Dip your toes in before moving abroad
Flexibility and freedom
Choosing to teach online prior to teaching abroad allows you to get a feel for what teaching ESL learners will be like before committing to moving abroad. If you feel like you need to try out ESL teaching in a more flexible environment, then teaching online for a few months is a perfect solution.
You'll have the freedom to teach whenever you're able to, and if you decide that you don't like it, you aren't in a year-long contract. However, if you decide that you love it, you'll feel much more comfortable moving overseas to teach!
New to ESL teaching or are you a seasoned vet?
If you're a seasoned teacher already, moving abroad to teach might not seem quite as daunting as it does to beginner teachers. However, it's still a big life decision, so it's perfectly viable to try out teaching ESL online prior to moving abroad. This is especially true if you want to teach ESL abroad, but you're currently teaching a different subject and don't have experience with ESL.
That being said, there are plenty of subject positions available overseas as well, so you don't have to step out of your comfort zone if you don't want to!
Have an income while looking for a job abroad
If you've quit your job to begin the overseas teaching job search process, online teaching is a great way to still make some money to maintain your current lifestyle while you wait. Plus, teaching online is a wonderful resume booster!
Having any kind of ESL teaching experience on your resume will look great to overseas schools. Teaching online in between jobs, or even on the side of your 9-5 will allow you to earn extra money and get useful experience while you decide whether you want to teach abroad.
It's a great thing to fall back on if your overseas adventure doesn't go as planned
Most things in life don't go exactly as planned, which isn't a bad thing! Online teaching can be a great backup plan or side-gig while you're teaching abroad. This way, if you end up wanting to have a more expensive lifestyle than your teach abroad gig can provide, you can still earn extra money to make that happen.
Plus, things come up when you're teaching abroad - maybe you need to go home because of health or family problems. If you have to leave your contract unexpectedly, having online teaching experience will help you score another online teaching job to help you get back on your feet once you're home.