From China and Cambodia to Costa Rica and Chile, teaching English abroad provides hundreds of thousands of opportunities for English speakers from all backgrounds to work and get paid to live overseas, making the field ideal for those who truly want to become part of a local community in a foreign country. Because demand for English teachers worldwide is so high, it also provides a viable means of income for those who want to engage in extended career break travel, but who don’t have the $10,000 – $20,000 in the bank that may be required to undertake a 6-12 month foreign adventure. And guess what? You don’t have to have a background in education, professional teaching experience or even a college degree to get hired, though a TEFL certification provides the training and qualifications most language schools around the world seek when hiring English teachers.
That said, if you are considering teaching English abroad, there are numerous questions and variables you will need to consider, including (to name a few):
- Where can I teach English abroad based on my own personal background?
- What kinds of schools will hire me and who will my students be?
- If I want to teach English in Mexico, China or Japan, do I need to have a college degree?
- What are salaries and benefits for English teachers in different countries?
- How do I actually find jobs and get hired – do I need to line up a job prior to my departure, or can I find jobs in my destination country upon arrival?
The answers to such questions will vary from country to country and getting a job to teach English in Costa Rica will be a very different process and experience than teaching English in South Korea, Russia or Spain. To help you sort out your options, answer your questions, and assist you in learning more about opportunities for you to teach English around the globe, here are some great resources worth checking out.
- Check out this Country Chart, which compares teaching English in more than 50 countries worldwide by salaries, hiring requirements, interview procedures, hiring seasons, visa regulations and more.
- Major ESL job boards like www.daveseslcafe.com, www.eslemployment.com and www.eslbase.com feature job listings for teaching English in dozens of countries around the globe and feature forums where English teachers around the globe share their experiences and insights.
- For more in-depth personal accounts and insights check out this index of more than 100 blogs, interviews and articles from actual people teaching English around the globe. You can also find many great videos like this one on YouTube and through Google or any search engine that provide informative and often colorful perspectives on what it is like to actually teach English abroad.
- There are a number of good books about teaching English overseas, but the tops is probably Susan Griffith’s Teaching English Abroad, which features hundreds of pages of country profiles, listings for schools and other potential employers and tips for teaching English in all regions of the world.
- The International TEFL Academy website features an index of more than 150 articles and FAQs about all aspects of teaching English abroad and TEFL certification, from salaries and hiring procedures to visas and housing arrangements.
- You can also call International TEFL Academy, which certifies nearly 1,500 people a year to teach English abroad, at 773-634-9900 to speak for free with an expert advisor who will answer your questions about teaching around the world.
These are just some of the resources you can use to research opportunities to teach English abroad and to learn how teaching overseas can help you achieve your goal of traveling and living abroad. To learn more, request a 30-page eBook about teaching English abroad from the International TEFL Academy or call 773-634-9900 to learn more about teaching English abroad and TEFL Certification around the world.
About the author: John Bentley is a Senior Admissions Advisor at the International TEFL Academy, which trains and certifies 1,500 people a year to teach English abroad and provides lifetime job search guidance to all students and graduates. John wrote for the Egypt-Israel edition of the famous Let’s Go! travel guide series and he has worked in the field of international travel and education throughout his career. He also grew up in Egypt and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe.