Wouldn’t it be nice to travel the world and get paid to do it?
It may sound like a pipe dream, but that’s the life of a TEFL teacher. Basically, you will be paid for teaching English abroad.
Since English is a world language, it is used in practically every part of the world. And where there is demand, there are jobs.
English is a tool that opens doors for so many people and gives them opportunities to which they previously had no access, and as an English teacher, you are the person who facilitates and supports this process.
Being a TEFL teacher is an exchange: The door to the world is open to you to explore and in return you do the same for others by removing the barrier of the English language.
So how do you start? Read on to find out!
Here are our tips for teaching English abroad
1. Find a location
First and foremost, you need to narrow your options. Having the whole world at your disposal can be overwhelming.
The sooner you can pinpoint a general part of the world you’d rather start in, the sooner you can figure out how to set yourself up as an English teacher.
For teachers based in Europe looking to visit the rest of the continent, this is usually a much easier process. You can put out feelers to get started in English-language assistance programs all over Europe, such as:
Your home is always just a short flight away, as is other European countries, so you have the perfect balance between travel and family time during your vacation.
For those looking to travel on, platforms like Teachaway are a lifeline for TEFL teachers, providing up-to-date lists of job vacancies, requirements, and application deadlines at various schools around the world.
The organization of the work visa and the organization of flights is usually done with the support of the schools, many also offer travel grants to cover the costs of their teachers’ flights.
All you have to do is brush up on the culture so as not to make a cultural gaffe on arrival.
2. Do your research about what it takes to teach English abroad
Many schools require TEFL teachers to have a university degreeTeaching English abroad is often an exciting opportunity for graduates to gain life experience.
Because of this, your professors are sure to know some students who are currently in this field or who have worked in this field for a while. Take advantage of this and ask them to get in touch with these people to see if they are ready to answer your nagging questions about what to expect.
In case you don’t know a TEFL teacher or have no connections with someone who knows someone you could ask, LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to connect with people from the industry. With the click of a button, you can reach out to various teachers to solicit their input on your questions or concerns.
For those who are not feeling as extroverted, blogs like the one you can find written by The TEFL Org should cover almost any question you may have.
3. Learn the local language where you will teach
The best way to really immerse yourself in a different culture is to learn the local language.
Often times, TEFL teachers find themselves in an English-speaking bubble in the work environment. For those who want to expand their social circle and really feel like a local while traveling, Learning the basics of your mother tongue can lead to new friendships and make everyday life a little more pleasant.
There is nothing better than being able to order something in a different language in a restaurant to give you a sense of independence and belonging at the same time.
Learning the language will not only help you feel comfortable, it will also give you new insight into your students’ experiences and feelings while learning English as a foreign language.
They can better relate to the fear they feel as they speak it, but also better understand the common mistakes your students make when translating their language into your language when trying to speak. Understanding these mistakes will allow you to compare how certain things are expressed differently in English than their language, which ultimately makes you more knowledgeable as a TEFL teacher.
4th Share your experiences Teaching English abroad
Once you’ve become a seasoned teacher, the best way to start new adventures in different parts of the world is to talk to other TEFL teachers about where they’ve been and been taught.
Right out of the horse’s mouth, you can get the most honest and useful information about the must-see places and most importantly, places not to go.
Your TEFL colleagues have no ulterior motives. They are floating around on their own journeys and you are helping them as much as they are helping you move on in the best and most informed way possible.
If you think back to the beginning of your journey when you researched and read other teachers’ blogs, there is no reason not to share your own tips and advice to inspire and help others by starting your own blog as soon as you can have some of your own experiences. The industry is constantly evolving, new resources are constantly being developed, but TEFL teaching has always remained a community of people willing to share ideas and help one another.
You can also share some articles on how to have an experience like volunteering. Take it one step further to keep the cycle of TEFL teacher content running around the world going.
They all share the same passion: traveling.
With the knowledge of these four main steps that you now know, the final part of the process is to qualify. Earning your TEFL certification is your ticket to the first of many adventures as a TEFL teacher.
TEFL companies will provide you with all the information and resources you need to get started in the industry and the rest is up to you.
Whether it’s a 2-hour flight or a 16-hour flight, the beauty of learning English abroad is that you can choose where in the world to take you.