Teaching English in Myanmar

By | November 27, 2013

Myanmar (also known as Burma in some countries) is a country located in Southeast Asia. It is bordered with India and Bangladesh on the west, Laos and Thailand on the east and China in the north. There are 3 distinct seasons in Myanmar with the hot season running from March to May, the wet season from June to October and the cold season from November to February.

The people of Myanmar are particularly diverse with 135 different races all living in one country. The official language is Myanmar, but a lot of races have their own language. English is also important in this country and this comes from the colonial days of British Burma. Many people can understand the English language.

The country is rich in natural resources, with natural gas, oil and precious stones in abundance. Moreover, Myanmar is now opening up to the world after years of being controlled by the military.

Read more about Myanmar from Wikipedia.

Karaweik Palace

Image courtesy of Wiki Images.

Why Teach English in Myanmar

Tourism is a growing and important part of Myanmar’s economy and more people are visiting the country every year. The country is slowly opening up to the world and the country is trying to solve many of the problems left by military control.

You could make a real difference to the lives of people in Myanmar as an English teacher. The country is now welcoming teachers from foreign countries to go and work in Myanmar and usually teachers are given a lot of respect.

Where to Teach English in Myanmar

There is a growing demand for native English speaking teachers in Myanmar, but many of them are not advertised online. Most of the opportunities for paid work arise in the larger cities, namely Yangon (also known as Rangoon) and Mandalay. There are very many opportunities for volunteer work as an English teacher, but these are mostly in rural areas.

Types of Teaching Jobs in Myanmar

If you’re interested in volunteering, then there are many orphanages and NGOs looking for teachers to come and provide English language lessons. You might even be the only glimpse of a world outside of Myanmar for a lot of young children in the country.

There are also a growing number of international schools and private language schools. The quality of the schools will vary from each one and as a result your salary and minimum qualifications required to work in the school will also vary considerably.

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Teaching Requirements and Qualifications

Nuns waiting for alms

Nuns waiting for alms

As a volunteer, the only thing that you need is a willingness to go and teach.

If you’re looking for a paid TEFL job in Myanmar, the minimum requirements of experience and qualifications will vary considerably. Some schools will require that you have at least a Bachelor’s degree and an ESL qualification like a TESOL, TEFL or CELTA and others will have no requirements at all.

Usually, schools will higher standards for qualifications and experience will offer higher salaries.

Expected Salary and Living Costs

Visa Requirements

Bagan Temples

Bagan Temples

You can enter the country on a tourist visa and after you have found a job, you can apply for a business visa.

For more information about getting a tourist visa on arrival, click here.

To obtain a business visa, you will need an invitation from your school or organisation. If you have already been offered a job prior to your arrival and have the invitation letter from your school, you can apply for a business visa on arrival.

For more information about business visas, click here.

How to Find a Job Teaching in Myanmar

Popa Taungkalat temple, Myanmar

Popa Taungkalat Temple

There are many ways to find a job as a TEFL teacher in Myanmar. First, you can take a look online and see what schools are advertising for English teachers on ESL jobs boards. Moreover, you can find websites belonging to schools in Myanmar and see if they are actively recruiting on their website, or contact them to see if they have any vacant positions. However, you will probably need to complete an interview in person rather than complete the whole process online.

Alternatively, you can try to find a job once you are already in Myanmar. Look in local newspapers and jobs boards and see if there is anything being advertised locally.

Finally, you might want to try going around the schools in person and asking if they are looking for native English speaking teachers.

Teach English in Myanmar

The Burmese people are very friendly and welcoming to foreigners and Myanmar is a very safe place for foreigners to live and work. Just make sure that you don’t get involved in discussions about local politics and you should be fine!

The country is very beautiful, relaxing and still free from western commercialism. So you can really have a very different teaching experience when working in the country.

Finally, the students are very eager to learn and as a teacher, you will often be held in high regard with the locals. This will mean that you are more than likely to have a pleasant experience teaching English in Myanmar.

Disclaimer

Although I have never worked in this country, every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct. This blog post has been written after extensive research online, interviews with teachers who have worked or are working in the country, and local schools have been contacted. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. If you have worked or are working in Myanmar, we would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

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4 thoughts on “Teaching English in Myanmar

  1. Raymond

    Thank you for your review about Myanmar, I am currently teaching in Shanghai/China English I am TEFL qualified and an experienced English teacher, I am really interested in teaching in Myanmar, I liked your comments.

    I am British born in London.

  2. Helen

    Thank you William, very useful. I am moving to Mynmar for my husbands job and hoping to pick up some voluntary teaching wotk to keep me busy. I am about to study for CELTA. Exciting times ahead!

    1. Elisabeth Frischknecht

      Dear Helen,
      Are you still interested in a teaching ESL position here in Myanmar?
      I am working for an international School and we are looking for a secondary ESL teacher. Celta would be great if you have taken the course already.

      I am looking forward to your reply.
      Regards,
      Elisabeth

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