Wouldn’t it be great if we could give up our day jobs, grab a suitcase and head of for years of hedonistic, worry-free travel? Unfortunately, overseas travel is expensive, even with the wide range of cheap flights you can find, and it’s a sad fact that many of us find happiness in a two-week holiday in the sun whereas we would rather live as a nomad travelling across the globe.
Stop! Before you throw yourself into a pit of depression, there is a way to fund your long-term travels –working whilst you’re on your travel adventure! Everyone is familiar with the image of the British backpacker–sunburnt and unshaven, picking low-hanging fruit in the Aussie outback – but for those of you who aren’t quite ready to live like a student again, there is also a more professional option – teaching English as a foreign language.
With the growth of the English language (it’s the third most spoken language in the world, don’t you know?), many long-term travellers are using their native speaking ability to get work abroad! Teaching overseas is not for everyone; you’ll need to be imaginative, patient and willing to embrace different cultures. So, if you think that you fit the bill, read on for the most common FAQs about teaching English overseas.
An affair with culture
Do I need to speak the local language?
Wherever it is that you want to work you won’t need to speak the native language. TEFL employers will hire you (as opposed to a much cheaper local teacher) because of your native language speaking ability. Students of English want to be culturally immersed in the language and if they can’t afford to spend a year in an English speaking country then you are the next best thing!
What kind of qualifications do I need?
Regardless of country, you will first need a TEFL certificate and your options will be wider if you have a university education. Countries that you will likely need a degree for include South Korea, Thailand, Japan and recently Vietnam. Popular options for non-degree holders are in Europe, parts of Asia and most of South America.
How much can I earn?
This really depends on where it is you want to teach. In South Korea, Japan and Taiwan salaries often top $2000 per month, whereas in Ecuador salaries sit at a relatively low $600 per month. When considering a country’s wage it is important to take into account the cost of living. In Japan $1000 per month will be too little to live comfortably but in Thailand it could see you living like a king!
How do I get a TEFL Job?
Once you’ve got your TEFL certificate in hand and have familiarized yourself with your dream country’s requirements (degree/no degree, visas etc.) the next st
ep is to search through positions using a specialist TEFL jobs board. OnlineTEFL.com has one of the best avenues and Dave’s ESL Cafe is also a useful resource.
Teaching English language is only one of the many professions that could see you travelling to lands far and wide. If you want to travel while you earn, check out these really cool career options here in this article: 8 Careers That Allow You to Travel.