A Beginner’s Guide To Teaching ESL Overseas

Most people would love to travel, see the world and experience new cultures, but most people don’t know they can actually do that by teaching ESL overseas. As a matter of fact, you can travel the world and get paid to do it!

Teaching English abroad is a great opportunity to experience different countries around the world, meet new people, make new friends and on top of that, make money while you are at it. The best part about teaching overseas is that you can go to almost any country you desire. From China, Russia, Indonesia, Japan, Chile, Vietnam or even Guatemala the world is your oyster.

If you feel that teaching overseas can be a great opportunity for you, here are some basic pointers to get you started.



English as a second language has exploded in demand around the world, and so has the demand for English teachers. Before you can gain employment teaching ESL abroad, there are a few things you need to know.

First, most countries require you to have a degree*. But the good news is, it doesn’t have to be in teaching, or in education. A degree in any discipline is okay, as long as it says “Bachelor’s” on the final certification.

Second, you may need teaching experience, but not always! In countries with a high demand for English teachers, it’s likely that you don’t need to have any teaching experience at all. The motivation to teach and learn how to teach is often enough, as most companies offer training, so you will get up to speed pretty quickly.



If you intend to travel across the world to teach ESL, the least you can do is have a great adventure while you are at it. Research as much as you can about the kind of experience you would like, to make it as successful and as rewarding as possible.

The educational background might not matter much in many overseas countries, but you need to get a TEFL certificate. Before you get into a program, make sure you understand what they are offering and weigh all the options. Consider countries depending on the salaries they offer, their livability, time commitments and the possibilities of amazing and positive experiences.



For you to be able to teach English Overseas professionally, you must have an accredited TEFL certificate. This is very important for people who have no teaching background. A TEFL certificate will provide you with the skills you need to be able to run about 4 to 5 classes on a daily basis. You will also get a recognised qualification, which is what most schools around the world are looking for. TEFL classes will give you an opportunity to learn how to make teaching engaging and fun for you and your students. You will learn how to teach various age groups and the type of games to incorporate while teaching in order for you to succeed.



Most TEFL programs provide job placements and support until you get settled into your new job. This is something you should consider because teaching through an organised program is a great option for beginners. Getting a job on your own might prove to be a challenge, especially if you don’t know the local language enough to go about it.

Choosing the right company, in the beginning, can really help with the small things, like setting up a local bank account, helping you find somewhere to live, and even offering accommodation when you arrive.



These are the first few steps you should take on your journey to teaching ESL overseas. You have to be prepared for the start-up costs like paying for the TEFL program, transport to the foreign country and support money till you get your first pay. Be realistic about the time frame the process you will take from obtaining a certificate to staring your job, which may take as long as six months.





The world is waiting for you