There is no fee to work as an English Language Assistant through the British Council and you will be paid a monthly salary. Your salary will depend on your location - visit the relevant country page for more information.

Basic costs

You will need to cover a number of costs. They include:

  • return flights to your destination
  • travel insurance
  • accommodation and utility bills 
  • an International Child Protection Certificate costing approximately £60. 

In China and Ecuador, accommodation may be provided. If you go to China, your flights and some of the costs towards your visa will also be reimbursed. 

Location-specific costs

Depending on where you are going, there may be other costs.


You will need to cover the cost of your visa for the following countries:

Please check the country pages for more information about visa costs.

Work permits and ID cards

In some countries, you will need to apply for an ID card. There may be a small charge for this, which you will have to pay.

If you are going to Canada, you will need to apply for a work permit before you arrive. You are responsible for applying and paying for this.

If you will need a work permit, we will provide you with a country-specific step-by-step guide to the application process.


It is your responsibility to check current vaccination requirements for the country you are travelling to, and arrange and pay for your own vaccinations. Visit the NHS Fit for Travel website for more information.

Medical examinations

For Canada  and China, a full medical examination is necessary to obtain a work permit. You will have to pay upwards of £200, depending on your local GP. We are unable to cover any costs towards this. We suggest you research the medical examinations required before applying to the programme.

Pre-departure briefing

For applicants going outside the EU and also to Italy, there will be a pre-departure briefing at a British Council office. You will need to pay the cost of travel to attend this. 

Induction course

When you arrive abroad, you will normally be invited to attend an induction course to help you settle in and prepare. The length and cost of the course will vary from country to country. Please take a look at the individual country pages for full details.


It is a good idea to have a contingency fund for any unexpected costs. You must also take enough money with you for your first and second months abroad, as you may not receive any payment until the end of your first two months.

If you are going to a European country, we recommend you budget approximately €1000-1500 for your first month. If allocated to Paris, Corsica or Outre-Mer, you will need €1700-2200.  

Outside Europe, aim to have around £1000 in savings before you go.

Ready to apply?

To apply, submit our online application form.

Read more about the application process and how to complete the form.

Country pages

Back to the main English Language Assistants page.