Has the pandemic caused your wanderlust to go into overdrive? Are you daydreaming about quitting your job to jet set around the world and explore new destinations?
It’s great to have big dreams, but it’s also important to have a plan in place beforehand. After all, you don’t want to end up holding a sign on a street corner in Paris because you ran out of money…
If you’re thinking about (or researching) teaching English as part of those plans, then you’re on the right track. Teaching English can provide the resources and opportunities to explore the world.
So, let’s look at turning your dreams into reality. These are the steps to becoming an English teacher and exploring the world through education and study English.
There are opportunities all over the world to earn TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification if you know where to look. But from a planning and preparation standpoint, many people who want to become an English teacher opt to get qualified before they hop on a plane.
Run a quick online search for certification courses for English teachers provided by trusted TEFL providers in your area. You may be able to complete an on-site course through a local program. The beauty of these programs is that they prepare you to teach overseas.
Not all students will be English-Language Learners (ELL; students who are unable to communicate in English). But you could have the opportunity to instruct students who are immigrants or refugees.
If there are no local options, you can always earn your certification online. This creates the opportunity to complete the course from the comfort of your home (or a coffee shop!) and at your own pace.
Find an ESL Job
With your TEFL certificate, you now can explore the entire world! But, it’s up to you to find jobs in your desired destinations. And you may want to keep an open mind about where you want to go.
Indeed, some countries like China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam have schools that are always hiring qualified, certified teachers. However, it can be more difficult to find positions in other destinations, like Europe.
To find a teaching position, there are a variety of options at your disposal.
ESL Recruiting Firm
An ESL recruiter typically works on behalf of schools or companies to find qualified candidates for various positions. This practice is common in Asia and the Middle East. The exact requirements may vary, but obviously you’ll have a much better chance with a degree and certification under your belt.
This method is perfect for a first-time TEFL job. It not only helps you network and meet people in the industry, but you’ll also have help in filling out all the paperwork involved in taking on an ESL position abroad.
If you’re not in a rush to hop on a plane, then another option is to find a teaching position through a government program. Spain, Chile, France, and Japan, among others, offer the possibility for native English speakers to take part in subsidized programs in their country.
These programs include training and placement in local communities. While a language certification is not always required, applicants should have a college degree and, in most cases, work experience.
The process can be lengthy but it’s worth trying since you will automatically be placed if accepted. Some programs even include a competitive salary and paid living expenses.
Find a Teaching Job on Your Own
Social media, especially LinkedIn, is a good place to start. Nowadays, ESL schools and companies regularly post opportunities on their social media pages. You can follow the schools and companies of interest and join ESL specific groups.
Another way to find a job on your own is to look on the wide variety of ESL teaching job boards on the internet. Be wary of jobs that don’t require a certification. Typically, these positions don’t pay well, and accredited, high-paying institutions may not view the job as valid experience.
Lastly, if you can’t find an interesting offer via job boards or social media, you could proactively reach out to employers. Even if they don’t have an opening, they can keep your resume/CV for future reference. You never know when an opportunity might open up!
Yes, it’s not the same, but it has a huge advantage. There are no geographical limitations to teaching online. And during these times, it might be the best option for you to explore the world from the comfort of your home office.
Also, if you’re able to establish a solid student base or reputation with an online company, you can use the money you make to travel anywhere you want, and still teach! It’s kind of like having your cake and eating it too.
If you’re dreaming of exploring the world and have the motivation, the opportunity is available for those who want to take it. There are many options to teach English online across the globe. The most important step is be sure and get certified as soon as possible.
After that, the world is the limit! Good luck explorers!