Teaching English in Asia

How to find Teaching Jobs Overseas


Teaching English in Asia is expanding as an industry and as a way to make a living. Whether you just want a hiatus from your real career, or want to make teaching a new career in its own right, spending at least a few years in a foreign country teaching ESL can be a worthwhile experience. It can be difficult to know where to start, however, especially with the sheer amount of information online. While each country in Asia differs in its hiring process and qualifications needed, there are still several great job boards to go to in order to find job postings.

By far the most well known is Dave’s ESL Cafe. Founded by ESL teacher Dave Sperling, ESL Cafe features job postings from just about anywhere in the world, with a lot of the better entry level offers in East Asia. Those looking for more specialized ESL work - such as University teaching positions or corporate gigs - would also do well to check here once in awhile. There’s some junk to wade through, as a lot of entry level offers are similar or repostings of other offers on the site, but you can find some real gems as well. I found my first teaching job in South Korea through Dave’s ESL Cafe, and it ended up being an amazing experience. ESL Cafe is particularly good for those seeking entry level work in Korea - they have separate job and discussion forums for the country. The site also offers discussion forums for just about any country’s ESL industry in the world; if you have any questions about finding a job in your desired country it’s a good place to ask.

Tokyo at night

Next up is Gaijinpot, which is more Japan specific. Gaijinpot is a site dedicated to serving foreign residents in Japan when it comes to looking for work, apartments, and more. It can be an excellent place to find some entry level teaching jobs and other ESL gigs - as well as some work in other unrelated fields. However given the state of the job market in Japan, it’s slightly easier for those who are already in the country to find work (as employers are often reluctant to go through the paperwork for a new working visa). Still it’s a good place to glance at for a first timer to Japan as well. Note that Japan’s famous JET Program does not use online job boards - one must apply through the Japanese Embassy of their home country. For more information on the JET Program, check out your local Japanese Consulate website.

Finally we have ESL Focus, which offers a lot of the same functions as Dave’s ESL Cafe. Users can find jobs by country easily, and there are links to news, articles, and videos that help with professional development. They also have a store where you can buy relevant ESL teaching materials and guidebooks - a must for anybody who’s first getting into the industry. ESL Focus is another great site to help you find your first overseas teaching job.


Regardless of your reasons, teaching English in Asia can be a life changing experience. You get to see a new part of the world and make a decent income while doing so. With all of the great resources for first time job seekers, you don’t need to be confused as you set out for your first adventure in East Asia.

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