What Do I Need to Teach English Abroad? Learn About TEFL

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A commonly asked questions for those who want to go abroad but want job security is “What do i need to teach English abroad?

The short answer to this is, learn to teach english as a foreign language (TEFL).

If you prioritize pursuing your travel aspirations over the daily grind, don’t miss this in-demand opportunity and get yourself certified.

Learn how, below.

learning to read English abroad
Many wonder, “What Do I need to Teach English Abroad?”

CONTENTS – In this article, you will find helpful information to answer your question, “what do i need to teach English abroad?”, including;

Why Teaching English Abroad is a Career Worth Pursuing

The recent changes to the work environment and the current global economic crisis have transformed many people’s way of life.

Perhaps these changes have had an impact on your personal habits, from shopping habits to social customs.

They may have also affected your approach to your professional life. If you experienced the option to work from home, you may now appreciate that type of work flexibility to the daily grind in an office.

And that’s normal.

When you recognize that external events can affect your life plans in unpredictable ways, you may have had a deeper revelation: It’s time to abandon what you thought was safe and secure to pursue more meaningful, long-term dreams.

Often, these dreams involve traveling abroad.

But how to you make it come together?

You’re about to learn all about that, below.

The Appeal of International Travel

What is it that makes travelling abroad so appealing? 

Everyone has a different answer to this question, of course.

Traveling offers you the opportunity to learn about other cultures while observing the beauty of other countries. At the same time, it allows you to learn about yourself.

Living and travelling abroad, you test your limits.

Can you cope in a country where you can’t speak the local language?

How do you react to unexpected challenges?

Are you able to start afresh and make friends in a new locale?

woman enjoying a water view
Teaching abroad allows you to learn about other cultures and yourself.

Traveling teaches you new skills and tests your resilience and resourcefulness.

Moving to another country takes careful planning and financial awareness.

That’s where traveling the world while teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) comes in.

This an option that offers an exciting lifestyle where no two days are the same. More importantly, it gives you the tools to fund your daily living as well as your adventures abroad.

If you’re wondering, “What do I need to teach English abroad?”, keep reading.

What You Need to Teach English Abroad

Teaching is an extremely rewarding career.

That’s because your teaching will have a direct impact on the lives of others.

For many people across the world, learning English means getting a step closer towards:

  • Financial stability
  • Job opportunities
  • A better quality of life

You truly have an opportunity to make meaningful change.

As a teacher, you will meet hundreds of interesting and wonderful people. And they, in turn, will gladly teach you about their culture and their country.

It’s a beautiful exchange of knowledge and understanding.

But to become an English teacher abroad, you’ll need to know that the requirements to pursue this career are different in every country.

1. Understand the Different Requirements

Some countries require you to hold a university degree and/or a passport from specific countries where English is spoken as a first language.

Other countries have age restrictions, while others are a lot more flexible.

One thing is for sure: a 120-hour TEFL course not only will open doors to your dream job, but it will also give you the confidence and knowledge to start your teaching journey on the right foot.

You’ll find there are many training options out there. Look for an accredited TEFL qualification that covers:

  • Subjects such as language awareness (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation)
  • Teaching skills (reading, listening, speaking, writing)
  • Methodology (PPP, TTT, Dogme, TBL)
  • Testing and assessing learners

2. Consider the Teaching Environment

woman teaching young children
Teaching abroad allows you to make meaningful change in the world.

In terms of teaching opportunities, you’ll have plenty of environments from which to choose. It will depend on your qualifications, previous teaching experience, and personal preference.

Most newly qualified TEFL teachers choose to work at language schools (or academies).

These are private institutions that offer language courses for different age groups at varying proficiency levels. They can hire teachers throughout the year, as and when they’re needed.

Landing a job in public schools is often more difficult, unless you already have some teaching experience.

Each country follows different hiring procedures. For example, Japan and South Korea hire international teachers through government-led programmes, like JET or EPIK.

Private primary/secondary schools and universities offer better work conditions and higher salaries.

For this reason, this sector is highly competitive.

Think about what kind of teaching environment you want to be a part of, and whether it’s a good fit for your qualifications.


3. Choose the Right Destination

The most exciting step to take once you have decided to teach English abroad is choosing your destination.

No country is objectively perfect.

But you will soon discover that more than one country is perfect for you.

Take a look at the suggested destinations below to see what aspects of living abroad you might be interested in experiencing – and which ones you would rather avoid.

Teaching English in China

China is a vast country, comprising 26 provinces. Each has its own unique culture, including food, dialect, customs and traditions.

If you are worried about culture shock, you might want to start your Chinese adventure in a big city, like:

  • Beijing
  • Shanghai
  • Shenzhen
  • Guangzhou

These cities are more westernized and you will enjoy large and well-established expat communities.

If you are ready to leave everything that is familiar behind and want to immerse yourself in traditional Chinese culture, a rural and remote village would be a better location to start your life abroad.

In 2021, the Chinese government changed its criteria for hiring English teachers. But TEFL professionals are still in high demand.

As you can see from The Tefl Org survey here, there are always opportunities to teach in China.

This change has resulted in an increase in the need for qualified and experienced TEFL professional.

Related: Top Shanghai Tips | Follow These 7 Important Tips for First-Time Travelers

TEFL in Thailand

In the Southeast of Asia, Thailand is one of the most popular destinations among tourists and long-term travelers alike.

This including TEFL teachers.

Thailand is a beautiful country that offers an amazing travel experience. This includes:

  • A full tropical experience
  • Stunning beaches
  • Breathtaking highland peaks
  • Enchanting river valleys
  • Incredible temples and cultural attractions

With its convenient location, Thailand is the ideal base if you want to travel around and explore its neighboring countries. Consider visiting Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar (Burma) while you’re in Thailand.

Life in Thailand is also very affordable, especially for teachers.

That’s because teacher’s salaries in Thailand are above the national average.

In addition to that, many schools offer housing and flight allowances, making the cost of living even cheaper.

golden buddha in Thailand
Thailand offers incredible cultural attractions and is a great home base for further travel.

English Teaching Opportunities in Sri Lanka

If you prefer a destination that has yet to be discovered by many TEFL teachers, this hidden gem is for you.

Sri Lanka is the ideal location to give in to your most adventurous side.

While you’re there, you might even want to give extreme sports a try, like:

  • Rock climbing
  • Mountain biking
  • Diving
  • Water rafting

You will also discover plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind on one of Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches after your adrenaline rush.

Since 2018, Sri Lanka has been pushing for improvements in its education system, with an emphasis on English language learning.

This has led to a sharp rise in demand for TEFL teachers.

The good news? That makes it easier for international professionals like you to get hired.

TEFL Abroad: Is it Worth it?

So, is TEFL Abroad worth it?

In a word, yes!

There’s something magical about the combination of traveling and teaching.

You will explore the world, broaden your horizons, and learn about other cultures while helping others and teaching yourself new skills.

Life is short, and this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

Final Thoughts on “What Do I Need to Teach English Abroad?”

In conclusion, the recent changes in the work environment and global economic crisis have led to a shift in people’s lifestyle and priorities.

Perhaps it’s encouraged yo to ask yourself “What do I need to teach English abroad?”

You are not alone.

Many others have embraced a more flexible and adventurous approach to life, choosing to chase their dreams even if it means leaving their comfort zones.

What do you stand to gain?

You can live an incredible life teaching English abroad while you explore new destinations and cultures.

It’s win-win.

Next Steps

For more about traveling and working abroad, read the articles below, next: