Finding teaching work in-country is becoming more and more popular, and with more than 1 billion English learners worldwide it’s quite doable too! Here’s the i-to-i guide on how to find a TEFL job when you’re already travelling:
The paper trail
Put together a professional CV before leaving and make lots of copies – you don’t want to be printing out your CV on low grade paper in a Bangkok internet cafe if you can help it. In case you do run out, save a copy in your email folder for easy access. You’ll also want your degree certificate (if you have one) and a print-out of professional references with contact details. If you don’t have any teaching experience, former employers and University professors make the best references. Finally, don’t forget to make copies of your TEFL Certificate: most employers require a minimum level of 120 hours, with others (particularly in Europe) asking for classroom practice too.
Dress to impress
Just because your interview is in Ecuador, that doesn’t mean that you should turn up in your joggers and a t-shirt that says ‘Beer Chang’. If you’re short on backpack space, then a pair of black trousers and a smart long-sleeved shirt should cover all bases.
Let’s say you come across a school that’s hiring. You make a great impression and leave your CV for them to get back in touch with you. The next thing you’re going to need is a contact number: save yourself some effort by picking up a cheap pay-as-you-go model back home, and buying a local SIM in country.
Always be cheerful and show enthusiasm; particularly in smaller cities it’s surprising how often TEFL teachers are offered a position on the spot, in someone’s aunties’ friends’ English school.
Consider private tuition
In countries without an established TEFL scene you can often find opportunities teaching private students. This type of teaching can be really rewarding as you get to choose how much you work and what sort of students you want to teach. Generally the highest paying tuition gigs tend to be skills based; ‘Ski Lessons in English, anyone?’ or Business English.
Don’t forget Asia!
Whilst countries in Asia tend to do A LOT of online recruitment they do also hire in country. In fact many employers prefer to hire this way as it can simplify things like visas and plane tickets. If you accept a position in a country where they traditionally pay airfare as part of the package negotiate an alternative*.
*Definitely South Korea, often The Middle East and sometimes China and Japan.
Read the contract
Just because you’re accepting a job in country, you should still review your contract carefully. Things to think about include:
How many hours you are willing to teach -make sure you factor in time for lesson planning.
Whether your employer will sponsor your working visa.
Your accommodation – can your school help out with this?
And once you’ve gotten the job… congratulations! Got any more questions? Give us a shout!