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How to Make Money Teaching English Abroad | Where to Start

If you want to get paid whilst you travel, teaching English abroad may be the perfect job for you. Here’s everything you’ll need to start thinking about your journey. It can be pretty daunting but if you’ve got dreams, chase them.


Before even looking for jobs, you’ll have to ensure that you’ve got what you need to apply for them. To teach English abroad, you’ll need a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification. You can either complete a TEFL course beforehand or you may be able to find programs that allow you to qualify while teaching.

Things you need to know about TEFL certificates:

  • They never expire! If you want, you can complete your certification now and go whenever you’re ready. So, if life gets in the way, it’s always there. 
  • Schools that are hiring prefer in-classroom certifications rather than online.
  • If you’re ready to get up and go, you wouldn’t have to spend time completing the course. You could gain teaching experience straight away and qualify at the end!

Finding Jobs and Programs

If you’ve already completed your TEFL certification, you’ll want to look for a job. If you haven’t, you’ll want to look for a program that allows you to qualify at the end.


You can find a teaching job in a few different ways. Firstly, you could find one yourself by either contacting language schools abroad or researching different teaching job boards that might be offering teaching positions.

Alternatively, you could use a recruiter who can help you find teaching positions abroad. They’ll be able to organize the paperwork for you and reduce the stress of sourcing them yourself.

Program Information

TEFL certifications with placement will cost around $1,500 and include all of the necessities for teaching English abroad. 

In the program, you should have access to extra support from staff and they’ll help you to secure a teaching placement. To complete the TEFL certification, you need at least 120 hours of contact teaching time.

Where do I find programs?

These are just three of so many places that you can find programs online, you might be surprised by how many opportunities there are!

  • On TEFL (There are jobs and internships listed that might have programs available)
  • Greenheart Travel
  • U.S. Department of State

Gain Teaching Experience

While you’re searching for jobs and completing this process, it might be wise to gain a little teaching experience.

Depending on what you apply for, not all positions require you to have experience but it might make you stand out.

How can I gain teaching experience?

  • Private Tutoring – You can control this how you want, i.e. charge per hour, hours worked.
  • Teaching Online – There’s some teaching abroad opportunities online and this may kickstart your application.
  • Volunteering – If you can’t gain paid teaching experience, you might want to consider volunteering for a while until you can look for further paid positions.


While you reap the benefits of traveling and getting paid, the job itself can be extremely rewarding. Providing an education abroad to children is a reputable skill that recruiters will look for when hiring for teaching positions.

Get your TEFL certification and get started!

Image by Avel Chuklanov.

Post Author: Lillia Hall

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Welcome to Foreigner’s Finances, your guide for new money decisions at home and traveling abroad!

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April 2024