7 Creative Ways to Pay for Your TEFL Certification Course

One of our latest blog posts gave you seven reasons why it’s not smart to consider teaching English abroad without a TEFL certification, and now we’re back to let you in on seven little ways to take care of the cost of that TEFL certification course (you’re welcome). The benefits of TEFL certification (as outlined here) are plenty, but we also understand that almost every endeavor worth its salt comes with a necessary upfront investment. Sometimes that can be difficult to come up with, and we thought of a few ways to help you out.  

Here a few words of caution before you start diving in on research to find the best TEFL certification course for you: you’ve got to know how much is too much to pay and how little is way too little; you need to remember to include other expenses within the cost of the course (such as the cost of living if you are relocating), and finally, you must remember that anything that comes out of your pocket to pay for this course is an investment in your career as an English teacher. It’s so worth it—every time!

So here is that list of 7 creative ways to pay for your TEFL certification course:

7) Save your money

This “creative” solution is probably the most obvious (and least creative), but it still needs to be said: if you’re worried about the money, save your pennies first! We love your gung-ho attitude that shows us you want to get your TEFL certification immediately because you’re totally jazzed and want to move abroad yesterday, but take a moment to consider the costs involved, and tailor a plan that best suits your financial situation. (But don’t forget to bring that positive attitude back when you hit the classroom!)


6) Get another job

If you know you have some time before committing to the TEFL certification course you’ve had your eye on, consider stacking your work hours to make some extra cash. Have one part-timer with room for one more? Have a full-time job but have every weekend free? Have you been wanting to work from home with a job that allows you to set your own hours? Fill your days up! Take the time to work hard for a while before changing your life. It will all be worth it when you’re taking weekend holidays to the beach in your new country—we promise!

5) Set a budget and stick to it

If you don’t have room in your schedule for anther work commitment, consider altering your finances in order to save for your TEFL certification course. If you’re like any other millennial, you’re probably paying for Netflix, or Hulu, or some other streaming service that only adds a pile of distraction to your day. Consider eliminating them for a few months to add some money into your bank account (every dollar/euro/peso/etc counts). Plus, if you’ve gotten that extra job we suggested, you probably won’t even have time to binge watch your favorite TV shows!


4) Apply for scholarships

While this option requires a great deal of research and is not a one-size-fits-all method, the time and energy you put in are worth it if you’ve found a way to avoid ways 7-5 to get you started on a TEFL certification course. Don’t forget that there are scholarships to volunteer abroad as well, and it can be used as a stepping stone to get you into a TEFL course a bit later.

3) Crowdfunding

Do you already spend a lot of time on social media? We know you do! Use your expertise to then start a crowdfunding campaign on Fund My Travel that you can share on all of your sites, and rack up some cash! Explain to those who care about you why this TEFL certification course means so much to you, and why sourcing some money will help your situation. Even if you don’t reach your goal to pay for the entire course, every little bit helps.


2) Teach English Online in Your Spare Time

Wait, why are we suggesting to get a teaching job when you’re in the market for a TEFL certification? Here us out! If you already have teaching experience and a bachelor’s degree, you could be eligible to teach with VIPKID. If not, there are other ways to teach or tutor online, such as Cambly (where you have informal conversations over Skype). When you sign up to be a teacher online, you’re not only adding to the teaching experience portion of your resume, but you’re making extra money. Most recommend that you can devote at least 7.5 hours per week—you can totally do that! Or, find a similar but different site with same model.

1) Get Cheap Travel

What if you were able to get you airfare way cheaper than expected? That would leave left-over room in your budget to put toward your course! Well, there’s this awesome site called Scott’s Cheap Flights that sources all of the mistake fares on different booking sites, or calls attention to unusually low fares and sends them straight to your inbox. You can sign up for free or pay for the ultimate insider’s scoop, but either way, set alerts to your desired destinations and wait for your inbox to tell you the perfect time to book!

ways to pay for TEFL certification course


Was this list helpful? We hope so! Have another creative solution to saving money to pay for a TEFL certification course? Leave a reply and let us know!

Words by Jayla Rae Ardelean.