So, you decided you want to teach English abroad? Hells yeah! Teaching English abroad will probably be one of the most epic things you do in life but how exactly do you go about doing this?
Here is your need to know guide on teaching English abroad…
First let’s talk about your TEFL certification.
TEFL Certification: (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) If you want to teach abroad and do not already have a background in Education you are most likely going to have to gain a 120 hour TEFL certification.
It can be done online, in the classroom or a mixture of both. You can also enroll in programs that have TEFL classes all over the world. When researching your TEFL course, the most important thing you need to look for is if the course is accredited – or internationally recognized.
This is the company I did my certification through. I was working full time, so I decided to enroll in the online class. This course was 3 months long including my volunteer hours.
It is a bit on the pricier side but if you know teaching is something you really want to do it is well worth it. I taught for 2 years and believe I gained amazing skills through taking this course.
I also have a friend who took a 5-week course through The International TEFL Academy in Thailand. There are plenty of options that will cater to exactly how you want to gain your certification.
Learn more about The International TEFL Academy
Much more affordable then a lot of other companies and you still get just as much knowledge in becoming a teacher! They have 120, 180- and 240-hour courses as well as fast track and blended courses.
At Let’s TEFL you will gain all you need to know in a 120-hour online certification through their ultimate program. One program and so much to learn.
This TEFL course offers a level 3, 5 or CELTA certification. It is probably one of the cheapest options available as well. The level 3 course is 8 weeks long and the level 5 course is 15 weeks long. You can also choose from an online or combined choice.
Wow, you’re finally TEFL certified and are ready to jump start the next adventure in life. You have the world at your fingertips. How exactly do you go about getting a job and preparing yourself to live abroad? Hummm, that is a very good questions because honestly when I first finished mine, I had no freaking clue what I wanted exactly.
All of these questions below need to be put into account before heading aboard to teach for your first time. Read through, answer them and let the fun begin!
Choosing a place to teach can be hard because there are so many options. How do you even know which side of the world you want to be on? Good question. You want to always do your research on your country once you have made a decision but until then here is a list of countries teachers have been flocking to in 2019.
Whether it is based on money, qualifications, experiences, beauty, or culture these countries all offer teaching jobs and have their many pros as well as some cons to teaching in their country. Salaries will vary depending on experience, school type and qualifications you hold.
With a huge job market at the moment and a killer destination that is easy to travel from, Spain is quickly becoming a hot commodity for those teaching abroad. With a recognized certification you can make anywhere from $800 – $2,000 teaching in Spain.
Teaching in South Korea is a bit more difficiult, they usually only accept native English speakers. You will need a college degree and certification. South Korea makes it possible to save abroad due to higher paying rates then other countries. You can expect to make anywhere from 1,800 – 2,200 USD a month.
If you are looking for a welcoming culture and the latest technology then Japan is the place to be. With one of the highest pay rates for countries abroad, you can expect to make between 2,000 – 4,300 USD per month depending on your experience. You will need a college degree and certification as well as be a native speaker.
A huge country full of big and small cities as well as secluded rural areas, China may be the easiest place to find a job if you have the right qualifications. This unique country always has job opportunities. You will most likely need a college degree and certification. Expected salary in China are anywhere from 1,400 – 3,000 USD.
If you are a lover of islands, mountains, constant warm weather and incredible people then Thailand will be your calling. Living in the South gives you access to all the best beaches, night life and more. The North will offer cities, nature and great cultural vibes. Most places in Thailand accept a diploma and a TEFL certification, you can expect to make between 1,000 – 1,800 USD a month. It may not be the best money but if experience is what you are looking for, Thailand has you covered!
This is probably the hardest country to teach abroad in becasue they usually look for a college degree in education, certification, native speaker and experience. These qualifications and the cost of living may be why you are able to make 2,4000 – 4,000 USD a month. The UAE is perfect for those that are looking to live in advanced cities.
Land of the most amazing food, rich culture and easy access to so much of Europe, Italy is a spot teachers can’t get enough of. You must have a certification but do not need a college degree, although it is recommended. Teachers can expect to make between 1,100 – 1,800 USD a month.
Latin America is a growing culture that many people are hoping to experience. It is far from great pay but the cost of living is low and what you would gain from teaching in Ecuador is far more then money can buy. You will only need a certification to teach here and the pay is around 500 – 800 USD a month but that is only working 25 hours a week!
If you are looking to be around some of the nicest and most caring culture, then Cambodia is a great place to be. You will only need a certification to teach here, you can easily find cities or rural atmospheres to live in. You can expect to make anywhere form 1,000 – 1,4000 USD per month.
Would you like to only teach 20 hours a week and still make decent money, Vietnam should be your go too. You can expect to make 1,000 – 2,200 USD a month and will need a college degree as well as a certification. Vietnam offers both sides of the spectrum, you can work by the beach or in the mountains, either way, it is one of the most beautiful countries to explore
Need a place that does not always require a certification and where you can still make decent money? Tawian requires a college degree and will give preference to native speakers, a certification is recommended but not necessary. Salary ranges from 2,000 – 2,400 USD per month. Taiwan is a great place to learn Chinese immersion and be apart of a culture who are wildly friendly.
Another great place to be if you want to travel easily to surrounding areas, and enjoy a facinating city. The Czech Republic offers so much adventure. A college degree in education is preferred and those with certifications will rank over others, you can expect to make around 1,000 – 1,500 USD per month.
You also have the option to teach online! Yes, you heard that correctly. Sit at your lap top and get paid to teach. You can do this while living abroad or you can do this right from home. With flexible hours and a good income teaching online is an awesome resource for travelers or home bodies.
I know people that teach English online as their full time job and love it! You can teach online for extra income before you move abroad. This could be great practice before taking the leap of faith to move. You can gain experience and some people actually like it better then teaching in the classroom.
One of my travel pals Nic is the go to guru for teaching English online. Literally she has helped so many people become online English teachers. This was her full time job people and she is amazing at it. She actually helped me get into not only teaching online but also blogging as well, she’s a bad ass!
If this is something that interests you check out her website for all the need to know details and guides on the application process, what its like, how much money you can make and so much more! She also has a ton of info on traveling, house sitting and how to become a blogger. Nic is totally worth the website click!
Here is a little perspective on how and where I taught abroad. What kind of school it was, how often I worked and what I was paid. When looking for jobs abroad you need to take into account your finances, this is huge and something I didn’t realize the first time I went abroad. I wanted and needed a job fast, so I was willing to settle for whatever came first which financially wasn’t my best option.
The first place I taught was in Thailand. I actually went abroad without any jobs lined up. When I got to Thailand, I posted in Facebook groups as well as applying online. I heard back from a few places.
Since I went abroad with a friend doing the same thing as me, we were hoping to get a job in the same province. Luckily, an International School on the island of Koh Phangan was hiring for two teaching positions. We both did skype interviews and then went for an in face one on one and both got the job!
I worked as the head preschool English teacher full time 42 hours a week. I was paid 850 USD a month and my rent for housing was 160 USD per month. It is something you can live off of but for how much I worked as well as the lifestyle I was living I could not live off that amount of money each month and save.
The second place I taught was in Vietnam. I also found this job through a Facebook group while living in Australia. I did an over the phone interview and received the job, 3 months later I moved to Ha Long City, Vietnam. I worked for a language school 18 hours a week, 6 days a week (mainly weekends) and was paid 2000 USD a month with a housing allowance of 200 USD each month.
My rent each month was 260 USD a month so saving in Vietnam was much more realistic for me. I can also say working part time for that amount of pay is nothing I would ever complain about!
Once you have made a decision on all the important information above hopefully you were able to pick the country you are hoping to teach in. It is time to start looking for jobs! Depending on who you get your certification through will depend on if they offer help with job placement and your resume.
Regardless of if they do or not, you should be using Facebook as your right-hand man! Every single job I have received abroad has been through Facebook groups. Facebook is such an incredible tool these days for finding information on places all over the world is easy on this app. Once you have picked your country, start researching and joining groups.
For example, when I decided I wanted to teach in Vietnam, I joined Facebook groups for housing, jobs, expats, transportation ect. There are so many groups you can join and write posts in. I wrote my qualifications, experience, contact info along with a picture of myself and within a day I would have responses back from schools.
Let me say this again… FACEBOOK IS SO IMPORTANT WHEN TRAVELING ABROAD
Make it your best friend and start joining groups in the country of your choice! Post away and I guarantee you will see results.
Looking for jobs should be fun and exciting! You are about to embark on one of the coolest experiences yet, enjoy the moment and do not get stressed out if you can’t find the job of your dreams in your dream destination right away. It will come and all fall into place.
Remember, even if you cant find the job you want in a certain country, there are still SO MANY incredible places to teach. There are so many job openings in many countries, keep doing your research. Email apply and message. Do not give up!
Teaching abroad was easily the best experience of my entire life. It changed me in so many ways and also set me down a new career path. I was able to see the world and make money while doing it, so why wouldn’t you want to do it too? You can do it for a short or as long as you want and thats the beauty of it. The qualification is pretty easy and once you receive it, the world is your oyster.
Deciding what kind of certification and/or if you want to go with a group or alone is important. You have options to take your TEFL abroad with other people or to do it at home on your own terms. You can also go abroad with an organized group after receiving your TEFL.
Is teaching abroad for the first time something you want to experience alone? It can be done both ways and I particularly do not believe one is better then the other. It is all about how you want this experience to shape you. Do your research, weigh your options and make a plan.
Do not just pick a country and go there without learning about it first. Big mistake, it is better to prepare yourself a bit for what you will encounter when you step off that plane. Find out what the culture is like, how much things are going to cost and what is not allowed in your destination. What type of clothes should you pack, what is the weather year round?
Even picking up on basic language before you go is great for your first move. Learn how to say, hello, how are you, bathroom, and thank you. Being a foreigner is hard, cultures are much more accepting when you try to learn their ways.
This is a must! You need to check your visa requirements for whatever country you plan to live in! If you try going to your destination and haven’t looked at your visa requirements, you may get to that country and not be let in. Do not be one of those people. Find out what type of visa you can enter the country on, how long you can stay and if your job is offering a working visa.
I cannot stress this enough. Coming from someone who moved to Thailand with 1500 in her pocket and already has heaps of debt, you want to make sure you are able to support yourself once you get there.
Although I was broke and came home with unimaginable credit card debt, it was still the most incredible experience of my life. The only thing I would have changed was having a better head on my shoulders for money before leaving and having some savings because honestly it I hard to rack up debt and try to pay it off abroad.
You are about to move to a foreign country. There is going to be people different from you. The food will be different, the rules will be different and the people will be different. The language is different! Keeping an open mind when being abroad is so important because you are in a territory that isn’t yours, respect it! If you do not go into teaching abroad with an open mind, I am telling you right now, you won’t last.
It is always helpful to gain perspective from other people who have already experienced what you are going through. Look for people who are alumni in your certification course, reach out to them! Join Facebook groups and find people off there to contact. Gaining outside knoledge from someone who has already lived through it can be so helpful. It will also put your mind at ease.
If you want to message me for information, feel free! I am all ears and would love to help answer any questions or concerns you may have. You can message me on Instagram or Facebook.
Don’t back out of your decision. It is happening, you made this decision, just because you have fears does not mean you shouldn’t go. Having fears is normal and honestly, I would be shocked if you didn’t have them.
This is all so new, but also so exciting. Keep a positive mindset and remember all the reasons why you wanted to do this in the fist place. Look at how many people do it, shouldn’t that count for something?
This is a big one. With such a huge life change, moving abroad can be challenging and scary. You may not like it at first. There is going to be one culture shock depending on where you go and a major adjustment period.
My rule of thumb is to give it 6 months. You can’t possibly know if you fully like a country or the place you stay in a shorter time then that. It may be hard in the beginning, thats normal but to go across the world and give up after you worked this hard isn’t cool.
You need to give yourself time to adjust to these new people, places and things. It is ideal to leave a country feeling like you experienced everything in teaching and in culture.
I know I have said it a million times but ill say it again…
THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS YOU EVER DO IN LIFE.
Follow your heart, goals and dreams. If you really want to teach abroad then do it! Do not let your fears stand in your way. Go experience every beautiful thing this world has to offer.
Make forever friends from all over the world, learn new languages, see wonders of the world. Enjoy the little things and the big ones too, get out of your comfort zone, change as a person. Enjoy the journey and begin the first of many adventures to come. Do this, because you can.