Do you spend your days at work sitting at your desk daydreaming of eating croissants in Paris, or relaxing on a beach on Koh Phangan, or hiking Macchu Pichu in Peru? Do you often wake up and wish your life was different, that you could lead the life you’ve always wanted to, you’ve always dreamed of?
Well, who says you can’t?
Teaching English as a Foreign Language abroad is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to travel the world. Think about it: you can live anywhere you want and have a job. You can live in whichever exotic destination your heart desires, do your work, and spend your free time adventuring around.
There are an estimated 1.5 billion English language learners in this world. That means there are a lot of students needing English teachers – which is good news for you.
So the question is, how can you get involved?
The first thing on your to-do list is to do a TEFL course. Find an internationally recognised, reputable TEFL course provider and sign up for a course that’s at least 120 hours. TEFL courses are either 100% online, 100% face-to-face, or a combination of the two.
The TEFL course will teach you all about teaching English as a Foreign Language. You’ll learn about learning styles, teaching methods, educational theories, classroom management, and the skills and systems of English. It is not expected that you have any previous teaching experience. The TEFL course will prepare you for any classroom situation.
It’s also possible to take an online course and supplement it with a practical component – either online or face-to-face – to give you some practical experience in the classroom. This will allow you to put the theory you have learnt on the course into action. This will prepare you for teaching your own students in your own classroom – and it looks great on your CV.
Once you’ve been awarded your TEFL certificate, you can now decide where you want to live and work. To help you out, download the World Factbook 2021 from The TEFL Academy. With useful information on over 100 countries, it’ll help you choose the best place for you. It gives you details on teaching requirements, average salaries, cost of living, popular accommodation choices, weather and even local cuisine you should try.
If you have a question about teaching English in a certain country, the World Factbook 2021 will have the answer.
An alternative idea is to become a digital nomad.
Digital nomads work online so they can work from anywhere. A popular option is to teach English online. All that is needed is a good laptop, a microphone or headset, a reliable internet connection and a quiet place to teach in. Whether you are on a beach or in the mountains, if there is an internet connection then you can teach!
A TEFL certificate will allow you to sign up with one of the hundreds of online teaching companies. They will find students for you and arrange your teaching schedule for you. You can even upload an introductory video on some websites and students can book with you directly. Some teachers prefer to be totally independent so they find students themselves and teach on Zoom or Skype.
Teaching through a company is considered by many to be better than teaching independently. This is partly because you do not have to spend your time marketing yourself. However, it is also because, in general, teaching materials and lesson plans are provided by the companies, so you don’t have to spend time preparing lessons. All you have to do is show up and teach!
Whichever route you decide to take when it comes to teaching English as a Foreign Language, the opportunities for travel are real. If you are living abroad, you can explore your new city in your free time, and you can go further afield on weekends and holidays. If you are teaching online, your teaching schedule can be organised according to your travel plans – so you are free to go wherever you want!
Now we know this might sound like a crazy idea. Packing your bags and moving abroad can be quite daunting. But it is also very brave. Teaching English as a Foreign Language and travelling the world will change you in ways you never thought possible. It is said that travel broadens your horizons, and it does so on so many levels. You will meet new people, discover new places, experience new cultures, find new ways of thinking.
Teaching will also change you. You will become more organised, more responsible, more independent. You will become more confident when speaking to people. You will learn to adapt to change quickly and be more flexible when it comes to dealing with whatever challenges life will throw at you.
If you are interested in travelling the world and you are unhappy or dissatisfied in your current situation, then maybe it’s time to believe in yourself and take a step towards the life you’ve dreamed of living.