Guide to Teaching Abroad
Want to fulfill your dream of living overseas and have an income at the same time? Obsessed with the idea of staying in a destination longer than a two-week vacation, but your tourist visa stops you in your tracks?
Consider teaching abroad!
- Countries around the world welcome travelers to explore beautiful destinations while making money teaching English.
- Teaching abroad is the perfect way to immerse yourself in new cities and villages, contribute to the local community, and get paid while doing it.
You may have heard of people volunteering their time to teach English for free, but there are also travelers who do this for a career. Real people around the world have taken their love for travel to the next level by teaching English as a second language.
You can make up to $5,500 per month teaching abroad, and some opportunities don’t even require a college degree. While experience and education set you apart from the rest, you can have a lucrative salary without sacrificing your travel dreams. If you’re wondering ‘how do I teach abroad?’ but don’t know where to start -- Go Overseas has your back.
Where to Teach Abroad
Take your qualifications and TEFL certification with you around the globe to teach -- there are opportunities everywhere! Across all age groups, in small villages or bustling cities, you’ll find the world is your oyster if you want to teach abroad.
If you don’t know where to teach, consider what you want to get out of the teaching abroad experience:
- Are you looking for a higher paycheck or adventurous destinations to visit in your free time?
- Are you interested in supporting the education systems in underprivileged communities?
Once you’ve figured out your teaching goals, the big question remains: Where should I teach abroad? You may be wondering whether one country is better than another. Do some destinations offer more teaching opportunities? Can you get paid more by teaching in certain regions?
These are questions every teach abroad candidate debates before choosing the best place for them. Based on key criteria, Go Overseas has tracked the best places to teach abroad this year and found the top ten most popular countries to teach overseas:
The criterion considers each country’s popularity from Google searches and the Go Overseas website, as well as salary and teaching opportunities available, respectively.
Teach Abroad Qualifications
In the United States, most people need at least a bachelor's degree and education program credentials to become a teacher. There is a bit more flexibility, however, when teaching abroad. While many western countries may still require a college degree, others only require certified training as a foreign language teacher.
To qualify to teach abroad, we recommend:
- English language fluency
- TEFL certification (most often required to teach English overseas)
- If you want a leg up against the competition, a bit of teaching experience too
Do you really need a TEFL certification to teach abroad? The short answer is no… The long answer is more complicated. Being certified to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) provides the skills needed to be an effective instructor. Neglecting to train is a disservice to the students you teach, as well as your own professional growth.
When you are TEFL certified, you automatically have an advantage over other non-certified teaching candidates. Schools understand that TEFL certified teaching candidates are equipped with the knowledge, confidence, and skills needed to build lesson plans and lead a classroom effectively. Therefore, having a TEFL certificate can go a long way to show prospective employers that you’re serious about and skilled for the job.
Types of Teaching Jobs Abroad
While being a great way to finance your travels, teaching English is also a valuable job that has a significant impact on students and local communities. There are several different types of jobs available worldwide for teachers, and thoughtful planning can help you find the right one for you.
Whether you choose to help professionals excel in their field with business English classes, teach K-12 in public or private schools, or become an after-school English tutor, the options are plentiful.
Teach Abroad Salaries
Your teaching abroad salary can vary greatly depending on the country and school in which you work. The pay is determined by several factors, including country and city, private vs. public school, teaching credentials and experience, and local cost of living. Additionally, part of your compensation will typically include benefits, such as the organization paying for your flights and living expenses.
On average, ESL teachers can make $900-$5,500 per month around the world. While some countries pay more than others, you can count on Asia (the Middle East and East Asia, specifically) to be one of the most popular places to earn a high salary teaching overseas.
If some destinations pay significantly more to teach abroad than others, you must be wondering which countries offer the highest salary for English teachers.
According to our research, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, and Vietnam offer 10 of the world's highest paying ESL teaching salaries. The United Arab Emirates, for instance, pays up to $5,500 per month for English teachers (though they require more teaching experience and credentials).
Just remember: a high salary shouldn’t be your only deciding factor when choosing where to teach abroad. The country's cost of living and your broader impact on the local community should also be considered!
How Go Overseas Works
Go Overseas is your trusted source for travel abroad programs: here you can browse and discover thousands of vetted providers. Just like a trusted travel buddy, we want to help you find the right information and feel excited and confident about your first or next culturally immersive trip overseas. We know sometimes having an abundance of options can be overwhelming, so we have a few tips on how to use Go Overseas to find the perfect transformative travel program for you.
Browse 16,000+ programs: Narrow your search results by using filters, such as program type, location, and length.
Read 46,000+ Reviews: Real people have gone on these programs, and have experiences to share. Read alumni reviews on any program that interests you to get an idea of what it's really like to be on the ground, overseas.
Read 5,700+ Interviews: For any program that really sparks your interest, read personal stories and in-depth accounts from travelers like you. If you'd like to reach out and hear more from the traveler who left an interview, let us know and we'll help connect you.
Browse community photos: Pictures of food, accommodations, adventures, and people (oh, the friends you'll make!) in program community galleries will help you visualize yourself abroad.
Wish List 💙: Not ready to commit to a program? Click the Wish List heart icon to bookmark programs and save them for later. Then, compare programs side by side.