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10 Reasons to Teach English in Asia

Do you want to earn some money, see the world and escape your comfort zone? You should teach English in Asia! Here are 10 reasons why you should give it a go:

You’ll save a lot of money

Assuming you don’t drink it all away, chances are you’ll save a decent amount of money when you teach English in Asia. Singapore seems to be the best place to save money – followed by Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Teaching in Thailand, Cambodia or Indonesia probably won’t net you as much cash, but you’ll have a pretty high standard of living.

You’ll get to sleep in a lot

A lot of English teaching jobs in Asia require you to work nights, something like 4pm-9pm, which means you can either get a whole lot of stuff done before work or just be lazy, sleep in and watch movies. You’ll also probably go out a lot so getting a chance to sleep off those hangovers is important.

You’ll get more praise than you ever thought possible

Asian kids seem to be pretty open with their praise for teachers; it’s very common for them to say that they love you, that they think you’re a good teacher and that you are handsome. They will also laugh at all your jokes.  Unlike most jobs, you’ll always be reminded that you’re doing a good job (not so much by staff/management though – but that’s another story). One of my students even made me a card that said “Teacher Jon, you are the best teacher in the whole white world”.

Teaching English abroad was my ticket to the world and it can be yours too. Get started with an ONLINE TEFL CERTIFICATE↓↓↓

TEFL Jonistravelling

You’ll learn some parenting skills (if you teach kids)

Or you’ll discover that kids are horrible and you never want to have one. Either way you’ve learned something. Teaching a room full of small Taiwanese children who don’t speak much English is challenging, but if you can learn to control them you’ll have a huge skill base in learning to deal with your own future children.

You’ll leave your comfort zone

In Taiwan I was thrown together with 50 other people in a sink or swim extreme training situation. I sang, acted, got mocked (in a friendly way) about my accent and did more things that scared me in that week than in my previous 25 years. The first few weeks in Taiwan showed me that I can do pretty much do anything.

You’ll get the chance to travel

Whether you just travel around the country that you are working in, or you head further afield, if you teach English in Asia you’ll be able to check out plenty of new places. Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam would probably be the best places to teach if you want to visit a lot of countries, but teaching in China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan will allow you to really get to know those countries from head to toe.

You’ll make friends from around the world

I’ve met very few other New Zealanders since I left to teach English in Asia. While I do miss the connection you can only have with a fellow countryman, it’s been great to meet people from so many different backgrounds. You learn a lot about the world, and it’s an added bonus that if you ever end up in their countries you’ll have a free place to stay.

You don’t need to be a proper teacher

In most countries in Asia any western person with a degree can become a teacher. Cruised through university with the easiest degree you could find? No problem, as long as you have a decent grasp of the English language you will get a good paying job. Even if you don’t, you’ll still get a job somewhere in Asia.

You’ll live in perpetual summer (if you teach in a warm country)

In nearly 2 years of teaching in Singapore I’ve never had to wear a jersey or jacket. Once you get used to the humid heat it makes things really easy. You can leave home wearing a t-shirt and not risk freezing to death if the weather changes, unlike in New Zealand!

FURTHER READING: Check out this post on online TEFL courses

Asian kids are awesome

Asian children seem to know their place far better than western ones. They have more of a respect for their elders and are really hard working.

Teaching English in Singapore - A great option if you want to teach English in Asia

So, are these good enough reasons to teach English in Asia? Let me know if you have any more!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.
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  1. March 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm — Reply

    me and cez have been teaching english in china for more than two years. firstly, it’s been an incredible cultural experience. secondly, we have gained some teaching experienced and learnt chinese. lastly, we were able to financially support our travels and save up some money for the future! absolutely recommend it to everyone!

    • March 25, 2014 at 12:16 am — Reply

      Nice, I really want to teach in China some time!

  2. Kerry
    March 20, 2014 at 10:42 pm — Reply

    I’m sold!!

    This is something I really want to do, and my plan was to go travelling in Asia anyway, and this just sounds great.

    How would I go about this? I don’t have savings and I have a little bit of debt (hence the reason I’m doing this!) plus I’m 29, single, and this sounds like a fabulous way to see the world, and save for my future home and eventually baby fund!!

    Any tips on where to start would be fab, thanks

  3. Kerry
    March 20, 2014 at 11:41 pm — Reply

    I’ve had a look at your other blog and its very informative.

    I have a 1st class honours in Communication Studies (BA) and have also qualified up to CC level as part of Toastmasters International (the worlds largest speaking organisation). I have ran my own workshops and have videos of me teaching- do you think I’m in with a good chance??

    • March 25, 2014 at 12:17 am — Reply

      Haha, you are more qualified than me!!

  4. April 8, 2014 at 8:24 pm — Reply

    Its fun to teach English in Asia especially when you get to interact with smart kids. I would definitely consider working with Asian students especially teaching them speak and write English even without the other benefits.

    • April 29, 2014 at 10:15 am — Reply

      Haha yeah, teaching smart kids is always more enjoyable!

  5. August 6, 2014 at 2:33 am — Reply

    Haha, I like the warning in the beginning “assuming you don’t drink it all away” 🙂 Definitely something I’d like to try in the next few years! (Teaching that is, not the drinking!)

    • August 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm — Reply

      Haha, they go hand in hand for a lot of people!

  6. December 1, 2014 at 2:35 am — Reply

    The last reason alone would convince me, teaching kids who respect their teachers and the education they are receiving really makes a difference to the job.

    • December 4, 2014 at 3:50 am — Reply

      Yip, it’s far different from teaching in the west from what I hear.

  7. December 3, 2014 at 9:53 pm — Reply

    Great reasons! And really cute pictures 😀 Those alone would have convinced me!! As for “They will also laugh at all your jokes,” oh how I wish it were that way in Germany! My students here just stare at me as though I have three heads 😀

    • December 4, 2014 at 3:51 am — Reply

      Haha, I bet living in Germany makes up for it though. I studied German in high school and it always seemed like a cool place to live.

  8. Andrea
    August 4, 2017 at 1:37 pm — Reply

    I am not sure what you mean by” Asian children seem to know their place far better than western ones” and “In most countries in Asia any western person with a degree can become a teacher”

    It seemed to me that you are aware of the white/ Western superiority mentality in Asia ( a rather poisonous and harmful mentality I should say) and happily use it to your advantage

    • November 2, 2017 at 8:58 am — Reply

      Hey Andrea, the first was just a comment on the differences in behaviour that I noticed. The Asian kids that I taught seemed to be better at respecting people in authority. Not entirely sure how that relates to a western superiority mentality. The second quote is more about there being a demand for native English speakers in growing Asian countries. Again, I don’t think that has anything to do with a perceived western superiority mentality.

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