Travel A Lot By Teaching English: A lot of people ask how I travel so much, and I don’t really have ONE answer, as I’ve gone through many different venues to do it — the military, volunteering, studying abroad and now teaching English.
Qualifications to Travel a Lot by Teaching English
It’s actually quite easy to get into.
The only real qualification you will need is a Bachelor’s degree- in ANYTHING.
If you want to make above the minimum, and have more opportunities, you can also get a certification to teach English as a foreign language.
It’s not a necessity, and actually some places will even pay for you to get certified.
I personally wanted to know what I was doing, so I chose to get a Maximo Nivel TEFL cert before I went.
One thing I always get asked is if you need to know the country’s native language to teach.
The answer for 90% of jobs is no.
They prefer the students to be completely immersed in English so it’s an added bonus that you are not conversant with their language.
Do you need teaching experience
Experience doesn’t matter for most jobs. But if you do have teaching experience, you will likely get paid a lot more.
For example, someone with a Master’s and two years teaching experience can make $5k+ per month in the Middle East.
Note: There are a few countries that will let you teach with only an Associate’s; Taiwan and the Philippines, I know off the top of my head.
However, you should do a lot of research on the school beforehand if they’re willing to hire you with an Associate’s, because often you won’t be teaching legally.
I decided I would rather not end up in another country’s prison, deported, or extorted for being an illegal immigrant, so I chose to play it safe and get a BA.
Locations to Teach English overseas
Mostly, your pay is dependent on where you work, so that will likely be a big part of your decision of where you want to go.
Here’s a list from most to least pay. (In general, obviously there will be exceptions):
Teach English in Middle East
Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia – Flights, housing included, plus great pay
Teach English in Asia – Japan, South Korea, China, and Taiwan
Flights, housing included, plus decent pay – Note: Japan’s English teaching market is pretty saturated, so those jobs are much more competitive. Not impossible, but not as easy to get as others. Before teaching in China, check out these apps.
Teach English in Europe
Pay might be better than some Asian countries, but cost of living is higher and flights might not be included
Teach English in Other Asian countries
Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia – Pay is decent, but generally you pay for your own apartment and flights
Teach English in South America
This small heaven has low standards of living.
By that I mean your normal utilities will be cut into half not to mention rent will be low.
With a bit of penny wise practices you will be living the dream.
Teach English in Africa
The pay is not all that great but the people and culture is AMAZING!
Many opportunities there are volunteer-only.
Considerations For Teaching English
This is just an “in general” list to start your job search if you’re interested.
Some countries can’t afford to bring in foreign teachers, so you will be working on a volunteer basis only.
A great way to explore an area first is through a study exchange programme.
This is an excellent place to start learning and will aid in you embracing a new culture as well.
How to find a job teaching English abroad
As far as looking for jobs goes, Dave’s ESL Café is a great site for it.
It looks shady, but it’s not!
If you post your resume, you will wake up the next day with 20+ job offers in your email.
You can also find some sponsored posts on Indeed or any “normal” job board.
But Dave’s is the best website to find a variety.
There’s also a lot of other helpful info there too — forums, scam lists, even helpful links for lesson planning.
Types of jobs
Most job availability are for teaching elementary- high school students, but if you don’t like kids, there are many opportunities to teach in universities or adult language training centers as well.
For me, it’s easier to teach kids because I can incorporate games without feeling like I’m patronizing them.
Also, they’re generally less nervous to speak than adults.
I know 51 Talk is a legit company, and is currently hiring, but there are tons more out there.
I found a job, what’s next?
You’ll get interviewed via Skype.
Some places even require a teaching demo.
If they decide to hire you, they will begin the legal process on their side.
They’ll likely need copies of your degree, your teaching certification, medical checks, and a “non-criminal” certification.
You will also need to sign the contract.
Read it many times, and read it carefully.
Contract to Teach English Abroad
Most contracts are for a year. Some are six months.
A few even offer 3–4 month contracts.
But shorter contracts are hard to find because they don’t want to invest in someone who is going to stay for such a small period of time.
Likely those positions will be volunteer based or very low pay.
You can break your contract, but often there is a monetary penalty.
For example, if I break my contract before 6 months, my flight is not paid for.
Also, if I don’t give notice, I’m charged hundreds of dollars.
Travel by Teaching English
What of the teaching experience?
Italian student Caterina di Mascio, 19, has learned most of her English through TEFL-based techniques.
“Learning English with a native teacher isn’t like formal education,” she says.
“It’s fun and interesting, and your teacher becomes your friend.”
The characteristic TEFL emphasis on spoken language quickly breaks down inhibitions and forces each student to pay close attention throughout the lesson.
TEFL teachers are forced to step outside of a failed academic system that never helped them speak a language at school, and do things completely differently.
It proves that learning a language can indeed be fun and not all about grammar, vocabulary and mistakes.
Travel by teaching English
The secret to TEFL methodology is simple:
Teachers create natural situations for students to interact in.
Every student speaks throughout the lesson, and physical movement is exploited to avoid boredom and fatigue.
The experience of a TEFL student is completely different to that of a British language student.
Traditional grammar tables and confusing linguistic terminology are often abandoned, but that doesn’t mean it gets ignored.
Grammar is explained by use of examples in such a way that it doesn’t feel like grammar.
How To Teach English Overseas
Many of us have probably had the idea to teach English overseas for a year or so, some of us might even have tried to find some information about how it works.
But often, that’s also where it normally ends.
Not because we lost interest in teaching English abroad, but because it all seemed so complicated!
Too much research – too much confusion, and then your inspiration fades.
That’s where this book I just read, “How To Teach English Overseas” by Matthew Kepnes (also known as Nomadic Matt), comes in handy.
Matt has been teaching English abroad himself and knows all about the frustrations and confusion people feel about these courses.
From his own experiences, and a whole lot of research, he has compiled it all into this e-book – to save you the hassle!
With over 100 pages crammed with detailed information, he takes you through every step and everything you need to know about teaching English abroad.
The information is straight forward, and, in contrary to much of the information you find searching official websites: HONEST!
If you were to try and research all this information on your own, you would have a hard time reading between the lines as the programs and jobs you find all want YOU to choose them.
It’s much easier getting the truth from someone who doesn’t benefit from the company you choose, which makes this book very trustworthy, as Matt talks about both the ups and downs of each company, program and types of jobs, includes hidden costs like taxes and things that are not included in some jobs but are in others.
The book explains what it takes to become an English teacher and teach English overseas, the differences between the different courses and jobs, plus, what everyone really wants to know: the benefits and salaries offered.
Moreover, the book gets right into the details and includes detailed information about the most frequented chosen destinations for English teachers as well as some other good ones that are not so popular.
In these country information pages, you even find out the cost of living in these places (which are from my own experience accurate), so you can get a better idea of which countries suit you, and whether you can afford to teach English overseas with the salary you will get or not.
So if you want to know everything about teaching English abroad, save yourself hours of research and avoid tearing your hair off in the progress, this book is for you.