How to Become an English Teacher Abroad
How to find Short-term English Teaching Jobs
For those who see teaching English, primarily as a means to travel then short-term jobs are ideal. However most language schools around the world are reluctant to take people on for only a short period of time. Most contracts are for 9 months or one school year. While it is fairly common to break contracts (if you’re school even gives you one) it is still obviously unprofessional and could come back to haunt you in the future when you apply for jobs and have your employment history checked up. Employers are unlikely to vouch for your excellent character and talent if you have performed a disappearing act on them.
Therefore English language camps provide the best way to get short-term TEFL work that will enable you to earn some money while visiting a new country for a short time. You can find them by similar methods to those listed on the previous page and mostly they take place in the summer.
If you fancy more of an adventure check out this school in Brazil, who we know are looking for short-term native speakers (as of January 2017).
UK English Language Summer Camps
There are loads of summer camps in the UK which cater to children and teenagers from other countries who come over for a few weeks to learn English in the summer. There are probably about 100 in different parts of the country that hire EFL teachers so it’s quite easy to get work.
It’s a great way to get some experience in TEFL and although it is hard work, it can also be great fun with lots of free trips and excursions included. The requirements are generally the same and almost all require you to have a TEFL certificate (4 week course). A degree and previous experience is often not necessary though and you will typically be interviewed on skype or on the phone. TEFL.com is the best place to find these jobs and you should think about applying from January onwards when the adverts start to appear.
The pay is also excellent and ranges from about £300 to £450 a week plus accommodation and three meals a day. The camps typically run from the start of July until mid August and given that you will spend very little onsite then you have the potential to save up as much as £2000 if you work for six weeks. Take a quick look at our budget travel table and you will note that this can pay for quite a lot of travel in some parts of the world!
Other EFL Camps
During the summer break and main holiday periods, many language schools around the world put on short-term courses and sometimes you can find work on these. There are also more specialist language camps which only operate during the summer. In Spain TECS have loads of camps all over the country and obviously the summer is a bit better than in rainy Britain. The pay isn’t as good though.
Korea is also pretty good for summer work and of course they tend to pay very well. You can use it as a base for seeing a bit of the Far East. Do a bit of research an you can probably find this sort of work in most countries and it might even be possible to do a whole year of travel, jumping from camp to camp with some travelling in between.
Winter in the Northern Hemisphere is probably the worst time to look for work as this is the middle of the school year and the weather doesn’t really suit camp life which is largely outdoors. There are exceptions though such as the Nordic School who run winter camps in freezing Finland.
Work as a Camp Monitor or Activity Leader
If you don’t want to teach but like the idea of working at English language camps then you can apply to be an activity leader, counsellor or camp monitor. You won’t get paid quite as much but will be doing sports or trips almost every day and will get out and about more than teachers so you should see some of the highlights of the country where you are based for free! You don’t really need any qualifications for this but you need to be fairly outgoing and have some talents (sport/art/music etc). If you enjoy working with kids then this might be the job for you.
This article was published in September 2014.