Becoming an English Teacher in a Foreign Country

Have you ever wanted to travel the world and live abroad in a new country, steeped in a new culture and surrounded my new people? All while you get paid to do it? Teaching English in a foreign country is the best kind remote job that a person can find and it is way easier than you would think. There are literally thousands of employment opportunities in countries all over the world, but especially in China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. If you are a fluent English speaker, you are pretty much guaranteed work – sometimes you don’t need to have a college degree. If you follow these steps, before you know it, you will be teaching abroad!

Choose a country and figure out visa requirements…

Picking which country you want to work in is not as easy as choosing where you would like to travel to the most. Since you will be working, you should pick somewhere that offers a competitive salary and would be cool to live in. If you are looking for a no-brainer in terms of scoring a job, go with Southeast Asia or Taiwan. You may like the idea of working in Italy, but any country in Western Europe is going to be a really tough, competitive crowd, so steer clear of those countries (unless you have a teaching degree, that is). You should also think about which countries offer the highest salaries, as some pay significantly more than others. For instance, a job in Vietnam could offer you over $1,000 a month, while a job elsewhere may only offer $500.

Once you figure out where you want to go, it is time to figure out the visa. Most countries require you to have a work visa in order to teach English there, though some only require a tourist visa, so you need to do some serious research on your country of choice. Obviously, if you do not have a passport, you will definitely need to get one before figuring your visa out. You may also need to get copies of your college records and any diplomas you may have, and sometimes it requires you to do a criminal background check.

Get certified…

Again, not all countries require the same things, but generally, you will always need some type of teaching certificate, like a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. Don’t worry, this is not the same thing as a teaching degree. You can get these easily enough through the internet, as well as through colleges and universities. If you are on a budget, go with an online course, as they will always be cheaper than an in-person course found at a school. Some companies that offer certificates will even allow you to go through the training while you are abroad and will then potentially hire you to teach English for them. You don’t even have to go anywhere else.

Even if a certificate is not required by your country of choice, it is a good idea to get one anyway since it will provide you the skills needed to successfully teach a classroom of students. It will also open many more doors in terms of where you can teach, which is a great idea if you think you may want to move around a bit in the future. While there are thousands of companies out there that offer certifications, choose one that offers teaching experience practice (you will need those on-the-job hours to score your job of choice), will assist you in finding work once you are certified, and will give you tons of support once you jet off to your final destination.

Consider a teaching degree…

Now, while you don’t have to have a degree in teaching, if you do, your life will be so much easier. Remember how we said that Western European jobs are the toughest market to break into? Having a teaching degree will seriously help your chances. After all, a school is going to hire someone with an actual degree in teaching over someone with just a certificate. Plus, the pay is much better when you have a degree.



About the Author

Financial professional and online entrepreneur, I'm best known as The Financial Blogger. I want to make money because I like enjoying life the way it should be; with a lot of great food and wine! I also love to spend time with my lovely wife and 3 kids!