A 7-Step Plan for How to Teach English Abroad in 2021

A 7-Step Plan for How to Teach English Abroad in 2021
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Wondering how to teach English abroad?

To Teach English abroad in 2021, you need to follow these 7 key steps:

According to British Council, 1.75 billion people will be using and learning English worldwide in 2021. This means that an English speaker with an accredited TEFL certification may qualify for literally thousands of jobs teaching English abroad in dozens of countries around the globe.

The vast scope of demand for English teachers worldwide makes the field of teaching English abroad unique. The opportunities it provides to English speakers from all walks of life to live and travel abroad are endless. You don't need prior teaching experience to teach English abroad, but like any great endeavor in life, moving to another country to live, work, and travel will take planning and foresight.  Good research is also key to making sure you do it right.

Is teaching English abroad hard?

Like any new endeavor, teaching English abroad can present challenges and you will likely be nervous at first. However, your TEFL certification training will give you with the skills you need to teach the basics of grammar & conversation, and also to prepare lessons and manage a classroom.

So here are 7 steps you can take to embark on the international adventure of a lifetime teaching English abroad in 2021!

Note: Due to COVID-19, many schools and even some countries remain closed as 2021 begins, yet with the advent of vaccines, we anticipate schools around the globe will continue to reopen throughout 2021.   To learn more about the situation in individual countries, call an advisor at 773-634-9900 or fill out a form to request your free TEFL Starter Kit.  


1. Research Your Options & Speak to an Expert Advisor

So you want to live abroad, see the world, and teach English overseas in a fantastic location like Korea, Thailand, or Costa Rica?  Great - but where to start?

is teaching english abroad hard

Whether this is the first time you've considered the idea, or perhaps you’ve conducted previous research, you'll have questions that need to be answered. From TEFL certification options to hiring requirements and benefits, by contacting International TEFL Academy, you'll receive the basic tools you need to begin the research process, including: 

2. Determine Options for TEFL Certification and Countries for Teaching English Abroad

Chicago TEFL Class Graduation

A native English speaker or a fluent English speaker from a non-native English-speaking country who earns an accredited TEFL certification can teach English professionally in many countries. There are many factors to consider when looking at options for TEFL certification and countries for teaching English abroad.  Some matters you will need to think about include: 

  • What are the hiring requirements to teach English in different countries around the world and where will I be qualified to teach based on my nationality, level of education, and other factors?
  • Where do I want to teach?
  • How much money do I need or want to make while teaching abroad?
  • Which TEFL certification is most appropriate for me based on where I want to teach, cost considerations, and other practicalities?
  • What type of TEFL certification do I actually need to teach English abroad?

These are just a fraction of the questions you will encounter when making plans for teaching English abroad. 

Your advisor will be a great resource for addressing such matters, but here are some great articles with more great tips and ideas:

You should also check out International TEFL Academy’s FAQ & Article Page, which includes more than 200 articles about all aspects of TEFL Certification and Teaching English abroad.

3. Enroll in a TEFL Certification Course & Get TEFL Certified

Teach English Abroad TEFLUnless you hold an advanced degree in TEFL or TESOL, earning an accredited TEFL certification is critical if you want to teach English abroad.  Why?  Because it will provide you with the skills you need to become an effective teacher and it will provide you with the qualification you need to gain employment from thousands of schools and language institutes around the world.

Also, once you enroll and begin your TEFL course, you will begin receiving Job Search Guidance and you can begin working with International TEFL Academy advisors on your job search.

Alert! You don't need to decide where you want to teach before beginning the certification process! 

In fact, approximately 50% of International TEFL Academy Students begin the TEFL certification process without knowing where they will teach. Many change his/her mind once they begin receiving job search guidance and learning about teaching opportunities around the globe.

Here are some useful links related to TEFL Certification

4. Connect with International TEFL Academy Alumni Networks 

Teach English Abroad TEFL

Once you enroll in your TEFL class, you will be eligible to join ITA's exclusive networks and begin connecting, corresponding & networking with people like yourself who are already teaching English abroad or enrolled in their TEFL class. 

You'll be joining a community of 30,000+ ITA alumni & fellow world travelers who are teaching in more than 80 countries worldwide. This means you can immediately connect with other alumni, make some friends before you head abroad, and get your questions answered by fellow alumni who have been in your shoes and are eager to help you out.

Here are some ways you can get connected right away: 

Facebook Groups: Connect with ITA on Facebook to chat with thousands of ITA alumni in our exclusive, country-specific pages and topic threads. You can find an index of our alumni Facebook groups broken down by country here.

World Alumni Day: Every September, we celebrate ITA World Alumni Day. ITA alumni hosts hold parties on the same day in different cities around the world. This is a great way to get to know all of the ITA alumni in your community and make some new friends. All ITA Alumni are invited and encouraged to attend. Our 2018 World Alumni Day was celebrated in 27 cities across the globe and brought together hundreds of ITA alumni to share stories and enjoy a fun night out! 

Alumni Blog Content & FAQs: Check out articles, blogs, and Q&As from hundreds of ITA alumni who are teaching English abroad. 

Alumni Meet-ups: Get together with ITA alumni in your city abroad to share stories and maybe a beverage or two! The ITA Alumni Association sponsors meet-ups around the world to help our alumni connect. Learn about scheduled gatherings and how to organize your own with our support.

5. Begin Your Job Search Process

Teach English Abroad TEFL Certification

All International TEFL Academy students and graduates receive lifetime Job Search Guidance to assist you in finding teaching opportunities all over the world. Typically, you'll begin receiving job placement assistance once you begin your TEFL class.  

When taking an Online TEFL Class or a TEFL Class in the U.S., you'll receive the assistance and guidance you need to apply and interview for positions in dozens of countries from home. This length of this process can vary widely, but typically plan on allowing 3-6 months from when you begin your course and your job search process to when you will depart to begin your new job.

If you plan on teaching in a country where you'll interview in person, you should plan to arrive in the country during a major hiring season. Contact and set up interviews with three to six schools a day and you should be landing a job within a week or two.

If you take a TEFL class abroad in the country where you plan to teach, the staff on the ground will assist you contacting and interviewing with local schools.  Most TEFL graduates get a job within a week or two of completing their course particularly if they are applying and interviewing during a major hiring season.

Pro Tip! Wherever You Want to Teach, Do Not Neglect Opportunities to Teach English Online. Depending on where you decide to teach abroad and your personal circumstances, one option you want to at least consider no matter where you head abroad is teaching English online. 

For one thing, you can start making money right away from anywhere in the world. This means you can start earning income teaching online from home to save on start-up costs before you actually head abroad.

How to teach english online

Teaching English online offers flexibility. 

- You can work from anywhere  - As long as you have a high quality & reliable Internet connection, you can literally make money teaching English online. 

You can teach English online part-time or full-time.  English teachers all over the world teach online to make extra money on the side of their full- or part-time job at a local school.  Other English teachers teach English online full-time, which offers more flexibility in terms of begin able to move from location to location at will.

6. Make Your Travel Plans and Visa Arrangements (if applicable)

move overseas to teach English

If you're already abroad when you interview and get hired to teach English abroad, this will be “Step 5.” For most TEFL graduates who interview and get hired prior to going abroad, these mark the final steps before you embark on your great international adventure teaching English overseas.

In some cases, your travel & visa arrangements will be handled and paid for by your employer.  In other cases, you will be responsible for making your own arrangements. Read more: 

7. Arrive in Your Destination Country and Begin Teaching English Abroad!

Learn More: 5 Best Countries for TEFL in 2021

Posted In: Teach English Abroad, TEFL Certification

Want to Learn More About Teaching English Abroad?

Request a free brochure or call 773-634-9900 to speak with an expert advisor about all aspects of TEFL certification and teaching English abroad or online, including the hiring process, salaries, visas, TEFL class options, job placement assistance and more.