Graduating can be overwhelming if you don’t have a graduate job lined up, let alone a plan. Your university years might have been some of your best yet, but that’s not to say they have to be your best years full stop. Now that you’ve graduated (or are getting close to it), you might be feeling uncertain about what’s next.
You might want to dive straight into the world of work and put what you’ve learned from your studies to the test. Or maybe you just need some time to gather yourself and decide what your next move will be. You could also be impatient to travel the world. But how can this be feasible without already having saved up – let’s face it – a lot of money.
But what if you could earn money to travel, whilst you travel? By qualifying to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL), you can travel the world and get paid for it.
What Are the Requirements for TEFL?
As long as you’re fluent in English and have a TEFL certification, then there are options for you to teach English somewhere! In order to be a successful teacher, you’ll also need passion and motivation for teaching and learning.
Whilst anyone fitting the above criteria can TEFL, that’s not to say that different countries and employers don’t set their own criteria for teachers. It’s essential that you research carefully where you’re eligible to teach so that you can avoid any disappointment further down the line.
For many countries, holding a BA degree is often a requirement. However, your degree doesn’t have to be in English, or related to teaching. Regardless of your major, you can TEFL. You don’t have to be a native English speaker either, but you might be asked to provide evidence of your proficiency if English isn’t your first language.
Some employers might also have age restrictions and state that you must be over 21 years old.
There are plenty of opportunities out there, you just have to search a little to find the one that’s right for you!
Complete a TEFL Course with a Quality Provider
A quality course won’t be cheap but it doesn’t need to be super expensive either. If you can get a qualification cheaply without putting in much effort, it’ll only end up costing you more in the long run because it simply won’t be good enough for many employers.
Most EFL employers will expect you to have completed a minimum of a course from an accredited provider. Prioritising accreditation is highly recommended – providers with accreditation from government and/or established educational bodies will equip you with the skills for starting a career in teaching.
Overall, their courses will be of a very high standard and will give you the best chance of getting hired. A few TEFL/TESOL course providers such as tesol.org and tefl.org.
Teach English Online Wherever You Are
Teaching English online is a great career for those who are eager to stay on the move. You can carry out work completely remotely, provided that you have a decent internet connection.
What’s great about teaching English online is that you decide when you work, which means you can fit work in with travel, sightseeing and ever-changing time differences.
If you’re considering teaching English online after college, it’s recommended that you find work with an online teaching company, which will already have a large student base. You decide your own schedule and students will choose their slots. Working for an online teaching company is a great way to gain experience without committing full-time to teaching.
However, your hours aren’t guaranteed so bear that in mind when you’re planning your travels. The more teaching experience you have, the easier it’ll be to fill your time slots. Read more – How to get the work experience you need to teach.
Plan Your Finances Carefully
We’ll be realistic with you, you need to have some money set aside first to be able to TEFL abroad. Besides the cost of the course itself, you need to consider getting to your destination, accommodation, and at least your first month’s expenses – you won’t get your first pay-cheque until you’ve completed your first month of work.
What you spend on getting started with TEFL should be achievable to earn back within a few months of teaching, depending on how you manage your money. If you’re lucky, you might even be reimbursed for flights by your employer at the end of your contract, or perhaps even have other expenses like your accommodation covered.
Depending on your employer, you could secure a job in your dream destination before you graduate and receive your degree. Make sure your CV impresses by listing all of your qualifications and strengths. If you’ve completed a quality course too this will also help you stand out – even more so if you’ve completed any further, advanced training.
Once you’re hired, or if you’re an online teacher with a substantial student base, nothing is stopping you from fitting travel into your life. Wherever you go in your free time, every experience will be unique and potentially leave you with fond memories to last a lifetime.