Known for its bustling capitol, mountainous interiors, and coral reefs to rival those of Australia, the Philippines is an eclectic medley of culture, cuisine and everything in between -- an ideal destination for any prospective teacher! Whether you’re spotting tarsiers in Bohol, reposing on the sun-kissed beaches of Boracay, or trekking through the cavernous wonderlands of Palawan, travelers are only ever but a footstep away from their next Southeast Asian adventure!
As one of the “fastest emerging markets in the world,” with an imposing trade boom, and increasing political stability, knowledge of English is as important as ever. Even though the Philippines claims English as one of its official languages, the demand for ESL teachers is still strong and the opportunities to get TEFL certified in the Philippines are numerous.Photo Credits: Rick McCharles.
As with any profession, it is imperative to learn the fundamentals —- especially when working with those who may not understand you! Though the majority of teachers will find employment teaching children, a well-rounded TEFL course should cover additional curriculum, such as teaching English to adults or corporate employees. It's therefore important for teachers to consider their personal, professional and academic goals when selecting the right program for them, as well as these few details:
TEFL + Teach:
Combining in-class studies with pragmatic training and employment support, TEFL + Teach programs are ideal for those looking to kick-start their career. Run throughout an intensive three week ‘block’, TEFL providers work with recruiters to place ESL teachers in local schools following the completion of their program.
120-hour TEFL Courses:
The most popular choice for global adventurers and expats alike, the 120-hour program affords travelers the flexibility of learning on the go. The extended course duration — though ostensibly less empirical than its TEFL + Teach counterpart — allows travelers to develop greater relationships with their instructors and fellow students, and better assimilate into Philippine culture.
140-hour TEFL Courses:
Though similar to its long-stay counterpart, 140-hour TEFL courses examine a broader curriculum, offering additional ‘hands-on’ classroom training. While course costs will inexorably run higher than short-stay programs, supplementary lectures allow students to strengthen their understanding of teaching methods, and of the general trends in English language education.
When and Where to Look:
A budding commercial hub for locals and expats alike, the Philippines offers a multitude of TEFL courses designed for the global adventurer. From the migrant magnet, Cebu, and teeming metropolis of Manila, to Boracay’s tropical utopia and the sun-kissed sands of Bohol, students are afforded a vast and varied range of study options. Conveniently, most providers offer monthly start dates for TEFL courses in the Philippines. Courses typically begin in the first week of the month, with online applications due two to three months prior.
Though prerequisites will vary in accordance with providers, a tertiary education is commonly required. Students who are not native English speakers must have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g. English Language or Literature) in order to fulfill Philippine TEFL eligibility requirements.
Students undertaking a TEFL course for up to 90 days in duration may be eligible for a Non-Immigrant/Tourist visa. If continuing employment after this period, teachers must obtain an Alien Employment Permit, valid between six months and two years. For additional information, students are advised to contact their local embassy or TEFL provider.
Cost of Living:
Dubbed the fourth cheapest country in the world, the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ offers one of the most affordable lifestyles for teachers abroad. Contingent on location, you can find accommodation can for as little as $500 USD per month, while general expenses such as transport and food are sold for a fraction of the price of their continental counterparts.