Hiring seasons in ESL across the world

If you’re looking for ESL work, different regions’ intakes of new teachers can vary throughout the year. Below is a rundown of some of the major TEFL hiring seasons, as well as information on when the best time to apply is.


Prime application times: August/September Secondary: January Many positions become available over the summer, as schools begin new academic years in September and early October. There are also many TEFL summer camps in Europe, which usually begin to hire students around the start of the year. Some countries, for example, Turkey and Russia hire all year round.

Central America

Prime application times: June/July Secondary: January/February Many schools will interview in December for positions beginning in January. In other countries, Mexico for one, demand is high enough that language schools hire year-round.

South America

Prime application times: February/March Secondary: July/August. Summer ends in February kicking of the first hiring season. Second hiring season is after the mid-year holiday break. Applicants are advised to be prepared to go onto the ground to attend interviews in person.

The Middle East

Positions are open throughout the year for those looking to find a TEFL job in the Middle East. In countries such as the U.A.E., Qatar and Saudi Arabia, schools for children, vocational schools, colleges and universities typically interview and recruit new teachers during the spring and early summer for August and September start dates. Some public schools will also recruit TEFL teachers in the autumn for positions beginning in January, February or March.

The Far East

Positions are abundant, and hiring happens throughout the year. The spring and early summer can be the most profitable times to look, but generally there are so many opportunities that whatever time of year you apply, you should have some luck.