The 10 Best Cities to Teach English Abroad. Part 1, 10-6.

By Jon Duckett
Experienced TEFL teacher and director at TEFL Jobs World

The 10 Best Cities to Teach English Abroad

By Jens Peter Clausen (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Following on from our ‘best countries to teach English abroad’ guide, TEFL Jobs World gives you the lowdown on the 10 best cities to teach English abroad in 2011.

10. Tokyo, Japan

Why Tokyo: Ultra modern, ultra different, space age city on the cutting edge of cool! Friendly culture. Lots of language schools on the lookout for native English speakers.

Qualifications: A degree in any discipline.

Main Employers: Private language schools, the JET programme, secondary schools.

Highlights: Hanging out in the neon wilderness of Shinjuku. Strolling round ancient temples in Asakusa. Checking out the Tokyo fashionista’s in Harajuku.

Drawbacks: Accommodation can be expensive and teachers can end up in apartments a long way out of town. The ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant 150 miles north of Tokyo is still unresolved.

9. Istanbul, Turkey

Why Istanbul: Fascinating city straddling two continents. Great food and cafe culture, with a pleasant climate. There is a large demand for English teachers.

Qualifications: Being a native speaker of English, a TEFL certificate and/or degree can also help.

Main Employers: Private language schools, and the possibility of getting your own private students.

Highlights: Shopping in the narrow streets of the Grand Bazaar, cruising on the Bosphorus for great views of the city, chilling out in the bars on Istiklal Street.

Drawbacks: It can be difficult to secure a work visa that allows you to work legally beyond your 3 month tourist visa. Istanbul can be expensive on a teacher’s salary.

8. Moscow, Russia

Why Moscow: Intriguing city slowly opening up to the west. Currently going through a boom in demand for English language teachers.

Qualifications: A CELTA/Trinity TESOL certificate, plus a degree.

Main Employers: Large private language school chains such as BKC-International House.

Highlights: Experiencing a night at the Bolshoi theatre, wandering around Kitay Gorod Moscow’s ancient quarter and enjoying the city’s vibrant nightlife.

Drawbacks: Instability, corruption and the threat of terrorism.

7. Paris, France

Why Paris: Plentiful jobs, beautiful city, great food and culture. Lots of interesting museums and galleries.

Qualifications: A degree in any discipline, plus a TEFL certificate can help.

Main Employers: Teaching business English in private language schools to students on government subsidised courses. Getting your own private students.

Highlights: The amazing food and cafe culture. Soaking up the atmosphere of this beautiful, cosmopolitan city. Wandering around the artists quarter in Montmartre.

Drawbacks: Expensive.

6. Bangkok, Thailand

Why Bangkok: Lots of jobs for teachers. Frenetic, buzzing city. Wonderful food and notorious nightlife. Low cost of living.

Qualifications: Be a native speaker of English, a TEFL certificate may help.

Main employers: Schools, universities and private language schools in the city.

Highlights: Shopping on the river markets, exploring the numerous temples, enjoying the street food.

Drawbacks: The traffic is dreadful and so is the air pollution. There has been a lot of instability in Thailand recently and this has largely centred on Bangkok.

Coming soon, our top 5 cities to teach English abroad in 2011.


I am an experienced TEFL teacher who has worked in London, Japan and Spain. I am also the director here at TEFL Jobs World.