With hundreds and millions of people learning English every year, teaching is probably one of the most accessible ways to make money while travelling.
In this blog post, I will help you start teaching English abroad in 4 steps.
STEP 1: GET CERTIFIED
In some cases, you just need to be a native speaker. But, if you want to improve your chances or work in high-paying countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Korea, find a TEFL course that suits you.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language or ‘TEFL’ provide certifications for you to start teaching English around the world. A Cambridge English Language Assessment ‘CELTA’ or Trinity CertTESOL are probably the most well-respected TEFL certifications.
While they can be wise investments for long-term teachers, up to $2,795 for Cambridge or €1,450 for an Oxford (Trinity) certification can be out of budget for young people like myself. You can find cheaper options from other schools but you need to do your research! Some academies are frauds, set-up to make a quick profit from uninformed students who look for quick and cheap certifications online.
How to tell if a school is legit:
- Be wary of group-saving offers or schools which offer online-only courses with no physical location.
- Do not purchase anything from an English teaching school with grammar or spelling mistakes on their website (they are in the business of teaching English).
- ‘Guaranteed jobs’ are likely to be a marketing technique used to lure students into a school that is lacking proper academic standards.
Why should I get certified?
- Learn how to provide excellent English classes to your students
- Many schools, employers and language institutions require a TEFL certification
TRAVEL TIP: If you are looking for a unique and exciting way to get certified while saving on course fees, look into accredited international schools such as the International House Bangkok.
STEP 2: CHOOSE YOUR COUNTRY
Choosing a country to teach in can be difficult. You are also going to be living in the local area for 5, 10 months or up to 2 years!
Here’s 3 useful blog posts to help you decide:
The more flexible you are, the more opportunities will be available to you, so it might be worth starting with your favourite continent!
STEP 3: FIND A JOB
Do you want to work in a government school, university, private school or language institute? You could even work with a local business, teaching English to their employees.
Schools or universities are great if you want to learn about the local culture. You will also enjoy the freedom of the academic calendar with national and summer holidays!
Language institutions can be easier to find and they can pay more but they may also require working long hours, nights and weekends.
Here’s some great websites to help you find your perfect English teaching job:
Teach Away – Hundreds of placements in countries around the world including the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and many more.
InterExchange – Unforgettable journeys in Asia, Europe and Latin America! InterExchange hosts lots of interesting information and can also help you become TEFL certified.
Dave’s ESL Cafe – International, Korean, and Chinese job boards as well as tips, advice, forums and useful links.
Movinhand – A UK start-up that helps teachers around the world get a great job offer within 10 days. For free! They specialise in teaching placements in China.
STEP 4: NEGOTIATE
How much negotiation power do you have? Do you have a degree, a TEFL certification and experience? You should ask for a salary that is higher than average. No experience and no degree? Consider a starting salary to help you find your feet.
Do your research and see what perks similar schools in the local area offer. Some may even pay for your flights and accommodation! Do you know anyone who has taught English abroad? Ask your friends, family, colleagues.
One more useful website before you go! TEFL.net – Go here for jobs, training, courses, lesson plans, worksheets and forums.
Good luck! Whatever happens, you will embark on an unforgettable and life-changing journey.