Traveling the globe is a dream that many people have and sadly that few people ever realize. But to travel the world for a living and actually get paid to do what you love? That sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?
Well it isn’t all holidays and beaches, but it can be done. One of the most popular ways to see the world and at the same time start an exciting new career is to become a TEFL (or TESL) teacher.
What Is A TEFL Teacher?
TEFL means: Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Unsurprisingly then, becoming a TEFL teacher allows you to teach English to children and adults who do not speak the language natively. You can do this in English speaking countries or (more commonly) in other countries where there is a high demand for English teachers.
Some popular places to teach English include:
All Over Europe
So as a career choice this gives you a great opportunity to see the world and make a real difference whilst being paid to do so.
What’s The Catch?
There isn’t really any catch as such; the fact is that as a native English speaker you have a skill that people all over the world want to learn and you can use that skill to find work almost anywhere.
It is important to realize though that being a TEFL teacher is a job just like any other. TEFL courses can get a bad name because they are often associated with backpackers who just want to party, but the reality is that TEFL offers an opportunity to make travelling a real career.
TEFL – Typical classroom in one of the chinese training schools
What Do You Need?
If you are a native English speaker you have most of what you need already. The other requirements will depend on where you want to teach. Here is what is usually required:
Ability to speak English (as a native or near-native)
An undergraduate degree (not always required)
A TEFL certificate
Experience of some sort
Actually, you can often get a job without any experience, but if you have some relevant experience you may well find getting a job much easier. In more competitive countries, experience can be essential; in other countries experience may make the difference between getting any job and getting a great job.
If you don’t have any experience of TEFL teaching, it may be helpful to get some experience in a school first. You can volunteer to be a teaching assistant or try volunteering with a youth association. Anything relevant that you can add to your application will help.
You may also find it is worth investing in a TEFL course that includes some teaching hours, rather than simply paying for the bare minimum TEFL certificate.
TEFL – Be ready for wonderful atmosphere and smiles
Where To Teach
The most exciting thing about getting a TEFL qualification is deciding what to do with it. You can start by teaching in your own country of course – there are always people who need to learn English after immigrating to an English speaking country.
But you will probably want to spend your first year somewhere more exotic; the world really is your oyster, but here are some things to consider when looking at countries/areas to apply to:
What is the pay like?
What is the cost of living like?
How competitive is this country?
Do you have enough experience?
How are teachers treated there?
What career opportunities will you have?
If you dream of making a real career in Europe, it might be worth getting a year’s experience in Thailand first where you will find it easier to get a job. Alternatively, teaching in South Korea is an excellent stepping stone to teaching in China or Japan.
TEFL – You can teach adults too
Of course some countries pay much more than others, so your decision may be based on what you need to survive right now and what you hope to achieve in the future.
Coming Home Again
Perhaps the best thing about being a TEFL teacher is that the experience you gain can be valuable when you come back home again too. Experienced TEFL teachers often become regular teachers in their own country, but other options can include teaching English at home or even becoming a personal tutor.
The opportunities are virtually endless if you have the determination to work hard and make the most of your time overseas!
About The Author:
This post was written by Robert from ICAL TEFL who provide TEFL courses like these ones and other TEFL related resources. Robert loves to travel, his ambition is to teach English on every continent.
Share and Enjoy
Trackback URL for this post: http://beinginawe.com/how-to-make-a-career-out-of-world-travel-as-tefl-teacher/trackback/
Subscribe to our newsletter
We are Gadi and Tun - the midlife runaways. We regard our selves as a “world citizens” and currently we live and explore in China. We've decided to start this blog to share our awe and adventures with friends, family and all the people who love to travel. Feel free to comment and to join. And most important, don’t forget the state of “Being in Awe” with the world.
Hi there! We are a couple, and we like to travel. We regard our selves as a “world citizens” and currently we live and explore in China. We’ve decided to start this blog to share our awe and adventures with friends, family and all the people who love to travel. Feel free to comment and to join. And most important, don’t forget the state of “Being in Awe”.