I want to teach abroad with TEFL where do I start?

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teach abroad
Kindergarten students in class.

Have you just finished your TEFL qualification and desperately want to teach abroad? Well, you’re in luck. This guide is just for you. Begin by looking for jobs on The TEFL Academy Jobs Board. Here, you’ll be able to refine your search by location, when the job was posted and whether or not the job requires a degree.

Polish Your CV

Make sure your CV is completely up-to-date and rewritten with a TEFL slant. You’re going to want to highlight any experience you may have with children. Have you done any babysitting or coached a kids’ sports team? Definitely add this to your resume.

Have you done any training in any capacity in your current work? Have you done any presentations? This is important to add, even if the audience was small. If you’re a student or you’ve just finished studying, were you a mentor, a tutor or did you have any other position of responsibility?

Show Prospective Employers You’d Make a Safe Employee

Take the initiative to get a police clearance certificate or background check which will record that you are free from any criminal activity. This is really important as you’ll probably be working with children. Your prospective employer will require this.

Get a Full Copy of Your Degree Transcript

If you have a degree, get a transcript with a breakdown of the subjects and grades achieved from your university. It should be on their official letterhead.

Where You Want to Go?

Think about where you’d like to go. We strongly suggest brainstorming the sort of lifestyle you’d like to have overseas. For example, if you’re from a small coastal town and a total surf bum, are you going to be happy in a massive city like Shanghai? Or would you prefer to be somewhere close to a beach? Take the time to think about the environment which will make you happy. Also, some countries are more formal, while others are far more relaxed. What would suit you personally? 

Consider:

  • City size 
  • Climate 

If you come from a temperate climate, will you be able to handle those freezing Russian winters? Similarly, if you’re from quite a cold country how do you feel about being somewhere that’s always hot and humid?

  • Culture 

Do you get on well with very reserved people, or are you happier around outgoing types?

  • Location 

What’s the proximity to the coast, national parks or other countries you’d like to visit while you are based overseas?

  • Money

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with considering money. Depending on your circumstances and reasons for teaching overseas, the money you can expect to earn will have an impact on the country you choose. So, where can you make the most money? Here are the top 9 highest paying countries for EFL teachers.

 1. The United Arab Emirates US$3,500 – 5,000 per monthBA/BS Required
 2. Japan US$2,200 – 5,000 per monthBA/BS Required
 3. Saudi Arabia US$3,000 – 4,000 per monthBA/BS Required
 4. Kuwait US$2,600 – 4,000 per monthBA/BS Required
 5. Oman US$2,000 – 3,500 per monthBA/BS Required
 6. Taiwan US$2,000 – 2,400 per monthBA/BS Required
 7. South Korea US$1,600 – 2,000 per monthBA/BS Required
 8. China US$1,500 – 2,000 per monthBA/BS Required
 9. Vietnam US$1,000 – 2,000 per monthBA/BS Required

You’ll see from the chart that they all require a BA or a BS Degree, which brings us to the next consideration.

  • What’s Your Educational Background?

The top-paying countries all require a degree, but all is not lost! Many countries don’t require degrees. For example, in Asia, you don’t need a degree to teach in Indonesia, Cambodia or Laos. You won’t need a degree for Jordan in the Middle East or Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru in South America. For more information on the different requirements and other information, we have created a unique TEFL World Factbook of teaching abroad guides in over 100 countries to help TEFL teachers decide where in the world to teach English. Each country profile outlines everything a TEFL teacher would need to know including average pay, living costs, working environments and even the weather! Our team of researchers consisting of expert TEFL trainers at The TEFL Academy have pulled information from a variety of authoritative sources to create this definitive guide to teaching English around the world. 

  • Do you want to teach online and travel, but want to stay long-term in one location?

An exciting development recently has been the introduction by some gorgeous countries of Digital Nomad Visas, which will enable you to stay in these countries for quite a long time, far longer than you’d be able to stay on a tourist visa. The most affordable of these is Bermuda, which requires no minimum income and Portugal where you need to earn €600 per month. Both Anguilla and Georgia require you to earn $2000 per month and for Mexico’s Temporary Resident Visa. you need to earn at least $1,620 per month.

Don’t Fall Prey to Scams

Unfortunately, there are indeed people looking to take advantage of people looking for work abroad. Please research your company to make sure it’s legitimate. We live in this wonderful digital age where that’s easy. Take the time to do some online research. Make sure the company that you’re interested in actually has an online presence and exists. These days, if a company doesn’t have an online presence, alarm bells should be ringing in your head. Also, have a look at Glass Door reviews from previous employees or online forums. Does this sound like the sort of place where you’d like to work?

Once you’ve taken all of this into consideration, you should have a better idea of how to begin your search for the perfect TEFL job abroad.

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