Want to Teach English Abroad? Start Here.

You want to teach English abroad but you don’t know where to start?

Great! You’re in the right place.

You likely have lots of questions. (Has the Google-sphere kept you up at night?)

Fortunately for you, we’ve been in your shoes.

And now we have the answers.

Why teach English abroad?

It’s the ultimate cultural exchange opportunity. Teaching, in any capacity of the word, also means learning. Any good teacher knows that she has just as much to learn from her students as they have to learn from her.

Add in cultural differences and language barriers and the exchange is only amplified. Your students will be eager to learn about you and your background, where you came from, what it’s like there, what you think of their country, etc. and you’ll no doubt learn about their culture and customs from them. Want to learn about Thai holidays while teaching English in Thailand? Create a lesson around it! They get to learn how to explain the history and customs in English, and the lesson is yours for the takeaway.

But teaching English abroad isn’t just inside the classroom; it’s outside as well. You’ll have the unique opportunity to live like a local, with locals, and to become a part of the community. You’ll grow accustomed to the local culture and language and you’ll quickly find yourself doing things the local way, whether it’s eating noodle soup with chopsticks, drinking coca tea, or bobbing your head in a way that is the cultural norm… it will sink into your bones and become a part of you.

And in the literal sense, teaching the English language has a multitude of benefits. As word spreads around the globe that English is the common language for all things aviation, business, or multi-cultural connections on any level, the desire to know English is only rising. As a fluent speaker, you have something to give back to communities in need.

It’s not just personal. For most of your students, it’s professional as well. Becoming proficient in English can often mean better jobs and higher salaries, not to mention it opens the doors to international work and travel just as it has done for you.

Who can teach English abroad?

Practically anyone who is a fluent English speaker of at least 18 years old with a desire to travel! In particular, we look for the following candidates:

teach english abroad

High School Graduates

Whether you have a high school diploma or a Phd, we have a program for you.

Between 18-70+ Years Old

You’re never too old to learn something new.

teach english abroad

Fluent English Speakers

As long as you speak fluently, you don’t need to be native!

teach english abroad

World Changers

A strong desire to travel with purpose and make a mark on this world.

teach english abroad

Adventure Seekers

Those who know life is an adventure and want to make the most of it.

teach english abroad

Curious About Culture 

People seeking a cultural immersion opportunity to learn how the rest of the world lives.

teach english abroad

Experience Driven

Those who value experiences, not things.

teach english abroad

Perpetual Students

Those who believe in the power of education and are always learning something new.

What is TEFL v. TESOL v all those other acronyms?

TEFL means Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It’s most often used in reference to the training instructors receive to learn how to teach English to non-native speakers in their home country, often called a TEFL certification course. For example, a native speaker from the USA might take a TEFL certification course in Costa Rica to learn how to teach English to locals there. It is our preferred term, and the one you’ll see throughout the site, though it is often interchangeable with TESOL (Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages); ELT (English Language Learning); ESL (English as a Second Language) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language).

However, these acronyms do have technical differences. For example TESOL and ESL mean teaching English to non-native speakers in English-speaking countries like the U.S. For example, immigrants in the U.S. might take an ESL class, and their instructors would be teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).

Confused yet?

Yeah, that’s why we stick with just one: TEFL.

What is TEFL certification?

We’re so glad you asked! TEFL certification is what you earn after partaking in a class mean to teach you how to teach the English language. An internationally accredited and recognized TEFL certification course should do the following:

  • Teach you everything you need to know to successfully teach English as a foreign language
  • Offer at least 120 hours of training
  • Include a hands-on teaching practicum
  • Give you an intensive grammar review (something native speakers often forget the rules of!)
  • Teach you how to teach speaking, reading, writing and listening in a variety of ways, and for all learner levels
  • Prepare you to manage a classroom, given , plus typical student behavior
  • Teach you how to create and implement your own lesson plans
  • Give you tips and tricks for dealing with language and cultural barriers
  • Boost your confidence in front of a class (you’ll get lots of practice in a variety of ways)

Why do I need TEFL certification?

A globally recognized TEFL Certification is your passport to an exciting and rewarding overseas experience by providing you with the qualification to work in thousands of schools and language institutes around the world. From Asia and Europe to South America and the Middle East, more than 250,000 English teachers are practicing their craft, providing instruction to nearly 1 billion English learners across the world.

While certification didn’t used to be a requirement to teach English abroad, it’s now one of the first things employers ask to see. Since TEFL is one of the fastest growing educational fields in the world, it only makes sense that proper training is your gateway to the globe.

Find a course

How do I choose the best TEFL course for me?

Many people start by deciding if they learn better online or onsite, and then seeking either an online course, one in their home country, or a course overseas. We recommend choosing online if you learn better at your own pace, if you’re still in school, or if you’re still working and undecided on where you want to teach abroad. But if you know where you want to teach abroad, we recommend looking for a course in that country that will also help you find a job.

Most people find it beneficial to speak with a teach abroad advisor to help them find the best option. Contact an advisor today. 

How do I choose a country?

Ahh, the most difficult part of the whole journey! It’s a tough decision, but a crucial one. While your TEFL certification course is your ticket around the world, you do have to start somewhere. Our Country Comparison Chart lists the 60 most popular countries for teaching English abroad and compares them for the following:

  • Salaries
  • Cost of living
  • Saving potential
  • Start-up costs
  • Degree requirements
  • Peak hiring seasons
  • Typical contract length
  • Included benefits (airfare and accommodation)
  • And more!

You can download it for free here.

Can’t choose? 

Get our free Country Comparison Chart!

Compare countries

Compare salaries, cost of living, benefits, contract length and more for 60 of the most popular countries to teach English abroad.

Can I teach English abroad without a degree?

Yes! You’ll find that there are some countries/programs that require a bachelor’s degree but there are many that do not (they are often more flexible if you are TEFL certified). All of our TEFL certification courses are open to non-degreed teachers, and we’ve been successful with helping 100% of our graduates find jobs.

Can I teach English as a non-native speaker?

While it’s true that some countries/programs will only hire native English speakers, there are many that are open to fluent speakers from anywhere.All of our TEFL certification courses are open to non-native English speakers, and we’ve been successful with helping 100% of our graduates find jobs.

Can I teach English abroad in retirement?

Absolutely! While some countries (ahem, China and Korea) are strict about age requirements, most of the rest of the world is happy to hire experienced teachers.

teach english abroad

What if I don’t speak the local language?

What do you mean you’re not fluent in 10 languages?! Just kidding. This would be an impossible ask for countries wanting English speakers to come teach their students, and it’s definitely not a requirement.

What if I’ve never taught before?

No problem! There are many countries and programs that do not require any experience. A TEFL certification course will prepare you for everything you need to know (in the EFL classroom, anyway) and most people we work with have never taught before. None of our courses require previous experience because we’re confident we can teach you to be a successful EFL teacher.

What if I’ve never traveled abroad before?

No need to worry! There’s no better way to do it than teaching English abroad. We’ll walk you through every step of the way.

Where do you offer TEFL certification courses?

We offer an online TEFL course, as well as TEFL certification courses abroad in Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Peru and Thailand. You can explore our top-notch, verified courses here.

I’m already TEFL certified. Can you help me find a job?

Great! If you already have your TEFL certificate, you can explore our TEFL jobs here.

What amount of support can I expect?

You’ll have a hand to hold from application until your first week on the job, and a support group on the ground for any questions along the way. 

Is visa support provided?

Yep. We’ll make sure you’re all squared away and teaching legally!

How long are the contracts?

It really differs around the world. Our World Comparison Chart lists the typical contract length for the 60 most popular countries for teaching English abroad. You can download it for free here.

teaching internship in guatemala

teach english abroad

Are all your courses internationally accredited?

Yes, our courses are handpicked and verified by our founder for quality. They’re the best of the best around the world, and your certification will be recognized in 80+ countries where teaching English as a foreign language is a thing. Read more about accreditation here.

Do I need travel insurance?

Some teach abroad programs require it and others do not. See specific program pages to determine if it’s a requirement, and view our travel insurance suggestions here.

Do you offer scholarships?

At this time, no. But we’re hoping to be able to in the future!

Will I be able to get a job when I return home?

We’ve never heard of a company/employer that didn’t look highly upon cultural experiences, immersive travel and teaching experience in any capacity. Look anywhere from Entrepreneur.com to Forbes and you’ll find evidence to prove just how much living and working abroad can improve your resume and make you a more well-rounded, interesting and exciting candidate for any position.

I’m ready to get started. What do I do now?

Excellent! The first step is to chose your TEFL certification course. Find a course. 

Can’t choose? 

Get our free Country Comparison Chart!

Compare countries

Compare salaries, cost of living, benefits, contract length and more for 60 of the most popular countries to teach English abroad.

For further questions, please contact us.