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Frequently Asked Questions about TEFL Certification and Teaching English Abroad

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Can I teach English abroad in the summer?


Are there summer opportunities to teach English abroad? 

teaching English in Europe in the summerYES, however options will be more limited than if you were looking to teach English abroad for a year or even for six months.  Except for some short-term contract work, most language schools look to hire full-time teachers for 10-12 month contracts.  This means that most short-term opportunities for English teachers will be either in summer camps or in a volunteer capacity.  

Teaching English abroad in the summer as a volunteer or at a summer camp may not pay much (if anything at all), but you can find great opportunities to spend a couple of months abroad and any experience you gain will be a great addition to your resume, especially if you decide to teach English abroad again at a later date.

Program of interest: International TEFL Academy has a summer program in the beautiful central America country of Nicaragua with a volunteer English teaching program to orphans in the city of Leon.

For a firsthand account of working in an English language camp in Europe from International TEFL Academy graduate Amelia Perri (she took the ITA Online TEFL Class), read Summer Camp in Croatia - Teaching English at a Summer Abroad.

Note: International TEFL Academy is a TEFL certification school, we only assist our TEFL class graduates with job assistance, not teachers who are certified elsewhere.   Contact us for free information on TEFL certification and English teaching jobs around the world.

Teaching English abroad in summer language camps

Summer language camps in Europe, Latin America and Asia offer 1-2 month opportunities to teach English in for school aged children and university students (in Asia). These opportunities are great for those looking for shorter stints overseas as well as those who enjoy working outdoors with children.


Italy summer language camp 1Different Types of Summer Camps that Hire English Teachers

Overnight "away" camps:  This is what most Americans envision when they think of a "summer camp." Students/campers typically live in the woods in cabins, eat in a mess tent, and spend a good part of the day playing sports, swimming in a lake and engaging in other recreational activities. At English language camps in Europe, English language classes are also taught several hours a day, but the point is that campers and students are immersed in an English-only environment 24/7. 

All activities including sports, crafts, outings, dining, horseback riding, etc. are conducted in English and are led by English speakers (TEFL certified teachers are typically preferred).  They may be coined an "English Village" or "American Village". There are similar camps in the US, UK and Canada for French and Spanish children and adolescents. In such camps English teachers serve as counselors as well.  The students or campers typically attend such camps for at least two weeks at a time and many stay for several sessions.  Ages typically range from 8-18.

Day Camps:  These camps offer similar activities and English classes as away camps, but they are typically operated in more urban environments campers usually return home in the evening' a typical day will run from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. English teachers and counselors usually live in an apartment in the city where the camp is held.

University Campus:  These camps are more common in Asia - particularly in China - where the "camp" is really at a university campus.  English teachers live in the dorms and the students are usually college students, but may be younger in some cases. 


Here are some additional points regarding summer camp opportunities for English teachers:

  • Europe offers the most summer camp English teaching positions, particularly in Spain, Italy, France, and Germany.

  • teaching english abroad summer childrenMost camps in Europe hire English teachers locally in-country, however some camps will recruit internationally and interview in advance, typically during late winter and spring.  Camps give first dibs to the current English teachers in Europe as they have experience and finish their local contracts in June. Examples of camps that interview include the American Village camps in France and ACLE in Italy.

  • Most language camps that hire English teachers in Europe are looking to hire English teachers and counselors between 20 – 30 years of age.  Language Camps in Asia tend to hire English teachers into their mid-30s, while volunteer options tend to accept participants into their 50s.

  • Most English teachers who work at summer camps are provided room and board, plus a modest stipend (perhaps the equivalent of $200-$300 a week).  There are also volunteer opportunities teaching English abroad in summer camps.

  • Some summer positions involve sports, arts and other educational and recreational activities in addition to teaching English in a classroom setting; in other instances, teachers are hired solely to teach English classes.


Teaching English abroad as a volunteer

teaching english abroad in the summer

  • Non-governmental organizations, including charitable organizations and faith-based groups often recruit TEFL / TESOL teachers to teach English abroad.

  • Volunteering offers opportunities to work in some regions of the world where paid opportunities are extremely limited or non-existent, including India, Nepal, many Sub-Saharan African nations, and poorer nations in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

  • Many volunteer opportunities are short term (1 week – 2 months), which is ideal for those looking to go abroad for a summer.

  • Expect to incur all costs associated with flights and travel, and in many cases for accommodation as well as many volunteering opportunities are found in poorer Third World nations. Sometimes charitable organizations such as faith-based groups may absorb your costs.

  • Work visas are not typically required for volunteer programs, but you may encounter some exceptions.

  • International TEFL Academy has a summer program in the beautiful central America country of Nicaragua with a volunteer English teaching program to orphans in the city of Leon.

  • To learn more about a variety of short-term volunteer teaching opportunities, please visit Interexchange.


Summer TEFL Coursesteaching english in the summer to be trained as an English teacher

If you are keen to begin your career as an international English teacher, but only have a summer to spare, you might consider spending your summer gaining your qualification and a bit of hands-on teaching experience through a four-week TEFL certification course at one of 25 international locations.

This will provide you with an opportunity to gain an internationally accredited TEFL certification while spending four weeks in a great international location (and perhaps engaging in some travel on the side). You will also have an opportunity to gain hands-on student teaching experience by engaging in practice teaching with local ESL students.


Typical examples:

Many students will either take a 4 week TEFL class abroad for this summer in Europe such as France, Spain, Italy or in the US in Chicago, or Latin America such as Nicaragua and teach abroad the next summer for pay or take an Online TEFL course in advance so they can apply in December, January, February and March for opportunities the following summer.

Bear in mind that your TEFL certification does not expire and you will enjoy lifetime job search guidance to assist you in lining up both summer and longer term opportunities to teach English abroad in the future.  Our TEFL graduates all receive an extensive summer camp directory to assist them in finding paid and volunteer English teaching positions in Europe, Asia and Latin America.




how do I apply for a summer camp position? 
Posted @ Tuesday, January 29, 2013 7:30 AM by Dee
Hi Dee, If you get TEFL certified by International TEFL Academy we will provid you a list of schools and summer camps to apply to.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:41 PM by International TEFL Academy
Hi there 
I already am a ACELS approved English Language Teacher. I look like some information on schools that I can apply to. 
Kind Regards 
Posted @ Thursday, February 07, 2013 9:12 AM by Sandra O' Farrell
Dear Management, 
i am 27 year old,living in Italy,looking for job,i have done post graduate in business and graduate with mass communication,having wide professional experience with hospitality and dealing skills,so if there is any opportunity i can join your organization. 
Posted @ Monday, March 25, 2013 3:05 AM by Hina
Hi Hina, if you want to take our TEFL class please fill out a contact form and speak with an admission advisor.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:37 PM by International TEFL Academy
hai.. i have a degree in tesl. how can i apply the job here? im from Malaysia.
Posted @ Saturday, March 30, 2013 2:57 AM by zhandra
Has anyone heard of Diverbo in Spain?
Posted @ Sunday, April 07, 2013 11:32 AM by Andrew
Where can i apply to summer camps specifically? Are there any summer jobs ads out there? This page talks about summer jobs but I don't see a link where you can apply...
Posted @ Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:15 AM by Vienna
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History but I do not have TEFL? Does that ean I am not qualified to apply for summer camp jobs and where can I if I can?
Posted @ Thursday, April 11, 2013 6:02 PM by Laura Bond
Hi Laura, 
You will need to be TEFL certified to teach in most language comps. 
You will need to contact our school about TEFL certification classes.
Posted @ Thursday, April 11, 2013 8:01 PM by International TEFL Academy
I would like to teach/ volunteer abroad for this summer (July and August). Is there anything out there? I have made a few calls and some places have their teachers already.
Posted @ Monday, April 29, 2013 8:52 AM by Niamh
Hi Niamh, 
There are thousands of places to volunteer teach in the summer. Most "volunteer" means you need to pay a program to set it all up. 
If you want to be paid, you will need to get TEFL certified. If you want to look at TEFL certification classes, contact us for a free brochure.
Posted @ Monday, April 29, 2013 4:37 PM by International TEFL Academy
I am an English teacher at a university in Turkey. I have been educated abroad and I have a creative teaching style. Can I teach at your summer course?
Posted @ Sunday, May 19, 2013 9:06 AM by Selen
I am looking for a highscool student who would like to spend the summer in Croatia in a small town on the coast to have fun and teach my kids english
Posted @ Sunday, May 26, 2013 5:10 PM by toni mrsa
Hi, I am eager to embark on the TEFL course so that I can teach English abroad, however many jobs I have found require a University degree.  
I have a degree in Pharmacy, but not English Language. Will I be able to find opportunities abroad without an English Language degree? (I am from England). 
Posted @ Friday, August 16, 2013 3:28 PM by Amy Payne
Hi. My husband and I are eagerly looking for English teaching positions in France. We are both TEFL certified with some teaching experience in different industries (dance and hairstyling). We both have Bachelor Degrees in Business. Is there any advice or suggestions as to agencies or schools we should look at?
Posted @ Friday, November 01, 2013 2:29 AM by katy
Hi Katy, 
If you and your husband are both already TEFL certified, we recommend contacting your TEFL provider for job assistance. Our resources are reserved only for ITA alumni. 
Best of Luck, 
Posted @ Tuesday, November 05, 2013 9:19 AM by International TEFL Academy
I will be graduating this May with a bachelors in Biochemistry. I plan on spending my summer with family in Shanghai. Since I am not TEFL certified, I was wondering if there are any programs that I could volunteer at to teach english? I came to America at the age of six so my chinese is very basic.
Posted @ Friday, November 08, 2013 11:44 AM by Jennifer
Hello, what about if someone has the TESOL degree? Can't we apply?
Posted @ Monday, November 18, 2013 3:32 PM by anna
Anna if you have a TESOL degree go ahead and apply to any school you want. ITA will not be able to assist you as that help is reserved for our graduates only.
Posted @ Monday, November 18, 2013 3:52 PM by International TEFL Academy
Jennifer, there are summer camps you can work at in China, you will need to search to find them in Shanghai. If you become TEFL certified through ITA we can assist you in finding summer camp jobs throughout China. You should contact us at 773-634-9900 to speak with an admission advisor.
Posted @ Monday, November 18, 2013 3:54 PM by International TEFL Academy
Are there summer opportunities for people in ther sixties?
Posted @ Saturday, February 08, 2014 4:59 PM by Carol
Hi Carol, 
As the article mentions, there are opportunities to teach abroad during the summer. While you age my be a factor, you should still be able to find opportunities so long as you complete your TEFL certification. 
Posted @ Sunday, February 09, 2014 7:01 PM by I
Hi, I have a CELTA certificate and am looking to teach at Summer Camps between June and September 2014. Do you have a list of summer camps I can apply to?
Posted @ Friday, February 21, 2014 12:49 PM by Tomas
This post is just great. I think many students will find information shared here pretty much educative. I've enjoyed the details provided here. Thanks.
Posted @ Sunday, February 23, 2014 3:56 AM by Wesley
Hi. Im an English teacher both in high school and university. I've some 9 years of experience in teaching English. I've done my MA degree in TEFL . Im wondering if i can find opportunities to teach English in France, Italy or Spain  
P.S. I dont have CELTA  
Posted @ Friday, February 28, 2014 1:23 AM by Isa
Hi Isa, 
Our lifetime job guidance is reserved for our alumni only. We are not able to assist you in finding employment unless you are an ITA graduate. 
Best of Luck, 
Posted @ Friday, February 28, 2014 9:15 AM by ITA
Who is hiring for someone with TEFL certification in their 60's
Posted @ Thursday, June 26, 2014 10:49 PM by Sal
There is much opportunity for TEFL certified teachers over 60, especially for someone with teaching experience. However, it's important to know that age prejudice exists in certain cultures, so older teachers should prepare to be a little more patient and persistent. We also have an article that address this exact question ( I'd be happy to speak with you again about your options for teaching English and TEFL certification, Sal. Feel free to reply to the email I sent after we spoke on Monday! 
ITA Admissions Advisor
Posted @ Friday, June 27, 2014 4:22 PM by Paige Lee
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