Teaching English in Brunei

Teaching English in Brunei

Brunei Overview

Main Cities/AreasSalary range (USD/month)
Bandar Seri Begawan$1500 – $3000

Situated on the northeast coast of Borneo, the tiny, oil-rich sultanate of Brunei offers much in the way of variety from the modern urban environment of the capital Bandar Seri Begawan to deserted tropical beaches and jungles.

The pay is generally very good indeed although you will need a great deal of experience and a PGCE (or equivalent) to be considered for the top jobs. Those with a DELTA or MA TESOL are at a definite advantage.

The lifestyle is generally very relaxed although, given the size of the country and the prevailing Islamic laws, some people grow bored of the environment rather rapidly.

Flag of Brunei - Wikipedia

Typical Requirements and Tips

Degree?TEFL Certification?Experience?
YesYes2-3 Years

Inexperienced teachers are advised to get experience and plenty of qualifications elsewhere first! You will be at a distinct disadvantage going in fresh from TEFL certification.

To make things easier, you can look out for opportunities to mentor local teachers.

Be sure to negotiate with potential employers regarding the availability of free or subsidized accommodation.

Work permits should be arranged in advance by your employer.

Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation is easy to find. Living costs are generally low.

Employees are generally required to fill in a tax return form on an annual basis although it appears that income tax is paid monthly by your employer.

Fun Fact About Brunei

An interesting fact for an English teacher about Brunei is that it is one of the few countries in the world that has English as an official language alongside Malay. This bilingual status promotes English proficiency among the population, making it easier for English teachers to communicate and engage with students in Brunei.

Pros and Cons of Teaching in Brunei


  • Excellent infrastructure – daily tasks can be accomplished easily – and very safe
  • Low cost of living
  • Good salaries for the experienced and qualified


  • Few openings for those without experience or postgraduate qualifications
  • A tiny nation that many become bored with quickly
  • The cultural differences associated with living in a Muslim-majority nation may be a shock to the inexperienced

Comparable Alternatives

Three countries that are similar in style to Brunei are:

#1 – Qatar

Like Brunei, Qatar is a wealthy and modern country with a strong emphasis on Islamic traditions. Both countries have a small population and are known for their oil and gas reserves, which have driven their economic growth. Qatar, similar to Brunei, also has a monarchy and is known for its luxurious lifestyle and high standard of living.

#2 – United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The UAE shares similarities with Brunei in terms of its modern infrastructure, luxurious lifestyle, and strong Islamic influence. The UAE is composed of seven emirates and is known for its iconic landmarks like Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah. Much like Brunei, the UAE also has a diverse and multicultural society and a booming economy driven by oil and tourism.

#3 – Oman

Oman, situated on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, has similarities to Brunei in terms of its traditional Islamic culture, stunning landscapes, and focus on preserving heritage and traditions. Both countries have a stable monarchy and are known for their natural beauty, including pristine beaches, mountains, and deserts. Oman, like Brunei, also has a relatively small population and is known for its warm hospitality.