How to Teach English Abroad

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
If you have a bachelor's degree, an interest in teaching, and a fair amount of wanderlust, you might be thinking about teaching English abroad. Learn how to land the international teaching job that's right for you.

A Guide to Teaching English Abroad

Aside from the desire to move to another country, the most basic requirement to teach English abroad is a bachelor's degree. Once you've met these two requirements, you'll need to choose the country in which you would like to teach.

Choosing a Country

Do you have a country or region in mind, or just a general desire to experience other cultures? Either way, there are likely English teaching positions available in a part of the world that interests you.

Keep in mind that each country has different requirements regarding visas, which might play a role in determining where you're able to find work. Some other important factors for consideration are outlined below.

Financial Considerations

If finances play a role in your decision to teach abroad, begin by exploring what salaries and benefits you might earn in various countries, along with what types of expenses to expect. Salaries vary dramatically from, say, Asia to Central America. Similarly, housing may be provided for the entire term of your commitment, for part of the term, or not at all.

Many online resources outline the type of compensation you can expect from programs in different countries. The Council on International Educational Exchange (, for example, offers a quick comparison of typical opportunities in several European, Asian, and Central and South American countries.

Training Considerations

If you're interested in making a long-term career of teaching English abroad, you may want to pursue a graduate degree in teaching English to speakers of foreign languages (TESOL). Employers in some countries require applicants to hold one of these degrees, while others ask that applicants earn a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or TESOL.

Searching for a Job

Once you've taken these factors into consideration, you can start looking for jobs by searching for positions online or contacting a recruiter. You can also apply for positions through organizations like the CIEE, which often provide TEFL training to successful applicants.

Preparing to Teach a Class

To make sure you're fully prepared for the teaching responsibilities you'll have once you arrive at your destination, check out's online courses. These video lessons and quizzes can provide support to teachers anywhere in the world with Internet access. Use them to hone your knowledge of pedagogy and develop your ability to teach English as a second language. Explore some of the courses available:

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