Why you should teach English online in 2020

In a world where everyone wants freedom to do their own thing, it’s no surprise that teaching English online is one of the fastest growing areas of TEFL. And, with a huge list of amazing benefits for both teachers and students it’s easy to see why! If you’re thinking of becoming an online English teacher, 2020 is the year to do it, and here are the reasons why:

1. You’ll be your own boss

Overlay of calendar and laptop

Whether you’re hired by an agency or you’ve opted to work freelance, you’ll be your own boss. You’ll be able to decide when you work and how many hours you do, so no more waking up super early – what a dream! You’ll also be able to take holidays whenever you want, or you can even work whilst you’re on holiday if you want to keep earning! You’ll be completely in charge of your time and your schedule which will be a really liberating feeling.

2. You can work from literally anywhere in the world

Girl using laptop on bed with a cup of coffee

If you want to become a digital nomad and travel the world whilst working – online teaching is literally made for you! Or, you can teach English from home whilst studying as a bit of extra income to help you save for your next adventure – yay! All you’ll need is a laptop, internet connection and a few ideas for your lessons – easy! Pro tip: if you work for an agency that provides you with students, they’ll often provide lesson plans for you too, so you don’t even need to plan your classes.

3.  You’ll gain amazing teaching experience

TEFL teacher in classroom with students

Just starting out as a TEFL teacher and want to gain some teaching experience for your CV? Teaching English online is a great starting point! Whether you’re teaching English online or in the classroom, you’ll be gaining pretty much the same skills, so it’ll really help boost your CV if you want to apply for TEFL jobs abroad later on.

4. The earning potential can be HUGE

Jar of money

There are literally 1000s of opportunities out there to teach English online! With loads of agency offering hourly salaries of $40+, there’s potential for you to earn a really good monthly wage – all from the comfort of your own home. Winner!

5. It’s easy to get started

Woman laid on bed with laptop, using mobile phone

It’s super easy to start teaching English online. All you’ll need is a TEFL certificate, a laptop and internet connection! If you’re not already TEFL qualified, you can get qualified easily with one of our Online Courses, so all that’s left for you to do is start applying for jobs!

Ready to get started? Download our teaching English online guide now!

Big City Life: Bangkok Style with Teacher Becca

To teach English in Thailand it’s not only good to be prepared for the classroom, but also for the culture you’ll be joining. Good thing, we’ve got Teacher Becca to share her experience and great tips:

Let’s start with the facts. Bangkok is the largest and most populated city in Thailand. It is *the* city.

As the capital, there are numerous cultural attractions to keep you busy.

Let’s do Bangkok by the numbers:

 

•    City population is roughly 8 million

•    The city spans 600 square miles, give or take

•    It was founded as the capital in 1782

•    There are just 2 lines on the Bangkok Transit System,
making it easy to find your way

•    Bangkok is technically the world’s hottest city, with a record high of 40 degrees. Thankfully it averages around 28. Brr.

•    The city boasts the world’s biggest Chinatown

•    There are exactly 169 characters in Bangkok’s official name, which is…wait for it…

        Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahinthara Yutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Mahasathan Amonphiman Awatansathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukamprasit

Which translates to…

        the city of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s behest.

Bangkok Grand Palace

Tourism in Bangkok

Domestic and international tourism is the lifeblood that pumps through the veins of Bangkok. On average, Bangkok sees close to 30 million domestic visitors, and over 10 million international visitors every year.

That amounts to countless Baht brought in through both the official channels, and the street deals that occur regularly in the shopping, food, nightlife and entertainment sectors.

Don’t miss!

So, there is more than enough for a weekend getaway in Bangkok. If you are missing some of the creature comforts from the West, then head straight for the BTS, known as the Sky Train, and get off at the Siam Center stop.

BTS Sky Train

There you will find the famed MBK Center, which can be simply described as malls on malls on malls. It is the place to be for shopping, dining, and entertainment, ranging from high-end to boutique to street vendors.

A simple trip to the movies (in English with Thai subtitles- they know their audience!), and some familiar Western chain restaurants and shops serves as a nice air-conditioned escape from the outside world.

For the Culture Vultures

For a taste of the arts scene in the capital city, the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center is an absolute must. Free admission and the Guggenheim-esque spiral design makes this part-gallery, part-community center attraction fun for everyone.

Don’t forget to save some time for the numerous temples and of course a visit to the Grand Palace. With the king’s passing in October, it is a fascinating time to see the grounds.

Wat Pho, Bangkok Thailand

I suggest visiting the Wat Pho, just down the street, where for just 100 Baht entrance fee you get a bottle of water, a photo opportunity with the famed reclining golden Buddha, and plenty of time to marvel at the colorfully ornate decor of the temple grounds.

However you decide to spend your free time, Bangkok can guarantee something to please the eyes, despite the inescapable layer of smog.

Pro Tips:

 

• Park It:

Due to the traffic congestion and subsequent pollution, it is important to seek out the admittedly scarce green space.
Lumphini Park is a personal favorite and one of the biggest in the city, perfect for a relaxing afternoon post sightseeing.

• BTS, also known as Sky Train:

It can be tricky to get a taxi driver to turn on the meter, and with some of the worst traffic in the world, the BTS is a great alternative.

Payments can only be made in coin, but helpful English-speaking tellers are plentiful in the stations. A single journey will cost you between 15 and 52 Baht depending on how many stops, with a day pass at 130 Baht. Grab one of the free maps from the stations and you will be good to go.

• The Maew’s Meow:

“Cat” is one of the easier (one of the only if we’re being honest) Thai words for me to remember, and Thailand is full of them!
If you want to check out one of the famed Cat Cafés, of which Bangkok has 11, then I suggest the Caturday Café.

It’s walking distance from the shopping district and BACC, and serves Western food.

Then of course there’s the Hello Kitty Café and Unicorn Café but I don’t want to bore you with that right meow…

Sleeping cat at Caturday Cafe in Bangkok

Until next time,

Teacher Becca

Are you inspired to jet off to Bangkok? Don’t forget that i-to-i not only helps you teach English in Thailand, but offers supported travel.
You could be part of the next Thailand adventure. Visit our Paid Thailand TEFL Internship page for full details.

Dear Vietnam… I don’t think you have enough scooters

So it has all begun. After a torturous 24 hour journey, in which I nearly missed a flight resulting in my name being called over the airport intercom, I am finally here! I’m 3 days in and to say that the experience has been crazy would be an understatement. I wanted a change – a jolt to my system – yet Hanoi has been more of an electric shock than a jolt. However, despite my severe electrocution, this place is slowly growing on me. The more damp, narrow alleys I walk down, the more vibrantly coloured buildings I pass, the more coffee I drink and the more humility I see in the locals’ eyes, the broader my smile becomes.

Aerial view of flats in Hanoi, Vietnam

First impression of Vietnam: controlled chaos. I am SO glad I had a team of people to help and guide me as, if not, I’m pretty sure my face would be on the back of a milk carton right now. The entire team has been amazing and in all honesty, I can’t imagine doing any of it without them. They’ve settled me in, calmed my nerves and assured me that after orientation week, I’ll have more confidence in my teaching abilities. All is run from the comfort of our hotel, which is much more comfy and air conditioned (thank goodness!)  than what I was expecting. The whole place is swarmed with interns and so you’re never alone in the elevator or without someone to chat to. Meals have become a huge social event with lunch and dinner being served ‘family style’. This makes it so much easier to mingle with different people and to try get accustomed to everyone’s accents! You would never think that we’re all speaking English. It’s pretty clear that there’s still lots to learn and adjust to but I know that’ll come as this orientation week progresses.

 

So despite the fact that all is running smoothly and I’ve been assured that I won’t be a completely useless teacher, there is one activity  that has blown me away and that I know I will never be able to do – navigate a vehicle on the streets of Hanoi. Oh my sweet, lovely, baby Buddha! There are approximately 3.4 million scooters in the city of Hanoi and this becomes overwhelmingly apparent when you step outside. When gazing at a street the roads get continuously hit with one tsunami of scooters, mopeds and motorbikes after another. Some carrying a family of 5, some carrying a family of 5 and their dog, some carrying what seems like a year’s worth of toilet paper.

Crowds of motorbikes and mopeds on the street in Hanoi, Vietnam

 

It is frighteningly impressive. To add to this, the rules of the roads are more like loose guidelines. The streets buzz with the constant sound of honking and  hooting. From what I’ve gathered, all the noise is to notify other drivers that they’re riding beside them or want to pass, because clearly the use of review mirrors and indicators are too much of a bother. The most amazing thing however, is the fact that amongst the sea of horns, a driver knows if a honk or hoot is meant for them. It’s become very apparent that the Vietnamese simply have superior hearing. So as you can imagine, as a pedestrian, it is a harrowing experience trying to cross the road! I’m not exactly what one would call a spiritual person but I can’t help doing a couple of ‘Hail Marys’ before frantically running across. I think it’s fair to assume that in Vietnam, the chicken simply didn’t make it to the other side.

Flats in Hanoi, Vietnam

So to sum up these past few days: beautiful, sweaty, busy, eye-opening, exciting and humbling. As I fall asleep tonight to the soundtrack of the streets, I simply cannot wait to see what the rest of my time will have in store for me.