Teaching English Abroad

Teaching English is a fantastic way to support yourself while traveling. Anyone can become a certified English teacher with the universally-recognized Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate (TESL). This certificate is available through online courses, college programs, and even community classes.

With the certificate, you are free to travel anywhere in the world to teach private lessons, group classes, or even in a classroom. The average salaries for English teachers vary from country to country, and depend on many other factors like the specific city you are in and the amount of students you are teaching at a time.

Because the cost of living in many places like Southeast Asia and Central America are much lower than living in the United States, the salaries may seem relatively minimal, but are actually more than enough to pay the bills and feed yourself. This chart shows the average monthly salaries of English teachers in various cities across the globe.

English is the business language of the world. Teaching English to students in foreign countries equips them with the chance to use this knowledge as a tool in the business world if they choose.

English teachers are in extremely high demand all over the world. As countries try to advance economically and increase education, English teachers are needed. Being a native English speaker is a simple requirement. Many schools also require a bachelor’s degree and the TESL/Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)/Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification. These certificates go by many different names, but are all essentially the same thing.

“After I completed my certification, it only took me a week before I found someone who needed a private teacher,” said Niku Sharei. “Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of other offers and now I’m teaching two students a day, five days a week.”


Suitcases stacked up in airport in Istanbul, Turkey.

Though there are many different ways of obtaining these certificates, you must be careful when choosing your route because some are much more established than others. There are many companies that charge high prices in exchange for a certificate. These companies are scams that take your money without giving you the proper training you need to actually be able to teach. This online forum allows people to post if they or someone they know have fallen victim to a scam–so beware of these sites! When you do receive your certification, there are also many job offers that can be scams. Check out this site to learn about the most common warning signs of job scams. The golden rule #1 is: never pay anyone a single penny to find you a TESL job. These types of fake companies are well-known by institutions, and schools will not accept certifications from these programs.

Being a native speaker of English is not enough to make you a proper teacher. Classes are essential to learning the basic skills you need to manage students and effectively teach. This is why certification programs through universities are highly effective.

“A lot of people take the courses, receive their certification, and teach for the first time when they arrive in a foreign country,” said Dr. Battenburg, professor of linguistics and head of the TESL certification program at Cal Poly–SLO, “This can be a major shock for many people because they realize that teaching theory is very different than actually teaching in a classroom. Teaching skills need to be taught through practice and application, not just theory.”

Through such programs, college students take a series of courses in order to earn their certification. These courses are a balanced mixture of linguistics, intercultural communication, and actual teaching practicum. The teaching practicum classes require teaching English as a second language to students in classrooms in the local community.

“This hands-on learning experience is really important for teachers because classroom management is a skill that can only be learnt through actual practice,” said Dr. Battenburg.

However, since TESL certification is usually associated with a linguistics minor requiring a series of classes, most students don’t have the time to take so many additional classes along with their major requirements. A lot of universities offer alternative ways to obtain the certification.

One of these internationally recognized certification programs is Oxford Seminars. The program offers classes in plentiful cities all over the United States. The program generally requires that you take six classes taught by instructors to receive your certification. They are so confident in the certification process and the demand for teaching jobs, that if you don’t find a job within six months of receiving your certificate, they have a guarantee of refusing you the $1195 you paid for the program.

“Being able to travel to whatever country I want knowing that I have a secure job and source of income is the most liberating feeling in the world,” said Catie Born. “Over the past few years I’ve taught in Japan, Spain and Italy.”

“Being able to travel to whatever country I want knowing that I have a secure job and source of income is the most liberating feeling in the world,” said Catie Born.

Regardless of the route you choose to receive your certification, teaching english is a secure way to travel anywhere in the world that you desire.


Anatolia, Turkey


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