Fancy spending some time living and working abroad, but not sure how to go about it? Teaching English abroad could be a pretty easy answer! I know many people that have done it and they’ve had some amazing experiences. As an English speaker you have a valuable skill that people all over the world want and need. The demand is there and in many countries it can be very easy to find work teaching English. Here are a few tips to help you land your dream job and get teaching abroad.
Consider Your Options
One of your biggest challenges might be choosing where to go! Some countries are popular with gap year students and volunteering and others attract a more serious crowd of career-minded teachers. On top of that, different countries have different levels of demand and different career and salary opportunities.
Start by writing a shortlist of possible countries and research each one. Make sure you think about things like…
- How easy it is to find jobs and how competitive it is.
- What qualifications and experience are required.
- The average salary vs the average cost of living.
- How easy it is to get a working VISA.
There’s a great resource on Oxford Seminars which compares things like wages, typical start dates, and minimum requirements in various countries.One thing many people forget to consider is what life is like as a teacher in each country. In some countries you may be given more freedom to do your job, whilst in others you may simply be treated like a speaking clock. Try to read blogs or ask in Facebook groups (I like Girls vs Globe) to find out what experiences other people had teaching English in the countries you’re considering.
In many countries you will need a degree and a TEFL certificate. If you don’t have a degree your options may be limited, so do your research and find out where you can go. If you don’t already have a TEFL certificate, you can find courses online or in some colleges (depending on where you live).
As a bare minimum you just need a TEFL certificate, but there are other courses which also include teaching experience. Taking a slightly more comprehensive course can pay off if it helps you to find a better job. It depends what you’re end goal is really. If you just want to spend a few months to a year working abroad, a basic TEFL might be enough to land you a simple teaching job. If you’re looking at it as a new career and want to take it more seriously, considering investing in a more comprehensive course.
Whilst you are working on your qualifications you might also want to start thinking about finding a job. This part of the process will depend a lot on what country you have decided to go to.
Every country has a different way of doing things. In the more popular countries, where TEFL teaching is quite common, you may find applying online is perfectly acceptable, but in other countries you may have to job hunt in person.
- Ask your TEFL provider. Many TEFL courses include help in finding a position when the course is over. Ask your provider and see if they have any leads or suggestions.
- Job agencies. In countries where teaching English is common, there are often job agencies that can help you find a job. Do some research online or ask around in forums to find a good agency. For example, in Korea there’s EPIK which is considered one of the better programmes for teaching English abroad.
- Search online. There are lots of online sites where schools can post their job listings so it’s easy to apply. For example, Dave’s ESL Cafe.
Do you have a great tip for teaching English abroad or landing that dream job? Share in the comments and help your fellow TEFL teachers out!
This post was brought to you in collaboration with The TEFL Academy, but all words and opinions are mine.