Skip to main content
  • This article will provide a clear overview of how to teach English abroad, including each step or phase of the process.
  • This article will help users understand what is required to teach English abroad and make the process more approachable.
  • This article will provide detailed insight into the TEFL industry as well as the types of English teaching jobs available in 2023 worldwide.

To teach English abroad, most countries require a TEFL certificate, fluency in English, a valid passport, and, in most cases, a bachelor’s degree in any discipline. A clean criminal record is also required to teach English in another country. The first step in preparing for a job teaching English abroad is to become familiar with the steps, documents, and procedures of the country you choose.

Becoming an English teacher abroad is one of the best ways for people of all ages to travel, save money, and contribute to the importance of global education. Here are the basic requirements to start teaching English abroad.

1. Have a TEFL certificate

A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification confirms your ability to teach English to non-native English speakers. All teachers looking to teach English in another country must have at least a 120-hour TEFL certification. Depending on your preferences, finances, and time constraints, you can obtain your TEFL certificate online or in person. The 120-hour TEFL certificate will cover teaching methods such as grammar instruction, classroom management, and dealing with cultural differences. Make sure your TEFL course is accredited, which means it has been reviewed and approved by international education governing bodies.

2. Have a valid passport

Most countries require a valid passport with at least six months of validity and at least two blank pages to teach English overseas. While it is completely possible to find a job teaching English abroad as a non-native English speaker, most countries only allow teachers from specific countries to teach English to get a visa or work permit, so be sure to narrow your search based on your nationality.

3. Prepare for your visa

In addition to having a valid passport, you must plan for and apply for a visa to enter the country where you want to teach English. This procedure entails gathering all of the necessary documents as well as meeting the visa requirements of the country of your choice. If you want to teach English in South Korea, for example, the visa application process can take up to six months. Countries may require documents such as university transcripts, notarized TEFL certificates and diplomas, apostille background checks, and much more, so start gathering your documents as soon as possible if you want to quickly find a job teaching English abroad.

Your Step By Step Plan to Become an English Teacher Abroad

The process of becoming an international English teacher may seem hectic at first, but teachers will be surprised at how easy it is to teach English abroad with proper preparation.

1. Secure your requirements to teach English

  •  Before you apply for English teaching jobs in other countries, make sure you understand how to qualify to teach English abroad. At the bare minimum least, you should be fluent in English, have an accredited TEFL certificate, and have a valid passport. After determining which country is best to teach English in for you, you can begin researching your country’s or school’s other requirements.
teach english job requirements
teaching english to children

2. Decide what types of learners you want to teach

  •  International English teachers are always in demand by students of all ages and levels. The majority of available English teaching jobs are for young learners, typically ages 4 to 12. Those who teach kindergarten and younger students can benefit from a specialty course like Teaching English to Young Learners. Look into specialty courses like Business English or Advanced Grammar for English Teachers if you want to teach adults or students with an already high English level.

3. Choose where to teach English

  • Consider your motivations before deciding where to teach English abroad. Is it important to you to save money while teaching English? Do you want flexibility and a good work-life balance as an English teacher? Are you interested in teaching English on the beach or in a big city? Different countries offer different benefits to foreign English teachers. South Korea and China offer the highest salaries for TEFL teachers while teaching English in Spain provides the most vacation time and the fewest class hours.
  • English teaching jobs in Europe are available, but they are typically reserved for European nationals, so other nationalities may have a more difficult time obtaining a visa and work permit.
  • After deciding which country to teach English in and what you hope to gain from the experience, you can finally begin your job search to begin teaching English abroad!
teach english in south korea

4. Find a job teaching English abroad that suits you

  • You should think about not only pay and vacation time, but also perks like free housing or a housing allowance, flight inclusion, and healthcare. It is also critical to decide the type of school you wish to teach in. Public schools offer the most job security, while private and after-school academies offer higher salaries for longer hours, are easier to find, and are available year-round.
  • Consider the timing of your schedule. Teaching English after college is a great way to start paying off your student loans while traveling the world, so you should start looking for work at least six months before graduation.
  • Most Asian countries begin semesters in August and February, whereas the start of the school year in Europe typically begins in September and ends in mid to late June. Remember that different countries have different holidays, so your vacation and breaks may differ from what you’re used to in your home country.

5. Apply for jobs and get an offer!

  • You can begin your job search once you have completed the requirements to teach English abroad and gathered all of the necessary documents. The majority of English-teaching jobs are available online, with popular platforms like and ESL Cafe being the best for public and private school jobs worldwide. Jobs can also be found on Indeed and Linkedin.
  • Some countries have English teacher government programs, such as South Korea’s EPIK program and Japan’s JET program. Many people prefer to work with a recruiter, who will send your resume to schools and set up interviews for you. Using a recruiter to find an English teaching job is ideal for first-time English teachers.
  • You can also contact schools directly via email. Though some may question how hard it is to teach English abroad, there are many English jobs available in 2023. Do not accept the first offer you receive, and keep in mind that there is always time to negotiate salary and other benefits to best suit your needs. Opportunities are endless and searching for the right TEFL job is a part of the fun!

Figuring out how to teach English abroad doesn’t have to be hard

Learn How to Teach English with a TEFL Certification

Getting your TEFL certification is the most important step in finding an English teaching job abroad. The TEFL Certification will teach you how to properly teach English to people of all ages and English levels. After getting your 120 TEFL Course online or in-person, you can take other specialty courses to set you apart from the competition when searching for an English teaching job abroad, such as Teaching English to Young Learners and Business English. Intensive TEFL courses in person with live teaching hours are one of the best ways to get learn how to teach English and prepare you for the classroom.

Where to find English teaching resources

English teaching resources, ranging from lesson plans to classroom management tools, are available online, with special opportunities reserved for those who enroll in any of our courses at BeyondTEFL, such as job search guidance and access to our large online community of past, present, and future international English teachers.

Ask us for help!

BeyondTEFL has a large network of experienced instructors, former teachers, and international education and volunteer workers. All BeyondTEFL courses provide support, job assistance, and other resources to help you prepare for a successful career teaching English abroad. BeyondTEFL can be reached at if you have any general questions or concerns about our courses, job opportunities, or tips to make your time teaching English abroad easier.

Subscribe to our newsletter

If you like this content and would like to receive more similar content directly to your inbox then please subscribe to our newsletter.

Leave a Reply