So, what is a digital nomad exactly? A digital nomad is defined as someone who is location independent and relies on technology for their job. The digital nomad lifestyle is fast becoming a popular alternative to the typical 9-5, Monday to Friday working week. With technology developments and innovations, more and more companies across a broad range of industries are now able to offer their employees flexible working opportunities – TEFL being one of them!
With online tutoring expected to be a $103 billion industry [Source], growing by a substantial rate of 6% annually in the US – the volume of online teaching positions is now higher than ever.
“How do I become a digital nomad with TEFL?”
In order to teach English online and live the digital nomad life, you will need to be TEFL certified. To allow for a competitive CV, we usually recommend a minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training as this will make you eligible for the widest range of job opportunities. We also offer a 40 hour advanced course in Teaching English Online where you will look specifically at the different technologies for online teaching, such as live chat, email and video conferencing, you will also be shown how to set up and promote your own online TEFL lessons, recruit students and set up your own website.
The Digital Nomad Lifestyle
Earn money whilst you travel! Sounds great, right? It is! But, it is important to be aware of the practicalities involved in working remotely, helping you to become a successful digital nomad.
There is no reason why your days off can’t be on the beach, sipping ice-cold drinks, soaking up the sun, just remember that this is not the most realistic of working environments. Going from country to country, it is essential that you do plenty of research into the areas you are travelling. You are going to need a reliable internet connection and a suitable working environment, so check out online reviews of hotels, cafes, rented spaces, co-working spaces etc. to find out their suitability. Workfrom is a great app for digital nomads, the platform allows you to search for nearby working spaces, allowing you to filter your searches to suit your needs, whether this is late opening hours, level of noise or private/public spaces. Workform offers free memberships and a pro-membership for $50 USD which comes with a number of community benefits. Looking for inspiration? Check out 31 of the best coworking spaces worldwide here!
Productivity is key! Whilst you will be experiencing living in exciting locations, immersing yourself in new cultures and socialising, it is important that you organise your time effectively. Scheduling software and apps are great platforms to take advantage of when it comes to successfully allocating your time, Trello, for example, is very popular amongst remote workers, the project management software helps you to organise your time and collaborate with your co-workers. Time zones are also something to consider when living the digital nomad lifestyle, Every Time Zone is a really useful tool for this, offering a one-stop shop to finding out the time and date of every country in every time zone.
“How much can I earn teaching English online?”
The hourly rate for teaching English online can vary as a number of factors have to be taken into account, for example, a tailored lesson towards a student who is struggling with in-depth grammar is going to take more preparation time than a lesson correcting general, conversational English, therefore you should adjust your costs accordingly. To find out how much you can earn teaching English online check out our post over on our blog here.
Budgeting Software & Apps
Whilst living abroad can often mean lower living costs, it is important to bear in mind that living as a digital nomad can often mean your paydays won’t be on consistent days each month, so learning how to budget is essential! Budgeting apps are a great way of planning out your finances, check out apps like Mint and YNAB (You Need a Budget), both apps allow you to monitor your finances effectively, allowing you to see just how much money you spend on groceries, bills, shopping, eating out etc. As you will be travelling from country to country, it is essential that you have some money put aside to cover accommodation, flights, travelling costs etc.
With a TEFL certificate you will also be qualified to teach in person, either 1-1 or in language schools and summer camps, so if you are looking to make some extra money, you may be able to source some short-term work, just make sure you are aware of the countries visa regulations.
Want to find out more about teaching English online? Check out our definitive guide to online English teaching.
Have you taught English online? Share your story with us in the comments below!