How to Get a Job Teaching English Abroad

Teaching abroad is an exciting experience that many individuals dream about. It can be deeply fulfilling to live in another country, discover a different way of life, and engage in meaningful work teaching English.

If you’ve ever dreamed about this kind of adventure, there are a few things you need to know about how to get a job teaching English abroad. Below are some key steps to get you started.

Update your resume

We all know how important first impressions are when you’re job searching. Your ESL job resume is a major deciding factor for an employer. Here are some guidelines of what to include in your resume to help it reach the top of the stack:

  • Emphasize your academic endeavors. Your educational background is of particular importance when looking to teach abroad. Most employers will require a bachelor’s degree, so briefly summarizing your coursework will help employers see that you are highly educated.
  • Include any teaching experience, skills, special training, or international experiences you’ve had.
  • Include extracurricular activities and accomplishments, particularly if it involves mentoring or public service.
  • List any awards or recognition you’ve earned.
  • If English is not your primary language, emphasize your fluency and any academic works you’ve completed in English.
  • Be sure to include your phone number with your country code in your resume.
  • Use a simple format for your resume so anyone can review it quickly.
  • Use formal language in your resume and avoid abbreviations. Your employer’s first language will not always be English, so it’s important to write in a clear, concise manner.

Get involved in volunteer work

Gaining teaching experience through volunteer work in ESL programs is an excellent way to help you stand out amongst other applicants. You can either volunteer in ESL programs abroad or in your community, teaching immigrants or refugees.

Volunteer teaching will help you feel more comfortable and prepared to teach in a foreign country on a more long-term basis.

A great way to get both volunteer and teaching experience, as well as a TEFL certificate,  is by taking our in-class TEFL course in Shanghai. The people that sign up for this TEFL course will get hands-on experience teaching children of migrants in Shanghai, China.

Taking an in-class TEFL course like this will also help you secure a job because you’ll already be overseas and ready to start working immediately!

Get certified to teach abroad

From the context above, you probably realized that you’ll need some kind of teaching credential to be able to teach English in another country.

Most overseas employers want to make sure that applicants have either a TEFL or TESOL certification. The TEFL certification is the most popular, but you’ll want to ensure that you take a TEFL course that is at least 120 hours of work.

The reason people choose to get their TESOL certification is usually that they plan to come back home to teach non-native English speakers at some point in the future.

    • TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language in countries where English is not the primary language spoken.
    • TESOL refers to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and is a general term utilized in the teaching field to include both TESL and TEFL. This kind of certificate provides the foundation for teachers to work in both English-speaking and non-English speaking countries.

Typically, the type of certificate you obtain is not as important to employers as the quality of the certification program you choose. However, TEFL certificates are more widely recognized and often more highly regarded than TESOL certificates. TEFL programs offer more specific training than TESOL programs provide.

If you’re trying to decide which TEFL course provider to go with, look at their reviews on GoAbroad.com. Which one is more trustworthy – a course that has one 5-star review, or a course that has 50 reviews and a 4.5-star average? The one with more reviews of course!

There are many online TEFL options, but if you want to go above and beyond to not only get essential teaching experience but also give yourself a better chance at securing a job, you should take an in-class TEFL course!

Use the resources we offer at Teaching Nomad

Teaching Nomad provides wonderful resources to help you get started on your teaching abroad journey. We can help you find a teaching job in many countries all over the world.

We can also help you get certified to teach abroad if you’re still in need of a TEFL certificate.


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