Asia: Where TESOL Opportunities Abound

As promised, here are the programs to teach English in public schools in Asia. Please note that most of the program don’t have an official website, so I’ve linked to sites that are run by recruitment agencies because they have a lot of information about them. I’ve never used any of these agencies so I can’t vouch for them, but a quick search should bring up reviews by those who have.

Asia is one of the most financially lucrative places to teach English.

Asia is one of the most financially lucrative places to teach English. Image source: dcmaster @ flickr


  • There is a huge demand for English teachers in China, but I can’t find a government program that places NETs into public schools. After much google-ing I’ve come to the conclusion that  you either have to find a job yourself or apply with a recruitment agency to find the job for you. Check out this site for more information.

Japan – JET Program

  • Institutions: Public
  • Contract duration: 1 year
  • Requirements: Hold a BA. Be a citizen of one of these 39 countries. Be interested in Japanese culture. Applications open in late September. You must pass an in-person interview to get in. Competition for a spot in the JET program is very high, I’ve read that out of 5000 applicants only 800 will receive a placement.

Malaysia – English Language Professionals

  • Institutions: Public
  • Contract Duration: ?
  • Requirements: Teachers should be 27+ years old, hold a BA and be TESL certified with 3 years experience teaching abroad. This program is interesting because you will not be working with young students, but helping Malaysian English teachers work on their English proficiency.

South Korea: EPIK Program

  • Institutions: Public
  • Contract Duration: 1 year
  • Requirements: Citizen of USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. You must have also completed your BA (or equivalent) in one of these countries. Applications open in the fall and late spring. Application process is about 4 months long.
  • I completed a year teaching in SK, so if you want any information feel free to ask me!


  • Like China, the TEFL market in Thailand is huge. And like China, I was unable to find a government run program that placed NETs in Thai public schools. If you are interested in finding a job teaching in Thailand, check out Ajarn, a site that is run by expat teachers living and working there.

Additional opportunities for those with a B. Ed or equivalent 


  • Institutions: Public
  • Contract Duration: 16 – 24 months
  • Requirements: A degree from a university in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa or the UK. A B Ed/Dip Ed/Dip Teaching/PGCE. A minimum of 3 years teaching experience. A valid driver’s license.

Hong Kong

  • Institutions – Public (Primary or Secondary)
  • Contract Duration: 2 years
  • Requirements: Major in English, B.Ed and a TEFL/TESOL certificate.


  • Institutions: Public
  • Contract: 1 year
  • Requirements: Minimum requirements are a degree in English OR Education AND a teaching certificate.

Of course you don’t have to stick public schools, there are also opportunities to teach in the private sector in each of these countries. And while fluency in English is the only language requirement, knowing the basics of the official language of your host country will make your experience in that country much more enjoyable.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you know of any other programs I’ve missed, please message me so I can update the list.

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to read my previous post on teaching in Europe!

Featured Image Source: David Hepworth @ Flickr

  1. 10 July, 2012
    • 10 July, 2012
  2. 23 January, 2015
    • 24 January, 2015
  3. 26 October, 2015
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