Teaching English abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You get the opportunity to live in a new country, experience a different culture, meet new people, and make some money along the way. If you’re considering teaching English abroad, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
Decide Where You Want to Teach
The first step is deciding which country you want to teach in. Some popular destinations for teaching English abroad include South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, Italy, France, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Consider factors like the cost of living, culture, climate, and demand for English teachers when deciding on a location. Do some research to narrow down your options.
Get TEFL Certified
Most schools and programmes abroad require you to be TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certified. TEFL certification involves taking a course to learn the fundamentals of teaching English. Courses are available online or in person. An in-person TEFL course in the country you want to teach in can be worthwhile to learn about the education system and culture.
Have Your Degree Notarised
Many countries require English teachers to have a bachelor’s degree or higher. You’ll likely need to provide a copy of your degree when applying for teaching jobs abroad. It’s essential that you get your degree properly notarised before leaving your home country. Notarisation is the official authentication of the copy of your degree by a notary public. This proves it is a true copy of the original.
In the UK, notary public services are provided by solicitors or scriveners who are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. If you want to get notarised documents in the UK, you make an appointment to meet with a notary public and provide your original degree and the copy you want notarised.
The notaries will verify your identity and examine the original and copy of the degree to ensure they match. They will then apply their official notary seal and signature to the copy to certify it as authentic. How much does a notary cost? It varies but a Cheltenham notary charges around £275 an hour with a minimum payment of £100.
Apply for Teaching Positions
Once you’re TEFL certified and have your notarised documents, start applying for teaching gigs! There are a few main ways to find English teaching jobs abroad:
- TEFL job boards – Browse listings and apply directly to schools.
- Recruitment agencies – Give your info and let them match you with openings.
- Direct applications – Find schools you’re interested in and apply directly.
- Teaching programmes – Programmes like JET, TAPIF, and CIEE help place teachers.
Many jobs hire several months in advance, so start searching early. Make sure to ask about accommodations, visas, contracts, working hours and other key details when interviewing and negotiating job offers.
Get Ready for an Adventure!
And that’s it! Following these steps will help you get fully prepared to teach English abroad. Keep an open mind, be flexible and embrace the ups and downs of living in a new culture. Your international English teaching experience will provide personal growth and memories that will last a lifetime.