Teach English abroad

Travelling the world can feel like something that’s out of reach. There’s a whole planet out there, but the reality for most people is that travel can be hugely expensive, and extremely time-consuming.

What if it wasn’t? What if the answer was teaching English abroad?

What if, with a TEFL certification, you could relocate within a year? Maybe even earn more money per month than you do now? Meet all kinds of people, and have unique and fascinating experiences while giving something back to the communities you visit?

What if all it took was the ability to speak English, the time and resources to pass a course, and the get-up-and-go to make it happen?

Well, that’s the TEFL experience. Getting started is probably a lot easier than you realised.

What is TEFL?

TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language – is exactly what it says on the tin. You might also know it as TESOL, TESL, ESL or EFL – all are acronyms used to refer to teaching English to English language learners.

TEFL is the practice of teaching English as a foreign language. It includes things like grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, syntax and all the functions of English you’d expect.

According to The Washington Post, English is spoken in 101 countries, with 1.5 billion learners worldwide. Naturally, then, there’s a huge demand for teachers who are native-level English speakers across the globe.

TEFL, then, is a booming industry. Not only that, it presents a massive opportunity for individuals looking to broaden their travel experience, change career or simply try something different!

Why teach English abroad?

That’s a very good question because it’s hard to know quite where to start.

Perhaps you want to travel the world? Earn a living somewhere far removed from home? Maybe you’re looking to add an alternative stream of income, or you’re already a teacher and you want a change of scenery?

It could well be that your career is lacking momentum, and you want to try something new. Perhaps you’ve got family or friends living and working somewhere across the world, and you want to join them while embracing a new way of life?

It could well be that you feel drawn to teaching more generally and have the English language skills to make a difference internationally.

There are so, so many reasons why people teach English abroad. Everyone has their own, and each is exciting!

Where can I teach English abroad?

Provided you have a TEFL qualification – and in some countries like Japan, a degree – you can pretty much teach wherever you like!

Of course, you can also teach English online from home. Due to popular programmes like Zoom, teaching remotely to students across the world has never been easier.

However, those technological advances have also made finding a permanent job in an exciting new country easier than ever. There are opportunities to teach English worldwide, and though every country offers different salaries and has different requirements, having the right TEFL qualification opens doors you might not have known existed!

We’ve seen students travel and teach everywhere, from South Korea to Spain, Indonesia to the Caribbean. 

Whether you want to teach English from the comfort of your own home, or in the farthest flung locales the globe has to offer, the options are there with TEFL certification.

The hardest part is narrowing your choice to just one place.

How to teach English abroad

So, you’re into the idea of teaching English abroad? That’s great; English teachers are needed worldwide, from Spain to South Korea, Nepal to Nicaragua. The doors really are open for qualified teachers across the globe.

What do you actually need to get started teaching English abroad, though? Are there requirements? Limitations? How expensive is it?

All good questions. Let’s take a look at how you’d go about starting your TEFL journey.

Qualifications and certificates to teach English abroad

Firstly, do you need a degree to take up a TEFL course and become an English teacher overseas?

Not necessarily. For TEFL courses, you don’t need to have a bachelor’s degree or, indeed, any University degree to get started. All you need is the finances to start a course, and the ability to speak English.

You won’t even need teaching experience to land a TEFL job, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

What you will need is TEFL certification. Employers want to know you have the wherewithal and the skills to successfully navigate a TEFL course, and there are plenty available. From Level 5 Diplomas to starter courses, 120 hours to much longer, TEFL courses of all stripes offer different experiences and attributes.

Which course is right for you? Well, there are handy resources like our TEFL Course Quiz that might help you answer that question. Different organisations will offer different lengths of course. Some are self-paced, with tutor support, and allow you to complete the course at your leisure.

Others will be within a strict time frame. Some courses may offer what they call quick and easy TEFL courses, but these are to be avoided. Companies might charge for extensions, knowing full well the demands of the course go beyond the offered scale of time.

Ultimately, you want to pick a course that works for you, where you feel supported and have ample time to put together lesson plans, some experience teaching a class (whether in-person or online) and give you everything you need to prepare for the world of English teaching.

Courses with top accreditation are likely to yield better results.

Does the TEFL course I do matter?

In short: absolutely, yes.

Groupon might be offering a quick TEFL course at a discount price, but it’s unlikely to be up to scratch.

Whereas a comprehensive course at a competitive cost that’s been accredited by major educational bodies is likely to arm you with everything you need. That is, if you want to teach English abroad to a high standard, and make a living doing it.

If you’re serious about teaching English abroad, picking the right course that is both recognised by employers and gives you all the knowledge and confidence you need to do the job properly is paramount.

Teaching English abroad without a TEFL qualification

Perhaps you want to try your luck teaching English abroad without official certification.

This really is a risky strategy. If you have no teaching experience, then the lack of a TEFL certificate will really hamper your chances of a job teaching English.

Perhaps you do have teaching experience, but not a TEFL certification? Ultimately, it depends; TEFL is a completely different experience. If you’ve never taught English as a foreign language, then you might have the fundamentals of teaching in your arsenal, but not necessarily the specific skills for English to language learners.

Ultimately, a TEFL certificate removes a lot of the doubt and worry from applying for TEFL jobs. These days, it’s very difficult to secure a job teaching English abroad without TEFL certification – and a willingness to recruit an untrained, inexperienced teacher is usually a sign of a TEFL scam or bad employer.  

Visa requirements

Most overseas teaching jobs carry their own requirements.

Generally speaking, you won’t need a degree to teach English abroad, and previous teaching experience might be enough. However, in countries such as Japan, a bachelor’s degree is required for a visa. There are solutions for this, however.

Each nation has its own entry requirements, and before you go looking for the perfect teaching job abroad, it pays to do some research.

Some regions will have stricter visa and entry requirements, even for qualified teachers. Whether you want to teach private lessons or get a job in one of the many private language schools worldwide, it makes sense to really get into the weeds with what each government requires.

For example, countries including Turkey, Japan, the UAE and more generally require a degree to teach English abroad.

The start-up costs of teaching English abroad

Moving abroad to teach English can be expensive. For a start, you need to invest in a suitable TEFL course in order to gain the certification required for teaching English abroad.

Let’s say that you’ve got your certification, and you’ve landed a job. Some employers might contribute, or even cover, your travel expenses to get to say, South Korea, Algeria or . Even when employers offer to reimburse flights, though, this will typically be done at the end of your contract. To that end, you’ll need the money upfront to purchase your flight out.

If you’re heading to a country that requires a visa, then there will be fees involved with this. There will be the processing cost of the visa itself, but you’ll also need to pay for certain documents to be legalised, such as your TEFL qualification and, if relevant, degree. A criminal background check will also likely be required.

It’s also worth remembering that you’ll also need money to cover costs after you arrive until your first month’s pay arrives in your account. This could include rent, groceries, leisure activities and more. A travel credit card could help with the initial costs of moving abroad, but it’s a good idea to save as much as you can in advance.

Here’s what you’ll need to cover for your first teaching job teaching English abroad:

  • Your TEFL qualification
  • Document legalisation fees
  • Visa fees
  • Flights
  • Deposit and first month’s rent
  • Enough to cover cost of living you until your first payslip

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Choose the Right TEFL Course

With so many TEFL courses out there, it might feel like a bit of a minefield to find the right path to teach abroad.

TEFL certification programs are varied. For beginners, course providers tend to offer all-encompassing courses between 120 and 200 hours, either online or in-person, with continual assessments over the course. A good TEFL course will cover lesson planning, English grammar, handling classes of various sizes and abilities, and a range of other skills to keep students engaged and interested.

Advanced courses are also widely available. These can offer more specific guidance on topics like Business English, teaching young learners, exam preparation, and more.

Of course, it depends on what you want to teach, and to what level. It’s important to avoid doing a course that doesn’t adequately prepare you for teaching English abroad.

With TEFL courses, there is variety beyond the initial certification. If you need something more specific, or want to go over particular scenarios for teaching English abroad, it’s worth speaking to a dedicated TEFL tutor.

The TEFL Org is the world’s most accredited TEFL course provider

TEFL course accreditation: it matters

For employers, and in terms of value for money, course providers with accreditation are the best choice.

Accreditation bodies like Ofqual and the British Accreditation Council should be names you see on any good course provider’s website. These regulatory bodies ensure the highest quality of teaching, materials and resources from a provider.

Just like applying for a school, college or university, these kinds of things are important. It’ll help in the long run, too; if an employer sees you’ve attained a TEFL certification from a widely-acclaimed organisation, they’ll take your qualification more seriously.

Good accrediting bodies have rigorous standards that a provider must meet. Going through this external assessment is a significant undertaking for a course provider. Therefore, their courses must be of high quality in order to earn accreditation.

If you’re unsure about the source of an organisation’s accreditation, look them up on a search engine and read our handy guide about why TEFL accreditation is important.

Tutor support

Before you sign up for a TEFL course, it’s important to find out how much tutor support you’ll be getting.

You want to make sure you’re learning from tutors who are both qualified EFL teachers and experienced teacher trainers. That way, you’ll be able to pick up both theoretical and practical tips for teaching English abroad.

On a good TEFL course, you’ll be assigned the same online tutor from start to finish, rather than be passed around to different people who don’t get the chance to get to know you and your work.

When you’re working through your course, you want to have a single individual who you can contact for advice and guidance. It’s a crucial part of your learning experience.

Groupon and discount courses

A TEFL course at a discount rate that promises TEFL qualification in next to no time?

It sounds too good to be true! And yes, sadly, it is.

Unfortunately, much like other industries, there are unscrupulous TEFL merchants out there promising TEFL certification to teach English abroad. These courses often promise the earth for a rock-bottom cost.

Fact is, though, these courses are rarely, if ever, accredited by any respected TEFL authority. What’s more, the hidden costs are abundant. The timescale being promised might be unreasonable, which means you’ll likely need to pay to extend the course.

Keep in mind, for teaching English abroad you’ll most likely need a hard copy of your certificate. This wont’ be included in a budget course and can easily set you back more than what you initially paid for the course!

If something seems too cheap to believe, then it’s not the kind of qualification that’ll land you a good teaching position. Employers want to see candidates for English teaching positions who have completed fully accredited, reputable programmes. English teaching jobs abroad aren’t won with slap-dash qualifications.

The sad fact is, there’s no ultra-cheap, ultra-quick way to ensure you’ll get a job teaching English abroad.

The good news is, however, there are fantastic TEFL courses designed by real English tutors that can get you more than ready to teach English abroad – and for a reasonable cost with no extra, hidden fees.

Where you can teach English abroad

While some TEFL graduates set up shop at home and work teaching English remotely, for many it’s about getting abroad and taking on new challenges.

Within months of taking up TEFL certification, you might find yourself working as an English teacher abroad. With a constant demand for English teachers worldwide, you could find yourself teaching overseas to English language learners in South Korea, Japan, China, mainland Europe, Latin America – wherever you feel like going!

But what about teaching contracts, teaching salaries, the need to know the native language, and all the other requirements for teaching English abroad?

Much depends on the individual nation you want to move to, as obvious as that sounds. For some countries, English teachers are at a premium, and the ability to teach English means entry requirements to live and work somewhere new won’t be particularly strict.

In other countries, though, like South Korea and Japan, it is necessary to have a degree to teach English.

Here’s our most recent guide to the different requirements in dozens of countries for teaching English:

Teach English abroad

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Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Teach in Cambodia £680 - £1,000
($900 - $1,300)
No November No No Yes Under 65
Teach in China £1,000 – £2,000
($1,300 – $2,575)
Yes September No Yes Yes, if degree obtained from an English-speaking country Under 55
Teach in Hong Kong £1,550 – £6,300
($2,000 – $8,380)
Yes August No Not usually Yes Under 60
Teach in India £120 – £775
($150 – $1,000)
Yes April Yes No Yes None
Teach in Indonesia £565 – £1,030
($745 – $1,355)
Yes July No Not usually No Under 60
Teach in Japan £1,600 – £2,000
($2,100 – $2,675)
Yes April No Sometimes Yes Under 65
Teach in Kazakhstan £360 – £470
($465 – $600)
Yes August Yes Yes Yes None
Teach in Malaysia £550 – £1,450
($720 – $1,900)
Yes January Preferred Sometimes Yes Under 65
Teach in Myanmar £600 – £1,500
($800 – $2,000)
Yes June Preferred Sometimes No Under 52
Teach in Mongolia £630 – £1,000
($875 – $1,400)
Yes September Yes Sometimes Yes None
Teach in Nepal Voluntary No April No Sometimes Yes None
Teach in South Korea £1,280 – £1,600
($1,670 – $2,000)
Yes March No Yes No Under 62
Teach in Taiwan £1,335 – £1,735
($1,700 – $2,220)
Yes September No Sometimes No Under 65
Teach in Thailand £740 – £980
($1,000 – $1,280)
Yes May No Sometimes Yes None
Teach in Vietnam £920 - £ 1,500
($1,200 to $2,000)
Yes August No No Yes Under 60
Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Teach in Austria £700 - £2,600
($850 - 3,200)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Belgium £1,455 - £1,780
($1,800 - $2,200)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Czech Republic £500 – £1,285
$600 – $1,450)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Denmark £2,900 - £3,900
($3,600 - $4,800)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Estonia £720 - £900
($920 - $1,150)
Preferred September Preferred Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Teach in Finland £700 - £3,050
($900 - $3,850)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
Teach in France £926 – £1,852
($1,082 – $2,164)
Yes September Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Georgia £185 - £760
($240 - $1000)
Preferred September No Sometimes Yes None
Teach in Germany £1,1123 - £1,872
($1,297 - $2,162)
Preferred August No No Yes None
Teach in Greece £630 – £900
($790 – $1,100)
Yes September No No Yes None
Teach in Hungary £390 - £650
($500 - $830)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Italy £1,054 – £1,229
($1,312 – $1,531)
Preferred September No No Yes None
Teach in Netherlands £1,300 - £2,600
($1,600 - $2,800)
Preferred September Yes No Yes None
Teach in Norway £2,100 - £2,500
($2,580 - $3,090)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Poland £400 – £700
($480 – $850)
Yes September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Teach in Portugal £616 – £880
($756 – $1,080)
Yes September Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Romania £200 - £460
($260 - 580)
Preferred September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Teach in Russia £800 - £1,300
($1,000 - $1,600)
Preferred September Preferred Sometimes Yes None
Teach in Slovakia £330 - £900
($400 - $1,120)
Preferred September No No Yes None
Teach in Slovenia £550 - £950
($700 - $1,200)
Preferred October Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Spain £614 - £1,317
($758 - $1,623)
Preferred September No No Yes None
Teach in Sweden £1,100 - £2,400
($1,400 - $3,000)
Preferred September Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Switzerland £1,850 - £2,475
($2,260 - $3,015)
Preferred August/September Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Turkey £170 - £575
($220 - $730)
Yes September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Teach in Ukraine £215 - £920
($260 - $1,125)
Preferred September No Accommodation sometimes included Yes None
Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Teach in Argentina £500 - £950
($600 - $1,200)
No March Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Bolivia £400 - £550
($500 - $700)
No February Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Brazil £650 - £900
($800 - $1,100)
No February No No Yes None
Teach in Chile £550 - £800
($700 - $1,000)
Yes March No No Yes None
Teach in Colombia £400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
No January/February No No Yes Under 62
Teach in Ecuador £400 - £650
($500 - $800)
Preferred May Preferred No Yes None
Teach in Guatemala £400 - £550
($500 - $700)
Preferred January No No Yes None
Teach in Mexico £400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
Preferred August No Sometimes Yes None
Teach in Peru £325 - £650
($400 - $800)
Yes March Preferred Sometimes Yes Under 70
Teach in Uruguay £325 - £800
($400 - $1000)
Preferred March Preferred No Yes None
Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Teach in Algeria £550 - £900
($700 - $1,100)
Yes March No No No None
Teach in Bahrain £1,200 - £2,500
($1,500 - $3,000)
Yes January Yes Yes No Under 60
Teach in Egypt £400 - £700
($500 - $900)
Yes September Preferred No No None
Teach in Jordan £500 - £950
($600 - $1,100)
Preferred August No No Yes None
Teach in Kuwait £1,200 - £2,000
($1,500 - $2,500)
Yes September Yes Yes Yes Under 60
Teach in Lebanon £650 - £1,200
($800 - $1,500)
Preferred August No No Yes None
Teach in Morocco £400 - £800
($500 - $1,000)
Yes September No No Yes None
Teach in Qatar £1,200 - £2,800
($1,500 - $3,500)
Yes September Yes Yes No None
Teach in Saudi Arabia £1,600 - £3,200
($2,000 - $4,000)
Yes August Yes Yes No Under 60
Teach in UAE £1,600 - £4,000
($2,000 - $5,000)
Yes August Yes Yes No Under 65

Where English teachers are most in-demand worldwide

English teaching jobs are highly sought-after in the international arena. While it’s hard to quantify exactly where English teachers are most in-demand at any given time, we can at least break it down by continent and take a look at where the jobs are for teaching English abroad.

Europe

The strongest jobs market in Europe can be found in Southern, Central, and Eastern Europe. Countries such as Spain, Italy, Romania and Poland are great places to look for your first job teaching English.

While there are opportunities to be found in Western Europe, it can be trickier for new teachers. Entry-level jobs do come up in Germany and France, but it’s quite rare for these to be full-time positions.

And in Northern Europe, jobs almost always go to very experienced EFL teachers. If it’s your dream to live and work as an English teacher in Scandinavia, then you’ll need to build up your experience elsewhere first.

For prospective English teachers from Britain, it’s a bit trickier than it used to be. Freedom of Movement, a privilege enjoyed in EU countries, ended for UK residents at the end of 2020. Therefore, permanent residence in an EU country requires a longer application process.

This is also true of EEA nations – Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland. UK nationals no longer have access to the streamlined residency process in these countries.

However, countries dictate their own immigration policy. In Poland, for example, “there is no obligation for UK citizens to obtain a new residence status or document.For more details on the Withdrawal Agreement and how it affects English teachers in Europe, the UK and EU website is useful.

Teach English in Europe

Discover the top European TEFL destinations with The TEFL Org Guide to Europe!

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Top 4 places for TEFL in 2022

Every year we scour the globe for the best places for teaching English as a foreign language. This year, we’ve identified four fantastic countries in Europe, Asia, and Central America. We base our evaluation on demand for teachers, salaries, and quality of living overall.

South Korea

South Korea has long been a great option for TEFL teachers, recently qualified and experienced alike. Offering attractive wages and benefits, including flight reimbursement and accommodation, as well as an abundance of jobs, it isn’t hard to understand why.

There are also a wide range of jobs available within the country, from the state-run EPIK programme, to the tens of thousands of hagwons (private schools), as well as opportunities for teaching in universities and within businesses for more experienced teachers. 

Even with its significantly advancing economy, South Korea has maintained its unique and somewhat under-heralded culture intact. It’s a great place to get started if you’re looking to teach English abroad.

China

There are 400 million people learning English in China.

At the risk of insulting your intelligence here, it stands to reason that those people need English teachers. The biggest TEFL market in the world, and a mysterious, beautiful nation, China is an extremely attractive place to teach English.

Visa requirements are strict, and you’ll almost certainly need a degree, but if you have the qualifications and are able to get in, China’s abundance of schools, universities and countless other learning facilities all need native-level English speakers to teach English. If you have teaching experience, all the better, as language schools can be quite demanding.

Demand for English teachers, whether it’s to teach adults or children, is significant. No wonder then, that in terms of teaching overseas, China remains one of the most popular destinations on the globe.

Mexico

Sun, sea and spice awaits in Mexico, the largest Spanish-speaking nation in the world. The jewel of Latin America, Mexico has unbelievable history and is growing in popularity as a holiday destination.

What about living there? Well, if you’re looking to teach English, it’s certainly worth exploring. A degree isn’t essential, which is a bonus, and its proximity to North America means English is a more than useful second language

The salaries might not compete with the Middle East or Asia, but they’re more than enough to cover living costs. What’s more, you’ll be part of a vibrant culture – holidays like Dia de los Muertes inspire tourists from all over the globe.

English tends to be the language of business in Mexico, yet only a small percentage of its population speak it fluently. Any business experience is a real asset.

Spain

One of the most culturally diverse and exciting countries in Europe, Spain stands alone. With several distinct and historic regions, including Catalonia, the Basque region and Andalusia, the sights and sounds of Spain are something to truly behold.

With a sprawling and exciting mainland nestled by historic, sometimes wild islands, Spain is a fascinating country. It’s also a must for fans of sport, with several huge names in football, basketball, golf and more.

Although freedom of movement has been revoked for British EFL teachers, Spain is still a welcoming and bubbling nation, with a huge TEFL market. Given the prominence of English in business and international politics, plenty of ambitious young people are taking the language up in order to broaden their CV and career prospects.

A massively popular holiday destination, there’s a lot of Spain that’s still underrated. Take the Basque country, for example, or the old university town of Salamanca, or the untarnished city centre of Seville. 

A great country to explore, with a refreshingly different way of life compared to the UK or North America, Spain remains a jewel of Europe, and the number of TEFL jobs is only growing. English teaching in Spain is a big industry, and now is the time to get involved, EFL teachers!

How to spot English teacher job scams

Unfortunately, just like any other industry, there are unscrupulous “employers” looking to take advantage of TEFL teachers.

Sadly, exploitative “recruiters” often masquerade as a school, college or other institutions, in order to seek payment from unsuspecting prospective English teachers.

It’s a sad fact, but there are ways to identify if a teaching job isn’t for real. Here are the top things to look out for if you’ve been approached by a potentially fraudulent recruiter or false company:

  • They ask you to send money. This most often goes to dodgy third parties, fraudulent insurance providers or travel agencies, or fake schools.
  • They don’t have a reputation or online presence to speak of.
  • Their email address seems fake, and is not attached to the school’s domain.
  • They communicate poorly, and don’t use proper spelling or grammar.

These are the best ways to identify whether a scammer is “at it”. Although job offers are exciting, use your common sense, along with these tips, and you won’t go wrong.

How much you can earn by teaching English abroad

The salary you’ll receive teaching English abroad will vary depending on where you are in the world. Obviously, your experience and attributes will also determine the actual amount you take home each month. In short, some countries appreciate English teachers more than others would and will gladly pay top-dollar for the best ones.

You can expect to earn more if you teach in Asian countries, such as China, Japan, and South Korea. These are countries where you’re more likely to require a degree to teach English as a foreign language. These nations in particular are known for offering highly competitive compensation packages, but expect a lot from their teachers.

Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Teach in Cambodia £680 - £1,000
($900 - $1,300)
No November No No Yes Under 65
Teach in China £1,000 – £2,000
($1,300 – $2,575)
Yes September No Yes Yes, if degree obtained from an English-speaking country Under 55
Teach in Hong Kong £1,550 – £6,300
($2,000 – $8,380)
Yes August No Not usually Yes Under 60
Teach in India £120 – £775
($150 – $1,000)
Yes April Yes No Yes None
Teach in Indonesia £565 – £1,030
($745 – $1,355)
Yes July No Not usually No Under 60
Teach in Japan £1,600 – £2,000
($2,100 – $2,675)
Yes April No Sometimes Yes Under 65
Teach in Kazakhstan £360 – £470
($465 – $600)
Yes August Yes Yes Yes None
Teach in Malaysia £550 – £1,450
($720 – $1,900)
Yes January Preferred Sometimes Yes Under 65
Teach in Myanmar £600 – £1,500
($800 – $2,000)
Yes June Preferred Sometimes No Under 52
Teach in Mongolia £630 – £1,000
($875 – $1,400)
Yes September Yes Sometimes Yes None
Teach in Nepal Voluntary No April No Sometimes Yes None
Teach in South Korea £1,280 – £1,600
($1,670 – $2,000)
Yes March No Yes No Under 62
Teach in Taiwan £1,335 – £1,735
($1,700 – $2,220)
Yes September No Sometimes No Under 65
Teach in Thailand £740 – £980
($1,000 – $1,280)
Yes May No Sometimes Yes None
Teach in Vietnam £920 - £ 1,500
($1,200 to $2,000)
Yes August No No Yes Under 60

There are 1.5 billion English language learners, and a lot of them are in Asia. With English being the de facto language of business worldwide, it helps to have knowledge of the English language to get into prestigious colleges, find lucrative jobs and forge a path in business. 

Meanwhile in Latin America, South America and Europe, your salary will be enough to rent a flat, visit restaurants, and travel. You won’t become a millionaire, but at least you can supplement your income by teaching English online, or offering private lessons. Tutoring outside of school, if you have the time, is obviously a great way to generate extra income.

Some employers might offer additional benefits, for example air travel, insurance, help with accommodation, or access to local amenities like gyms, libraries and other public services. It’s worth seeing if an employer will provide any extras with their offer of a job – free travel, for example, could be a significant boost to your coffers!

Who can teach English abroad?

We believe anyone who’s fluent in English and has the right motivation can teach English abroad.

There are a few misconceptions to get out of the way first. Some people believe that teaching English abroad is just for students, or people fresh out of college or university. While it’s true that many in their 20s and 30s take up TEFL courses, anyone with fluency in England has a chance to teach English as a foreign language.

Yes, TEFL teachers come from all walks of life. Whether you’re looking to completely change your career, or you’re keen for a new challenge after retirement, TEFL could be for you. Alternatively, if you’re a teacher looking for a change of scenery, or you’re looking to gain some new experiences to bolster your CV, TEFL is an excellent choice.

Teaching English abroad as a career pursuit is far from a closed shop. Let’s have a look at who can do it!      

Students and graduates

Some people finish university and aren’t sure of their next steps in life. It’s not uncommon. Meanwhile, others want to see more of the world and bolster their CV before picking a career path. 

Some people might want to give the vocation a try first, before committing to a postgraduate teaching course.

TEFL offers university graduates a perfect opportunity. You can see new corners of the world and gain priceless, international work experience. Even if you’re unsure of whether teaching is something you want to pursue long-term, living and working abroad as an EFL teacher can nurture a range of skills that transfer into different job markets.

Teaching and living abroad has its own challenges that you’ll have to adapt, learn from, and overcome. By doing that, a person can build character and really invest in their personal development. In other words, TEFL really does change people for the better.

Even if you haven’t graduated yet, there are opportunities to TEFL during the summer months. Summer schools recruit huge numbers of EFL teachers every year. So whether you’re a student or a graduate, TEFL offers opportunities to develop both yourself and your career opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Is teaching English abroad worth it?

    Of course, it’s subjective whether teaching English abroad is “worth it”. However, in terms of opportunities to travel, make a living and experience something totally new, there’s nothing really like teaching English abroad.

    It’s great for your CV, but it’s also a truly exciting career in and of itself. Teaching a language, especially one so widely used worldwide, is such a fulfilling career, and it also gives TEFL teachers the chance to absorb a new culture and ingratiate themselves in communities across the globe.

    Ultimately, it’s like anything else – teaching English abroad is what you make of it. We’d certainly recommend it though!

  • Q. Is teaching English abroad hard?

    Again, this is entirely subjective.
    That said, with the right TEFL certification, from an accredited provider, you should be fully prepared for the challenges of teaching English abroad. A good TEFL course will incorporate tutoring, ideally from someone who’s been there and done it, as well as proper lesson planning and practical experience.
  • Q. Why should I teach English abroad?

    Well, why not?
    If it’s something you’re keen to do, you have a passion for both learning and teaching, and the drive to do something truly different, then go for it.
    A few things to consider before you decide, though: do you have the financial backing to relocate to another country? Do you have a passion for the English language, and for teaching in general? Are you good at managing people, even rowdy schoolkids? Can you leave your current responsibilities behind?
    If the answer to those is yes, then why shouldn’t you teach English abroad?
  • Q. Why is teaching English abroad important?

    Here are some stats about the English language that demonstrate why teaching English abroad is important and worthy work.

    According to a Washington Post report

    • English is spoken in 101 countries
    • There are 1.5 billion English learners worldwide 
    • “More people learn English than French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, German and Chinese combined.”

    So yes, it’s very important. English is the most commonly spoken language in the world of business, and with English-speaking countries being popular destinations to visit or to work, teaching English abroad can unlock so many experiences for learners.

Other teaching English abroad articles

 

Can non-native English speakers TEFL?

Can non-native English speakers TEFL? Does English have to be your first language in order to teach it?

 

How to teach English abroad without a degree

If you don’t have a degree don’t let that stop you from teaching English abroad! While many countries do require teachers to have a degree there’s no need to despair if you don’t have one – there are still plenty of countries where you can find work.

 

How to Find a TEFL Job Abroad Without Teaching Experience

The good news is that there’s plenty of work out there for those who don’t have any teaching experience at all. In fact, many of our course graduates have never taught before.

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