Getting a TEFL certificate opens up a world of possibility for people who want to travel the world by teaching abroad, learn about different cultures, and maybe pass on a little of their knowledge in the process. Schools in practically every region of the world will hire skilled teachers of English as a second language. In general, the only requirements are that you are a native English speaker, that you have a college degree, and that you hold a TEFL certificate. With those necessities in place, you can be well on your way to teaching abroad in a destination of your choice.
TEFL certificates can be obtained at the university level or by taking an accredited TEFL course. TEFL courses are available from many different providers in the UK, and a number of distance learning options are also out there, meaning that you can obtain your certificate online from the comfort of your own home. The standard TEFL course is 120 hours long, but shorter courses may be available if you already have teaching experience or if you are just starting out and want to see if teaching abroad is right for you. Flexibility is one of the primary benefits of taking a UK TEFL course.
As a native speaker of English, you already know the ins and outs of the language, so you may find yourself wondering what you can learn from a TEFL course. Most courses focus on teaching strategies which show you how to impart your knowledge to students and explain English in a way that they can understand. Other common skills include strategies for writing lesson plans and how to keep the classroom moving throughout the course of the day. These are invaluable skills for anyone interested in teaching abroad, or – for that matter – in classrooms right at home.
Once you are the proud owner of a TEFL certificate, then your teaching abroad adventure can begin. There are a number of agencies that place teachers around the globe, or you can try your luck applying to schools directly. Check online for job boards devoted specifically to placing teachers overseas. These boards allow you to search by region, type of school, or type of job. In general, these placements pay fair wages for the country in which you will be stay, and many will either pay or reimburse you for your airfare and other travel expenses.
The first step to beginning your teaching abroad journey is to get certified to teach English as a foreign language. Once this step is out of the way, a number of doors will open for you.