This TOP 5 DESTINATION list is for TEFLers with itchy feet AND a hatred of creatures with more than 4 legs.
100% true story – I came home one night with a can of bug spray, having suspected there were a few unwanted guests in the kitchen. I turned on the light and sprayed half a can in all the corners, nooks and crannies and stood back – what ensued was straight out of a horror movie – I couldn’t have made it up. A swarm of cockroaches scuttled across the ceiling, having been choked out of their hiding place. Disoriented and sort of – half dying, they dropped onto the floor wiggling on their backs. Horrified I knew I needed to stamp on them but was wearing flip flops and froze to the spot – all I could do was scream for help, and my flatmate with his big black boots kindly obliged.
From that moment I knew I had to move house and as soon as possible move city, or even country. But where to go? How could I avoid bugs, being bitten, sharing my breathing space such with monsters? .
I didn’t want to give up travelling to teach English just be cause of the ‘bugs’. so I did a lot of research on cockroaches especially, considering where they thrive and how to avoid them.
I came up with a TOP 5 list of exotic destinations to teach English – bug free.
Seoul Special Metropolitan City is the capital of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The combination of a clean modern city and subzero ºC temperatures in winter means that bugs don’t have much chance of surviving in this vibrant city! Seoul has well-established ESL market resulting in a constant need for fresh qualified English teachers; who are usually offered lucrative salaries and benefits that include free housing.
2) SALAMANCA – Northwestern Spain
The climate in this historic university city tends to be cooler and not as dry as the rest of Spain which makes it ideal to settle and explore whilst teaching English. There are definitely less bugs and creepy crawlies here than other parts of the country. Salamanca is known for its detailed sandstone architecture and for the University, which was founded in the 1100s and continues to contribute to the liveliness of the city with its globetrotting student population
3) NORTHEAST CHINA
Extreme, almost siberian winters have led to what seems to be a cockroach antidote – according to Scientific American at -6ºC (23ºF) 50% of cockroaches die within 10 hours and at 10ºC (14ºF) 50% die within one hour. So you can see why in a fairly clean and well kept house you are unlikely to come across cockroaches here!
4) KIEV IN THE UKRAINE
Although not necessarily the first place you’d think about when considering TEFL, Kiev is peaceful, boasts a low cost of living in relation to salary and is open to teachers from all over the world. The long harsh winters are enough to scare off all but the most hardcore of creepy crawlies, most Ukrainians reporting having never seen a cockroach in their lives!
5) Dublin, Ireland
ok, it may not sound that exotic, but just think about it, no snakes thanks to St. Patrick, and no cockroaches! A double whammy bonus! Dublin has a thriving ESL industry. People travel from all over Europe to learn English immersion style! If you cope with the more-often-than-not cloudy greyness and have a bit of TEFL experience under your belt, Dublin is a really attractive option.
So there you have it, my top five cockroach free destinations for TEFL teachers – I’m off to bed! As my mother used to say – ‘night night sleep tight – hope the bed bugs don’t bite’