✈️ 8 Great Places for the Jet-Set ESL Teacher ✈️

FeedbackPanda Ping visits Jeju Island, South Korea.

ESL teachers have been the newest population of laborers to take advantage of the job opportunities afforded by the internet. Not only did we want to escape the confines of a traditional brick-and-mortar job, but we also wanted the freedom to travel to exotic places for as long as possible. While an online ESL job allows us to teach from a multitude of cities and countries, we still are responsible for having the most basic need–a good internet connection. With a stable network, the world is our oyster!

Here is our list of favorites–chosen for safety, cost, location, and of course–internet. The cost of living includes the basic necessities for a single person–food, shelter, and utilities. However, this information is gathered from contributions by other travelers. Traveling and living abroad requires extensive research and homework. You must determine legal, financial, and cultural requirements based on your own citizenship, lifestyle, and preferences.

Bangkok, Thailand

Average Internet Speed: 16 mbps
Cost of Living: $1,500USD/month
Time Zone: UTC+7 (1 hour behind BJT)

The capital city of Thailand is known for its vibrant atmosphere. It is also a destination for travelers and expats around the world. Thailand is one of the favorite vacation spots for Europeans. Located on the Gulf of Thailand, you can fulfill your dreams of lying on a beach sipping fruity alcoholic drinks while feasting on tropical fruit. Bangkok is also centrally located in Southeast Asia, just a short distance from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Another great city that gets an honorable mention is Chiang Mai, but it is not as close to the sea as Bangkok.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Average Internet Speed: 18 mbps
Cost of Living: $1,600USD/month
Time Zone: UTC+2 (6 hours behind BJT)

You can still live in Central Europe while paying the cost of Eastern Europe. To say that Bratislava is “interesting” would be an understatement; so many nations have had their influence on this region. The Danube River flows through the city, which lies near the border of Austria. Bratislava is only 50 miles away from Vienna and about 200 miles away from Salzburg and Prague. Rent a car and drive through Europe! Just make sure the countries on your itinerary are permitted by the rental company!

Budapest, Hungary

Average Internet Speed: 26 mbps
Cost of Living: $1,400USD/month
Time Zone: UTC+2 (6 hours behind BJT)

You can’t find a better value for living in a capital city that is abundant in the fine arts. Generally, living in Europe is expensive, but finding more easterly gems such as Budapest will help you settle in nicely on this continent. You might find learning Hungarian a challenge as it is one of the few languages in Europe which does not have Indo-European origins. Budapest at night is a sight to behold when the historic landmarks are lit brightly. One of the most popular times to visit is in December when thousands of visitors come to see the festive Christmas market along the Danube. 

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Average Internet Speed: 15 mbps
Cost of Living: $1,300USD/month
Time Zone: UTC-6 (14 hours behind BJT)

Made famous by Darwin, we chose this archipelago for its internet quality, cost, and good living standard. People can live on a handful of the islands; the rest can only be visited with an experienced guide. You might find that June to November (cooler and dryer months) are more expensive, so aim for the off-season in order to get the best price. The islands are perfect for nature lovers, but not so much for the club-set.

Jeju Island, South Korea

Average Internet Speed: 16 mbps
Cost of Living: $1,900USD/month
Time Zone: UTC+9 (1 hour ahead of BJT)

Craters, lava tubes, and a dormant volcano exist alongside luxury resorts. Still, this island paradise south of the mainland is quite affordable for online ESL teachers. You might want to plan your trip for late fall to spring, as summertime is sweltering here. There aren’t many digital nomads who make this spot a destination, so Jeju might not be suitable for extroverts.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Average Internet Speed: 19 mbps
Cost of Living: $1,700USD/month
Time Zone: UTC-5 (13 hours behind BJT)

Known for its resorts, this beachy Mexican paradise is one of the best North American cities to set your sights on. After you spend the morning teaching, head out for a lesson in snorkeling or parasailing. Foodies will love Puerto Vallarta–you can dine out often, feasting on high quality cuisine without breaking the bank.

Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

Average Internet Speed: 17 mbps
Cost of Living: $2,000USD/month
Time Zone: UTC+8 (same time zone as BJT)

Modern, clean, and friendly, Taipei is one of the best places to work remotely in Asia. It also has its share of fragrant foods, such as durian and stinky tofu! Taipei is culturally progressive, and is known for welcoming people in the LGBT community with open arms.

Uppsala, Sweden

Average Internet Speed: 39 mbps
Cost of Living: $1,500USD/month
Time Zone: UTC+2 (6 hours behind BJT)

Contrary to popular belief, you can live in Northern Europe if you know where to go and how to manage your finances. Living comfortably in the suburbs will be less expensive than a small flat in the city center. Uppsala is about an hour away from Stockholm by train; Sweden has a very good public transportation system. You can also get around Northern Europe cheaply and easily by commuter flights; there are small airports placed strategically all around Sweden, Norway, and Finland. The only drawback is that winters are very cold here. Thankfully, Sweden has excellent heating.