Teaching English aboard is how many travellers who want to find a cheap way to see the world turn to TEFL teaching. Teaching English as a foreign language while visiting new places is both a great way to make a bit of money and also go to new destinations. If your primary reason for TEFL is to fuel your explorations, read on for ideas on how to make it work for you.
Short Term TEFL Contracts
Depending on how long you want to spend abroad, looking for short-term employment might be a good option. Do a Google search for ‘TEFL Summer Jobs’ and you’ll be flooded with ideas. Summer teaching positions are available all over the world, and while working somewhere in your own country might not be the most adventurous option, it can still be nice to spend time working in a new place. If you’re looking to go further afield, there are short-term contracts available all over the world. Some schools offer short-term placements while you get qualified, as a sort of internship. Others hire extra teachers to cover busy periods of the year.
Long Term TEFL Contracts
Many overseas teaching positions have a minimum contract length of one year. This may seem like quite a long time if you’re a free-spirited person who wants to spread their wings, but it can be a great option. Here are the positives of choosing a one-year contract over short-term positions:
- You can still travel on weekends and public holidays. When I spent my first-year teaching TEFL in China, I visited countless nearby villages, towns and cities on my standard two-day weekends, and then during the long national holidays, went further afield and saw a huge number of places in the country. Also, in-country travel is cheaper than flying from country to country
- One of the best parts of adventurous travelling is really getting to know a place rather than just hanging out there for a few days like a regular tourist. Spending a whole year in one place means that you’ll: get to know a bit of the local language, make local friends, learn about the culture, eat all the food, etc
- Even if you’re not that interested in teaching, spending a year doing TEFL with the same company will mean that you’ll build relationships with your students and co-workers, and it will be much more than just a ‘gap year’ type experience
Teaching English aboard through Online
If you like to be totally free and choose where to travel at the drop of a hat, consider teaching online so that you can take your work with you. There are a number of freelance and organised online teaching companies where you can meet students for weekly scheduled lessons. Often, all you need is your laptop and a good WiFi connection – some companies even allow lessons to take place on smartphones.
English Teaching Abroad Freelance
This is the riskiest option and should only be undertaken if you don’t have an urgent need to earn a regular wage. Depending on how long you plan to spend in a place, finding students when you arrive by placing an advert in a local café or looking through local bulletin boards can be an arduous task. However, sometimes you can walk into a bar in a foreign country and someone will just come up to you and say ‘Hey, can you teach me English?’ and then you’ve managed to find a student quite by accident. But this isn’t the norm, and is the sort of thing that happens by chance and can’t really be planned for.
Ways to Find Jobs to teach English aboard
There are numerous websites you can become a member on to search for TEFL teaching jobs. One of the best known is TEFL.com, where you can search for current jobs all over the world and make a profile for easy job application submissions. Dave’s ESL Café is another good choice, and you can search by country, but there can be a quite a jumble of information! Also check Indeed.com for more jobs, and GoAbroad for travel/teaching programs. Also, if you know where you want to go, look out for country specific websites that list jobs to make it easy to filter out what you’re looking for. If you’re searching for a TEFL job in Japan, check out GaijinPot.