How can I teach English abroad?

22 Feb 2021 - Category: Blog /
Teach English abroad

Travel is something we’re incredibly passionate about at Small World, and teaching English abroad is a great way to do just that.

We love holidays (remember them?) but there is something extra special about spending a long time in one place and experiencing a new culture. The British Council reported that 1.75bn people speak English worldwide, so there are lots of opportunities to teach the language.

By teaching overseas, you can earn enough money to cover your stay and maybe even save a bit too. Sounds pretty great to us. It can be difficult to know where to start, so in this blog we take a look at all the key information you need to make the right choice for you.

What do I need to teach English abroad?

If you’re reading this blog then congratulations, you already have the most important skill needed for this – you can speak English!

Some teaching experience will also give you an advantage. You might want to take a Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course to give yourself more options. We take a look at how you can do this below.

It’s worth repeating, if you can speak English and have a passion to teach abroad then there will be an opportunity available.

How can I teach English abroad?

Like many things in life, planning is key and there are 4 important steps you will have to take including:

  1. 1. Research: The process will be different depending on your destination of choice. So, the first thing to do is decide on the perfect country for you to teach in. Look online, ask friends who have done this before and decide on the best places, for you, to teach.
  2. 2. Qualifications: Depending on where you want to teach, you might wish to take a TEFL course. We will discuss this is further detail later.
  3. 3. Job Search: There are many ways to search for English teaching jobs. If you earn a TEFL qualification your course provider will often help find you a job. Websites such as and also post positions on a daily basis.
  4. 4. Travel arrangements: Once you have been given a teaching position, all that is left is to make your travel plans, including visa applications and any necessary medical vaccinations needed.

Where can I teach English abroad?

Whether you are looking to teach English abroad in China or teach English abroad in Russia, or anywhere for that matter, the perfect option is out there for you.

There are parts of the world where there is a large demand for English teachers and so it doesn’t matter if you have experience or not. According to TEFL, these include Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, East and South East Asia, The Middle East and Central and South America.

Many teaching opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa are volunteer positions – you may get your accommodation and food covered or have to pay for this yourself.

Voluntary positions are less likely to require a qualification and tend to last up to three months.

How to get certified to teach English abroad?

Not all positions will require you to have a qualification but it will be to your advantage if you have a TEFL certificate. Having one will put you ahead of any candidates applying for the same jobs who don’t have one.

It’s important to remember:

  • Courses can either be taken online or on-site
  • Make sure the TEFL course is accredited, for example by Cambridge University (CELTA certificate) or Trintiy College (Trinity certificate)
  • Is the course long enough? The industry standard is 120 hours of training.
  • Depending on the type of course, you can expect to spend between £100 and £3,000.

Though you are unlikely to find a free certified TEFL there are some companies such as English First who hire teachers and, as part of your employment, will sponsor TEFL qualifications.

How much do you get paid to teach English abroad?

Salaries can vary from region to region, so will depend on whether you are looking to teach English abroad in Latin America, Asia or Europe. Here are some example monthly salaries as reported by

  • Japan $1,500 - $2,000 USD /mo
  • China $1,250 - $2,850 USD /mo
  • South Korea $1,850 - $2,150 USD /mo
  • Mexico $500 - $800 USD /mo
  • Argentina $600 - $1,100 USD /mo
  • Chile $750 - $1,000 USD /mo
  • Czech Republic $700 - $1,100 USD /mo
  • Germany $1,100 - $2,200 USD /mo
  • Spain $1,250 - $1,850 USD /mo
  • Bahrain $1,500 - $3,000 USD /mo
  • UAE $1,800 - $5,000 USD /mo
  • Qatar $1,600 - $4,000 USD /mo

Why you should teach English abroad?

There are many reasons to teach English abroad. You might be looking to change career or want some time out from your current job. Helping others to learn a new language is definitely a rewarding thing to do.

And, if at the same time you’re able to travel the world, see new places and throw yourself into a different culture, it’s win-win.

We hope this guide has given better understanding of the steps you need to take and look forward to hearing about your new adventure. We will be there with you all the way and remember, if you need financial support while overseas, you can receive money transfer from your family through any of our trusted and easy-to-use services.

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