in the United States. TEFL courses in the States are not only highly reputable but also offer you the chance to teach a diverse group of students, whether they’re Cuban immigrants, Russian students, or Indian tech staff. Popular places to enroll for TEFL courses include San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, big cities with lots of cultural diversity. Do courses in-person, online, or both in one of the best places for TEFL certification!
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Chicago with Teach English:ESL
3. The Philippines
The Philippines is one of Southeast Asia’s top TEFL training destinations. With two national languages, English and Filipino/Tagalog, living there during the course of your program will be a cinch. Not only that, the Philippines is one of the world’s most affordable destinations for TEFL hopefuls, leaving you with plenty money left over for weekend warrior adventures! Study in Cebu, Boracay, and Manila, three of the most popular places for TEFL courses.
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified the the Philippines with iTTT
If you ask, “What countries need English teachers?” Thailand’s bound to come up! Get your foot in the door by networking during your TEFL program so you can teach in the country afterward! Thailand remains a perennial favorite with wannabe English teachers because it’s so darn cheap and beautiful! The fact that so many expats have settled in Thailand also makes it a very attractive country for those seeking an international community. Top TEFL training destinations in Thailand include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Thailand with ACT
Although English is one of the official languages in India, you’d be surprised to know that many locals can’t speak it well. That makes it the perfect place to get TEFL certified and practice teaching the language to Indian kids and adults. Head to TEFL certification schools in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. When you’re not in TEFL class, take the time to explore this mystical subcontinent rife with awesome food, ancient temples, and modern cities.
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Kerala with Oxford TEFL
Looking for adventure in a vast country that also speaks English and French? Look no further than Canada to the north, a hot spot for reputable TEFL courses and excellent instructors. Cities that offer TEFL programs include Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, and Ottawa. Because Canada attracts migrants from all over the world, it’s also the perfect place to get some TEFL teaching practice!
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Canada with UNI-Prep
Japan is not just a paradise for cosplayers and anime fanbois and fangirls. This island nation is also one of Asia’s top TEFL course destinations and one of the countries that need English teachers year round. Why not lily pad from a TEFL course to a well-paying English teaching job while you’re there? As a first world Asian country, Japan provides the comforts of a modern society with a distinctly exotic culture. Find TEFL courses in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe.
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Japan with i-to-i TEFL
Earn teaching cred in Vietnam, one of the best places for TEFL certification. The Vietnamese are hungry to learn English to get ahead in the world, making this nation one of the countries that needs English teachers stat. It’s also one of the more affordable places in Asia to sign up a TEFL course, making it attractive with cost-effective foreigners. Get TEFL certified in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi where you’ll also find the bulk of teaching jobs after completing your course.
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Vietnam with AVSE-TESOL
Spain is everyone’s favorite destination in Europe to get TEFL certified. With flowing wine, neverending tapas, loud festivals, and throbbing EDM parties, what’s there not to like? Because there’s a high demand for English teachers, Spain has several TEFL providers so you’ll be spoiled for choice. Choose to get certified in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, or Sevilla to get plenty practice teaching Spanish native speakers.
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in Spain with International TEFL Academy
10. South Korea
Today, South Korea remains an uber-popular destination for English teachers abroad. In fact, many teachers flock to this Asian tiger because of its competitive salaries, some of the highest in the region and the world. If you dream of learning Korean and teaching English in a well-developed country, try South Korea. Get certified in Seoul or Busan, both popular with foreigners. After class, knock back some soju and really get to know the locals!
Recommended program: Get TEFL certified in South Korea with Xplore Asia
A note from GoAbroad
We’d like to thank our community for not only inspiring us daily, but for also giving us enough insight to share accurate predictions for meaningful travel in 2018.
Learn more our research methodology, recommended programs, and links here.
Browse more of our report on the best TEFL courses abroad—broken down by region
- Best Countries to get TEFL Certified in Europe 2018
- Best Countries to get TEFL Certified in the Americas for 2018
- Best Countries to get TEFL Certified in Africa in 2018
- Best Countries to get TEFL Certified in the South Pacific & Asia for 2018
- See ALL top destinations for ALL travel