Home / Your 6 Step Plan on How to Teach English Abroad in 2021

Congratulations, you’ve completed your 120 hour TEFL course making you a certified TEFL teacher! Your next step is to find a job to teach English abroad and to start your emigration process. 

COVID-19 has made moving abroad a bit more complicated. But it hasn’t stopped thousands of new and seasoned TEFL teachers from packing their bags and heading overseas to begin their TEFL career.

As vaccinations become more readily available and COVID-19 numbers begin to drop, more and more countries are re-opening their borders to foreign nationals; the high demand for TEFL teachers never disappeared! Non-English speaking countries are crying out for English teachers, so you will be sure to get a job.

Step 1: Talk to a trusted adviser 

Choosing to move to teach English abroad is an exciting prospect, but it can be a bit overwhelming. You may not know where to begin, especially with COVID-19 restrictions thrown into the mix.

The TEFL Institute of Ireland is here to help. We can answer your questions about what documents and TEFL qualifications you need, put you in contact with potential employers, and help you research your options. Give us a call today, and we can help you begin your journey to move abroad.

Reaching out to your country’s embassy in your chosen destination is another invaluable way to gather information regarding the emigration and visa process. Remember, the more information you have, the more prepared and informed you are for this big move. 


Step 2: Choose an appropriate destination

Be it a European city or a beachside town in Asia, choosing the country that suits you is the most important decision you’re going to make. However, with COVID-19, it’s important to consider how your chosen country deals with the virus and what restrictions they have in place for foreigners entering the country.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself when selecting your ideal destination to teach English abroad:

  • Are the country’s borders open to foreigners? If so, are people from my country allowed to enter?
  • Is there a mandatory two-week quarantine upon entry? If so, what is the cost?
  • What are the hiring requirements needed to teach English in this country? 
  • What is the standard wage for TEFL teachers? Will it meet the standard of living costs?
  • Do I need to have a job before entering the country to get a work visa?

Once you’ve determined what country you plan to move to, you can consider whether you want to live in a city or the countryside. This will help narrow down your choices, so you will only apply for jobs based in an environment that suits you. 

Step 3: Gather the correct documents

Luckily, the documents you need to get your work visa to move abroad are similar, if not the same, when applying to teach English abroad. Although every country has different requirements, generally, they are all looking for the same certificates to prove your qualifications and to show you don’t have a criminal record. 

To make your visa and job application process as time-efficient and effective as possible, create a documents folder with all the necessary documents saved as PDFs, so you have all your information ready to give to your employers as soon as possible.

It’s also necessary to have the hard copy versions of these documents for when you teach English abroad:

  • TEFL teaching CV
  • TEFL teaching certificate
  • A copy of your degree in English
  • A scan of your passport
  • A garda/ police vetting form 
  • 2-3 references from past employers
  • A cover letter/email template, which you can change depending on the criteria needed for the position you’re applying for. This is only necessary for the job application process, not the visa process. 

Your new employer will inform you of any other documents that are needed during the visa application process. Most of the time, they will take care of the visa process for you. However, if you are doing the visa application process by yourself, reach out to our team for advice on what documents and requirements are necessary to get into your chosen country. 

Step 4: Determine what type of job to apply for

There are many different types of TEFL teaching jobs out there, so it’s important you apply for a job that suits your skills and interests. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you want to work with young learners, teenagers or adults?
  • Do you want to work in an English language centre where you could work in the evenings and weekends?
  • Do you want to work in a primary or secondary school on the weekdays?
  • Do you want to do a teaching internship? 

All of these positions offer different experiences and obligations, so it’s something you need to consider when applying for them.

Once you’ve determined what age group and teaching setting suits you best, the job application process will become a lot narrower and easier. It will ensure that you secure a job that you are passionate about. If you are still unsure about the benefits and differences between these positions, contact us today.

Step 5: Reach out to the TEFL community working abroad

The beauty of the internet is that it has made the world a lot smaller. There are dozens of online forums for TEFL teachers living and working abroad that you can connect with today.

Join Facebook groups and follow TEFL blogs. They provide information on what life’s like in their adopted homes and can answer questions you have about moving abroad. You can also meet potential new friends and get tips on where to live and travel to when you arrive. What’s more, schools often advertise job openings on these sites. 

Step 6: Secure a job abroad in 2021

Once you have completed these steps, it’s time to start applying for your dream job to teach English abroad. Read this blog about when the best time to apply for teaching jobs aboard.  Interviews for these positions will take place online.  For tips on how to prepare for a virtual teaching interview, read our latest blog post here

Before you know it, you will be offered your dream job, and your TEFL teaching journey abroad will be set in motion. The majority of the time, your new employer will take care of your visa application process and assist in your travel arrangements. If not, the TEFL Institute of Ireland’s team is here to offer advice on how to make these arrangements yourself.

Now the last thing you have to do is pack your bag and get ready to start teaching. Remember, you will regret the chances you never take, so start your TEFL journey day!


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