Unlike many other teach-abroad programmes, you do not have to pay a programme fee to work as an English language assistant.

In fact, you will be paid a monthly salary. The amount will depend on your location. Please click on the relevant country in the list below for more information.

In addition, you will receive support and guidance from us and our partners overseas both before and during your placement.

Basic costs

Before applying, bear in mind that you will need to cover a number of costs. They include:

  • return flights to your destination
  • travel insurance
  • accommodation and utility bills (this will vary from place to place, so we recommend you do some research beforehand)
  • an International Child Protection Certificate, which costs approximately £60. 

One exception is China, where accommodation is provided. Your flights and some of the costs towards your visa will also be reimbursed. 

Location-specific costs

Depending on your location, there may be other costs that you will also need to consider. These are listed below.


It is your responsibility to check current vaccination requirements for the country you are travelling to. You will be responsible for paying for and arranging your own vaccinations. Please visit the Fit for Travel website for more information.

Medical examinations

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


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 a work permit or an ID card. There may be a small cost for this, which you will have to cover.

Assistants required to apply for a work permit will be provided with a country-specific step-by-step guide for the work permit application process.

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 before you leave. You will need to cover the cost of travel to attend this. We always try to invite candidates to a location nearest to them.

Induction courses

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 these will vary from country to country. Please take a look at the individual country pages in the list below.

Planning your travel

As always, it’s a good idea to have a contingency for any unexpected costs. It is also important that you 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 planning on 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.  

For outside Europe, it’s a good idea to have around £1000 in savings before you go, and do some research before you arrive.

Country list

Back to the main English Language Assistants page.