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The two highest paying countries in the world are Japan and Korea. Japan, however, has a MUCH higher cost of living, and teachers typically must find their own apartments. In Korea, the school usually provides the teacher with a place to live. Starting pay is about $2,000 to $2,200 per month with no bills (or possibly $80 per month or so if you get stuck with utilities). I have lived in both countries, and I would describe neither one as laid back! That being said, you can always find the expat community if you miss home.
I can’t give you absolute figures, but my former college roommate was teaching in Vietnam (and now teaches in Taiwan) and has been able to live very comfortably in both places.
I wouldn’t recommend teaching if you’re looking to get rich, though…it has its rewards, for sure, but I know of comparitively few teachers who, say, own their own yacht, etc…
The rewards of teaching english are far greater than money, but if that is what you are interested in I think you should look at places in big cities, particularly in Japan, Korea or even China. As mentioned earlier, these places are not “laid back”.
If by “highly paid” you mean making more money than locals, try Thailand, which is very very laid back. If you work at a public school you make about 4 times more than a Thai teacher who has been working for 20 years.
Good luck finding the right job!
P.S. My school in Chaing Mai, Thailand is currently (and desperately) searching for a grade 2 teacher. If you want to know more just contact me and I’ll be happy to provide details!
Thanks for the reply. I think you understand what I was asking perfectly. Of course I’m not trying to get rich, but I would like to be able to save at least 1/4 of my income I make over there, even if it’s not that much. For me, I’d rather take a pay cut than go to a high strung city. I’m looking for a slower pace and some friendly faces. For me, big cities in Japan and China are out of the question. Right now I’m pretty much deciding between Thailand and Malayasia, both of which I heard were laid back. I would love to work at your school but I have 2 more years of schooling and I’ll have my masters degree. After that it would be great!
I worked for a year in a laid back small town in Taiwan – the pay was good – about $2200 Canadian a month (you’ll have to convert to American) the apartment (not luxurious by any stretch but acceptable) was included. I taught 4 hours a day from 4-9 (one hour unpaid prep time) I paid off $7000 (again – Canadian) in student loans and still came back with 8 grand. But – I don’t drink and that’ll take a big chunk of your cash if you do. I found living in a small town kept me from caring about fashion so that was good for budgeting as well. It was an hour to the nearest city – In Taiwan pretty much every town is near a city – it’s so heavily populated. Don’t go with agents though – they’re vultures. I found my job on Dave’s ESL Cafe – but tealit.com is the best place to look for jobs in Taiwan. Anyways the cities are nuts but the small towns are alright… just thought I’d throw another option out there.
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