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Building a Career Abroad, Teaching English as a Foreign Language

If I knew what I do now, I would have got qualified to teach English abroad sooner. Now I understand the many benefits of getting qualified as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher, I want to save you time and share some information which could see you working and living comfortably, in many countries across the world.

(The following article does include affiliate links and I only affiliate myself with products and services I have used myself)

Although I'm not a licensed teacher from my home country and my University Degree isn't in English, getting a TEFL qualification has enabled me to work in 4 different countries whilst teaching English. It has also been of great value to me personally and has been an amazing addition to other skills and not to mention, has enabled me to develop in my own professional career.

Instead of writing pages on a topic which has so many positives for a person looking to move overseas, I'm going to cut straight to the chase and explain the benefits of getting a TEFL qualification and how to go about getting qualified.

Why Get a TEFL Qualification?

Possibility to work and live in every continent of the world - As a qualified TEFL teacher, you can potentially work in many countries across the world. The only reason why I say 'potentially' and many, is that you can basically use your qualification in EVERY country you are allowed to travel to, who don't have restrictions for foreigners. Even if your home country is an English speaking country, there are still those where English is not their first language and that said, every continent of the globe is your potential destination for work!

It's affordable - getting qualified doesn't break the bank and you can take a course for around £140 / $200 (when discounted), which will give you a qualification good enough to get a job. There are different qualifications available and different course delivery options out there but as a rule of thumb, most employers look for a TEFL qualification which has given you at least 120 hours of learning.

Premier TEFL offer some superb opportunities to get qualified at very affordable prices; 120 hour course for around £320 / $430 and the official Ofqual certified 230 hour course for around £620 / $870. The reason I use the word 'affordable' is twofold. First, your return on investment is very achievable once you get a job and second, Premier TEFL often offer discounted rates and flexible payment options (at the time of writing this ( 30th July 2021), their courses are at a 50% discount!

Potential to earn a comfortable salary - Obviously your earning potential will differ depending on the location you work, the establishment you work for and the type of work you do. Most full-time jobs allow for a comfortable living against the country's cost of living but of course, everyone's definition of 'living comfortable' will differ - people happy to live more like a local can survive on less and those wanting to live like a foreigner in their new country, may have larger outgoings.

The video below explains this in more detail and if you would rather listen to it, the same content is available via the Forward Path podcast here.

Ability to build a career and more - With a TEFL qualification you can work for a school who offers you stable hours and benefits such as bonuses and free flights home. You can use it to travel the world and perhaps work as a part-time or substitute teacher, with a lesser commitment. You can build your own business with 1to1 students or group classes. You could even use a mixture of all of the options and really start to build your experience and reputation.

The final option is for people like myself, who was able to move into a Physical Education teaching role after my English teaching role, and this was mostly helped by having experience working with children and having a TEFL qualification. However you use the qualification and even if you are not wanting to be a TEFL teacher forever, remember that an initial passion for educating others is a must.

You don't need to be a licensed teacher or have a Degree in English - These things would certainly help to get a better job, at a better school, with higher salary, but they are not needed to become a TEFL teacher. It is common that a University Degree is needed to be able to gain official Work Permits in some countries, however, (rightly or wrongly), there are TEFL teachers living and working in different countries without a University Degree.

The opportunities to develop TEFL teaching into a career can certainly be helped with acquiring further qualifications, such as a Degree in Education or a Masters Degree in Education, and there are even opportunities to gain a Post Graduate Certificate in Education via an international version, PGCEi from Nottingham University.

An example of some of the Premier TEFL Course Options

What are your next steps?

1. The first thing to do is enrol on a course which will provide you with a minimal of 120 hours of learning. Ideally, the more hours the better and if the qualification is accredited like the Premier TEFL Level 5 course , you will already be on the way to securing a job abroad.

If you are thinking about working with 1to1 students, it may also be an idea to make sure the course has some kind of 'English for Business Teaching' section in it or, purchase it as an add-on.

2. The next thing is to figure out where you want to go and that..... is mostly up to you!

If you are interested in making a fresh start abroad and/or you are interested in learning how to land a teaching job abroad, email me on


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