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Teaching English abroad in Cambodia

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Teaching english yourworldyourhomeAs an English speaker who can read and write, who can use a computer and the internet, employers will fight over who gets to hire you.  They need your skills, because no one else has them. The supply of capable English teachers is immensely low and the demand in most places is infinitely high. So high that even the very under qualified can get a good paying English teaching job. (That is assuming your not applying in a country where everyone already speaks English)

A friend of mine, Patrick, first contacted me online with couchsurfing.org . He asked if I thought he could get an English teaching job in Cambodia. He was still in the USA when he asked and I guaranteed him a job. Why? Because like I just said, if you can speak and write, you can find a job. Well that and the week before he emailed me I went to a school and applied, within one hour they had hired me and gave me classes for all the hours I requested.

This is what Patrick has to say about his job seeking in Cambodia:

It was kind of a spur of a moment thing. I knew I wanted to move somewhere and teach English. I decided South East Asia would be the most interesting. Then I went online did a few hours of research, and decided I would like Cambodia the best. It was based on pay, lack of TOSOL(Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate, and my personal interests. Then I asked you, you confirmed it and that’s about all I got. I made the decision in under 36 hours.

Patrick came to Cambodia, stayed with me, and went looking for a job. He got 4 jobs offers from going out for a day of job hunting. In the end he choose  to work for Pannasastra university at 10$ an hour, 23 hours a week.  So he only made 230$ a week (no taxes to eat away his pay check) but in Cambodia that was a hell of a lot of money. At $100 you live better then the locals. At $300 you live like a king. At 500 a god. At $1000, well you figure that out.

Patrick was a native English teacher with a diploma, so yes those factors helped him get a job. But even if you are not a native English speaker, have no degree or no experience, you can still get a great job.

If you are a native English speaker, you know the language; you grew up knowing it, and the little you don’t know about grammar you can learn as you teach. My sister came to Cambodia in the summer of 2012, she was 20, hadn’t finished her bachelors degree and she had never taught English, but she went to the biggest provider of English teaching jobs in Cambodia, and took her resume with her. She was quickly ushered to see the head of the English department,  and then within 10 minutes she had a job teaching English part time, just as she wanted.

If you are not a native English speaker but you know English, than you know the grammar and the language better then most native speakers. Yes your pronunciation might be a bit off, and you might not know all the words, but still, because demand is so high, you can easily get a job. My friend Pavel, a polish man who learned English in India couchsurfed with me, and almost no one understood him (including my sister). His accent was odd and  he almost never used articles: “the”, “a”, and “an”, and his vocabulary was short a few thousand words. But he told the locals he knew English, and they believed him. He ended up getting a job in Phnom Penh teaching English. He got free housing and 700$ per month.

Why? Because demand is a hell of a lot higher than supply when it comes to teachers. This is why everyone who can speak a few words of English is guaranteed an English teaching job in almost any non-English speaking country in the world. As for Pavel, he has been teaching English for a few years now, thanks to the lessons he taught he now knows English. His vocabulary is great, he is using articles, his accent is  less comical and he has changed his job a few times. He move from $700 a month to $1000 and most recently he moved to $2000 per month in China.

If you want to make more money then posted here, then try other countries, in Thailand $10-$15 is average, in China $20-$30.

 

Hey, I’m Eric, www.YourWorldYourHome.com is my travel blog. I write this website to show you how easy it is to live, work and travel all around the world. I’ve been traveling almost 8 years now. I’m just about to publish my new book Where the Wind Blows: Traveling around the World on $5 a day

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24 Comments

  1. I enjoy your stories, but have noticed more than a few times your talent at writing is littered with grammar and usage errors. Excusable, except that here you’re writing about teaching English. “I had went,” is never correctly used in the English language.

    • Hey Morgan, your right my English isn’t so good. I’ve been traveling 7 years now and my english accent is very international but my English usage is still the same as the culture I came from :S (It’s somehow normal to say “I had went” in parts of the Appalachian mountains. Thanks for pointing out this mistake and feel free to point out any others, I would like to catch them and fix them. As for English teaching and speaking English, trust me, if I teach I am one of the better ones. There are plenty of non-native speakers who speak English VERY poorly, and they still end up getting jobs as English teachers. It is all about supply and demand. The demand is HUGE and the supply of quality English teachers is very low.

  2. Dont mind what Morgan noted.Everyone now a days speak”globish”anyway,not english.Who cares??
    I love your style of writing.Very simple for simple people to understand.And that is vast majority of us reading this.

  3. My qualifications B.Ed Arts (English and Literature in English) 2nd upper. I am about to complete TEFL. My achilles heel, I am not a native speaker. Fact I have a near native knowledge of english. what are my chances in Cambodia?

      • From what you said, I don’t think you would have any problem at all getting a job in Cambodia or about anywhere in the world. 1500 is defiantly enough. If you head there, tell me and I’ll introduce you to some of my friends.
        -Eric

        • Hi Eric. I am very interested in teaching English in Cambodia. But i am not TEFL-certified yet.
          I am taking a risk of going to Cambodia anytime this July 2014 and hoping to find a job there.
          I read (from your reply to stan) that you are very willing to help.

          How do i reach you Eric so i can personally email you?

          Thank you.

          Joan

        • Dear Eric,

          Your article about teaching in Cambodia has inspired me to take a chance to work there. l am not a native speaker but l am very well qualified and have nearly 6 years of teaching experience.

          My concern is about my best friend. He is also a non-native English speaker with 2 years experience. And he has CELTA and Associate’s degree. He doesnt have a BA. His English is great.

          We want to work in the same place together. Can he get a job in Cambodia? What do we need to do?

          Regards,
          Umut

          • Hey Umut, sorry for my late reply, ive been traveling a lot recently. You area ready to teach in Cambodia already, all you need to do is show up. from there I can put you in contact with a few friends of mine who might be able to suggest some schools that are hiring.

          • Dear Eric,

            Thank you for your response. l really appreciate your help.
            lf you like we can contact on Skype. My Skype is: kamuhel08

            Look forward to hearing from you.

  4. I am currently looking for an English tuture(in phnom penh)who is a native speaker to help improve one of my friends conversation skills. He can only efforts to pay12$/hours. Please help to share this info if you know anyone who would be interested. Thanks

  5. Hi, Thanks for the information, I’m currently teaching English in Thailand but would like to move to Cambodia. I would prefer to be by the sea and am going to look around Kep and Krong Preah Sihanouk do you know whether there are English teacher jobs available in these areas. I have cambridge CELTA certificate and 18 months teaching experience in Thailand. your help would be much appreciated..

    • Hey Scott, the beach is nice, no doubt but as most of the beach towns, are pretty poor, there will not be too many options. In kep you might find something, in Sihanoukville the supply is just so high you will be competing with a lot of people, all of whom are very unqualified but the local hires dont really understand that.

      Sihanoukville is the most fun of all of the places, but do consider all of the towns on the cost, there are quite a few and most are tourist free.

      You can check bongthom.com to look for some jobs.

        • Im always moving around. I’m in the Philippines today, and I’ll be in HK next week. I should be in Cambodia sometime soon. Just tell me where you end up getting a job and I’ll drop by, I always love relaxing on the Cambodian beach.

  6. A million thanks, Eric, for this wonderful post. I would just ignore the correction posted here.

    Your article comes as a big relief at a time when I am feeling really bad about teaching.

    There has been this love affair of mine with Asia, in general, as I was born in India. I am now a German citizen. I do not have a degree but I have 13 years of teaching (English)and a British accent stained more with a German touch to it.

    Apparently, I stand good chances of landing a teaching job in Cambodia. My dream not just to go to Cambodia and find work, but it is also to work with and for poor children (no missionary activity)

    I am almost at the brink of a decision to take the plunge. A flight to Cambodia! A one way ticket. Somehow I did not have the courage. Your blog gives me that courage.

    Not sure, if you are still in Cambodia.

    Hope you are still there.

    Kind regards
    Suren

    • Hey Suren, I’m glad you are going to take the leap. I hope you really enjoy teaching English around the world, including in Cambodia. Right now I am in the Phillippines, but I’ll visit Cambodia again sometime in the future. Hope we can meet sometime.

  7. Hi Eric,

    I’m a Filipina curretly backpacking in Southeast Asia. This blog helped me a lot and gave me confidence in getting a teaching job in Cambodia without a degree or experience. I’ll be there two days from now and crossing my fingers that I’ll land a job immediately since I’m currently running out of $. Lol. See yah around!

    Leah

      • hello dear Eric , I am a female English teacher from Yemen.I have a bachelor degree in French language and 7 years of teaching experience.My English is near natives.Ineed to travel to Cambodia as fast as possible since there is a war in Yemen. I need a visa to enter Cambodia can I get any job offer and I will pay for my tickets. Please dear we are dying here it is a matter of life.

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