How Much Does It Cost To Teach English Abroad?

Moving abroad can seem like an impossible feat for some. However, with only minimal start-up costs, you can find yourself in your dream job in the country of your dreams.

In this page, we will go over the flight, visa as well as monthly costs for the first month of living overseas until you receive that first paycheck.

Visa Costs

The costs of visas vary from country to country. While some may cost only $50 others may cost all the way up to $500. This is all dependant on which country you are applying for and which country you come from.

However, many companies that hire you, will cover the cost of the visa upon arrival in the country. This is actually a sign of a legitimate, reputable and well run company.

Start-up costs

When budgeting what it costs to start your TEFL adventure, there are many factors to consider.

  • Visas

  • Flights

  • Accommodation

  • Transport

  • Food

  • Essentials

Just like the visa cost, the flights are generally also reimbursed if you have been hired from overseas. So even though you pay for them initially, they will be reimbursed by the company. This also shows signs of well established company. Costs will vary from country to country but I highly suggests booking your flights at least 2 months in advance to get the best deals.

Accommodation and Transport

Accommodation is another important factor to consider. While some companies will offer you free accommodation, others will offer assistance in finding accommodation for you. This means that you will have to pay the deposit and 3 months rent up front.  In Asia, many new teachers budget around $1000-$1500 to pay for their accommodation once they arrive. However, if your company gives you housing, then you don't have to worry about this expense.

Transport is a bit easier to budget. You can either decide to use public transport ($1-$3 for trains and buses, $2-$7 for taxis) or, depending on the country you are in, you may also find that buying or renting a motorcycle or bicycle could be even cheaper and more convenient for you.

Food and Essentials

Generally food costs in Asia and South America are often a lot cheaper than in western countries. You can buy a full local meal for $2 in China and Vietnam. Most countries will have a selection of good western restaurants if you ever feel like comfort food. However, don't forget part of the experience is trying new foods from different cultures.

When it comes to essentials, you should really research which countries have the daily items you need (medication, make-up, anything aesthetic or personal) and which countries don't have them. This means sometimes having to stock up on supplies in your home country before traveling.


In total, one should look at bringing $1500-$3000 (depending on the country) in order to set up accommodation, transport and food. Remember, the first month overseas will  be settling in. This means no paycheck until you have completed your first month teaching.

This should be a booster for anyone looking at going overseas because once you arrive the process is so smooth as many company will guide in relocating!

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