Have you ever dreamed of immersing yourself in a culture anew? Of learning a second language? Of becoming a local in a foreign land, while working alongside locals?
One of the best ways to get the most out of a long-term meaningful travel experience is to teach English abroad.
Deciding to teach English abroad is not an easy thing to do. It’s a big life decision, and it’s scary. But if not doing it will leave you full of regret, then there’s only one choice: JUST GO.
Before you do, know that there are a lot of factors one must consider before taking the plunge and buying a ticket to a foreign land.
Decide on a Country
Perhaps the most difficult choice you’ll have in the whole process is where in the world you want to have an ESL teaching job. With English becoming the definite global language, non-fluent countries are all eager to teach it to their youth. From South America to the Middle East and Asia, there’s a region and a culture that’s right for you. Choosing a country should depend on where you can see yourself living long term, so you might want to ask yourself which cultures interest you most. Which style of living is most appealing? Is proximity to other intriguing countries important? Which language do you have an interest in learning more of (though knowing the local language is never a requirement).
Research the Country Requirements
Once you’ve made the tough decision of where you’d like to go for the next year or so of your life, you’ll want to do some research and find out what exactly are the requirements for ESL teachers. Most countries want you to have at the minimum, a four-year degree, a fluency in English (read: a passport from a native speaking country), a desire to teach and a TEFL / TESOL Certification. Countries will differ and not all countries require a TEFL certificate, though most will recommend it.
Consider a TEFL / TESOL Certificate
Whether or not your country of choice requires a TEFL / TESOL certification, you may want to consider completing a course for your own benefit. Most courses provide the following: grammar refreshers, lesson planning tutorials, ESL teaching ideas and a practicum where you can gain hands-on experience before you step out on your own. When choosing a TEFL / TESOL course, you’ll want to make sure it’s highly accredited and includes a practicum. That age-old saying — you get what you pay for — is true when it comes to shopping for a course!
Another thing to consider when looking for a course is whether you prefer to do a course online or onsite, and if you want job assistance or guaranteed job placement. Many courses do not offer anything post certification. The courses at GlobalU, however, offer all levels of job assistance, from lifetime help seeking a job with our Online and Chicago TEFL courses, to personalized care in seeking a job on the wide-open markets of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, to guaranteed job placement following successful completion of our Thailand courses in Krabi and Chiang Mai.
Consider the Job
On top of the country facts, you’ll want to consider certain aspects of the job that interest you most. Do you want to make the most money possible to pay off those student loans? If so, you might consider signing a two-year contract (common) in the Middle East. Do you want to brush up your Spanish skills while living a traditional Latino lifestyle? You’ll want to consider breaking even in teaching English in Latin America. Or, do you prefer a short-term teaching commitment that will allow you make a decent living, experience a culture and determine if this whole teaching thing is really for you? Teaching English in Thailand offers short-term contracts that are popular for those who answer yes. Click here to download our TEFL World Job Chart for free, and see a break down of ESL jobs around the world.
If the only thing you know for certain is that you want to JUST GO, get in touch today and we’ll help you through all the hard parts, and the easy ones too.
What are you waiting for?