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Teach English Overseas: Factors to Consider

Would you like to teach English overseas? Here are some things you should know beforehand.

English is one of the most common languages around the world and for this reason many people want to learn it. This means there is a need for English teachers in many countries and the opportunity to teach English overseas is available to those that are qualified for the job. However there are a number of factors that need to be considered before accepting an overseas posting, and in many cases the pros and cons of these will depend on the personality of an individual.

Qualifications Required

The qualifications required to teach English overseas can vary widely depending on the country and the type of work. It is therefore important to understand the requirements before applying. In many countries a degree education is required to teach English and this is especially so for full time jobs. However, this is not always the case and in some countries, as long as you are a native English speaker, a degree education may not be required. For those seeking overseas English jobs, a major advantage in finding work is to become certified in teaching English to foreign students. Options available for this include Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification or Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification. Training for these qualifications better prepares you to carry out the job and this can help in finding a job and ensuring you have the capabilities to do it.


Those that take the decision to teach English overseas will obviously find themselves working in a country where English is not the first language. Depending on the country, it may be that many of the population have an understanding of English, although in many countries very little English can be spoken. Some teachers can see this as an advantage as it provides a challenge where they can learn a new language themselves. However, others can see it as a disadvantage as it can make it harder to adjust to life in a new country, and carrying out normal everyday tasks can be that bit more difficult.


In many cases working in another country can provide a little culture shock and this can be especially so in countries that are considered to be less developed. While many teachers can find it a positive experience to embrace the culture in a new country, others may find it to be too much of a change from the life they are used to and find it hard to adjust to a new culture. Obviously it is difficult to determine this before arrival in a new country, but doing a little research and choosing to work in a country where you feel you will be comfortable with the culture and way of life can help to make working overseas a positive experience that you will enjoy.

Job Availability

While English teachers are generally in demand in a number of countries, job availability is something that needs to be considered. Some countries have a greater requirement than others and again a little research to find out the best options at the time you are looking to teach English overseas can make it easier to land a post. Most countries also have peak hiring times for teachers, generally at the start of the new academic year. This will vary from country to country and finding out when this is in the country of your choice is a common sense thing to do. Applying in the run up to the peak hiring period can increase the chances of successfully finding a job.


Pay is something that most candidates for English teaching jobs overseas will consider. This can vary widely and is mostly influenced by the country in which you are working. In most cases, English teachers can have a comfortable lifestyle on the salary they are paid, while being able to save a little. For those that have an aim to try and save significant amounts of money while working abroad, the Middle East and Asian countries are generally considered to be the best options.

Teaching in a foreign country can be an interesting and enjoyable experience for those that choose to do it. However before committing yourself to teach English overseas, there are a few factors you should take into consideration. Some of the most common of these are shown above and giving some thought to these can help to ensure that you will enjoy the experience, as well as providing a valuable service to the students you teach.

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