Coming from the Lucky Country, I can’t say I’m a fan of the cold, I taught English in South Korea, and the novelty soon wore off. We’ve all heard about teaching English to speakers of other languages in countries like Japan, where currently the ski fields are doing a mad trade, rivers and lakes are frozen over, and everyone is rugged up.
But, did you know in the country known as the Land of a Million White Elephants, the temperature averages a comfortable 24 degrees during this time of year, warm enough to swim with Elephants, go tubing down a river, or climb up to Asia’s longest waterfall? In this relatively sparsely populated country, the natural beauty is amazing, the food is fresh and spicy, and the locals are only too happy to welcome you into their lives. You may have heard of it, but few can actually find it on a map. This land-locked nation, shares borders with Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, and China. Known for its natural beauty, the longest waterfall in Asia, its laid-back life-style, with warm people and climate, Laos (sounds like “Lao“, rhymes with cow) may be just what you are looking for.
For an authentically rich cultural experience, Laos, is definitely a destination to explore.
What can you expect as a TESOL teacher in Laos?
Options for teaching jobs in Laos range from teaching English to speakers of other languages in colleges or language schools to classroom teaching in Vientiene’s international schools. TESOL teachers can teach English in Laos by applying for teaching jobs in colleges or ESL schools before arriving, but like most opportunities its better if you are there in person with TESOL qualification in hand, as being TESOL certified can increase the chances of successfully finding a job, as well as teachers’ salary prospects when in Laos.
How much can I earn?
If you are looking to teach in the capital of Vientien, AU$1500 a month is what you can expect, less when you go out of town. While that may not sound like much, consider your rent will set you back $200 for the month, lunch at your favorite café will cost $2, and your barista coffee another $2.50, now you’re starting to get the picture. Oh, and did I mention that $1500, for the month, that’s for a teaching a total of 20 hours a week. What will you do with the extra time and money your new lifestyle affords you?
The wonderful thing about TESOL teaching abroad is that you will find yourself in the best company. Expats teaching English in Laos hail from North America, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, other than English what they all have in common is their passion for travel.
Here’s what some of them are saying,
-Between the waterfalls, village treks, elephant riding, caves, and a decent selection of bars around town there is a little something for everyone. Laos was my first stop in Southeast Asia and to be honest, its a perfect introduction to this part of the world. The Lao people are genuinely friendly, the food is great and the beer is cheap. – Ben G.
-I spent 6 weeks teaching English in Luang Prabang. I had a fantastic time and fell in love with Laos. I loved the program and being able to teach novice monks was a real privilege. In October this year I returned for 4 weeks with my newly retired husband, Rod. I wondered if it could possibly be as good again. I quickly decided that yes it was. –Gretel T.
It was truly one of the best experiences of my life, and I learned more from the people of Laos than I ever could have taught them in return. The great thing about teaching or working abroad is that it really gives you an opportunity to integrate into the community, make close friendships, and get to know both the people and the culture of a country. The people of Laos are extremely kind and generous, and I was accepted into their homes and lives wherever I lived or traveled. –Max M.