Traveling the world is probably one of the most popular pleasures to exist. Who doesn’t like to travel abroad and experience different (and in some cases, exotic) cities and countries? What if we told you that you can get paid while you discover the world? This is not about one of those “too good to be true” deals. In fact, it is possible. You can achieve this by teaching English overseas.
Why teach English abroad? Well, the simple answer is that you get the chance to experience all of what international exchange has to offer while you gain experience, meet new cultures, make positive connections, create awesome memories and also, help your students (young or old) to get new opportunities, because the global economy has English language as one of its pillars. English is one of the most searched languages worldwide. After all, it has taken over the commercial and professional industries and has become a common language that allows people from different places to communicate effortlessly. If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some more great reasons:
1. It’s one of the best job markets.
English is an increasingly popular language, so the number of people enrolling in classes and online courses is increasing. Do you know what happens when demand starts to rise? A larger offer is needed to cover it (yep, basic economy). Since more demand is generated, so the supply of English teachers increases, the real question is not if you are going to get a job but where? So much so that you don’t really need a degree in education in order to teach English abroad.
2. You get paid for living and traveling in different countries.
Still, you should consider your goals and needs before selecting which countries to teach English in. In Latin America and Europe, you can earn a wage to live comfortably and be self-sufficient, but you won’t be able to save much after monthly expenses. They are “ok” options if you are simply looking for the experience and enjoyment. If you want to make more money and have some benefits like housing and/or free airfare, you should be looking for the Middle East and Asia. You could save up to 30% or 50% of your income (after monthly expenses) in those regions. That means $200 to $400 in Thailand or China and $1000 in countries like South Korea and UAE. Japan attracts as many people as South Korea does. Monthly expenses might eat up a good part of your salary (mostly in Tokyo), but Japan rewards long-term teachers with very generous benefits and bonuses. You can always research country charts to know which countries fit your goals better and their cost of living.
3. You can learn a foreign language.
Aside from teaching, you can also learn new languages that may open doors to other employment opportunities, travel and professional experiences. You can learn languages in a more natural way, since you will live with foreign speakers, their culture and particular idioms. You will be part of their society for a while and that will help you get along with people much easier.
4. If you are seeking a career in international affairs, business or diplomacy, this job is definitely for you.
Teaching English abroad will give you what these institutions look for in their employees: international experience. Living and working abroad are key aptitudes for those careers- they need their employees to be able to deal with people of different cultural backgrounds as well as their different points of view. Have you noticed that the way Chinese people hold international negotiations is very different from the Americans? That’s the kind of (needed) experience you will gain with this job.
Qualifications you might need
The qualifications are different in many countries and continents. Most countries of Western Europe, parts of Asia and the Persian Gulf require a college degree in order to hire teachers, while in most of Latin America, a part of Asia and Eastern Europe, English speakers without degrees can also be paid to teach English. Some countries might require you to have teaching experience, while some others might hire just-graduated college students. There is a lot of information that compares the general requirements for this job in over 50 countries
As you can see, you don’t exactly need a degree in education, but a general recommendation would be to get a certification to teach English abroad, commonly known as TEFL course and certification (nowadays a common requirement in many countries).
TEFL is the acronym of Teaching English as a Foreign Language. The TEFL certificate verifies that you trained for English teaching abroad. In addition, searching for jobs will be easier. With this certification, you can go to any country you’d like and apply based on your backgrounds and interests. You can find a variety of jobs teaching English in different institutions such as language schools, international schools, universities, Department of defence, overseas schools, volunteer organisations and many more. The way you make money teaching English is up to you when you study with a TEFL academy.
TEFL is also known by the name of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and there are many online courses and academies. Your best bet would be to go with one that has a good reputation. Among the best-known courses are:
- CELTA by Cambridge University (which offers online options)
- Trinity CertTESOL of London’s Trinity College (courses run by verified centres).
- MyTEFL, which offers both online and onsite courses
- BridgeTEFL, which is a U.S. Department of Education Recognised Agency.
Some courses involve face-to-face teaching, which you might prefer if you don’t like to take online classes. You can do some research in order to find the best academy suited for your needs and tastes.
English teaching abroad can be the experience of your life regardless of what phase of life you are in. You can build new friendships and impact people’s life in a positive way, all while you enjoy the different wonders of the world, from the beaches of Costa Rica to traveling Europe on a train.
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