TEFL Courses

Your guide to finding the right TEFL program. Your guide to finding the right TEFL program
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Guide to TEFL

Teaching abroad is an awesome way to see the world, work overseas, and give back to local communities. Teaching English, specifically, has become one of the most popular ways to teach around the world.

As a result, however, the barrier to entry is stronger and the competition is fierce. Subsequently, travelers with TEFL teaching certifications have an advantage over other candidates.

If you want to teach abroad, one of the best ways to secure an international assignment is to take a TEFL certification course that will train you and provide access to teaching opportunities around the world.

A reputable course can:

  • Expand your network with key players
  • Introduce you to friends and fellow teachers who will share the same career journey with you
  • Offer you extended support during the job search.

But how do you choose the right course for you? With so many options advertised on discount listings, travel sites, and across the web, how can you be sure you’ve paid for a trusted program?

Teach abroad candidates (and recruiters!) trust reputable sites like Go Overseas to research and vet TEFL courses, as well as provide expert articles about getting your TEFL certification to teach English overseas.

We’ve created a database of online, in-class, and accredited certification courses that will help you gain the teaching credentials you need.

Necessity

Whether you are considering an online or in-person TEFL/TESOL certification course or an accredited CELTA (Certificate In English Language Teaching to Adults) certification, the question still lies therein: is TEFL certification really necessary to teach abroad?

Technically, you don’t need to be certified to teach abroad. However, those who aren’t certified end up with very limited options. Some would also say that teaching overseas with no academic background or teaching certification is a serious disservice to your students -- and many schools (and countries) will not even consider you as a teaching candidate without it.

TEFL certifications aren’t just a piece of paper. The courses include in-depth training to help you better lesson plan and instruct, not to mention providing hands on teaching experience to add to your resume. Read this teacher’s thoughts on whether a TEFL certificate is worth it.

Costs

TEFL certificate courses can cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the provider and course duration. Some schools and language programs may even offer to pay for your TEFL certification if you agree to teach at their school (though, those schools reportedly pay much less in salary).

You can expect to pay nearly $2,000 if you want to be TEFL certified from a reputable program.

Though other programs may advertise cheaper, discount classes, be sure to review the fine print closely, as those courses may not meet the hour minimum or accreditation requirements of the school you want to teach at.

Choosing Your Course

With an abundance of TEFL course choices available, the options can feel overwhelming. Between fine print, accreditation information, and fees, how do you know what to look for when selecting a good TEFL certificate course? Here are a few key elements to consider when choosing the right TEFL certification course for you:

To learn more about what to look out for when choosing a TEFL certificate course, review our expert guide to selecting a top-level TEFL certification.

Degrees

College degree: Certain countries prefer to hire teachers with a college degree (and some even require it) but not all. Luckily, TEFL certificate programs do not require a degree to take the course and can be used to supplement a degree when applying for teaching jobs in many countries. All you have to do is speak native English or demonstrate advanced English-speaking skills.

If you are seeking a TESOL or CELTA certification course, however, you may be required to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. This certification prerequisite varies per program.

Masters degree: While a four-year degree may be required in many high-paying schools and countries (like Qatar, Japan, the UAE, Korea, and Saudi Arabia), other countries have more lax education laws and hire teachers who don’t have a college degree at all -- let alone, a master’s degree.

Absence of a graduate or Master’s degree in teaching English as a foreign language will not prevent you from securing a job abroad. Having one, however, will definitely help you access bigger opportunities! For teach abroad candidates seeking extensive international experience and high pay, a Master’s degree is definitely worth it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I get a TEFL Certificate?

    There are many ways to get a TEFL certificate to teach abroad. Whether in person, online, or a mix of the two (called a ‘hybrid’ course), certification to teach English as a foreign language is flexible and can be earned in your home country or while overseas.

    While certified teachers who’ve taken the course in person rave about the hands-on learning, immersive teaching exercises, and increased accountability, online TEFL graduates appreciate being able to balance their course with daily responsibilities at home, while learning at their own pace.

    Choose the TEFL certification course that is right for you by browsing the Go Overseas database of available courses.

  • Do I really need a TEFL certificate to teach abroad?

    Whether you are considering an online or in-person TEFL/TESOL certification course or an accredited CELTA (Certificate In English Language Teaching to Adults) certification, the question still lies therein: is TEFL certification really necessary to teach abroad?

    Technically, you don’t need to be certified to teach abroad. However, those who aren’t certified end up with very limited options. Some would also say that teaching overseas with no academic background or teaching certification is a serious disservice to your students -- and many schools (and countries) will not even consider you as a teaching candidate without it.

    TEFL certifications aren’t just a piece of paper. The courses include in-depth training to help you better lesson plan and instruct, not to mention providing hands on teaching experience to add to your resume. Read this teacher’s thoughts on whether a TEFL certificate is worth it.

  • How much is a TEFL Certificate?

    TEFL certificate courses can cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the provider and course duration. Some schools and language programs may even offer to pay for your TEFL certification if you agree to teach at their school (though, those schools reportedly pay much less in salary).

    You can expect to pay nearly $2,000 if you want to be TEFL certified from a reputable program. Though other programs may advertise cheaper, discount classes, be sure to review the fine print closely, as those courses may not meet the hour minimum or accreditation requirements of the school you want to teach at.

  • Do I have to have a degree to do a TEFL course?

    Certain countries prefer to hire teachers with a college degree (and some even require it) but not all. Luckily, TEFL certificate programs do not require a degree to take the course and can be used to supplement a degree when applying for teaching jobs in many countries. All you have to do is speak native English or demonstrate advanced English-speaking skills.

    If you are seeking a TESOL or CELTA certification course, however, you may be required to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. This certification prerequisite varies per program.

  • Do I need a Master's degree in TEFL to teach abroad?

    While a four-year degree may be required in many high-paying schools and countries (like Qatar, Japan, the UAE, Korea, and Saudi Arabia), other countries have more lax education laws and hire teachers who don’t have a college degree at all -- let alone, a master’s degree.

    Absence of a graduate or Master’s degree in teaching English as a foreign language will not prevent you from securing a job abroad. Having one, however, will definitely help you access bigger opportunities! For teach abroad candidates seeking extensive international experience and high pay, a Master’s degree is totally worth it.

  • Is it better to take an Online TEFL course or do a TEFL course in person?

    International teachers have mixed opinions about the online vs. in-person TEFL course debate. The truth is, the best type of TEFL certification course is the one that you actually complete! If an in-person TEFL course doesn’t fit your schedule and lifestyle, you’ll end up wasting your money and never finishing it.

    Online courses, on the other hand, provide convenience but may sacrifice immersive learning. Which is important to you? To decide whether to get TEFL certified online or in person, ask yourself these questions:

    • Do I have the time to attend in-person classes?
    • Do I want to get TEFL certified while abroad, or before I leave?
    • What is my budget for TEFL certification?
    • How much time do I have to get certified?
    • Do I need to practice teaching in front of a classroom?
  • How do I choose a good TEFL course?

    With an abundance of TEFL course choices available, the options can feel overwhelming. Between fine print, accreditation information, and fees, how do you know what to look for when selecting a good TEFL certificate course? Here are a few key elements to consider when choosing the right TEFL certification course for you:

    To learn more about what to look out for when choosing a TEFL certificate course, review our expert guide to selecting a top-level TEFL certification.

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.

  1. Browse 16,000+ programs: Narrow your search results by using filters, such as program type, location, and length.

  2. Read 35,000+ 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

What kind of course would you like to take?

Online Course

Online Courses

Earn your TEFL certificate online and use it to unlock a world of teaching opportunities around the world.

View Online TEFL Courses

TEFL/TESOL

TEFL Certificate

Choose between TEFL certification options like TEFL and TESOL to find the career path that's right for you.

View TESOL Courses

CELTA

CELTA Certificate

A CELTA course will train you to teach English anywhere around the world, accredited by Cambridge University.

View CELTA Courses

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