We are often asked if is possible to go abroad and teach with your partner, best friend or significant other. If you’re asking the question, you’ll probably be pleased to hear that the answer is, yes!
I think we all feel there might be safety in numbers, especially when you are thinking of relocating abroad to start a new job teaching English as a foreign language. Having someone with you means more support and it will also be a practical advantage when it comes to things like splitting living costs.
Finding a TEFL job in the same school
Some TEFL employers routinely hire couples and even prefer to employ teachers at the same time. Employers are aware that you are making a big move accepting a TEFL job abroad, but the last thing they want is for you to you to get homesick and leave after the first month. This is why employers tend to look favourably on couples, as they believe you are more likely to stick around if you have the support of each other.
Your best chance of finding work at the same school would be to go for major ESL job markets with the highest demand for TEFL teachers. Spain, South Korea and China all have a huge demand for TEFL teachers and big recruiters often hire tens of teachers at a time. When you apply for these TEFL jobs you can make it known to your employer that you are looking for work together.
Tips for finding work as a couple
Focus on major metropolitan areas rather than remote villages that may only hire one teacher at a time. Hiring seasons are also important. Some areas have such a high demand that they hire all year round, for other areas you will need to apply at certain times of the year and it might be beneficial to be on location for the interviews.
Make sure you are also both qualified for the position. There is no point applying for a TEFL job in Asia if one of you does not have a degree, as you simply won’t be able to obtain the correct working visa. Be realistic in your expectations and make sure you have all the correct requirements. A TEFL certificate of at least 120 hours from an accredited TEFL course provider such as TEFL Org, is the minimum requirement to be considered for most jobs.
Find TEFL Jobs through our TEFL Jobs Centre.
Be open to working in different schools
In busy cities it is a possibility that you will find work in different schools that are down the road from each other. This means you can still live together in the same area, just have different jobs. There are benefits to doing this. For one thing, having a break from each other will allow you to build your own personal networks and meet local people. Creating a wider and diverse social network helps combat homesickness and will help you get the most out of your TEFL experience.
Be patient and flexible
Don’t be too rigid with your expectations – that is the number one rule with TEFL! Open your mind to accepting a TEFL job in an unusual place and don’t expect miracles after you send away your first application, finding the right TEFL job can take time. However, with a little patience and determination, we have no doubt that you will be able to achieve your dream of teaching abroad as a couple.
Chris and Emma’s did! Read their story here.