One popular way to finance your new life abroad is to teach English as a second language. While formal teaching experience is not required, most programs require you to be a native speaker and have a Bachelor’s Degree. Training and certification as a TESOL (Teaching English as a second or other language) or TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) can be obtained through online courses, or classroom teaching in many US locations as well as locations throughout the world.
The website TEFL.com summarizes what you need to get started as a teacher of English as a foreign language. TEFL.net also provides information about certification.
One fantastic resource for prospective TEFL teachers is Dave’s ESL Café, which calls itself “the internet’s meeting place for ESL & EFL teachers and students from around the world”! Dave’s ESL Café includes job listings, teacher resources, student resources, and tons of links to schools.
Another good resource is Transitions Abroad, which includes a work abroad section dealing with English teaching.
ELSjobfeed lists English teaching jobs around the world, broken down by region.
Picking a school is not easy. Some schools guarantee you job placement in a particular country, while others simply offer to help you find work. Prices range from a few hundred dollars for an online course to thousands for intensive, classroom-based classes with practice teaching. Not all certificates are accepted everywhere. Some countries or regions prefer one type of certificate over another, so do your homework carefully before deciding which school is right for you.
There is a high demand for English teachers throughout Asia, and teachers in Korea tend to be highly paid. If you want to travel and teach and put yourself in a position to save money, Korea is the place to do it. China is another good choice if you’re chasing the money. However, if you have a particular country or region where you’d like to live, chances are they need English teachers there as well. Just be aware that in some countries, your low cost of living will be offset by low pay.
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I haven’t done it, but I’ve known a couple people who have and they all have had very very positive experiences. If it’s something you’re thinking about doing, start taking the next steps because it seems like a great time.