Lexi Ward

People teach English abroad for many reasons.Some want to see the world, immerse themselves in new cultures, and sharpen their foreign language skills. Others are looking for a chance to embark on a new career, or even take a break from one. If you are one of those people, someone who wants to teach English abroad and get paid doing it, but you have no idea where to begin, this article will guide you through the process.


First, for you to be able to teach English in a foreign country, you need to meet at least the basic requirements. Most schools overseas will need to you be certified in teaching English (a TEFL should be enough)and have a Bachelor's degree before they can accept you. It is relatively easy to get certified at home and then move abroad for your teaching experience. So don't worry if you've never taught before!


If you're going to teach English abroad and get paid, then you will need to be qualified. The qualification that you are usually required to have is typically a TESOL (which stands for teaching English to speakers of other languages) or a TEFL Certificate (teaching English as a foreign language).

You can take either a course online or simply sign up for in-class lessons. Online courses may be cheaper, but in-class programs can offer more practical insights. Which one you decide to do depends on you. There are many programs online and picking the right one can be a bit daunting. However, the best program should offer you practice teaching experience as well as placement assistance as soon as you earn the certificate. For most jobs, you'll need at least a 120-hour certificate, so make sure this is something you look for!


If you're going to get paid to teach English overseas, you'll need to think about the location carefully. One of the biggest factors to consider when choosing a country is the kind of experience you want to get out of it. It might be that you want to travel the world and the new culture or that you want to make money and save for your future.

Your goal will help you determine your destination. If you want to have guaranteed placement, Asia is an excellent place to start: China, Russia, and Indonesia are some of the top countries when it comes to teaching English and getting paid to do so. ESL teaching jobs in Eastern Europe are a lot more competitive, as there are much fewer positions available, so thinking about the size of the job market is also essential.

The salary will highly depend on the location. For instance, an English teacher in Vietnam could make a lot more than one in Costa Rica. If saving money is your biggest goal then countries in Asian and Middle East will offer the highest salaries and the lowest cost of living, which will be ideal for you. However, in some of these countries, like in the Middle East, you will need to have Master's degrees and teaching experience while applying.


It goes without saying, you can't teach English abroad and get paid if you can't find a suitable employer. At this point, you're already reading a blog post on an ESL jobs website (hint* EF would be a good place to start.), but you may want to do some more research.

There's plenty of information online about the TEFL/ESL industry, but you just need to make sure you have what the company is looking for, and they can offer you the benefits that you need. Shortlist some schools, apply for jobs and speak to some people that work there!


One of the most important things you can do before teaching overseas is speaking to a recruiter. Often, you need to apply for a job at this stage, but it's definitely worth it. There are so many considerations before you teach in a new country, especially if you have never done it before. The good news is most in the TEFL recruitment industry have been teachers and can answer the questions you have and even share a few experiences. If, at the end of the conversation, you decide it's not for you. You don't have to interview or take the job; there is no obligation! This approach could save you time, and help you get more informed.


If you're at this stage, you've probably already accepted a job. To teach English abroad and get paid legally, you're going to need a visa. Most companies (EF included) can help you get your visa, as this is often one of the trickiest parts of taking a job abroad. However, some companies don't offer support, so make sure you can at least ask questions during the process because it can be confusing.


It's easier than ever to get a job teaching English abroad and get paid. However, there are so many companies out there now, that it pays to be informed. If you follow the steps in this post, you won't go far wrong. If you do anything after this, just remember the following:

  • Make sure you meet the company job and country visa requirements for teaching English overseas.

  • Get a TEFL certification online or in-class (Sponsorship available).

  • Find a country that you will be happy to live in based on your goals.

  • Find a school to work at that will offer you a reasonable salary and benefits.

  • Speak to a recruiter, ask questions and if you're happy, arrange an interview.

  • Get a legal working visa! Most companies can help, if not, try and find some support.

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Lexi Ward

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