The Correct Keywords Are Important When Applying for Jobs Online

Westhill Consulting Career & Employment Australia is an information based website for expats who wish to work in Southeast Asia and the world. We are hoping the following information is useful.


Make the most of any opportunity by using these tips and tricks to be sure your resume goes to the top of the list, whether you are looking for a job locally or you want to work abroad like countries such as KL Malaysia, Beijing China, Jakarta Indonesia and many more.


Applying for a job online can be a lot like a guessing game. Plus there are many warnings of scams and other fraudulent stuff online.


For all the effort you put into marketing your experience and qualifications, the deciding factor that gets your resume into the hands of an actual person often comes down to using the right keywords.


Most companies rely on computer software programs to review thousands of resumes and select the ones with particular keywords — not necessarily impressive accomplishments — so they can then be reviewed by a recruiter and, eventually, a hiring manager.


Unfortunately for job seekers, these all-powerful keywords aren’t revealed in the job description — at least not overtly.


Abby Kohut, a former human resources executive and founder of, said the best way to crack the code of these applicant tracking systems (ATS) is to put yourself in the mind of the recruiter and take your best guess at what phrases they would use to search for the best applicants for the position.


“You look at the job description, read it word by word and say ‘would the recruiter use it to search for resumes?’ ” said Kohut, who recruited for 16 years at companies in a variety of industries including pharmaceuticals, health care, publishing and education. Now, she helps job seekers and is launching a nationwide tour to teach the tricks of the modern job search.


One of the many challenges that she says her clients face is conquering these robotic searches.


“When it comes to the automated systems, the problem you have is that the only way a recruiter is going to actually find you is if you have keywords in your resume that they have in their brain at the time,” Kohut said. “The person who shoots to the top is the person who has more than one keyword.”


But the journey to the human recruiter doesn’t stop there. Once the keywords are identified, Kohut says they need to be used early and often within the resume, possibly in multiple forms.


For example, she said if an aspiring accountant is applying for a job that cites “deep knowledge of Sarbanes-Oxley” in the job description, the phrases “Sarbanes-Oxley” and its common acronym “SOX” should each be referenced in that resume several times so it will be noticed and given priority by the ATS.


Of course, you don’t want to repeat the same sentence either, so Kohut recommends changing the context each time.


If a job description stresses a “high proficiency with Microsoft PowerPoint,” for example, she said that can be reflected in three parts: having made PowerPoint presentations, having taken PowerPoint classes, and having edited PowerPoint presentations of senior executives. It won’t win you any literary awards, but at least the strategy will get your resume in front of some eyeballs.


“It’s really just a big game now,” Kohut said. “You have to get the computer to find you instead of getting a human to find you.”


Experts have taken to calling this the “recruiting black hole” because so many resumes — good resumes — fall in, seemingly never to be seen again. But keeping in mind these tips on getting your resume through applicant tracking systems and the rules about e-mailing your resume to a recruiter will help you optimize your chances for getting noticed and moving on to the next step, snaring an interview.


How to Become an Oil & Gas Accountant


How to become an Oil and gas Accountant and work in Southeast Asian countries such as Bangkok Thailand, KL Malaysia, Singapore, Jakarta Indonesia and many more.Westhill Consulting Career and Employment gives you the following tips to become a successful accountant in Southeast Asia.


Oil and Gas Accountant Career and Education Requirements

Accountants review financial records, analyze spending habits and suggests ways to increase revenue. Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that there are several different types of accountants, including management accountants and certified public accountants (CPAs). Businesses hire management accountants to deal with internal financial decisions and budgeting concerns. Organizations hire CPAs to prepare taxes or other financial documents that must be reported to government agencies.


Oil and gas industries have to submit a lot of paperwork to government authorities, so they may hire management accountants who are also licensed CPAs. Basic career requirements for becoming a CPA include completing a four-year degree program, gaining accounting experience and passing the CPA exam. The following table displays a more detailed list of requirements for becoming an oil and gas CPA:


Step 1: Earn a Dual Degree

Although the BLS shows that accountants only need a bachelor’s degree to find employment, the majority of states have changed their educational requirements for certified public accountants (CPAs). The BLS records from 2012 indicated that most states require CPA applicants to meet the minimum educational requirements of 150 units of postsecondary coursework, whereas a traditional bachelor’s degree is only 120 units. Thirty additional post-baccalaureate units are equivalent to a master’s degree.


Warning! Dual degree programs allow students to complete bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in five years instead of six. Before starting graduate level classes, some schools may require students to complete prerequisite courses or pass exams. Course topics in these dual degree programs may include micro and macroeconomics, cost accounting, financial management, auditing, operations management, accounting information systems, marketing, taxation rules and business law.

Success Tip:

Take oil and gas accounting courses. Not every degree program offers courses directly related to the oil and gas industries. Some universities offer elective courses in these fields, and a few colleges even offer related certificate programs. Most oil and gas courses and certificate programs discuss the energy market, global issues, financial management strategies, petroleum accounting and domestic natural gas accounting.


Step 2: Build Industry Experience

The BLS recommends that college students complete as many accounting internships as possible to gain the experience needed for CPA licensing requirements. Furthermore, job postings listed in August 2012 for oil and gas accountants showed that employers preferred applicants with at least 3-5 years of experience in the industry.

Not all colleges require students to complete internships, but many colleges help students find accounting internship opportunities. Universities that have coursework or certificate programs related to oil and gas accounting may have direct contact with industry leaders.

Success Tip:

Attend industry lectures. Representatives from some of the largest oil and gas companies are often asked to be guest lecturers in business and accounting classes. During these lectures, students have the opportunity to ask questions about individual companies and industry accounting practices. Many representatives also offer internship opportunities that may lead to full employment.


Step 3: Become a CPA

Individuals become licensed CPAs in their state of employment, and each state has slightly different licensing requirements. In most states, license applicants have to meet education and experience requirements to be eligible to take exams. Experience requirements vary, but most states require applicants to have 1-2 years of approved accounting experience.

The BLS stated that, after meeting eligibility requirements, individuals must pass the uniform CPA examination, offered by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Information from the AICPA website indicated that the exam consists of four parts: financial accounting and reporting (FAR); auditing and attestation (AUD); regulations (REG); and business environment and concepts (BEC).


Step 4: Find Employment as an Oil & Gas Accountant

CPAs who have enough related experience and training can start applying for oil and gas accountant positions. Complaints can be made to the relevant governing bodies in each country. Predictions from the BLS showed that up through 2020, open positions for accountants and auditors will increase by 16%. Competition for accounting positions is expected to remain high. Accountants who are licensed CPAs will most likely have better job opportunities, per BLS reports.


Step 5: Maintain CPA License

Information from the BLS stated that accountants who are CPAs must maintain their licenses by meeting renewal requirements, which often include paying fees and completing approved continued-education courses. Each state has different requirements for what counts as approved coursework. Some states may require CPAs to attend formal classes or conferences, whereas other states may allow individuals to learn from interactive web-based seminars or individual study programs.



Working abroad: how to find jobs overseas

Westhill Consulting Career & Employment out of Australia has many more tips and warnings about working in Southeast Asia.

1. What are the benefits of working abroad?

There are so many its hard to only pick a few! If you study or specialize in a foreign language, an obvious benefit of working abroad is immersion into your target language. You’ll also be fully experiencing a new culture, which typically proves both challenging and rewarding. Professionally speaking, employers find candidates with extended experience abroad attractive, as it showcases an individual’s understanding of the global economy. Working in a multi-cultural office often means developing advanced intercultural and interpersonal skills. You could test out the experience of working abroad by taking a working holiday – see our article: 10 Paycations: how to make money on holiday - but you’ll never know the benefits unless you take the leap of faith and try to work abroad – go for it!


2. What types of jobs are on offer for those looking to work overseas?

The most common job pursued abroad is teaching English. Those who speak English as a native language find that their skills and expertise are in high demand in a range of (often well paying) locations. These jobs are typically short-term (one year or less) and can be taken in both major cities and rural areas. Other popular options include business consultancy, food service, tourism companies and property. Many people choose to work for a company from their home country that allows for short term trips abroad to complete work.


3. Where is it easiest to find jobs abroad?

For an English-speaking native, without a doubt, the easiest job to find abroad is a teaching gig. If you travel to countries where your physical appearances stray from the ‘norm’ of the locals, you also may walk down the street and find yourself approached by multiple people offering you modelling jobs. These are quite easy to come by, especially if you do it once (the opportunities just keep on coming!).


4. Do you need any special qualifications to work overseas?

The biggest challenge that individuals face when finding work abroad is working for a company that will sponsor a proper work visa for their employment. Many companies try to sneak around this in order to avoid the high fees the government will tax for employing foreigners. They may ask you to use a third party agency to sponsor a visa or ask you to work on tourist/other type of visa. Some may tell you it is quite commonplace and normal to earn money without a working visa but it is also best practice to do it the proper (and legal) way!

5. How difficult is it to get visa/work permits?

This varies from country to country and unfortunately often depends on your nationality. Certain countries will have an easier time getting a specific type of visa to a country than others will. If you are considering moving overseas to work for a company, make sure they are legitimate – contact past employees or read reviews of others’ experiences working there if possible. The company should have no problem organizing the documents for you to apply for a proper work visa before you arrive.


6. I don’t know any foreign languages but would love to work in a non-English speaking country – what are my options?

Of course, learning a foreign language has its benefits, but you can get by without. As previously mentioned, teaching English to others (especially children) or relying on that pretty face of yours may get you some good gigs to enable you to sustain a life abroad. You could also work with tour operators and lead groups around the country – just make sure your company has hired a local who speaks both English and the native language! Many companies will find that their clients feel at ease when they are being lead by someone who speaks a familiar language. There are also many larger companies that operate in an English-speaking business environment. Typically, these companies are owned by expats themselves. Warning, watch out for scams. Check job boards and the like on popular classified websites in your home country to seek these types of opportunities. If you’re thinking of learning the local lingo, see our useful article: 7 secrets of learning language fast.


7. How much money can I earn working overseas?

The amount of money you earn will really vary dependent on where you choose to live and your line of work. Speaking specifically to teaching English, east Asia is famous for offering high salaries and great benefit packages to teachers willing to commit to one- year posts. South America, conversely, operates on more of a ‘teachers-break-even’ payment scale. The Middle East also pays teachers an above-average wage. Your company may pay you in local currency or in the currency that it does business in (such as the British pound or USD). A perk of living in a less-developed country is that it often means your dollar can go a lot further. The lower cost of living coupled with your salary (even if it is not particularly fancy by the standards in your home country) mean for extra money in the bank! More established companies will offer a fancy salary package to current employees willing to relocate overseas. Be warned of getting too wrapped up in expat circles and not interacting regularly with the locals!


8. How long do I have to commit for?

You should commit to living and working abroad for at least a year, as that is the minimal amount of time to even just begin getting to know and understand a place. If you want to make the most of your experience and potential, consider sticking around as long as possible.


9. I’ve never been abroad – how will I cope with a different culture?

I won’t lie, it can be tough to adjust to a new way of living, especially when that experience is magnified by trying to function in a new culture. For newbies, consider living in a more internationalized and larger city in a foreign country – you’ll be surprised by how many familiar brands and establishments you’ll see popping up on the streets. Most larger cities have a great expat crowd you can fall back on should you feel particularly homesick. Most importantly, don’t give up and don’t rush the process. It should take you a few months to feel confident and comfortable in your new locale (and you’ll still have occasional moments of culture shock). Don’t feel discouraged. Having new friends will certainly ease the pain and help you grow more attached to a place. Be social and up for anything!


10. Where (and what jobs) are the most popular places for getting jobs overseas?

Expats looking for work in the IT, manufacturing, finance or international marketing fields will find Shanghai appealing – as well as the nearby cities of Singapore and Hong Kong (great first tastes of Asia as they are financial giants and largely do business in English). Those interested in engineering, aeronautics, automobiles etc will be most drawn to countries such as France, Germany, and England. The UAE and Guangzhou or Shenzhen, China are popular with expats interested in manufacturing and trade.  Australia will forever remain an attractive destination for working abroad, from backpackers to expats alike. It offers just about anything to internationals! For teaching jobs, popular locations include Japan, South Korea, China, Argentina, Jakarta Indonesia and Peru!

Visas in South East Asia

Westhill Consulting Career & Employment Australia has much more information on its blog section on its website.


If this is your first proper backpacking stint then you may not be aware how much of a headache visas can be! When you reach the border of each country you need a visa to enter, some countries will simply stamp a visa into your passport on the border for free (this is called a VOA ‘Visa on Arrivall), and then on you go. Other countries may charge you a fortune while the most difficult b*stards will refuse you entry and you have to organise your visa before you arrive at the border! Warning do not overstay.


Check out the South East Asian countries below and get an idea of what you need to sort it all out:


Thailand: South East Asia’s most popular destination. Thailand offers VOA (visas on arrival) by both land and air arrivals. If you fly in, you receive a free 30 day visa. If you arrive by land, you receive a free 14 day visa. If you want a longer visa (60 days) you can apply at Thai embassies in any other country, it’ll cost you around $30. This is possible from your home country or from neighbouring countries in the region (Laos, Malaysia etc)


Laos: VOA by both plane and land crossings – 30 days standard. The visa costs between $30 and $40 USD.


Vietnam: VOA NOT available. You MUST organize your visa before you arrive. This can be done in your home country (around $60, 4 working days) or in countries that neighbour Vietnam ($40, 3 working days). Gunagzhou, China Phnom Penn, Cambodia Vientienne, Laos and Bangkok, Thailand all offer relatively simple processes to get your visa to Vietnam. Don’t forget to sort this out before you go, you will be refused entry without.

Cambodia: VOA by both plane and land crossings – 30 days tourist visa. The visa costs around $20 but expect to be charged more by corrupt officials.


NOTE: an e-visa is now possible, but $25. You need to scan a passport photo, pay the money and receive the PDF file in 3 working days. Print out two copies and bring it to the border. E visas are only usable at the Thai crossings at Poipet and Koh Kong (Trat) and the Vietnamese crossings at Moc Bai.


Burma (Myanmar): VOA not available, you MUST organiz your visa before you arrive. If you’re going to Burma for a visa run, just to re-enter Thailand, you don’t need to prepare a visa in advance. If you plan to travel around Burma, you need to get a visa from a Burmese embassy before you fly (impossible to enter by land and travel). In Bangkok, it’s possible to get the visa in the same day – apply in the morning, and received in the afternoon. All visas are valid for 90 days, and last for a stay of 30 days, they cost around $30.


Malaysia: VOA by both plane and land crossings. Most countries get a 90 day visa for free. Malaysia are very easy going with their visa processes.

Singapore: VOA by both plane and land crossings. EU and US passport holders get 90 days, most other countries receive 14/30 days visas. Visas are free.


Indonesia: Jakartahas the main immigration office.This can be a little complicated. VOA is available through most land and air ports. Often they require an onward ticket (so travel with a print out of a provisional ‘onward booking’ read:fake). Generally speaking, common border crossings offer VOA (Kailmantan, boat from Singapore etc), the visas cost around $25 for 30 days. Check your route first, before you decided whether to get the visa in advance or not.


East Timor: VOA for land and boat crossings but NOT for land crossings. If you’re arriving from West Timor (like me) get your visa in Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur ($40, 30 days).


Brunei: VOA for pretty much everyone, arriving by land or plane. Ranges from 14-90 days and is free.

Thai Permanent Residency


A lot of people want to stay permanently in Thailand as it is one of the most sought-after destinations in South East Asia offering a low yet convenient standard of living.

There are a lot of inquiries from foreigners who are constantly on a trip to the Land of Smiles as to how they can apply for Thai Permanent Resident status. Warning, this is difficult.

Obtaining status as a Permanent Resident (PR) in Thailand has many advantages. It allows you to live permanently in Thailand, with no requirement to apply for an extension of stay. You can also have your name on a house registration document, and you will be able to buy a condominium without making a bank transfer from abroad. Getting a work permit is also made easier once you have PR status.

In addition to this, you can be eligible to become a director of a Thai public company, as well as eventually apply to become a naturalized Thai citizen. You will also be able apply for an extension of stay and Permanent Resident status for your non-Thai family members.

All applications for Thai Permanent Residency is processed by the Royal Thai Immigration Commission. The annual quota for granting permanent residency in Thailand is a maximum of 100 persons per country. The application period for Thai PR usually from October to the end of December of every year.

In order to apply to become a Thai Permanent Resident, you must meet the following criteria:

• You must have had a Thai non-immigrant visa for at least three years prior to the submission of your application. Holders of multiple NON-Immigrant visas can not apply. You must have 3 consecutive yearly extensions in order to qualify.
• You must be a holder of a non-immigrant visa at the time of submitting your application.
• You must be able to meet one of these categories to apply for PR status in Thailand:

o Investment category (minimum 3 – 10 Mil. Baht investment in Thailand)
o Working/ Business category
o Support a family or Humanity Reasons category: In this category, you must have a relationship with a Thai citizen or an alien who already posses a residence permit as a husband or wife; father or mother; or a guardian of a Thai child under 20 years of age.
o Expert / academic category
o Other categories as determined by Thai Immigration

You should note that the list of required documents for the application depends on the category under which the application is made.

Once your application for Thai Permanent Residency is approved, a residence blue book is issued to you. You must then register your place of residence in Thailand at the local Amphur and obtain a house card. A week after the receipt of your residence certificate you can then apply for an alien book (red book) at the local police station, which is the equivalent of the Thai national ID card. You must re-register there every year.

The Residency Permit itself never expires, unless revoked. To be able to leave the country and return to Thailand, however, requires you to apply for a re-entry permit (endorsement).

You can file an application to become a Thai naturalized citizen after holding Permanent Resident status in Thailand for 10 consecutive years.

I will be writing in the future on the blog of Westhill Consulting Career & Employment Australia and other website blogs about the situation in KL Malaysia and Jakarta Indonesia.

TEFL Job Opportunities


Your employment opportunities are excellent

Travel the world; experience a foreign culture; learn a new language; and improve the futures of many. This is your chance to make a difference.

WesthillConsulting & Employment Australia would like to give a warning that the following information though interesting may be illegal. Please watch out for scams.

EFL/ESL teachers are in high demand world-wide. You have peace of mind in knowing that if you are a native English speaker and hold a degree we can offer you a Guaranteed Teaching Position after successful completion of both our 4-week TEFL training course and a subsquent one month volunteer teaching assignment (Package B).

If you don’t have a degree and whether you opt for Package A or Package B your job prospects are still excellent. A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate is one of the main qualifications required by learning institutions to teach EFL in a non-English speaking country, or ESL in an English speaking country. Wherever you decide to teach, your internationally recognised Island TEFL certificate will provide you with the credentials required to work as a TEFL teacher abroad or at home.

It is worth keeping in mind that many schools are now not accepting online TEFL/TESL qualifications (unless there has been a practical teaching component included), or certificates from TEFL/TESL courses of less than 4 weeks duration. Some schools/institutes will also require a degree.

TEFL teaching positions are available in government and public schools, colleges, universities, language schools, kindergartens, businesses, the tourism industry, as well as volunteering and one-to-one tutoring opportunities.

Here is a list of some of the countries where your internationally recognised TEFL certificate can assist you to find TEFL teaching employment. (Please note we have tried to be as accurate as possible but details may change slightly depending on the institution within each country.)


For a qualified TEFL teacher, Asia offers a diverse range of teaching opportunities and experiences. There is a huge demand for native English speaking TEFL teachers, so there is never a shortage of jobs, and salaries are amongst the highest in the industry. If you hold a degree (not specifically a teaching degree) and a TEFL certificate, you will find it incredibly easy to obtain a position in the country of your choice.

Some countries and cities such as Bangkok Thailand, KL Malaysia, Jakarta Indonesia and Ho chi min Vietnam “overlook” the need for a degree, and focus more on a TEFL qualification, provided it is not an online qualification or from a TEFL course of less than 4 weeks’ duration. Salaries for TEFL teachers vary from country to country, depending largely on the cost of living. However, no matter where you teach, you will always find a great variety of cultural experiences. Asia has something for everyone – from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, to the peace and tranquility of the rural areas. Teachers are held in high regard in Asia, and students are very respectful.

In some of the poorer countries and regions, paid TEFL teaching employment is scarce and most teachers in those locations are there on voluntary placements. Basic accommodation and meals are sometimes provided.


TEFL in Thailand

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: 25,000-55,000 Baht/mth
•      Main TEFL locations: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Suratthani, Ayudhya, Khon Kean
•      TEFL job opportunities: Thailand is alive with TEFL teaching opportunities and is without doubt one of the easiest places in Asia to find TEFL teaching work. The demand for English remains extremely high. A degree is usually asked for, but in reality, there are many TEFL positions available to anyone with an internationally recognised TEFL certificate.
•      Opportunities exist in a number of areas: Government and private schools, universities, colleges, private language schools, international schools, businesses, the tourism industry. TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, SAT and other such test-preparation classes are also very popular. Private tutoring is also in high demand, and can be a great income supplement to the TEFL teacher.
•      Thai students are extremely motivated to learn, and hold teachers in high esteem. Their sense of fun makes teaching in Thailand a very satisfying and rewarding experience. The beauty and mystique of this country are the main reasons that it is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and a focal point for TEFL teachers.


TEFL in China
•      Average TEFL teacher salary: Vary enormously. RMB3,000-RMB8,500/mth
•      Main TEFL locations: Nationwide
•   TEFL job opportunities: One of the largest and most densely-populated countries in the world, China is home to a variety of mysterious and influential cultures and exotic religions – all along with a colourful and engaging history. Its beauty and diversity make China a popular destination for TEFL teachers. A country looking to the future, but never forgetting its past, China is the perfect place for those looking to begin their TEFL teaching career.
•      Generally, TEFL teachers receiving visas through a school in China are not permitted to teach outside of that school. However, this is usually not a problem, since the cost of living in China is very low. Therefore, TEFL teachers in China should be able to live very comfortably on their salaries.
•      Most TEFL teachers arrange jobs before arriving in China, normally by contacting recruitment agencies or individual employers. Positions in public colleges and universities are often pre-arranged by applying to Chinese embassies or consulates overseas, or to the International Employment Office in Beijing. It is also possible to apply to the provincial Education offices or directly to the institutes themselves (addressed to the Foreign Affairs Office, or Waiban). With China now engaged in huge levels of international trade, there is a great demand for Business English in the Chinese Commercial sector. Many companies are now setting up their own in-house English teaching programs, and recruit either from the ExPat community, or from overseas.


TEFL in Indonesia

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: 6,000,000-8,000,000 Rupiah/mth (in the big cities)
•      Main TEFL locations: Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo
•     TEFL job opportunities: Indonesia is one of the most beautiful, fascinating and culturally absorbing nations in the world. The world’s fifth most populous nation, it has been rapidly recovering from the political and economic instability that rocked the country at the end of the 1990s. The major language schools survived the crisis and continue to be staffed by foreign teachers.
•      The best TEFL teaching prospects in Indonesia are for those who have completed TEFL training and are willing to sign a 12- or 18-month contract. Most jobs are in Jakarta, though there are also schools in Surabaya, Bandung, Yogayakarta, and Solo (among others).
•      Visas are an issue whatever the nationality. Work permit regulations are rigidly adhered to in Indonesia, and all the established schools will apply for a visa permit on your behalf. TEFL teachers must have English as their first language and be nationals of the U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, or New Zealand. With more informal teaching positions, it is necessary to leave the country every two months.


TEFL in Japan
•      Average TEFL teacher salary: ¥220,000 – ¥320,000 per month
•      Main TEFL locations: Tokyo, Osaka
•      TEFL job opportunities: The prospect of working in Japan attracts thousands of TEFL teachers each year. The demand for English remains strong, although recession in the late 1990s resulted in the closure of some major companies, when fewer Japanese people were willing to pay for expensive English lessons. Consequently, competition for teaching jobs has become more acute. Be prepared to spend a sizeable sum of money while conducting the job hunt, because of the high cost of living in Japanese cities. Once established, the financial rewards can be considerable.
•      There are several different options open to people looking for a TEFL teaching job: eikaiwa schools, the JET program and private primary, secondary and third-level schools. Once you’ve got yourself established with a job and a valid visa status, there is also the possibility of teaching lessons privately.
•      The most common means of recruitment after the internet is by advertising in English language newspapers. A university degree is a requirement in order to obtain a work permit to teach.


TEFL in South Korea

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: 1.8 – 2.5 million Won/Month (Approx $1500-$3000 USD / Month)
•      Main TEFL locations: Seoul, Pusan
•      TEFL job opportunities: South Korea now rivals Japan as one of the busiest TEFL teaching destinations in Asia. With an estimated 100,000 institutes offering English lessons of some sort, the demand for native-speaking English teachers is huge. TEFL teachers should be careful about accepting the first Korean job offer that comes their way. While Korea boasts some of the most attractive TEFL teaching positions anywhere in the world, it is gaining a reputation for some of the worst. Most teaching opportunities exist in Private Language Institutes (Hakwons), and conditions, contracts and salaries vary enormously between employers. The number of Hakwons that close within a few weeks of opening is alarming, as is the number of teachers leaving Korea with stories of contract and pay hassles. A degree and a TEFL certificate are required.
•      TEFL teaching opportunities can also be found in corporate in-house language programs, universities, public relations and advertising companies, and of course, private tutoring.
•      Korea is a fascinating country in which to spend a year or two teaching English. And while most teachers experience serious culture-shock on arrival, they generally return home with very positive memories.


TEFL in Taiwan

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: NT$40,000-NT$60,000/mth
•      Main TEFL locations: Taipei
•      TEFL job opportunities: Until the early ’90s, Taiwan was a place where just about anyone could find a well-paid TEFL teaching job. Private language schools (or ‘Buhsibans’), which cram students for university entrance, were on every Taipei street corner. The situation changed when a combination of new government legislation on teachers working illegally, regional economic factors, and the devastating earthquake of October 1999 contrived to dampen the market for English, putting many Buhsibans out of business. But there is still a significant demand for native-speaking TEFL teachers in Taiwan, with many of the TEFL positions involving teaching younger learners. Most Taiwanese employers prefer to recruit locally, and few advertise overseas. The majority require teachers to have at least some kind of TEFL qualification.
•      Taiwan might not have quite the allure for teachers it used to, but it remains a fascinating and rewarding place to spend time teaching English.


TEFL in Singapore
•      Average TEFL teacher salary: S$2500-S$5000/mth
•      Main TEFL locations: Statewide
•      TEFL job opportunities: Teaching EFL in Singapore is comparable to teaching EFL in other Asian countries like Taiwan and Korea, with the exception that it is not as lucrative. TEFL teaching positions are available in both private and government schools. The difference between Singapore and other Asian countries is that Singapore is supposedly an English speaking country. Singlish (Singaporean English) is widely spoken, but is so grammatically different to International English, that it may as well be a separate language. Many students in private language schools attend classes not to learn English, but to learn correct grammar and improve their pronunciation. International schools pay well, but only hire qualified and experienced teachers. A degree and a TEFL certificate are required.
•      The cost of living in Singapore is quite high, so it’s not a place where TEFL teachers can save money.


TEFL in Malaysia

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: R2,000 – R4,000/mth
•      Main TEFL locations: Kuala Lumpur, Penang
•      TEFL job opportunities: Malaysia has a well-established and generally high-quality TEFL market, which provides good pay rates and conditions for teachers who manage to secure work there. Unfortunately, tight work visa regulations have made it difficult for TEFL teachers who do not hold an MA to find work in Malaysia. English is taught as a second language in all Primary and Secondary schools (often as early as Year 1), so many Malaysian teenagers and young adults have a relatively good command of the language.
•      A lot of the TEFL teaching is only part-time, which normally means teachers have to supplement their income with private lessons. These are easy to find, as there are plenty of Malaysians who dream of studying at university in the US, Australia or the UK.


TEFL in Vietnam

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: US$15-$25/hr, in a good school or university (normally requiring teachers to have an internationally recognized TEFL qualification and a degree).
NB: Salaries may be significantly lower outside HCMC and Hanoi.
•      Main TEFL locations: Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi
•      TEFL job opportunities:Vietnam is one of the hidden jewels of the TEFL teaching world. English language learning, like tourism, has been late coming to Vietnam, but spurred on by the needs of its rapidly growing tourism industry, and by the possibilities of international trade in the region, the demand for English has never been greater. TEFL teaching positions can be obtained quite easily for anyone with a TEFL certificate, however more recently, degrees are becoming necessary for a visa. Obtaining a visa can be a frustrating process. Most TEFL teachers arrive on a tourist visa, then once a teaching position has been obtained, the school sponsors the teacher in order to obtain a working visa.
•      Most of the TEFL teaching jobs are in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, in language schools, teaching students of all ages. There is also work in universities, but the pay is generally lower than in language schools. Your money goes a long way in Vietnam, so TEFL teachers find that they can easily save money and enjoy the lifestyle.


TEFL in Laos

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: US$10-US$13/hr
•      Main TEFL locations: Vientiane, Luang Prabang
•      TEFL job opportunities: Laos’ country-feel is very friendly and accommodating. The people are warm and hospitable and life here is very comfortable. In the past few years many language institutes have popped up Vientiane, and to a lesser extent, Luang Prabang. These schools generally pay well, on a per hour basis, but it is difficult to get full time work. They also don’t supply housing, and sometimes don’t supply a work visa.
•      Another option is to work at one of the bilingual schools (there are quite a few), and the pay ranges from US$600-US$1000/mth. The lower paying jobs usually provide free housing and a work visa is provided by all.
•      There are many TEFL teachers volunteering in the more rural areas of the country, where paid TEFL positions are rare. The experience alone is more than enough reward.


TEFL in Cambodia
•      Average TEFL teacher salary: US$7-US$12/hr
•      Main TEFL locations: Phnom Penh
•      TEFL job opportunities: TEFL teaching opportunities in Cambodia are similar to that of Laos. Language institutes and universities in Phnom Penh are the main sources of TEFL teaching jobs. A TEFL certificate and a degree are requirements. A teaching certificate is highly recommended, though not required. Very few contracts exist; schools rarely recruit online; and most interviews are conducted in person.
•      Again, many TEFL teachers choose to volunteer in the poorer regions.


TEFL in Hong Kong
•      Average TEFL teacher salary: Private Sector: HK$20,000-$50,000/mth. State Sector: HK$205,000-$557,000/yr (+ HK$13,000 special allowance). Freelance Teachers can earn: HK$200-$600/hr.
•      Main TEFL locations: Hong Kong
•      TEFL job opportunities: Hong Kong offers some of the best paid TEFL teaching jobs in the world. But the island’s frenetic pace and 24/7 timetable is not for the faint-hearted. Learning English, more than ever, is on everyone’s agenda. There is even a move to eliminate Cantonese and to establish English and Putonghua (modern Standard Chinese) as the only two languages of instruction in the Hong Kong Education system.
•      Opportunities for TEFL teachers abound in English language schools, English-medium schools and universities. The British Council in Hong Kong employs a significant number of TEFL-certified teachers on its summer programs. The Hong Kong Government’s Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) scheme is another source of well-paid TEFL teaching work for teachers interested in working for 2 years in one of the island’s Public Secondary Schools. The ‘Enhanced NET Scheme’, in operation since 1988/9, annually undertakes to place one native-speaking English teacher in every Public Sector Secondary school with fewer than 40 classes, and two teachers in every Secondary School with more than 40 classes. The Government has also recently decided to employ 400 native-speaking English teachers in the island’s Primary school sector. There are very few opportunities for TEFL teachers who do not have at least 2 years’ teaching experience and an internationally recognized TEFL Certificate. Many institutions now stipulate that applicants must have a TEFL Diploma or a higher level qualification such as an MA TEFL.


TEFL in Nepal
•      Average TEFL teacher salary: Low, unless employed by British Council or language schools.
•      Main TEFL locations: Kathmandu, Patan, Bhakatpur
•      TEFL job opportunities: Nepal may not be the most obvious place for a TEFL job search, but you’d be surprised. There are quite a few opportunities for TEFL teachers with an open mind and an interest in the rich cultural experience this country has to offer. There is a significant demand for teachers who have experience teaching younger learners, with numerous positions, many of them voluntary, in State and Private school sectors.
•      Volunteer placement organizations such as the Peace Corps, the Fulbright Commission and the Voluntary Services Organization (VSO) are very active out here, and the British Council has a teaching operation in Kathmandu. The natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, the jostling crowds, the bullock carts and the noisy street markets are more than enough to render a teaching stint in Nepal one of the most memorable of your career – not to mention the delightful Nepalese students.

TEFL in India
•      Average TEFL teacher salary: 10,000–13,000 rupees/mth
•      Main TEFL locations: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore
•      TEFL job opportunities: India is the third largest English speaking country in the world and the language is quickly becoming essential to the business community. Demand for TEFL teachers is therefore becoming relatively high, but the market can be competitive. There are quite a few language schools opening up in the major cities, and TEFL teaching opportunities abound within the business sector.
•      India’s sprawling cities offer a unique and unforgettable experience to TEFL teachers, one that you’ll never forget.



The EFL teaching situation in most parts of Africa is minimal. Many ex-colonies of Britain use English as the medium of instruction in state schools and so most teachers are locals. In North Africa, most TEFL jobs are in Egypt and Morocco, although you sometimes also see jobs in available in Tunisia. In both Egypt and Morocco, the only jobs worth considering are with universities or with American and British language schools. In Egypt, there are good schools in Cairo and Alexandria, while in Morocco there are schools in most major cities. Most jobs allow a comfortable lifestyle but no real savings.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, it is extremely difficult to find TEFL jobs. Very experienced and qualified EFL teachers may be able to find jobs in US language institutes. For other teachers, the only jobs worth considering are those arranged through aid organizations/programs.

TEFL and degree qualifications are pre-requisites for teaching at the university level; requirements for teaching experience depend on the particular institution or country. The demand is high for instructors who are qualified to teach English for academic purposes and technical and business English, as well as for specialists in curriculum design, teacher training, material development, and administration. Salaries are modest and vary according to the type of teaching institution.

There is some work available in South Africa, but as many of their citizens speak English as a native language, opportunities for non-South Africans are somewhat limited.

Some opportunities exist in almost all countries, but the only African nations where there is any significant scope for working in private language schools, or institutes, are detailed below:


TEFL in Egypt

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: US$5-US$15/hr
•      Main TEFL locations: Cairo, Alexandria, Heliopolis, Maadi, Zamalek
•      TEFL job opportunities: As an EFL teaching destination, Egypt has a lot to offer. Historically and archeologically, it has few equals. From an EFL teaching perspective, it represents some of the best paid teaching positions in North Africa – particularly in the Sinai Desert. Big cities such as Cairo and Alexandria also offer plenty of job opportunities for the EFL teacher. Most institutions require an internationally recognized TEFL Certificate, and teachers who have taught Business English or younger learners should have no problem finding work.
•      The British Council has offices in Cairo and Alexandria, and other reputable institutions such as International House and the American University are also present out here.
•      In prosperous residential areas like Heliopolis, Maadi, and Zamalek anyone who can cultivate contacts can set up private lessons.
•      There are far fewer restrictions for women in Egypt than in many of the other Muslim countries of North Africa and the Middle East, which makes this land of the Pharaohs, the Pyramids and the Sphinx a viable proposition for any EFL teacher looking for an exotic teaching assignment in an unforgettable place.


TEFL in Kenya
•      Average TEFL teacher salary: KS450-KS500/hr
•      Main TEFL locations: Nairobi
•      TEFL job opportunities: By far, the majority of EFL opportunities in Kenya are through volunteer placement schemes, where a “local” salary may be provided. Some higher paying EFL jobs can be found in the limited language schools, and government schools and institutes. Salaries are quite low compared to other countries, but are sufficient to lead a comfortable life.
•      Many EFL teachers working in Kenya see it as more of a life experience and an opportunity to help in the poor regions of the country, rather than an opportunity to make money.

TEFL in Morocco
•      Average TEFL teacher salary: 9,000-11,000 dirham/mth
•      Main TEFL locations: Rabat, Tangier, Agadir, Casablanca, Fez
•      TEFL job opportunities: The first language in Morocco is Arabic, but French is also used. In recent times however, English has gained in popularity, especially when it comes to business. There are dozens of private English schools that hire Native English teachers in all the major cities in Morocco, meaning there is a good choice for interested EFL Teachers.
•      Morocco is a popular destination for tourists, although their have been some views by teachers teaching at the private language schools, that you need to be careful with money (wages) and make sure you have the proper visas and contract in place. If you are prepared and have your street smarts, none of this should be a problem at all, and you can enjoy teaching English in an exotically beaufitul and freindly country. Moroccan English schools require TEFL/TESOL qualifications.


TEFL in Tunisia

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: 15-20 dinars/hr
•      Main TEFL locations: Tunis + tourist destinations
•      TEFL job opportunities: Similar to its neighbour Morocco, Tunisia does not consider English as its second language. However, many Tunisians are starting to learn English for study and work purposes, and as a result there is a reasonably good demand for EFL teachers, particularly in the capital and areas with a high level of employment in the tourism industry. Opportunities also exist within the business sector.



Historically viewed as the hub of the developed world, Western Europe holds a great many attractions for prospective EFL teachers with an interest in European art, history, architecture and culture. The countries of Western Europe, and in particular those with a Latin influence, remain some of the most popular destinations for qualified EFL teachers, and competition for places in Spain and Italy is fierce.

Work is almost always in private language academies. Pay and benefits in Germany, Spain and Italy are often the best in Western Europe. Between 10 to 15 Euros an hour is the average rate of pay. However, 25 Euros or more is not unheard of, especially after a few years experience. Germany is a highly urbanized country with language academies in just about every city and town. Spain and Italy may not match Germany in pay and benefits, but the quality of life is great and the amount of sunshine can’t be beaten! In Italy, hourly wages may range from 8 to 12 Euros an hour. Depending on the TEFL market in the city or town where you are, EFL teachers may charge between 14 and 18 Euros an hour for private lessons. Private teachers in places like Rome tend to charge more.

With the advent of the new EU Labour Law, it is difficult for EFL teachers who do not hold an EU passport to find EFL teaching positions. However, non-EU citizens can still theoretically apply to work in the EU. After they have accepted a job offer, it is then the employer’s responsibility to apply for the necessary work permit and residence visa that will allow non-EU EFL teachers to reside and work legally in Western Europe. But in reality though, a lot of European employers would rather avoid the expense of hiring non-EU EFL teachers when they can hire fellow EU citizens from the UK or Ireland without having to worry about applying for work permits and residence visas for them.


TEFL in Austria

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: 18-20 euros/hr
•      Main TEFL locations: Vienna
•      TEFL job opportunities: Austria, situated in the centre of Europe, can be a great place to teach English. Most EFL teaching is done on a freelance basis, teaching in the business sector in Vienna (where the cost of living is quite high).
•      Native speakers with a TEFL qualification can often find work giving private English lessons, and at adult education institutes (Volkhochschulen). You will find these listed in the local telephone book or by visiting the website of the Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, association of Austrian adult education institutes. A list of private language schools is available on the website of the British Council Austria.


TEFL in Belgium

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: 18-38 EUR/hr (depending on qualifications & experience)
•      Main TEFL locations: Brussels and other major cities
•      TEFL job opportunities: If you are looking at teaching in Europe, Belgium could be the place for you. With the European commission, EU Parliment and associated organisations, and many MN companies located in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, it is a mixing pot of different nationalities with a strong multi-national feel to it.
•      As a result there are many jobs available for EFL teachers, including language schools, teaching private lessons or teaching at government schools and universities (the latter 2 require a Masters degree and experience).
•      Daily living expenses are reasonably low, making Belgium a good option for teaching English.


TEFL in France

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: Vary enormously. Contract teachers can expect a net salary of EUR1,400-EUR1,800/mth Freelance teachers should not be working for less than EUR15-18/hr.
•      Main TEFL locations: Paris and major cities
•      TEFL job opportunities: France, in general – and Paris, in particular – has long been an obvious choice for EFL teachers looking for overseas teaching experience in a country with seemingly everything to offer. In reality, the supply of work has not always been able to keep up with the demand among the thousands of EFL teachers who head for France every year seeking work. But the last few years have seen a reversal of this trend, with many English language schools now experiencing critical shortages of teachers.
•      By law, French companies are required to spend 1% of their salary budget on vocational training for their employees. English lessons are an obvious choice for many companies, particularly with France being such a key player in the European Union. The need for Business English is particularly apparent, with many language schools specializing in this area. ‘Telephone lessons’ are very popular among French businessmen and women, who may not have time in their busy schedules for a 2-hour face-to-face lesson, but can generally squeeze in a 30-minute cours par téléphone a couple of times a week with a native English teacher. Teachers with Business English experience and knowledge of French will have the pick of the jobs. More and more English language schools are stipulating that teachers have an internationally recognized TEFL Certificate. Along with the hundreds of private language schools in Paris, English lessons are frequently organized through the municipal City Halls and through the Chamber of Commerce in most French towns.
•      Teachers who do not hold an EU passport may have trouble finding work legally in France.

TEFL in Germany
•      Average TEFL teacher salary: EUR11-30/hr
•      Main TEFL locations: Berlin and other major cities
•      TEFL job opportunities: For EFL teachers who do not hold an EU Passport, Germany offers some of the best prospects for working legally in continental Europe.
•      As the driving force behind the European Union, Germans have a very real need to learn English – which the German government addresses well. The high quality of education in the State system has meant that few young adult Germans possess less than a working knowledge of English. Government incentives also exist for Private companies to offer ‘training holidays’ for their employees. These training courses frequently mean intensive English lessons.
•      Most German institutions will not employ EFL teachers who do not to have an internationally recognized TEFL certificate. Commercial/Business experience and a working knowledge of German will greatly help your chances of securing work.
•      Invariably, EFL teachers in Germany end up working on a freelance basis for 2 or 3 different schools.


TEFL in Greece

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: EUR450-EUR750/mth
•      Main TEFL locations: All large cities
•      TEFL job opportunities: There are over ten thousand English schools in Greece, and a large percentage of these employ TEFL teachers from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia or South Africa. Most of the EFL students at English schools are children, attending English lessons in the afternoon after their regular school. There are also numerous opportunities to teach adults, as there is a strong demand in Greece for ESP (English for Special Purposes), particularly Business English, English for Academic Purposes and English for Tourism.
•      In order to be registered as a teacher with the Greek Ministry of Education, you need a university degree. Schools are sometimes willing to overlook this, as they’re more interested in interpersonal skills and teaching ability. The Ministry doesn’t insist on a TEFL certificate for graduates, but most schools require that you have one.

TEFL in Italy

•      Average TEFL teacher salary: EUR650-EUR1300/mth
•      Main TEFL locations: All cities
•      TEFL job opportunities: Italy – like France – is an obvious choice for many EFL teachers looking for work in Europe. Italy’s popularity as a teaching destination has meant that finding EFL work is not always as easy as might have been hoped. An internationally recognized TEFL Certificate is a minimum requirement; the ability to speak Italian will also boost your chances of finding work considerably.
•      Teachers are generally employed as ‘Contract workers’ or ‘Freelance workers’. Italy’s corporate legislation on Social Security payments has made it more attractive for Private Language schools to take on freelance teachers, as teachers who fall into this category must make their own Social Security payments. But many schools do employ teachers on contracts, and a significant number of contracts are given out each year to native English language teachers in the State Primary and Secondary schools.

Westhill Consulting Career and Employment Tips: Teaching English abroad “Under the Table” Without a Work Visa – What Does it Mean?


There are thousands of Americans teaching English abroad in dozens of countries around the globe likeBangkok in Thailand, Jakarta in Indonesia, KL in Malaysia or Beijing in China. What do 90% of them have in common?

In addition to enjoying the international adventure of a lifetime,they are teaching English “under the table.” In other words they are not legally working in those countries with a work visa. This is commonplace, even routine, in dozens of countries around the world, but it is not technically legal.

The first matter is to understand that there are different types of visas that you will use to teach English abroad and that regulations vary from country to country. Please refer to our article, “What is a visa and do I need a visa to teach English abroad?”

What does it mean to teach English abroad “under the table,” without a work visa?

Typically the following:

 You don’t have official permission to work in that country.
 You are officially working illegally.

 You probably entered the country where you are teaching on a tourist visa (in many countries a tourist visa will enable you to stay legally in the country for 90 days) and in many cases, you will stay on and teach English on a tourist visa that has expired or lapsed (this will be the case in countries like Italy and Spain where tourist visas cannot typically be renewed). In such cases, you are not only working illegally, but you do not have a valid visa to legally be in that country either.

 In other cases, such as Argentina, you canrenew your tourist visa or get a new one before your original visa expires (example day 85 of your 90 day visa), often by leaving and re-entering the country.

 You will be paid cash “under the table.” (You and the company do not file taxes.)

 You won’t sign a legal, binding contract.

 You won’t receive benefits like national medical insurance.

Why don’t schools offer me a work visa in some countries?

 The government in each country will maintain different policies regarding issuing work visas to foreign English teachers – some make it difficult or impossible; others make it a routine process. For political or economic reasons, many countries (including the U.S.) make it difficult for foreigners to live and work legally in that country. Many governments simply don’t have a policy of processing work visas for foreign English teachers, or they make it extremely difficult, expensive and/or time-consuming.

In other countries there is a clear process that foreign English teachers can follow to gain a work permit or a work visa. Example: Jakarta an ASEAN country offers work visas to Americans for teaching English, and while it can be time-consuming, the process is pretty straight forward. In Spain (another EU country) the government has not implemented a process by which foreign, non-EU English teachers can get a work visa unless they are employed directly through a government program. Yet, thousands of Americans and other foreignersteachg English in Southeast Asia every year with no work visa without incident. Both are ASEAN nations but each maintains different policies and processes when it comes to visas for English teachers.

 Money and Time: In some countries like Argentina it may take 6 to 12 months to get a visa processed and the cost of processing a work visa may equal 3-6 months’ worth of wages. In addition the process may include an incredible amount of paperwork and bureaucracy. Argentinian schools just are not going to pay that type of money nor can they wait that long for a work visa when the teacher may be gone in 6 months anyway.

If a school had an easy and affordable way to help you get a work visa they would. In light of that, it’s common in high demand countries to just work under the table.

But if it’s illegal, why are so many people teaching English abroad “under the table” and why do schools hire them?

 Thousands of schools worldwide are in high need of qualified (TEFL-certified) teachers. Many schools prefer to hire Americans or Canadians because demand for North American dialects is extremely high.

The bottom line is English language schools are in business to make money, the American dialect is what students want to pay for and the schools want to hire Americans and other foreign English teachers regardless of work permits.

 Americans and others teach English “under the table” because schools will hire them and pay them enough to make a decent living wage that enables them to pay their rent, cover their living expenses and to enjoy life in the country where they teach.

 Risk to both the school employing the teacher and the teacher is very low. Thousands of Americans and other foreigners teach English abroad in dozens of countries without a work visa, and only a minute percentage ever get in any trouble over it; the same goes for the schools hiring them.

 Schools would not hire American English teachers under the table in places like KL Malaysia, Bangkok Thailand, Jakarta Indonesia, etc. if it presented a serious threat to the viability of their business. Authorities in these countries just aren’t spending their time looking for American English teachers; they are far more concerned with actual criminals and illegal immigration from Africa and the former Soviet republics.

 It is important to note that in many countries, a very high percentage of the economy generally is “underground” and not legally sanctioned by the government. According the New York Times for example, approximately 20% of ASEAN countries entire economy is completely unregulated, so it’s not just English teachers who are technically working illegally.

 In many countries where Americans teach English “under the table,” native English speakers are almost never asked to produce a visa to authorities once they have arrived in that country. They are living there just like any other tourist going about their daily life.

 Schools do not pay taxes or into national benefit funds (social security, health care etc.) for teachers that are not legally “on the books.” This means it can be 40%-50% cheaper to hire English teachers “under the table” rather than “on the books.”

The big question: Will I get in trouble and what happens if I get caught teaching English abroad without a work visa?

 If schools and teachers routinely got in trouble with authorities for employing and working under the table, then nobody would do it. In truth, only a minuscule percentage of English teachers working in nations like Spain, Italy, and Argentina ever get into any trouble at all, but in most countries teaching English without a work visa is illegal and there can be consequences. Westhill Consulting Career & Employment based in Australia gives fair warning that if you are caught in an ASEAN country, normally you will have to pay for your own plane fare home. There is no freebies in ASEAN.

 Penalties vary from country to country. Typically, somebody who is caught by authorities overstaying their tourist visa and/or working without a work visa or work permit may be subject to modest fines and/or deportation. In some cases they may be banned from re-entering that country for a period of time. This is a warning to be taken seriously.

In a nutshell, if you are caught they will probably put you on a flight back to your home country right away and just get rid of you (they aren’t looking to pay money to put you in jail, just get you out of the country). The language school may have to pay a fine. For some schools this is just the price of business that they are willing to pay in order to have qualified teachers that their students want.
What if I only want to teach in a country legally with a work visa or work permit – is this possible and if so where?

TEFL-certified English teachers can get work visas and teach English completely legally in many countries around the world. It is typical for Americans to receive work visas to teach English in many countries around the globe, including:

 Asia – China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam,Thailand and Indonesia, to name a few.

 Europe – Russia, Turkey, Germany, and Czech Republicare major European nations where most English teachers obtain work visas. American English teachers participating in government teaching programs in France, Spain and the Republic of Georgia also receive work visas and in many European nations, including France, Spain and Italy, those on student visas also have a right to work.

Canadians, and often Australians and New Zealanderswho meet certain criteria can get working holiday visasfor many European nations that allow them to work as English teachers as well. Citizens of the U.K. and Ireland are not required to obtain any work visa as they have automatic working privileges throughout the European Union, though they may need to fill out residency and tax forms.

 Please review International TEFL Academy’s Working Holiday Visa Chart to learn more about where it may be possible for you to receive a working holiday visa to teach English abroad.

 Latin America – The vast majority of Americans teaching English in Latin America do so with no work visa, but inChile and Mexico a high percentage of English teachers do receive visas, and in Costa Rica, foreign English teachers can receive a tax number and permission to earn income even though they are in the country on a tourist visa.

 The Middle East – Receiving a work visa is the norm for English teachers in Persian Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E, andQatar, while in other Arab countries like Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, most teachers do receive work visas, but some teachers work “under the table” as well.

The key is to conduct your research and to consider carefully your options and know your options.

Contact International TEFL Academy to speak to a trained advisor about all matters relating to teaching English abroad, including visas and work permits for teaching English abroad.

Plans for a single visa for Southeast Asia countries unveiled

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is planning to adopt a single visa system enablingpeople to visit any of the group’s 10 member states on a single visa.Following the lead of Europe’s Schengen single visa system, Jakarta, Indonesia-based ASEAN believes that a single visitor visa policy would enhance the tourism experience in the region, boosting arrivals to member states.

‘The plan is realistic, action oriented, attuned to the global realities and designed to ensure that the ASEAN region can continue to be a successful tourism destination,’ said Thong Khon, Cambodia’s minister of tourism.

It fits with the group’s Tourism Strategic Plan 2011/2015 which aims to promote the region as a single tourist destination, develop a set of ASEAN tourism standards with a single certification process , enable tourism employees to work in any ASEAN country, and create a single tourist visa policy.

Importantly the strategy has strong support from the so-called ‘Plus 3’ countries of China, Japan and South Korea. ASEAN is also moving towards the implementation of an open skies aviation policy, which is scheduled to come into force in 2015.

A unified ASEAN aviation market means that airlines would be able to fly freely over the region, transporting passengers between member states without limits imposed by individual governments in terms of routes, frequencies, airlines or aircraft types.

‘In tandem, the single tourist visa and open skies aviation policy would have the potential to greatly improve the region’s appeal as a tourist destination, offering the opportunity to significantly increase tourist arrival numbers from the 65 million achieved in 2010,’ explained Khon.

The plans have some obstacles to overcome, however, not least the inclusion of Myanmar, and local cross border disputes, including the situation between Cambodia and Thailand.

If it works it means that travellers could surf in Bali, shop in Singapore and eat spicy street food in Thailand before crossing into Cambodia and cruising the Mekong in Vietnam on a single tourist visa.

‘You would just have to apply for one visa and you could then visit all the countries using that visa,’ said Eddy Krisneidi, an ASEAN official. He said that the most popular destination in the region isMalaysia, followed by Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Brunei.

Analysts say visitor numbers could be boosted by slashing the time consuming and confusing visa requirements for each of ASEAN’s 10 countries. Currently some allow foreigners to simply purchase visas on arrival, others require wads of paperwork, photos and up to a week to issue the required stamp.

‘One of the major concerns of the industry, as well as visitors, is the difficulty of obtaining visas, a series of widely differing regulations and information needs for visas,’ ASEAN’s strategic plan states.

‘It would definitely benefit all the countries in this region, especially Thailand,’ said SuraphonSvetasreni of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Westhill Consulting Career & Employment Australia has confirmed the veracity of the above information.

Jobs for English teachers in Indonesia



With a population of approximately 238 million people spread over 17,508 islands along the equator, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country and represents a fast-growing market for English teachers. Those looking to teach English in Indonesia will encounter an entrancing combination of lush, volcanic landscapes; beautiful beaches and thousands of years of history and culture. The country is also known for the warm hospitality of its people, most of whom are Muslim.


English teachers in Indonesia, especially Jakarta, can find teaching jobs year round. Although most interviews are conducted in advance over the phone and via e-mail, some schools prefer to interview in person. Instructors are typically responsible for their own airfare and housing expense, though some schools do provide assistance in these areas. Most live in apartments recently vacated by previous teachers, and many room with coworkers. Watch out for scams in this area.
A generous salary affords English teachers the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle, while saving 250–300 USD per month. Schools offer approximately 20 to 25 hours of work per week, leaving plenty of time to travel and explore Indonesia’s exquisite beauty and vibrant, bustling cities. Those without a bachelor’s degree can find limited opportunities to teach in Indonesia,  but a four-year degree is preferred. TEFL certification is required. Most of those teaching English in Indonesia will find jobs in the major cities of Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya. There are teaching opportunities on the island of Bali; however, its popularity means the local job market is more competitive.


Westhill Consulting Career & Employment Australia agrees with the above blog but we would like to give a warning that some of these jobs are illegal. Be careful!

Get Your Motorcycle License Before Coming to South East Asia


South East Asia is jammed with scooters and motorcycles. They are easily the most common form of transport in the region. They’re everywhere you look. In the cities, in the country, no matter what time it is, day or night. They’re everywhere and are used by more or less everyone.


Renting or buying one for yourself is something of a no brainer. Your life will be genuinely better once you have your own transport. They’re cheap, they’re reliable. No more haggling with tuk tuks and taxis. No more walking home late at night with a pack of angry street dogs nipping at your heels because all of the tuk tuk and taxi drivers have apparently gone home to bed. This actually happened to us. Being closely followed by half a dozen snarling street dogs sporting an array of exotic skin diseases gave us the final push we needed to get a two wheeled death trap of our very own. We rented a few different ones before purchasing this gorgeous beast.


Getting one worked out well for us and may well be a good idea for you too. However, and this may seem obvious, it is a very bad idea to jump on one of these things if don’t know how to ride. “Duh” you say but people do this in vast numbers every day. I did this myself once upon a time. I foolishly rented an automatic scooter in Thailand having no real idea of how to ride. My only previous experience with two wheeled motorized transport was when I rented an automatic scooter in Bali… Its only through a mixture of my cautious temperament and sheer dumb luck that I have never had a serious accident.


I have however seen plenty of others have accidents. I once saw a guy on a scooter get airborne (briefly) after he was clipped by a car. In almost the exact same spot another guy laid his bike down because he was going too fast and it was raining. I’ve seen a guy laying on the road surrounded by pieces of his bike and curious onlookers. I’ve seen the aftermath of someone riding their scooter into a shop. I’ve seen a woman holding a baby get launched off a bike. This is a dangerous activity.


Given how dangerous it is you should absolutely take every step possible to ensure that you know what you’re doing. That means getting your motorcycle license.


You may not even legally need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter, particularly a fully automatic scooter. That’s not the point. The point is to get some proper instruction, to practice emergency stopping in a controlled environment and to be able to operate the machine without thinking consciously thinking about it.


In fact, a motorcycle license is likely to somewhat over qualify you to ride the small capacity bikes common in south east Asia. A motorcycle like those common in Australia, the US etc requires you to use the clutch, a gear shifter, the accelerator and not one but two separate brakes. By comparison a postie bike like the one we purchased has no clutch. An automatic scooter has no clutch and no gear shifter.


Westhill Consulting Career & Employment Australia especially recommend motorcycle licenses in Bangkok Thailand, Beijing China, Jakarta Indonesia, and many others. These places when seeing a foreign face will scam you for a fine for up to 50USD. Warning, if you are scammed into a fine do not put in a complaint to the tourist police, just take the pain.


If you learn to ride a proper motorcycle then transition on to postie bikes and scooters you will find them very easy to operate. That means less worrying about how to work your bike and more time to worry about your surroundings. That translates into a better chance of a having a happy stress free time and a lower chance of a trip to the emergency room.


Before you head to south east Asia to teach English, on your sabbatical, to work on your Internet start up or whatever else you’re doing go and get your motorcycle license. Yes it costs money but its not extortionate. It’s a skill that will be with you forever and the training you receive may one day save your life.