How to Prepare to Teach English Abroad

So, you’ve made the decision to teach abroad… now what? Moving to another country is a completely fresh start which is why it’s important to prepare to teach abroad. As you get closer to boarding that plane check each of these things off your to-do list to ensure you are more than ready for your next big adventure!

What you'll need:

  • A TEFL Qualification
  • A sense of adventure!

Equipment you need

  • Laptop
  • Webcam
  • Good WiFi!
  1. 1. Research your options

    You clicked on this article so clearly you’ve made a start on item number one on our list – research! There are so many options out there, the world is your oyster. Maybe you have a rough idea of where you’d like to teach but are unsure of the visa requirements. Maybe you know how much you’d like to earn but aren’t sure where to go to earn it. That’s where we come in! With live webinars, blog posts, and a dedicated team of experts you’re in the right place when it comes to preparing to teach abroad. There is a lot of information to absorb; so grab a notebook and a pen, jot down any questions you have, and chat to one of our experts about the best option for you!

    Aileen in class
  2. 2. Get TEFL Qualified

    In your research, you may have come across jobs that don’t require a TEFL certification but in our opinion, it’s always best to get TEFL qualified before teaching abroad. Teaching English as a foreign language requires skills you won’t already have, that’s where a TEFL qualification will help! No matter what the job descriptions say, there’s nothing like stepping into that classroom on your first day and knowing you have all the tools in your belt to see you through the chaos! A TEFL qualification from us will give you the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to go into your TEFL lesson with your head held high! With three qualification options, you can easily find the one that suits your needs best and be fully prepared to teach abroad. It can take as little as a few weeks to become TEFL qualified, and we’re always on hand ready to support you through the process so there’s really no excuse not to go for it!

    Girl using laptop
  3. 3. Have some money saved up

    One of the best things about teaching abroad is how accessible it makes travelling as you earn money and see the world at the same time! But, before you start earning that money there are a few upfront costs that you have to account for as you prepare to teach abroad. The most important ones to remember are your TEFL certification, flights, and visa costs which can all vary depending on what you decide for items one and two on this list. Another thing to remember is that when you arrive in country it will probably be around a month before you receive your first pay check so make sure you have enough money to live on during that first month. You’ll need money for your weekly food shop as well as some extra money for all the exciting new things you’ll be itching to try out in your new TEFL country. Then it’s pay day and you can start saving for the holidays and all the travelling you’re sure to be doing! Need a quick way to save money before you travel? Why not try teaching English online?

    Woman teaching English online
  4. 4. Brush up on your grammar

    Do you know your infinitives? Can you sort your countable from your uncountable nouns? How many tenses are there in English? If you’re a native English speaker then you probably don’t think too much about grammar day to day. It’s easy enough to spot when something is grammatically wrong, but your students will expect an explanation and you can only get away with “it is what it is” for so long… your TEFL certification will cover the basics but there is a wealth of TEFL resources out there online too. Studying up on your grammar will ensure you are prepared to teach abroad and for any tricky questions that may come your way from students and staff members alike!

    Aileen teaching English abroad
  5. 5. Follow those who have gone before you

    Completing your TEFL certification doesn’t mean your journey with us is over, far from it! Whether you’re on your way to a TEFL internship or TEFL job abroad we want to stay connected. Follow people who are already out there living your dream and slide into their DM’s with any questions you have about what it’s like to teach English abroad. If there’s one thing we know about our TEFL graduates it’s how much they love their jobs! With almost 30 years of TEFL graduates, our online community is one of the best places to find advice and tips as you prepare to teach abroad so why not reach out and say hi? Join our TEFL Graduates & Students Facebook group to get started!

    i-to-i graduate, Aileen in class
  6. 6. Pack your bags!

    When you’re moving your life to another country it’s very easy to pack everything but the kitchen sink… In reality, most things you feel like you can’t leave behind can be bought when you arrive or you won’t end up needing at all. Want to know more about what you’ll need in your school bag? Check out i-to-i graduate, Aileen’s blog post here. Packing for every eventuality might seem like the best way to prepare to teach abroad but the stress of carrying all that stuff through the airport and to the other side of the world isn’t worth it. Take some fun things to share with your students like your favourite childhood picture book or your favourite snack from home but don’t go wild spending money on stickers and other stationary items you can buy in country.  One rucksack and a carry-on is really all you need to start your TEFL adventure!


    Now you’ve ticked everything off the list the only thing left to do is board that plane…We can’t wait to see all the amazing things you’re going to do so tag #itoitefl to keep us in the loop!

    Man with luggage

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