How to Become an English Teacher Abroad

intro | get qualified | where to go | finding jobs | short-term work | FAQs

Why Teach English as a Foreign Language?

There are lots of reasons to get into TEFL. As a travel site, first and foremost we should point out that Teaching English is a great way to explore other parts of the world. It is probably the easiest way to find work abroad and if you happen to be a native English Speaker or are a non-native speaker with a high level of English then there’s no reason why you can’t do it.

Of course teaching can also be a very rewarding and enjoyable profession to get into and with TEFL you don’t need to do much training to become one. Indeed if you have also thought about becoming a teacher long-term then TEFL is a great way to get a taster for it and see if it is for you without investing much time or money.

Other reasons why people get into TEFL are similar to the reasons why people decide to go travelling. Many new English teachers have just finished college/university, just ended a relationship or are just fed up of their job back home and ready for a new adventure.

girl teaching english


TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Basically they mean the same thing. In this guide we will mostly use TEFL for no reason other than it is one letter shorter than TESOL. There’s lots of jargon and abbreviations that get used all over the place but to begin with these are the two you’ll be seeing most of. ETL and TESL are also sometimes used to refer to teaching English as a foreign language while as you look into qualifications you’ll start hearing CELTA, DELTA and other unnecessarily long abbreviations. More on that in the next section.

Steps to becoming an English Teacher

Many people are unsure of how to become an English teacher abroad but it’s actually remarkably easy to become an EFL teacher. In the space of a month you can get all the training you need, a respected qualification and start applying for jobs, of which there are plenty.

1. Get Qualified

There are lots of TEFL qualifications out there but they are not all equal. In this section we will advise you which ones are the most respected and worth taking.

2. Decide where you want to Teach

Take a look at the pros and cons of teaching in some of the world’s TEFL hotspots.

3. Start Looking for your first English Teaching job

There are two main tactics you can use to find English teaching jobs. Have a read to find out about them.

If you qualify in the Spring then you might want to start by looking for a summer job. Short-term camp jobs are a great way to wet your teaching feet and save a bit of cash.

Have a Question?

Ask us by contacting us or check out our page of frequently asked questions from TEFL newbies.