We all have the fantasy of packing a suitcase and jet-setting off to a new country. Whether you dream of the charming streets of Italy or the lush hiking trails in Vietnam, you can make it happen and get paid along the way. From the outside, people who move abroad seem like they’ve hit the jackpot, but many of them work to afford their travels. Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages, or TESOL, is among the most popular jobs for funding a nomadic lifestyle. With a bit of training, you can use your native language to line your pockets for international travel and develop useful life skills along the way.
TESOL is a great way to fund your travels while living abroad. Enhance your career prospects as you explore the world and earn cash along the way. Becoming a TESOL certified English teacher will help you make the most of your time abroad and set you up for an exciting new future.
Getting your TESOL certification through a company like TEFL Org is the best way to set yourself up for success before moving abroad. Through their convenient online courses, you’ll gain an internationally recognized teaching certificate to boost your resume when hunting your teaching positions.
Read on if you’re curious to know whether TESOL is the right move for you. We’ll discuss everything from why you should choose TESOL to how to get started. We’ll explore some of the benefits of teaching abroad and things to consider before you start on this journey. With this information, you’ll be ready to make an informed decision and embark on an exciting new adventure of teaching and travelling.
There are countless reasons why TESOL could be the perfect move for you. If you’re looking for an exciting way to boost your resume, expand your horizons, and check amazing locations off your bucket list, look no further than a position in TESOL. Let’s dive into a few of the reasons you should consider this as your next adventure.
Fund your travels: When our travel daydreams wear off, many of us are left wondering how we’ll fund the fantasy trips we want to take. A TESOL position solves that problem by allowing you to earn money between adventures. You can teach classes during the week and set off on exciting trips each weekend, knowing your paycheck will help support the lifestyle. This is a rare opportunity to backpack around and explore new areas while earning money during the week.
Get more time to explore: In a standard nine to five job, you have to plan trips in advance and request time off for travel. You only get a finite amount of time to explore new places, and you may leave feeling like you only scratched the surface. Getting a TESOL job gives you a year or more to get your bearings in a new place and explore the surrounding area. You’ll leave knowing you learned much more about your temporary home than you would have on a short holiday.
Gain authentic local insights: More time to explore also means you have the opportunity to meet and learn from locals. Rather than taking guided tours around capital cities in a red double-decker bus, you’ll make friends that can give you the insider’s scoop on your new stomping grounds. Your new pals will take you to hole-in-the-wall restaurants and share the area’s hidden gems. Getting more time to develop these connections enriches your cultural perspective and allows you to make lasting, meaningful friendships.
Pick up marketable skills: Another reason to choose TESOL is the ability to boost your CV while on the go. Travel gives you excellent life experience many employers appreciate, but pairing this with your skills as an English teacher will help you stand out in the job market. Whether or not you wish to be a teacher after your TESOL position, you can still include valuable skills on your resume, like intercultural competence, public speaking, ability to collaborate and adapt in new environments, and maybe even a foreign language. Spending a little time on career development adds up, and the work you put in while abroad will help you shine in your next endeavors.
Once you have your TESOL certificate, you may be unsure of where to get started on your job hunt. Your approach will depend on where you’d like to live, be it a tiny European village or a sprawling city in Asia. It will also depend on the type of job you’d like, as you may prefer teaching small children, teenagers, or even adults. Either way, here are some general ideas to keep in mind when starting to look for a job in TESOL.
Research before diving in: The last thing you want to do is get your heart set on a location where a TESOL job isn’t feasible, or apply for a job before conducting thorough research. Find reputable resources where you can search jobs, find great companies or schools, and read testimonials of people who have completed a TESOL position there. The more you research, the more likely you’ll be to make the best decision for you, and the more confident you’ll be making this bold career move.
Build a CV for TESOL: Rather than sending in a generic CV, you’d be wise to craft a resume that reflects related experience. Include your TESOL certification and any other experience related to teaching or working with folks from different cultures. You likely have more TESOL related skills than you think, so dig deep and come up with a CV that sells your unique skill set.
Keep your TESOL resources organised: When you first dive into this research, you may get overwhelmed. It can be helpful to create a spreadsheet or document to collect resources for job hunting, blogs or other first-hand experiences you’d like to read into, and teaching materials that will help you on the job. This can be an ongoing treasure trove of resources that will help you throughout your experience in TESOL, and may even help friends working in TESOL in the future.
Take first-hand experience with a grain of salt: Reading blogs or speaking with people with TESOL backgrounds is one of the greatest things you can do to learn about your future position. That being said, it’s important to remember that everyone’s experience is very different. One person may hope to gain extensive teaching experience, while another may want heaps of free time to travel and study a language. These two people may have completely different accounts of their time in the same position. Remember to focus on your priorities and be discerning when learning from others.
Get ready to push your boundaries: The benefits of teaching English abroad are innumerable. You’ll gain marketable skills, deep cultural awareness, and most importantly, a steady stream of funds for your travel adventures. However, living in a foreign country can push your boundaries. You may have miscommunications with coworkers, confusing situations navigating public transport, or a few bumps in the road in your new English teaching role. As long as you keep an open mind, you’ll be more than capable of learning from these experiences and growing more comfortable in your skin along the way.
If you’re looking for the chance to travel long-term while earning money, TESOL is your ticket to your dream lifestyle. You’ll get the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally, and gain many amazing travel memories. If you’re willing to keep an open mind, travelling and teaching English are the perfect combination for creating your ideal lifestyle and getting the most from your time abroad.
If you like this article, please share. Thank you!
About the Author:
Jennifer Anders is a freelance writer who has traveled extensively and enjoys exploring off-the-beaten-path locations around the world.
She loves hiking national parks, windsurfing, and photographing wildlife.
Aside from all those crazy activities, you'll also find her eating plenty of local street food. She is absolutely fearless when it comes to trying new things.