I think we all feel sometimes that there’s safety in numbers, especially when we’re taking a step into the unknown and doing something like teaching English abroad. As a result one of the questions we get asked here at TEFL Courses Ireland is whether it’s possible for a group of friends or couples to do TEFL together? The simple answer is yes its quite common for this to happen, but there are a couple of factors that you need to keep in mind for it to be a possibility.
Concentrate on locations that suit your skills and background:
Different TEFL markets have different requirements for potential teachers. Almost all locations in Asia now require potential TEFL teachers to have a degree (discipline not important) and if you haven’t got a teaching qualification or experience then you will need to consider a minimum of 120-hours of TEFL study for most roles. When you are selecting potential teaching locations make sure you and your travelling partner(s) meet the basic qualification requirements.
Where is the biggest demand?
It may seem obvious but if you are looking to secure roles as a couple or a group then target busy TEFL markets where demand is high. China is a prime example of a market where demand for TEFL teachers is huge and we have had a number of our students secure work together including TEFL Courses Ireland Grads, Sean & Yasmine – Greetings from Nantong.
Watch out for peak hiring seasons:
While most potential TEFL locations will have a requirement for teachers all year round, all these markets have peak hiring seasons. It stands to reason then, that if you want to find work together you should look to apply during these peak seasons when there are more positions to be filled, e.g. teaching contracts in Thailand commonly begin in October or May.
From the schools point of view, the positive of employing couples or groups is that it helps them to acclimatise to their new surroundings quickly however there is the worry for the schools that as soon as one friend leaves the other will as well. If you feel you need the support of a friend when you’re heading to teach abroad keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to get work in the same schools but could be based in the same city and share an apartment together, this will give you the chance to build up an even wider network of friends and acquaintances in your new home.