Getting a chance to travel the world while doing something you love is a dream come true for many. Fortunately, being an English language teacher nowadays gives you the opportunity to make that wish a reality and earn a living by visiting foreign countries while also helping others boost their language skills.

If you’re passionate about languages and also aspire to become a well-rounded global citizen, here’s how you can travel and teach English abroad.

Choose the country you’re going to work in

While it is true that certain countries have a higher demand for English language teachers (e.g. Asia, especially South Korea), the truth is the opportunities to utilize your excellent English language skills and make a living teaching others are just about everywhere. 

From Latin America and Europe to the Middle East and Africa – different parts of the world are in need of English language instruction. So, where you choose to teach English will depend on a number of factors, including salary requirements, qualifications, as well as your personal preferences. All in all, you want to choose a TEFL destination that matches your interests, while at the same time being a place with a culture you’d like to learn more about.

Find out about requirements and get certified

The requirements will largely vary from place to place. While some countries may only hire individuals that are native English language speakers, hold bachelor’s degrees and have some sort of certification (TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA), others may not be as strict and let you teach without a degree. That being said, schools around the world are raising their standards when it comes to hiring new teachers. It pays to obtain a certification or a degree as they help you qualify for higher salaries and open up various job opportunities.

When it comes to getting certified, there are different ways to do it, and you can choose between online learning platforms and offline courses. The length of training programs and the cost vary from company to company. So, be prepared to do some research to find out which certification matches your TEFL career goals.

child learning

Decide who you want to teach English to

Before you apply to work as an English language teacher abroad, you need to decide who you want to teach English to. There are several different levels, and it’s up to you to choose who you want to work with. If you hold certifications designed specifically for teaching adults (e.g. CELTA) and prefer working with grown-ups, applying for a teaching position in Latin America is your safe bet. 

On the other hand, TEFL is handy if you plan on teaching children. For Example, Hong Kong is one of the places where there’s a high demand for English language teacher in kindergartens. Parents there are eager to enroll their kids in the best education centre in Hong Kong to ensure they obtain the necessary language skills. So, if you’re looking to work in a nurturing and stimulating environment helping little ones get a grasp on the world language. this might be a great opportunity for you!

Decide how long you’re going to stay abroad

Teaching languages while traveling also allows for flexibility in terms of how long you’re staying in a certain country. You, as an English learning teacher, have the option to stay long-term (move abroad as an expat) or short-term. However, this will largely depend on the country you’re teaching in. In Vietnam, for example, one-year contracts are common, but short-term contracts and visas are quite easy to obtain. 

Another thing you should consider is living standard and how much it costs you to live there on a daily basis. You want to choose a country where it will be easy for you to save up. Then, you can use that money to travel to less expensive countries and explore.

Adapting to life in a foreign country and its culture

Adjusting to living abroad can be tough sometimes, but stepping out of your comfort zone comes with a host of benefits that make it worth your while. Culture shock is quite common, but don’t let that discourage you from trying something different from what you’re used to.

As long as you keep an open mind, do your best to learn about the culture. Try to make friends and explore the town or city in your free time, because teaching language abroad can be quite a rewarding experience.

More than just sightseeing, teaching and traveling is a great way to visit different places while doing something meaningful and enriching. The best part – you’ll be learning from others as much as they’ll be learning from you. Follow this guide to secure a teaching job and get ready for new and exciting experiences overseas.


Diana Wills