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Teaching English overseas – the guide

Not only is teaching English a popular option for graduates from all disciplines, but it can also be either a short or long term career move, with contracts generally lasting between one and five years.

What is TEFL?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. With over 1 billion English learners worldwide it’s a growing industry and many graduates are now doing it as a way to get paid and travel at the same time.

Where can I go?

If you have a degree, you can TEFL in most countries – but, of course, there is a higher demand for English teachers in some areas than others. Popular options for those with no previous teaching experience include Thailand, South Korea, China and Spain.

Do I need to speak the native tongue?

Some roles may require you to have some knowledge of the country’s native tongue, particularly countries in Europe such as Germany and France. Some prior knowledge of the language may be required.

What can I earn?

TEFL salaries vary massively depending on who and where you’re teaching. For instance, salaries in the Middle East start at around £30k tax free, whilst a part-time job in Costa Rica could earn you only £100 per week. When thinking about salaries, it’s important to remember that cost of living is always relative. Earning £800 a month could see you living like a King in Thailand, but will barely cover your rent in Japan.  Finally, job perks are another thing to think about! In South Korea, for instance, starting salaries are around £16k per year but job contracts often include free rent and prepaid plane tickets.

Who TEFL’s?

If you’re thinking of moving to the other side of the world then it’s important to remember that things aren't going to be an instant home from home! The food will be different, the smells, the weather...so, if you’re the sort of person who thrives on trying new things then you’re in for the time of your life...but if you crave routine, think carefully before looking at this as an option. See what more graduates are up to and see if it’s right for you at.