See the World & Help Others: How to Teach English Abroad
The Perfect Way to Finance Your Travels
Traveling for longer and living abroad is becoming more commonplace as the world becomes more and more globalized. Knowing English is perhaps the single most important thing that people in the world are seeking out, so globalization can happen at a faster rate.
Companies are making connections abroad, and countries on opposite sides of the globe are working together to provide a service or product.
There are various ways people can learn English, but it all starts in schools. More and more schools across the world are inviting native English speakers to come live in their country and teach English.
This integration is wonderful for both parties. It provides the students with a native English speaker to learn from in person, and the teacher is being gifted the opportunity to live in a foreign country and interact closely with locals, while helping them in a huge way.
Going to teach English abroad is an enriching experience for the teacher on so many levels — I could go on for days. If you’re looking for the perfect way to travel for free (or at least for far cheaper), teaching English is one of the best options out there.
Here are some of the basics to understanding how to teach English abroad.
What are the Requirements for Teaching English Abroad? I Doubt I’m Qualified.
Au contraire! You can definitely be an English teacher abroad if you meet some minimum requirements.
Please keep in mind that requirements vary between countries and schools. Some are super lenient and will even hire a native French speaker who has good enough English skills, while some will require you have a masters in Education with at least five years experience. It all depends. Here is a general requirement list.
- Native English speaker.
- Bachelor’s degree in anything.
- TEFL/TESOL certification.
Other Possible Requirements Depending on the School:
- Age: Sometimes a school will prefer you to be within a certain age range.
- Experience: Some schools will require that you have some experience.
- A degree in a certain subject.
How Do I Get a TEFL/TESOL Certificate?
You have two choices:
- Online. Take an online course, complete it, and receive your certification in the mail.
- Abroad. Want to teach in Italy and can’t wait to get there already? Sign up for a TESOL course in Italy and get your certification there. Just keep in mind this will likely be the more expensive option.
I chose the online route, as it was easier, quicker, I could do it on my time, and I was able to work at the same time.
But How Much Am I Going to Make Teaching Abroad?
Of course, money is definitely important, but again, each country is different. To give you an idea…
In Southeast Asia your rates will average about $1,000 USD a month. That doesn’t sound like a lot (because it isn’t), however keep in mind the cost of living is very cheap there. You’ll also work an average of 20-30 hours per week.
Northern Asian countries such as South Korea, China and Japan will pay more. South Korea is one of the most lucrative countries to teach English in Asia. Salaries can be more than $3,000 USD in some cases with accommodation paid for in addition to that. You’ll work an average of 30 or more hours per week.
The Middle East is another area that pays foreign teachers a good salary. Upwards of $2,500 USD can be expected, however they often want more experience. You will also be working more full time hours.
Some points to consider: some schools will pay for airfare and accommodation, some go as far as health benefits and some food as well. Weigh your options, but most importantly make sure you will be able to support yourself on the wage they give AND be able to travel after.
What Happens If I Don’t Meet the Requirements to Teach English?
It might be tough, but it doesn’t mean you can’t teach English. Obviously you’re going to need to speak decent English, but maybe you’re not a native English speaker.
It’s okay — try researching websites like HelpX and WorkAway, as sometimes small communities who can’t afford to pay will post jobs there. You’ll likely get a free room and maybe some food.
You won’t get cash in hand, but it at least it will cut down your costs of travel.
This All Sounds Very Permanent
If you’re thinking you don’t want to spend months at a time in one place — trust me, I get it! I felt the same, however I’d recommend doing at least one semester so you can get experience.
With that experience you can qualify to teach online. Yes, you read that right, teach English online in a virtual classroom.
It sounds crazy, but this is a thing. Online schools are blowing up and I loved teaching English online! It gave me the freedom I wanted, but I was still able to work and help people with their studies.
Teaching English is a phenomenal way to prolong your travels and to really integrate yourself into the local life of the city you end up in. If you want to know more, check out some more detailed posts on my site.
So where do you want to teach? What doors has this opened for you? Feel free to comment with questions and experiences!