Travel the World by Teaching English
Since I started writing this blog, I had the dream to write a few posts on becoming location independent in order to travel the world. Both of these things are passions of mine. Travel the World by Teaching English is the first in a series of posts. I hope you enjoy learning about these fantastic opportunities! Let me know what you think of each post in the series.
What is ESL?
Teaching and helping others have always been passions of mine. This is why teaching English as a Second Language is important to me. If you did not notice from the previous sentence ESL stands for English as a Second Language. English is one of the most important languages for doing business around the world. Much of the world does not speak English. Being able to teach the language gives you tons of opportunities for world exploration.
One of the biggest areas looking for ESL teachers is South East Asia. This area specifically has the most opportunity out of any place in the world. Teaching gigs last anywhere from 3 months during the summer months, to a full school year of teaching.
How Can it Help Me Travel the World?
Possibly the coolest thing about teaching in the area is that once your contract is finished you can interview and begin looking for another of the many opportunities in the area and find all new places to explore in your free time. I have a friend currently teaching English through the US Peace Corps in China. My friend Shiana, is currently teaching English in Northern Saudi Arabia. She is working on a one-year contract but has the option to stay another couple of years in the area. She has told me tons of stories about exploring the new culture and having the ability to travel during her free time is enough to give you traveling wanderlust more than possibly anything else. Believe me, just watching her Snapchat Story is more than enough to motivate me to work harder to find a teaching gig.
Do You Have to Be Certified or Have Experience?
The simple answer to this question is no, depending on the program or area that you are looking to teach in. For instance, if you are looking to teach in more developed countries such as Spain or France, you must have both to ensure that you find a job depending on the area of the country that you are looking to move to. Experience is always a request but not necessarily a requirement pretty much across the board with any language program. Becoming certified sounds like a terribly difficult process like most other certification processes often are but, to be honest, is not difficult at all. You can become certified either through in class certification or do like I did and find a great program that is completely online.
One thing I will say about the in class certification, they often require you to spend a few weeks at the end actually creating lessons and gaining teaching experience that can be an invaluable way to set yourself apart from the others. Like I said, I decided that using an online program was best for me because of my already full schedule between school and work. You can check Groupon.com for many different discounted opportunities to get a TEFL certification as well as ask around on different forums about what the best programs are to get started with. The one that I am currently working on is a 160-hour TEFL Certification that also comes with great pre-made exercises and lesson plans to use with your future students. You can find this particular program here.
What is TEFL?
If you spend any time at all search for English teaching jobs around the world you will run across the acronym TEFL. TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and is one of the many certification processes that is available and typically the most widely accepted worldwide. You pretty much cannot go wrong by getting this particular certification. With that said, there are many different certifications that you can find within the TEFL parameters so make sure you pick one that is a 120+ hour option because anything less than that may be great information, but it will not help you as much in the long run.
How do You Find ESL Jobs?
There are actually a few different ways to find ESL Teaching Jobs. It can be helpful to utilize each avenue if you are really interested!
- Check out Dave’s ESL Cafe for a massively compiled list of ESL positions that are currently being offered worldwide.
- Spainwise.net and many other in country websites can show you what positions are available. You can even select a specific area if you are looking to move to a certain country. This is the site that I used to find jobs.
- If you are a citizen of the USA, you can find ESL positions by joining the Peace Corps. As a volunteer, you can request a position teaching English. The Peace Corps have a great system in place to help teach you the language.
- You don’t even have to leave your home country to find some ESL positions. This is a widely needed skill set in the USA too, just like in any non-English speaking countries.
- You can ask practically any current ESL teacher and they can let you know of any teaching openings! I would be glad to help you find a placement for teaching English.
Is it Possible to teach ESL online?
Absolutely! Typically, you need a bit of experience to be accepted into an online program. Check out italki.com. You can start out as a helpful community participant. Then work your way up to a paid teaching gig on the site. Or, because you are an entrepreneur, after all, create your own business around teaching English online. Check out Benny’s site over at Fluent in Three Months or Gabby’s YouTube English Education Empire for inspiration!
Thanks again for reading my guide to teaching ESL. Let me know what you think!