Will I get free accommodation while teaching English abroad?

The salary and additional benefits on offer to TEFL qualified teachers can vary enormously in different parts of the world. Teachers generally receive a basic salary or hourly rate that will allow them to live comfortably and some will also have the bonus of free accommodation thrown in. As this can make a huge difference to your lifestyle, we take a look at where this might be an option for you.

Where is free housing most common for English teachers abroad?

In the two biggest markets for TEFL qualified teachers, China and South Korea, it is commonplace for employers to include paid accommodation or a housing subsidy as part of a standard contract. Another region where free accommodation is typically provided is the Middle East. If you have the qualifications and experience to land a job in countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain you can expect a very competitive salary, paid accommodation, and a range of other benefits. It is quite common for schools in this region to own or rent entire housing complexes which means you might find yourself living in a local community made up of other foreign teachers.

What other options for free housing are there?

One other common way to secure free housing is to join a government-run recruitment program. The largest example of this type of scheme is the South Korean EPIK Program where thousands of annual recruits receive accommodation assistance. If you join the next largest national recruitment program, the Japanese JET Program, you can also expect financial and practical help in sorting out a good place to live. English summer camps generally require their teachers to be on hand whenever required, so housing and meals are usually included either onsite or very close by. Outside of these main examples you are less likely to find housing included in your work contract, although you should always ask if any help is available as every job is different wherever you are in the world.

Will I get free accommodation while teaching English abroad?