How to Get Started Teaching English Abroad

Travelling to new, exciting places, meeting people from different cultures, and working in a flexible environment are just a few of the many reasons that people decide to teach English abroad. 

Becoming an English teacher has never been as easy as it is now and in such high demand. But where do you start? What does teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) involve, what qualifications do you need, and where can you find TEFL positions? 

Here is a quick start guide to get you teaching English abroad in no time!


Why You Should Teach English

  • Opportunity to earn money online or around the world
  • Huge demand for English teachers
  • Gain confidence and experience
  • Make new friends
  • Great career options


What Do TEFL Teachers Do?

Simply put, TEFL teachers teach English to students whose native language is not English. These students may be children in primary school or adults looking to improve their working English. Even though the age range and reason for learning English may differ greatly from one job to the next, the job requirements are the same throughout the world. TEFL teachers prepare lesson plans before class time, deliver interactive content to students through games, exercises, reading, etc., and assess students’ progress in English throughout the school term.


What Qualifications Do English Teachers Need?

Different programmes around the world require their teachers to have different qualifications. Many don’t require you to have previous experience but you will need a good level of the English language especially if you aren't a native speaker. 

Some recruiters will insist on at least a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL license or certificate, others will simply require you to be a native English speaker, have completed high school and be at least 18 years of age. Make sure you double check each programme’s requirements as they will differ from school to school.


Do I Need to Know a Foreign Language?

Knowing a second language is really helpful but not necessary for living and teaching abroad. Interacting with students in their language, and also with local people in your destination, will make the whole experience easier and more enjoyable. 

Many English teachers will quickly pick up the language spoken in their host culture as it is used around them every day. You may even decide to take some foreign language lessons yourself on arrival in your destination or online.


Enroll on a TEFL Course

Getting a recognised TEFL certification is essential to getting hired both online and around the world. Most recruiters will require this before considering to hire you. There is the option to take an online TEFL certification, or book a classroom course. On this course you will learn everything there is to know about teaching and get the skills and knowledge to become a sucessful tutor.  


Where Can TEFL Jobs Be Found?

Finding a TEFL position abroad is no difficult task but finding the right one might take some time. You can view jobs and work placements on our website or Facebook page and also check out recruiters, agencies, online job boards and websites like Superprof. Teaching English abroad is an exciting move but make sure that you apply to positions in locations that interest and excite you.

Some TEFL positions can also be found completely online, whilst others require teachers to work physically in the school either full-time or part-time. There are also programmes that are done during summer sessions and can last between four and six weeks. This is a great option for someone starting out as a TEFL teacher and would like to get experience without committing to a full academic year in one location.


If you are thinking about making a career online, or going to work abroad, then TEFL really is an amazing avenue to consider.  Do some research before you dive in, but don’t be scared of the possibilities. Teaching English abroad is an opportunity that can change your life! You too could be travelling to new, exciting places, meeting people from different cultures, and working in a flexible environment before you know it.