How quickly can I get TEFL certified and begin teaching English abroad?

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on October 24, 2012. It has been updated for accuracy and freshness on October 4, 2018.

If you can jump into an In-Person TEFL Course immediately and you plan on working in the location where you take the course, you can be certified and teaching English professionally in a little more than a month.  However, this scenario is not typical or realistic for most people and we recommend that you allow yourself 4-6 months to get your TEFL certification, make your arrangements, and conduct your job search prior to beginning your job as an English teacher abroad. 

How Should I Pick a TEFL Course Date & When Do I Need to Enroll?

Get Inside Tips on How to Select Your TEFL Course Location & Date

By Matt Birgy 

Have you already decided that living overseas as an English teacher and traveling the world is an experience you'll always regret missing out on?  Well, it’s your turn to publish photos on Facebook or Instagram of a life somewhere overseas, as authentic and off-the-beaten-tourist-path as it gets, while making an actual difference.

If you’ve arrived at the conclusion that, yes, you want to challenge yourself and take the leap to live internationally as an English teacher, then (congrats!) getting TEFL certified is the beginning of your journey.  With so many potential teaching destinations, certification locations and course dates out there, deciding when and where can become a task in itself, so here are some questions to ask yourself to help you choose the right TEFL Certification option for you.

Can I Apply for Jobs Teaching English Abroad in Multiple Countries?

Absolutely, it’s the smart thing to do!  Schools in many Asian countries predominantly interview and hire teachers in advance from abroad.  Certain Latin American and European nations like Mexico, Chile, Russia or Turkey will hire in advance as well, though the majority of positions are found on the ground. This means that if your take an online TEFL certification class, or the Chicago TEFL Class, for example, you will receive comprehensive job search guidance that will enable you to apply and interview for teaching jobs and opportunities in multiple countries and regions in the world at the same time.