Part 2: The 5 Best Countries to Open an English Language School
How to choose the best overseas location to set up your own English language School. The 5 Best Countries to Open an English Language School.
Welcome to the next instalment in StudyCELTA’s series on opening your own English language school. In this part, we look at some of the best, up-and-coming destinations to start a new language business, taking into account the ease of obtaining a visa and setting up a company, the cost of living, and market potential.
Take a look here for the first part in the series: the basics of how to open your own English language school.
Although one of the official languages of Hong Kong is English, the large percentage of Chinese and foreign immigrants to the autonomous territory means that the demand for language learning is still high.
This administrative region of China is known as a booming technological hub, and, with low corporate tax and a high literacy rate, there’s little wonder why it’s a great place to start a language school.
Hong Kong offers a special migration visa scheme for foreign entrepreneurs who wish to relocate – in short, it’s a type of work visa for foreigners who will be self-employed.
To open your own English language school, you’ll need to apply for a certificate of registration. There are quite a few documents required; from a business plan to a school layout – but once you’ve got your paperwork together, it will all be processed within 10-20 days.
Hong Kong is not a cheap city (rent in the centre starts from about $2,000 USD a month) but English language students pay up to $500 a week for intensive language classes, and the average teaching salary is around $4,000 a month.
Home to one of the smoothest business registration processes in the world, the southern hemisphere nation is a great place to open an English language school. In 2012, New Zealand was named as the easiest place in the world to open a business in a World Bank Survey – in fact, the entire procedure can take as little as three days.
Plus, the country’s entrepreneur work visa allows foreign businesspeople to easily relocate there.
Of course, the official language of New Zealand is English, yet there is still a steady stream of students from Latin America and Asia who make the trip down under to improve their fluency. The English language sector generated $343 million NZ in 2012, the majority of enrolments from China.
A full-time English teacher can make, on average, $50,000 NZ per year, and a standard restaurant meal in Auckland’s business district costs about $16.
You can read more about career opportunities in New Zealand here.
The Central American country is one of the easiest in the world to obtain a permanent residency status. If you’re a resident of one of 48 ‘friendly’ countries, with one simple application form and a deposit of $5,000 USD in your personal, Panamanian bank account, you can become an official, fully-fledged resident.
So what’s the catch? Well, the bureaucratic process is a little less well-oiled than in New Zealand or Hong Kong, and you’ll probably need to hire an attorney to help you push the papers.
That said, however, the cost of living in Panama is low – and the quality of life is high. Weekly rent will set you back about $200 USD in the centre of the country’s capital, Panama City, and a one-way bus ticket is around 25 cents. On average, students pay $300 for 48 hours-worth of group English classes.
Plus, the country’s expansive coastline – which faces both the Caribbean and Atlantic – is home to white, untouched beaches and tropical islands.
Nearby Nicaragua has risen over the past decade as one of the easiest and fastest countries in Central America to establish a business. From start to finish, the whole process takes about 42 days, and visa requirements for foreigners are lenient.
Most expats to Nicaragua enter on a 90-day tourist visa, and apply for a longer-term permit once they’re there. While the application itself isn’t complex, the process does tend to take a while.
Nicaragua, however, is cheap: a flat in the centre of the capital, Managua, will set you back around $300 USD a month, a beer costs 80 cents and a bus ticket just 10. English students normally pay about $10 an hour for group classes, but the demand for teachers is always high.
The country, while steadily growing, is largely untouched by tourism, meaning that you can experience pristine coastline, rugged jungle, and an authentic Central American culture.
This small, European country isn’t well-known when it comes to business, however Slovenia is one of the most efficient nations to set up your own English language school. According to the World Bank, it takes about 6 days to register your business with all the bureaucratic organisations, and is ranked 15th in the world for ease of starting a new company.
For E.U. citizens, the process is fairly easy: they can enter the country to live and become self-employed without the need to apply for residency permits. Non-E.U. citizens, on the other hand, can apply for a personal work permit for self-employment. With a good business plan and €10,000 in the bank, the applicant will receive a one-year residency, which can then be renewed.
Slovenia is known for its excellent infrastructure, highly-educated population, and strategic location between Western Europe and the Balkans. In the capital, Ljubljana, monthly rent is about €400, and English students pay around €20 an hour for group classes.