How to Get a Job Teaching English Abroad
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How to Get a Job Teaching English Abroad
The English language is spoken by over a billion people from nearly every nation on Earth. It has become the language of international business and education and there is a constant demand for those looking to teach English overseas.
Recent graduates, current teachers, and those looking for a career change can take their pick from over 100,000 English teaching jobs open abroad. But what do they need to do to get started and actually land one of these positions?
In this article, the team at Teaching House have compiled everything you need to know about how to get a job teaching English abroad.
What are the Benefits of Teaching English Overseas?
Whether it’s just for a few semesters, or a career you pursue for decades, teaching overseas can offer a range of wonderful benefits, including:
- Immersing in other cultures: One of the best things about teaching English overseas is the opportunity to learn more about the other cultures of your students. As you instruct them within your lessons, you also broaden your own horizons and expand your worldview.
- Freedom to travel: Another benefit of teaching English overseas is that you will have a base in a foreign country from which you can travel. Not only will you save money on travel expenses, but you can utilise your teaching potential in many locations, spending as long as you like in each new destination.
- Earn a good salary: In many cases, you will receive a reasonable, consistent salary when you teach English overseas. Again, this can be a great way to support yourself while exploring new places.
What Do You Need to Do to Secure English Teaching Jobs Overseas?
1. Earn Your Qualifications & Credentials
To be deemed capable of teaching English overseas, you must provide evidence of your qualifications.
Firstly, you must complete a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification or equivalent. These courses prepare you to teach English overseas, with programs covering theoretical study and practical training. Though some programs require a bachelor's degree, many countries hire English teachers without a degree or teaching experience as long as the have a CELTA and existing eligibility to work in that country.
At Teaching House, we offer various flexible and comprehensive TEFL equivalent courses online, including:
- CELTA Online: The Cambridge CELTA Course Online allows you to learn from anywhere in the world, providing world-class educational materials, access to experienced teaching staff, and practical experience.
- Delta Course: Once you have completed the CELTA course, the Delta Cambridge teaching course allows you to advance your skills and experience further. This course is perfect for those looking to become a senior teacher, trainer, manager, or even Director of Studies.
2. Begin Researching Where You Would Like to Teach English Abroad
With your qualifications secured, start looking at which corner of the world you would like to begin teaching English abroad. Popular options include:
- Asia: Largely considered the ideal region for newcomers to teach English overseas. Jobs pay decent wages with minimal, or no experience required, and the cost of living remains far lower than in Western nations. Destinations include South Korea, China, Japan, Cambodia and Vietnam.
- Europe: In Western Europe, you may find some government-sponsored teaching programs, but there is a more extensive visa application process. Many newcomers to the industry explore Eastern European nations instead, such as the Czech Republic, which have less stringent barriers to entry.
- Middle East: Those looking to teach English abroad will find both the highest average salaries and the highest job requirements in the Middle East. This makes it incredibly competitive, with positions likely going to those with more experience and proof of higher education.
- Africa: Typically offering volunteer positions, or at most a stipend with housing provided. The entry requirements are minimal, but the difference made to the lives of your students can be enormous.
3. Prepare Your Resume & Cover Letters
Just like any job interview, when you want to pursue teaching English overseas, you need to build a solid resume/CV and cover letter to demonstrate your experience and capabilities. If you know where you would like to work, research the professional customs of that region and tailor your documents to reflect them, ensuring potential employers will better receive them.
Common points to include are:
- Educational history
- Qualifications & certifications (i.e., your TEFL certificate)
- Work experience (if possible, focus on roles related to teaching or mentoring)
- Volunteer work
- Relevant skills to the role
4. Search & Apply to Schools In Your Preferred Area
There is a wealth of resources, databases and sponsored programs that can show the availability of English teaching jobs overseas. You can even work with a specialised recruiter!
While it would be ideal to find a job posting, apply, and receive the position before leaving your home country, this isn’t always possible. Many countries will prefer you to apply and sit for an interview in person, meaning you may have to travel there first.
5. Secure Accommodation Near Where You Will Work as an English Teacher Whilst Abroad
Have you secured a teaching position in your desired country? Congratulations!
Now, you need to start thinking about the logistical elements – namely, where are you going to live? Many overseas teaching jobs will have housing included, but if not, be careful when signing a lease on a house or apartment that you haven’t seen before (either in person or on a virtual tour).
If you haven’t visited the country yet, perhaps start with well-reviewed hotels or hostels, and leave a couple of days or weeks before your job starts to give you enough time to find housing. This will also give you ample opportunity to set up your utilities, like electricity and internet, and see some of the country itself firsthand!
6. Organise Your Visa & Travel Documents
Finally, to become an English teacher abroad, you must arrange the necessary travel documents and apply for the appropriate visa. Your future employer will likely be able to help you with this process, informing you of the application process and information you will need to provide, including:
- Birth certificate
- Passport photos
- Bachelor’s degree and/or TEFL certificate
There are tourist visas, working visas that require sponsorship, student visas – if you feel overwhelmed with the process, rely on the experience of your employer or engage in the services of a reputable migration agent.
Once you have organised everything described above, you are ready to set off for your new adventure in teaching English overseas!