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A 7-Step Plan for How to Teach English Abroad in 2023
Check out our list of action items for how to become an English teacher abroad and make your dream of teaching English overseas in 2023 a reality.
Written By: John Bentley | Updated: November 8, 2022
Written By: John Bentley
Updated: November 8, 2022
Wondering How to Teach English Abroad?
To teach English abroad in 2023, you need to follow these 7 key steps:
- Research Your Options & Speak to an Expert Advisor
- Determine Options for TEFL Certification and Countries for Teaching English Abroad
- Enroll in a TEFL Certification Course & Get TEFL Certified
- Connect with International TEFL Academy Alumni Networks
- Begin Your Job Search Process
- Make Your Travel Plans and Visa Arrangements (if applicable)
- Arrive in Your Destination Country and Begin Teaching English Abroad!
According to the British Council, 1.75 billion people will be using and learning English worldwide in 2023. 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. However, 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 the skills you need to teach the basics of grammar & conversation, and also to prepare lessons and manage a classroom.
How Do I Become an English Teacher in a Foreign Country?
In order to become an English teacher overseas, you will need to meet some requirements. While these qualifications may vary from one country to the next, possessing a TEFL certification will qualify you for English teaching jobs abroad and is sought after by employers worldwide.
Note: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the teaching English abroad industry has experienced some drastic shifts but has gradually returned to in-person learning and the reopening of TEFL job markets worldwide. 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.
Read more: 13 Best Countries for Teaching English Abroad in 2023
So let's dive right into it. Here are 7 steps to teaching English abroad in 2023:
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? How do you learn to teach English abroad? How to teach English in another country? The answer is pretty simple: Start by doing your research!
Whether this is the first time you've considered the idea, or perhaps you’ve conducted previous research, you'll have questions about how to teach abroad that need to be answered. We can't stress enough that research is key to your TEFL success. We've compiled a few resources to get you started on how to teach English overseas:
Download a 30-page guide detailing all aspects of teaching English abroad & TEFL certification;
Compares 60+ countries side-by-side with details such as salaries, hiring requirements, visa information, and more;
Contact an expert TEFL advisor who will be available to answer your questions, explain options, and describe how the process of getting certified and hired to teach English abroad actually works.
Tune into a 1-hour webinar (it's free!). Webcasts provide a great overview of job markets for teaching English around the world, in addition to TEFL certification, and job search guidance.
Read more: Why You Need to Speak with a Professional TEFL Admission Advisor if You Want to Teach English Abroad (and do it right)
2. Determine Options for TEFL Certification and Countries for Teaching English Abroad
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:
- 7 Key Tips to Evaluating a TEFL / TESOL Training School
- 10 Questions to Ask Before Deciding Where to Teach English Abroad
- 9 Tips to Ensure Success Finding a Job Teaching English Abroad
3. Enroll in a TEFL Certification Course & Get TEFL Certified
Unless you hold an advanced degree in TEFL or TESOL, earning an accredited TEFL certification is critical if you want to learn 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.
Additionally, once you enroll and begin your TEFL course, you will start receiving Job Search Guidance. That being said, it is critical that you choose a TEFL certification course that provides you with thorough job search assistance. This will enable you to begin working with a TEFL advisor on your job search.
Please note: You don't need to decide where you want to teach before beginning the certification process. In fact, approximately 50% of our students begin the TEFL certification process without knowing where they will teach. Many change their mind once they begin receiving job search assistance and learning about teaching opportunities around the globe.
- How to get TEFL certification online or in-person in 5 steps
- A popular option: Online TEFL certification
- Get TEFL certified in the U.S. or around the globe
- 10 questions you need to ask any TEFL school before enrolling in your TEFL class
4. Connect with International TEFL Academy Alumni Networks
Once you enroll in your TEFL course, you should be eligible to connect with alumni from your TEFL school. You'll quickly realize that not all TEFL providers are created equal and a lot of these institutions clearly lack an active alumni network. Others, such as International TEFL Academy (ITA), provide exclusive access to their alumni networks so you can begin connecting, corresponding & networking with people like yourself who are already teaching English abroad or enrolled in their TEFL class.
In the example of International TEFL Academy, you'll be joining a community of 35,000+ 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 groups and topic threads.
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.
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
Shortly after enrolling in your TEFL course, we highly recommend you start looking for TEFL jobs. All International TEFL Academy students and graduates receive lifetime Job Search Assistance to help you find English teaching opportunities all over the world.
When taking an online TEFL course 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. The length of this process can vary widely. 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 course abroad in the country where you plan to teach, the staff on the ground will assist you in 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.
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)
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.
You should also be aware of any COVID-19-related protocols and restrictions that may be in place in any country where you are planning to teach English abroad. Many countries require proof of a negative COVID test or even vaccination for entry. In some countries, you may be required to quarantine for a certain period of time, even with a negative test or vaccination. Also, take time to learn about local protocols within the community where you are planning to teach. Remember that policies are constantly changing and that new outbreaks can change the situation in any country at any given time. Kayak.com provides an excellent overview of up-to-date COVID-related travel restrictions, but ultimately, you should check with the consulate or embassy of the country where you plan to travel for the latest official information.
- What is a visa and do I need a visa to teach English abroad?
- Teaching English Abroad: Essential Travel Resources
- When to Splurge and When to Pass: Planning & Packing For Your Move Abroad
- Teaching English Abroad During COVID-19 FAQs
7. Arrive in Your Destination Country and Begin Teaching English Abroad!
Your experience will vary depending on where you decide to TEFL abroad. You may choose to study TEFL abroad and earn your TEFL certification overseas. You may choose to get certified in your home country before heading overseas.
In some countries, you will get hired before you head overseas. In others, you will need to be prepared to interview and line up a job locally upon your arrival.
The bottom line is, the more you research and plan ahead, the more likely you are to be prepared for success.
Good luck, and happy teaching!
Posted In: TEFL Certification, Teach English Abroad, Featured
John Bentley is Co-Founder & Senior Writer for International TEFL Academy (ITA), the world leader in TEFL certification for teaching English abroad. A graduate of Harvard University and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, John is a recognized expert in the field of TEFL. His articles have appeared across the field's top websites, including GoAbroad.com, StudyAbroad.com, InterExchange, GoOverseas.com, Adventure Teaching, & many others. He has also spoken as an expert on Teaching English Abroad & TEFL certification at major conferences like MeetPlanGo and Lessons from Abroad (LFA) in Portland & San Diego.
Want to Learn More About Teaching English Abroad & Online?
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