How To Successfully Teach English Online From Bali
Bali is known as the home of digital nomads. Interestingly enough, Bali also has a reputation for having extremely sketchy WiFi. As online English teachers, unreliable internet is our worst nightmare. In this post, I’m about to show you how to successfully teach English online from Bali.
I’ve been living and teaching with VIPKID from Bali for the past two months and I have yet to encounter a technological issue *knocks on all the wood*.
After hearing about the internet issue in Bali, I came prepared to tackle whatever problem was thrown my way.
In order to successfully teach English online from Bali, you’ll need a plan:
1. Tackling the Internet
WiFi speeds vary across the island, therefore, I am only confident with recommending two different locations to successfully teach from. Canggu and Ubud.
I currently live in Canggu and have had nothing but success while teaching online. The internet has been stable and strong 90% of the time. Also, the power has only gone out once. I like those odds!
I’m living in a villa we found on Airbnb. The internet speeds hover around 20 Mbps download and 4 Mbps upload; strong enough to sustain VIPKID classes.
If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, here is $40 off your first stay!
I highly recommend these Airbnb listings in Canggu because they are all verifiably online teaching friendly:
Luxury Villa with Grand Pool and Jacuzzi
Bale Village C6 Villa – Private Pool
If you’re looking for another villa in the area, Airbnb is a great place to start. Be sure to message the host BEFORE booking to ask about the WiFi. Ask for a screenshot of the internet speed test. You can provide this link for the host: Speedtest by Ookla.
Another area of Bali that has stable (enough) internet is Ubud. I’ve visited Ubud several times since living in Bali and can confidently say that many Airbnbs will offer reliable internet. Three of the Airbnbs I recommend for teaching are:
Villa Krisna: Ubud Identity and Modern City Style
I Love You – II Villa – Private Pool
Rumah Agung 2BR House with Private Pool
With the right accommodation, you should be able to receive decent quality internet to support your online teaching here in Bali.
Pro-tip: Teach from an iPad. My new iPad Pro connects to the internet with greater strength than my Macbook Air.
2. Back-Up Internet
Having back-up internet in Bali is absolutely necessary. Do NOT attempt to teach here without another source; it will not go well.
Back-Up Option #1
The best backup internet source you can find in Bali is a mobile hotspot. These are devices by XL called Huawei.
We purchased ours at the XL Center in Denpasar, however, you can find XL centers scattered throughout Bali. Here is a map of where to find XL Centers.
It cost us approximately 850,000 IDR for a three-month plan. Unfortunately they do not offer plans for a shorter duration. Since we will only be here for one more month, we plan to sell ours on the Canggu Community Facebook Page.
Back-Up Option #2
If you’re a traveler and haven’t heard of Google Fi yet, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon.
We have successfully used our phones all over the world (they offer service in 200+ countries) and it has also been an amazing back-up internet source. From the USA to Thailand to right here in Canggu, Google Fi has saved my butt a million times.
With Google Fi you can forget about buying local SIM cards everywhere you go, unlocking your phone, or paying for a mobile hotspot. Use this link to sign up and get $20 credited to your first monthly bill.
3. Power Outages
Power outages are bound to happen in Bali so it’s best to be prepared for them. Nothing is worse than having the lights and internet shut off at the 20-minute mark of a successful class.
To tackle power outages, I brought a few necessities:
Luxe Cordless Eye Friendly LED Lamp – I keep this portable light charged and nearby, especially when it begins to storm.
Brilliant Evolution LED Puck Lights – These are for extra lighting; they are especially helpful for side lighting to keep the shadows off my face and background.
I also use both of these light sources when I am in the United States and teach from my truck! They are very versatile and they pack small.
Inevitably your computer or tablet WILL die without electricity. The best advice I can give is to always keep your devices charged (including your phone for the back-up internet source with Google Fi).
When my iPad battery gets low, I plug it into a 10,000mAh power bank for recharging. I currently use a power bank similar to this one:
I also use this power bank to keep my LED light charged along with my phone for back-up internet.
Pro-tip: A 10,000 mAh power bank will suffice for tablet charging. I had a 35,000 mAh power bank that recharged my laptop- it was confiscated at the airport in Bangkok. Learn from my mistake, don’t attempt to bring a 35k mAh power bank on a plane.
Bali is a phenomenal place to explore and meet like-minded travelers. To assure successful online teaching from Bali, follow the steps above. Don’t be afraid to call Bali home for a couple of weeks, months, or years; teaching online here is completely doable.
If you’re looking to teach English online from anywhere else in the world, take a peek at my guide on how to teach with VIPKID while traveling the world.
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Hey! Thanks for the informative post. I’m in Canggu right now and the internet has been great. Considering heading to Ubud for a month in June and I’m freaking out about internet. How did your XL Huawei device work in Ubud? Did you do any speed tests? Would really appreciate any info! Thanks 🙂
I’m glad the internet is stable for you in Canggu. We definitely had problems, so I’m glad I had the backup. We actually didn’t have to use the Huawei device in Ubud because the speeds at the houses I have listed were stable enough to teach off of. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a speed test for the Huawei in Ubud but now that I think of it, I should have. Do you have a Bali SIM card by any chance?
I want to buy a powerbank for my laptop. When I was in Bangkok too, they confiscated one of my batteries as well, because I forgot to tell them about it. Is there any way we can travel with a powerbank without it being confiscated? Should I keep it in my carry on or on my big luggage, but tell them about it? Thank you so much!
Thanks for the kind comment 🙂
I do know that you can have power banks up to a certain mAh. Our 10k mAh power banks can go through security and stay in our carry-ons. As far as larger batteries, I know that you can get it pre-approved by certain airlines before your flight. I would do that if you plan to bring a larger power bank, just to be sure!
Hope this helps!
Great post, great blog overall!
Above and beyond …
This post set my mind at ease. Answered and addressed all the necessary information for a traveling teacher. Thank you Mike and Laura! You guys are great! Keep on going.. wishing only the best fun vibes and safe travels.
Thank you so much, Ivan! So glad this was helpful!!