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Best Time to Apply for EFL Teaching Jobs Overseas


Although there are usually EFL teaching jobs available throughout the year in most countries, there are also main hiring seasons.

These are usually determined by the academic calendars (Asia) or summer language programmes (Europe). It’s best to aim for one of these periods to maximise your choice of location and to avoid disappoint and frustration. The typical hiring seasons for popular EFL teaching destinations are highlighted below. 

  • Asia

    Undoubtedly one of the most continents for EFL teachers, mostly due to the high demand for teachers and the fairly decent salaries, many Asian countries look for teachers throughout the year.

    China (and Hong Kong)

    • Summer (June-July) for the start of the new school year (1 September)
    • Year round for private language schools
    • Avoid Christmas and February when most schools are quiet
    • March to mid-April
    • JET programme is usually the end of the calendar year to start in August the following year
    South Korea
    • November/December for the 1 March intake (public schools)
    • April/May for the 1 September intake (public schools)
    • Year round for private language schools (hagwons)
    • November/December for the 1 March intake (public schools)
    • April/May for the 1 September intake (public schools)
    • Year round for private language schools
    • Mid-March – Mid-May for public schools
    • October for private language schools
    • September/ October when the new school year starts
  • Middle East

    Competition for these jobs is usually quite fierce and many schools, for cultural reasons, are very particular about whether they hire male or female teachers. Therefore, it’s often best to plan several months in advance.  

    December and January are the main hiring months for positions starting the following September. 

  • Europe

    The biggest obstacle for positions across Europe is usually that schools typically don’t sponsor visas. Therefore, having an EU passport is often essential, and many schools prefer to hire teachers who are already in the country. Many language schools hire teachers in April/May for intensive summer courses, but this is usually when you’re already in the country. 

    Southern Europe
    • Early September (in country)
    • May (from abroad)
    • June/July for a September start
  • South America

    Schools are closed during the summer (December – February), Christmas and Easter, so no hiring is done during these periods. 

    • February – mid-March for the new school year (1 March)
    • September/October (sometimes) for the new school year, but mostly January/February
    • Year round for private language schools

Keep in mind that you will need time for your documents to reach prospective employers, interviews to be done and, if you’re offered a job, visa applications. Make sure all of your documents are ready when you apply for jobs as the hiring process tends to be very quick.