Teaching Abroad: Cost Of Living In The Most Popular Locations

Do you plan on teaching abroad? You might be curious about how the experience will be. Maybe, you’re not even sure which country gives the best salary for teaching abroad.

Finding a rewarding experience while also receiving a fair salary is important when looking for teaching opportunities. However, a lot of people aren’t in it for the money. For many, the advantages and personal development that come with the experience might exceed the pay.

When deciding whether to teach overseas, one should also take the local cost of living and benefits into consideration. They often help to determine how much money you can save when working abroad. So let’s get straight to the point!

What is the cost for teaching abroad?

Moving abroad and teaching in a foreign country can be a smart money move for young professionals, but there are expenses to consider before one can start earning and saving. Moving to a new country and setting up a new life takes money. It’s important to save up enough before deciding on making the move.

Firstly, the documents needed to make a move: Most teaching jobs abroad require a TEFL certificate. The best TEFL courses should have at least 120 hours and can cost between $500-$2,500, but the highest quality programs usually cost around $1,000.

To apply for a teaching job abroad, you’ll also need to provide important documents that verify your identity, education, and professional background. These may include a criminal record check, fingerprints, copies of your high school diploma and/or college degree, official transcripts, professional passport photos, and translations of documents into the target language of your destination. Medical check-ups and international shipping costs may also be required.

Along with these documents, you’ll need a work visa or residence permit to enter and stay in the country where you’ll be teaching. Visa fees may vary based on your citizenship, the type of visa you need, and the country you’re moving to. Visa costs usually range from $40-$150+ and can change without notice.

You also need an International plane ticket to travel, which can be expensive depending on the time of the year and the trip that you’re planning.

Secondly, after you land in your destination country: Another significant expense is the cost of renting an apartment, which usually requires a security deposit which is around 3 months of rent. However, some employers may offer free housing as part of their work contract.

When you arrive in your new country, you’ll also need to budget for other necessities such as a phone plan, sightseeing, public transportation, and temporary accommodation while you are job or apartment hunting. It’s important to plan and budget for these expenses beforehand to ensure a smooth transition to your new life abroad.

Lastly, while you live there: You’d need expenses to live your day-to-day life, which includes commute, food expenses, other household and miscellaneous expenses, savings. All of that, however, can be covered after your first month salary.

Which countries pay the highest salaries for teaching abroad?

So now that you know how much it costs living as an expatriate teacher abroad. You must be wondering where you can teach and earn lots of money? There are some really well-paying teaching jobs available abroad, most notably:

1) United Arab Emirates

If you want to teach English and earn a lot of money, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a great option. You could make between $3,500 and $5,500 per month, depending on your experience. That’s some of the highest pay for teaching jobs abroad!

Along with the pay, some schools may offer other benefits like paid flights home and help with housing. So, if you’re interested in teaching in the UAE, be sure to keep an eye out for those extra perks!

2) Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking for other high-paying teaching jobs in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia is also a good option. In Saudi Arabia, you can earn around $3,000 to $4,000 per month, along with benefits and allowances that can help you save money.

With so much cultural diversity, it could be a captivating opportunity.

3) China

China is large, and over 300 million people take English classes there each year, so there’s a big demand for English instructors.

As an educator in China, you can expect to earn around $3,000 per month. If you teach a specialized subject, you could even make up to $5,000 per month. Extra perks like free accommodation can also help you save a lot of money while you’re there.

4) South Korea

South Korea is a prosperous country that values education. As a teacher in South Korea, you can expect to earn around $2,500 per month, and save up to $1,000 of that. And if you commit to teaching for a year, you may even get a bonus from your employer. Some jobs also offer free flights and housing for teachers, which can help you save even more money.

What country has the lowest cost of living?

One of the main reasons people move abroad to work is the low cost of living.  Even though salaries may be lower, your expenses should be too. And if you find a well-paid job in a cheap destination, you can make your money go even further.


The cost of living in Thailand is not exorbitant, so you can save a lot of money from your salary, along with savings on transportation since it’s so cheap. As an English teacher in Thailand, you can earn between $550 to $1200 per month.

Some schools may even give you your airfare back when your contract ends, but usually, you’ll have to pay for your own ticket. Your employer should also provide you with health insurance, and your contract will likely last for one year.

Teaching abroad in a foreign country can be an incredible opportunity to explore new places, meet new people, and learn about different cultures. It’s possible for almost anyone to do, as long as you research your options and find a good fit for you.

With some effort and planning, you’ll be on your way to living and working in your preferred country in no time. Want to stay up-to-date with teaching abroad opportunities? Sign up for free and start exploring EDU Passport now!

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