09 Jul

Get your documents authenticated stress free!

Document authentication isn't as bad as it sounds when you know what you're doing, so we've created a guide to help walk you through the process.

Document authentication guide

What is document authentication, and what does it mean to you as a foreign teacher?

Authentication, also known as attestation or legalization, is a requirement for teachers to gain a work permit in certain countries. China and the UAE are two of the big ones, but other countries that require authentication include South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. The authentication process can be complicated and at times frustrating. But with the right preparation, and some help from Teaching Nomad, document authentication can be a very manageable process.

So, what does it mean to authenticate a document?

In simple terms, document authentication is when you have an official document verified by the embassy or consulate of the country that you will be teaching in. Typically, there are a minimum of three documents that you will need to have authenticated: Bachelor’s degree, TEFL/state teaching license, and a police/background check. However, some countries might require additional documents such as degree transcripts, and if you are bringing a spouse or children, then a marriage license or birth certificates may also be required.

What is the process for getting a document authenticated?

The exact process for document authentication will vary depending on your home country and the country you will be teaching in. To be safe, make sure you discuss authentication requirements in full with your hiring school! For more specific information on document authentication for China and the UAE, you can check out our guides.

Authenticating documents for use in China Authenticating documents for use in the UAE

In general, there are three steps to getting your documents authenticated:

Public Notary/Solicitor:

Have any notary public make a copy of the original document and notarize the copy.

Local Government:

Next, you will take the notarized copy and have it authenticated by your local government. In the United States this would be the Secretary of State. In the UK, this would be the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The purpose of this is to establish that the Public Notary in step one is a legal and registered notary in your jurisdiction.


Once you have your notarized copy stamped and attested by your local government, you will take the document to the consulate or embassy in your jurisdiction for final authentication.

In some cases, you will be able to mail your documents into the consulate for authentication. However, in most cases the documents will have to be physically dropped off and picked up from the consulate. If this is the case, then there are a few different options:

Option 1 – Do it yourself:

If you live near a consulate or embassy, then it is possible for you to do the whole authentication process yourself, including dropping off and picking up your documents from the consulate.

Option 2 – Friends/Family:

If you do not live near your consulate, then you will want to have someone else hand the documents in on your behalf. One way to do this would be to have a friend or family member do the authentication for you in person. The benefit of this option is that it minimizes costs, and doesn’t require you to drive or fly long distances to get it done. The risk is that your family or friends may not be experts on authentication, and the process may be delayed due to complications or scheduling issues.

Option 3 – Agency/third party:

Lastly, if you can’t get to the consulate yourself and don’t have anyone who can do it for you, then there are several agencies that offer document authentication services, including Teaching Nomad**. Using an agency is a great option if you are currently overseas or simply can’t get to the consulate yourself to get it done. Even if you have access to your local consulate, using a third party can be a great option if you simply want to get it done correctly, efficiently, and peacefully.

**If you hold a U.S. passport and need any documents authenticated for China or the UAE, Teaching Nomad will complete the entire process from start to finish** 

Teaching Nomad can authenticate your documents!

How long does it take to authenticate documents?

If you do everything yourself, the process can be done in less than a week, assuming you do everything correctly. If you use an agency, then it may take two to three weeks. Of course, if you’re in a hurry, there are options to get it done in 1-2 business days, but this will cost extra.

How much does document authentication cost?

The minimum cost for each document will be around $40 per document for the government processing fees. You may assume that options 1 and 2 listed above are the cheapest, but you have to account for shipping and travel costs as well. Option 3 is a bit more expensive, as you pay for the convenience of having an agency or third party do it for you, but it saves you a lot of time and stress in the end. With standard shipping, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150+ per document.

Considering that most countries will require a minimum of three documents authenticated, be prepared to budget at least $500 for document authentication or more if you will need additional documents authenticated.

What happens next?

Once your authenticated documents are returned to you, then you will be using these documents to apply for your work permit. This is a process that will be completed by your school/employer. Eventually you will use the work permit to apply for a work visa.

Any more questions?

Document authentication can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be if you do the research and use your resources. Use any of the above links, do your own research, and speak with your school to make sure you have all the help you need in getting your documents authenticated. If you want to get started or have more questions, go ahead and connect with us, and we'd be happy to help you!

 Contact Us

22 Jun

Wondering where you should go to teach abroad?

Don't worry - you're not alone, everyone that's ever taught abroad has worried about choosing a teaching destination! To help ease your mind, we've created a list of the top 6 countries/cities that expats choose to call home anywhere from a few semesters to the rest of their lives!

Map of the World

There are so many options when it comes to picking a place to teach abroad - so, how do you choose?

Ever thought of what it would be like to teach something that you’re passionate about in surroundings that are completely new to you? English is one of the most common languages spoken around the world, and no experience compares to teaching it abroad. It’s a language that’s used all over the world, which means you have more opportunities than you can even imagine regarding where you can go to teach it.

There are so many different places that hire foreign teachers year round, and making a decision can be tough! Each place has it's own list of pros and cons, but after a little research, you're sure to find a destination that's perfect for you! Get an insight into what options you have available, and then get ready to start your teaching journey.

China - The Typical Expat's Ideal Teaching Location

Students in China

Holding the crown for having the largest population in the world, China probably has the highest demand for English speaking teachers than anywhere else. It has brilliant food to make your taste buds tingle, and being the largest population in the world, you'll find that it’s extremely diverse. This means you won’t be too far away from someone who you can make an instant friend with - there are tons of expats living all throughout China, especially in the bigger cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong.

When you live in China, traveling to other nearby provinces and countries is very easy; you'll never run out of places to go! There are a bunch of giant cities that are always bustling with people, so there is always something to do. If you want to relax a bit more, just head over to the countryside and experience more of the calm, quiet beauty that China has to offer! There are also smaller cities that may be closer to what you're used to, and they have small mom & pop stores and many friendly residents.

Along with that, the cost of living will most likely be much lower than what you're used to, so saving money is a walk in the park. Even if you still go out to eat and travel, you'll more than likely still be saving quite a bit of money compared to how you're living currently.

There are tons of people that have never taught before, that suddenly decide to quit their 9-5 job to go teach in China, and they say that it's the best decision they ever made. If you want to add yourself to this list of blissful expats, check out all of the different kinds of teaching jobs that China offers!

UAE (Dubai) - The Adventurous Expat's Next Exploit

City of Dubai

Dubai constantly has new structures being built to accomodate the growth that the city has been experiencing recently. The UAE as a whole has become a wildly popular travel destination whether that be for teachers, tourists, vacationers, or business people. Dubai is full of foreigners, so no need to assume that you'd feel alone there. The crime rate is practically in the negatives, and there's no income tax! (Amazing right?) Dubai, along with some other major cities within the UAE, is very modern and developed, and there are beautiful beaches nearby that you can visit during your off hours.

Dubai also has a continuously expanding business sector, and it's a popular destination for expats, especially teachers. There are business individuals and foreigners who are flying in and out of the country every day, which makes the ability to speak and teach English incredibly important.

There are countless opportunities for teachers in the UAE, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. The majority of the teaching openings are for licensed teachers in all subject areas at either public or private schools. The UAE has become one of the most popular locations for teaching abroad, and depending on how much experience you have, you can make a lot of money (tax free!!). Dubai is an exceptional and extravagant city with many beautiful sights to see, and every day, more and more foreigners are discovering how amazing it truly is! Check out some of the teaching positions that are offered in Dubai and the UAE, and find your next great adventure!

Thailand - The Tropical Land of Teaching Opportunities

Kids in Thailand

Thailand is a beautiful country that is also a very popular teaching spot. Many come to take a vacation for around 2 weeks or so, and then they find that they’ve fallen in love with it so much that they want to stay. Those who do decide to move to Thailand commonly come to teach English since it’s in such high demand. A major benefit for teachers in Thailand is the low cost of living, and the close proximity to other countries.

The wages you make in Thailand will lead to a comfortable living situation, with plenty of extra cash to spend on traveling & other fun things! You can even explore Thailand by taking an in-class TEFL course. Not only will you get to experience everything that Thailand has to offer, but you'll also receive your TEFL certification & a job teaching abroad!

Brazil - Ideal for Expats that Love Festivals & Celebrations

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Who doesn’t love a bit of South American culture? Brazil is known for having some of the most gorgeous beaches, and it boasts its flamboyant carnival culture. If you enjoy football, Brazil might just be your next travel destination.

Ever since they hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and more recently the Olympics in 2016, the tourist attraction continues to grow for Brazil. Due to the increase in population, Brazil has an even higher demand for teachers to speak and teach English as more and more foreigners come to visit and potentially live there. In particular, cities like Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro are where there is a high demand for English teachers. However, be wary that Brazil is one of the most expensive countries to work in, in South America, so your cost of living is likely to cancel out your salary.

Czech Republic (Prague) - Great for Expats and History Buffs Alike

Prague, Czech Republic

This one may be a bit of a surprise - not many people think of the Czech Republic or Prague when they think of teaching abroad. A bit closer to home, the Czech Republic has a rather small population, but it’s becoming a place of opportunity for investment. Foreigners are flooding the country as it continues to grow and as it expands, there’s more reason for schools there to invest in English & subject teachers.

The ideal place you'd look to work in is Prague, mainly due to its size and popularity. In terms of cost of living and average wage, it’s likely that you’ll break even with balancing both, but your experience level could defintitely help you get offered a higher salary. It’s pretty straightforward to obtain a visa too, where regulations are far less strenuous compared to obtaining a U.S. or UK visa!

Prague is another great location to get your TEFL certification as well!

Japan - Perfect for Teachers that Appreciate Culture & Tradition

Japanese Scenery

Japan is very similar to China in terms of demand for English teachers. In fact, there’s a pretty high demand for teachers across Asia as a whole. The lifestyle is brilliant in Japan, with a rich culture to explore and a lot of delectable food. It’s modernised in a way you couldn’t dream of, and if you ever thought that the lifestyle in London or New York is busy, you’ve seen nothing until you arrive in Japan.

You get a relatively strong wage whilst working in Japan, and if you’re able to accommodate yourself in smaller cities, then you should find that the cost of living is quite comfortable. There are opportunities to teach English in Japan all over the country!


Even if you enjoy teaching English but have second thoughts about going abroad, the experience you have could be exceptional and it's an opportunity that you just can't pass up. Effectively, you’ll be checking two things off your bucket list at once by doing something you love and seeing the world at the same time. English is spoken all around the globe which provides endless opportunities for foriegn teachers no matter where you want to teach!

08 Jun

Adventure travel money jar

Need to Earn a Little Extra Spending Money During Your Time Abroad?

Teaching in a foreign country is a fun and exciting time! It's full of rewarding experiences and opportunities both financially and in terms of personal growth, and teaching will provide you with the money you need to be comfortable. Let’s face it though, sometimes you want a little extra money to buy a plane ticket to that place that everyone has been raving about since the day you arrived. If you're like most other people, at some point, you've thought about how you can make some extra cash on the side to be able to do everything you want. For when you need a little extra money coming in, check out these awesome side hustles that will help you bring in as much extra cash as you are willing to put in time. In doing this, you will be off to your next destination, dining at that place that you’ve been dying to try, or living in five star luxury on your next weekend trip!


Do you have a skill that other people want to have? Why not teach them how to do it! Tutoring online or in person is an effective way to make some extra money on the side of your teaching because, hey, you’re already teaching! If you’re wanting to try tutoring English online check out our online teaching positions. Tutoring in the subject that you are there to teach is a no brainer, but don’t get bogged down thinking that you can only tutor the language or subject that you are there to teach. Maybe you are in your host country teaching English, but you also happened to be at the top of your class in Biology. There are plenty of people who would be willing to pay you to help them out with that, particularly high school students who are seeking international baccalaureate credit, or even studying for the science section of the SAT. When thinking about what you can tutor, get creative, maybe all of those piano lessons your mom made you take growing up will pay off now that you can be a private music tutor!

bigstock people knowledge education a 86347748

Sell your lesson plans online:

You’re a teacher, which means you’re actively making new lesson plans everyday for your class.  Why not sell them to other teachers as well? Teachers Pay Teachers is a great website to make easy and quick money for something that you’re already doing.

Dog Walker/Pet Sitter:

If you have a pet back home that is really starting make you home sick, maybe being a dog walker or pet sitter would help you feel more connected back home, not to mention people will pay you for it! People love their pets all the world around, and they are always looking for responsible animal lovers like you who are willing to take on the task of walking Sparky while they go to work or are out of town. Check out these websites to build you profile and get to walking.

  • Spareleash.com
  • Petbacker.com



Have you ever had someone take your photo? If so, congratulations, you are officially qualified to be a model in your host country. Modeling shoots are easy to find, especially if there are not a ton of people from your country in your host location. These shoots may range from advertising for a new business that just opened up that features your culture's food or crafts, to companies that are working in education and need people who look like teachers. These jobs are great. because it is usually a one-time gig that pays out that same day, so you can do it after your work day. You never know, you might build up your portfolio and end up becoming your host country’s next top model.

fotokameru razotaji

Freelance writing / editing:

All around the world, companies will hire you to write short articles for their blogs, magazines, or other publications they might be trying to put out. These can be any number of topics, and many places will pay you per article you write. This is a great thing to be able to put on your resume, and it will also help you bring in some extra cash on the side. Also, as the in house authority on English, you can rise to become the editor for the publication, going over the work of other freelance writers who might not be native English speakers. As a bonus, if you are good with a camera, many of these places will also pay for freelance photography!

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Work at a hostel:

Hostels all over the world are looking for people to run their counters in the evening and weekends. They want people who can easily communicate with travelers from around the world, and lucky for you, the vast majority of world travelers will appreciate your native English skills as they roll into your host country looking for the closest places to eat and drink. Working in a hostel can sometimes have the added benefit of free housing if your school doesn’t pay for that too!

Travel picture 1024x682

Work for education companies doing recordings:

Have you ever put in the time to study a foreign language and wondered where all those audio recordings come from of people talking super slow about the weather? Well, there are good odds that they came from travelers like yourself who found themselves in a foreign country looking for a little extra money. Finding an educational or textbook company can provide an excellent source of income as you go into their offices and make recordings of yourself speaking your native language straight from a script.


If you’ve made it this far, I assume that you are going to be a savvy traveler, capable of getting whatever they want, when they want it when they travel, but as a last piece of advice, have a ton of fun. Living and teaching in a foreign country is an amazing experience, and you don’t want to find yourself missing out on all of the amazing opportunities that arise while living in a foreign culture. The best way to safe guard against this is trying to put some extra money in the bank before you embark, as this will allow you to do the things you want, when you want. However, if you find yourself a little short, just remember Teaching Nomad's list of top ways to earn extra money on the side, and before you know it, you’ll have the extra money in your pocket to have that next great experience!

budget travel

04 Jun

Do you want to add something new to your English lessons?

Using board games in class can be an effective way to enhance student engagement and improve English language skills. These games are also very adaptable and can be customized to match any lesson or learning context. They can be used as ice-breakers at the start of a lesson, as fillers between activities, and as activities at the end of a lesson to review key points.


What are the best board games for ESL students?

Classic board games are great teaching tools. First of all, most teachers and learners are already familiar with these types of games. Second, they have been pre-tested by the game manufacturer for quality and playability. Most importantly, almost any board game can be adapted for the English language classroom. It just takes a little bit of creativity on behalf of the teacher.

Moreover, if you are concerned about budget or costs, it isn’t always necessary to buy the games. You can take the core concepts from the board game and adapt them to your teaching context using the materials that you already have.

more games

What board games are the easiest to adapt?

The best games to adapt for language learning are the ones which most people are familiar with or have already played outside of class. This way, less time is required explaining the aim of the game because students know about the rules already. However, even if they haven’t played the game before, the concepts are still simple enough to understand.

For instance, most of us are familiar with popular board games like Charades, Pictionary, Scrabble, and Apples to Apples. These games are the easiest to adapt and can be used with any level or age group.

Below is a complete summary of the best four board games for ESL students. Read and learn how you can easily adapt each game for practicing English skills in class.


Charades can be played by using single words, such as any noun, verb, or adjective. If you want to make it more difficult, use phrases, expressions, or full sentences. You could also base it on themes, like movies, famous people, or the students’ names etc.

If some students are unfamiliar with Charades, make sure to model an example for them before playing the game. Remind them that the goal is to elicit the words through silent physical actions, not by speaking.

Charades is one of the best games to use in most classroom contexts because it is interactive and entertaining for all ages. It is an excellent way for kinesthetic learners to review important vocabulary and expressions from a previous lesson. Plus, it helps break up the pace of a lesson and inject some energy into the class.



Pictionary is another fun game that you can use to review vocabulary. Just like Charades, you can make it more difficult by eliciting longer phrases or complete sentences. Only instead of doing it through silent actions, you accomplish the task by drawing pictures on the board.

You can even combine the games together by using a coin. One side of the coin represents Charades, while the other side denotes Pictionary.

When it is someone’s turn to elicit a new word or phrase, flip the coin to determine if they should either perform a silent action or draw a picture.



When you think of the game of Scrabble, you may wonder how it could be used in larger classes. The traditional game of Scrabble is usually played with individual players on a small board. However, the concept of the game can be adapted to suit any classroom context.

On the classroom board, draw a large version of the Scrabble game board. Generally, a grid of 10x10 squares is appropriate for most situations.

Divide the class into teams and base the vocabulary on any words that you want to review. The teams score points by forming words on the board just like in the traditional game. You can assign higher points to uncommon letters or make each letter worth one point to keep it simpler. Certain squares on the board (like on the diagonal axes) can denote a double or triple score.

Unlike the traditional game, it isn’t necessary to give the teams a series of letters to use. This would likely make the game too challenging and impose too many restrictions.


Apples to Apples

The concept of Apples to Apples is ideal for the English language classroom. In the traditional game, there are two types of cards. Red cards consist of nouns: people, places, and things. Green cards consist of adjectives to describe the nouns.

In groups, the “Judge” gives each player 5 red cards (the amount can be adjusted). Next, the Judge reveals one green adjective card to the group. The students then select one red card from their collection and describe why their card is the best match to that particular adjective.

Of course, you can adjust the difficulty level the game for beginners or intermediate students by simplifying the description task.

If you don’t have the actual game, you can create the cards or print out a free PDF version of Apples to Apples. Better yet, you can have your students create the words in class.

Divide the class into teams or smaller groups if you prefer. Assign one student in each group to be the “Judge” who deals out the cards to each student. Alternatively, you can play the game as a whole class and the teacher can act as the judge for all of the students.

apples to apples

Other Activities and Board Games for ESL Students

These are just four examples of how you can adapt traditional board games for ESL students in class. But those are just a few of the classics. There are more games you can try, such as Balderdash, Monopoly, Battleships, and many others that your students will enjoy.

For more fun ESL games and additional details about how to use board games for language learning, visit ESLexpat.com.

Teaching Nomad is your connection to teaching in Asia & The Middle East! We are a western owned and operated teacher placement agency with offices in Denver & Shanghai. We take a lot of pride in connecting teachers with great teaching opportunities.


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