Teaching English in Laos and Exploring Southeast Asia

Teaching English in Laos

Are you ready to embark on a life-changing adventure in Southeast Asia? Look no further than Laos, a country known for its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm-hearted people.

Teaching English in Laos not only allows you to make a positive impact on the lives of local students but also gives you the opportunity to explore the wonders of this captivating region. From the majestic temples of Luang Prabang to the serene beauty of the Mekong River, Laos offers a unique blend of natural beauty and spiritual tranquility. Imagine spending your weekends exploring ancient temples, hiking through lush jungles, and immersing yourself in the vibrant local markets.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just starting your journey, teaching English in Laos is the perfect way to embrace adventure and create lifelong memories. So pack your bags, unleash your sense of wanderlust, and get ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime in Southeast Asia.

Laos Overview

Main Cities/AreasSalary range (USD/month)
Vientiane$800 – $1500

Laos is one of the most laid-back countries in which to teach, although it can be difficult for first-timers to find anything more than offers of part-time work paid by the hour.

A small number of education centers will offer full-time contracts and pay for visa costs for teachers who are experienced in teaching in the Indochina region. There are numerous opportunities to volunteer in more rural areas, but almost all paid positions are in the rather sleepy capital of Vientiane.

Flag of Laos - Wikipedia

Typical Requirements and Tips

Degree?TEFL Certification?Experience?

Be prepared to survive on a part-time salary, to begin with. Also, expect students to be shy until they get to know you well.

When in Laos, check out the jobs section of the Vientiane Times.

Most employers will arrange a visa for you. It is normal to enter on a tourist visa before applying for a work visa. Some employers will expect you to pay for your work visa (approximately 300 USD per year).

The cost of accommodation in Laos is low, but rising in Vientiane. Local food and transportation costs are very low.

Schools usually pay in US dollars. Employers are responsible for income tax.

Pros and Cons of Teaching in Laos


  • Compared to many capital cities in Southeast Asia, Vientiane is truly idyllic and relaxing
  • There is a growing demand for English language studies
  • The local beer is the finest in the region!


  • Difficult to find a job unless you are already in Laos as very few vacancies are advertised online
  • Teachers without much experience or any contacts will probably be paid by the hour for part-time work and potentially work split-shifts
  • If you are single you should be aware of strict laws in Laos regarding personal relationships between locals and foreigners

Fun Fact About Laos

One interesting fact about Laos that may be of interest to an English teacher is that despite being a predominantly Buddhist country, the Lao language is written in an alphabet derived from ancient Indian scripts, specifically the Brahmic script. This script is used to write several languages in the region, including Thai and Cambodian, but each language has its own unique variations and pronunciations. This fact highlights the influence of Indian civilization on the region and can spark discussions on linguistic influences, cultural exchanges, and the origins of writing systems.