After a friend of mine mentioned that she is considering making a move abroad to teach ESL, I immediately wanted to hear all about her plans. I have a tendency to live vicariously through others in this aspect even though I trot the globe enough myself. But what came up in our conversation piqued my curiosity. Over the years I have had to ask the same question time and time again. What are the best times during the year to start teaching ESL abroad in any given country? So I figured what better way to do this than compiling a list of countries and times throughout the year that employers tend to hire ESL teachers the most.
Knowing that the internet provides complete and ample but scattered data on all matters, I decided to search until I found information on all of the following countries.
Best Times During Year To Start Teaching ESL Abroad
Interview & Recruit Dates
Advice from Teachers in Country
|Argentina||Late February – March and early April, July & August||February – March|
|Cambodia||Year Round?||I’ve combed the internet, but have not found exact dates for Cambodia. Any experienced teachers in Cambodia please chime in!|
|Chile||February / March||Worst time to look for a job is December and January|
|China||January / February / April / May / November||Late August / Early September / Late February / Early March||There are different opinions on the best hiring times. It looks like you can pretty much get hired Year Round.|
|Columbia||June / January||February / July|
|Czech Republic||September / January / February|
|September is best, but some schools hire year round|
|France||September / October / January|
|Germany||September / January|
|Greece||Year Round, but most often August – October||If you are visiting them in person, it is not recommended that you spend time doing this any earlier than August.|
|Hong Kong||Year Round||The major recruiting sites have tons of job postings all the time.|
|Indonesia||July / October|
|Italy||September / October / January|
|Japan||January / April||March / August||Some schools take up to 8-9 months to process an application.|
|Korea||February is best, but schools do hire year round.||If you want a government job (lower pay, but stable job), you have to apply through EPIK or GEPIK at the right time of the year. If you go for a hagwon (my preference), you can apply anytime as they take teachers on year round, depending on when the previous teachers leave.|
|Oman||January – August||Year Round, but May – August is peak|
|Portugal||September / January|
|Qatar||December – January / September||August / January|
|Russia||a couple of months before September and January||Year Round|
|Saudi Arabia||Late August|
|September / October / January Summer work- April / May|
|Thailand||Year Round & Mid-March ~ Mid-May / October (depends on type of school)||Worst time to look for a job is January and February|
|United States||May – July / November – December||August / January|
Many other countries would be a happy addition. For ESL teachers who are living abroad and want to chime in on their resident country, please do so. All of the information above was found on the internet. I have just brought everything together in one place. Some of the countries I have taught in and know the starting dates from first-hand experience. If you see any mistakes or information that is not current, just email me at TESOL Lifestyle and let me know what you know.
Hopefully, together, we can keep this chart an up-to-date resource for all ESL professionals to refer to.
Happy Job Hunting!
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