Teach English Abroad

Launch your career by teaching English abroad in 2020!


Updated December 21st, 2019.

  • Will teaching English abroad help my career?
  • How much can I make or save teaching English abroad?
  • What does a typical day look like Teaching English Abroad?
  • Is teaching English abroad safe?
  • The best locations to teach English abroad in 2020!
  • What are the requirements to Teach English abroad?
  • What kind of English Teaching jobs can I find abroad?
  • How do I find a job Teaching English Abroad?
  • Where can I travel when I’m teaching English abroad?
  • Top 5 ways to launch your career by teaching English Abroad

Teaching English abroad might not seem like the obvious next step for your career, but let’s take a closer look.

When you think of your professional self in ten years’ time, who do you aspire to be?

If you see someone who has exceptional people skills, is a confident public speaker and knows how to motivate and inspire -> teaching English overseas means taking a big step towards developing these skills.

If you see someone who is:
can speak another language
or has an international career
-> teaching English abroad will set you on the path towards achieving these goals.

Or, maybe on a more practical level, you see someone who has:
paid off their student loans
put down a deposit on a house
-> In this case, teaching English abroad can also be a smart move!

A quick glance at the TEFL job market shows there are more than 40,000 schools and language institutes around the world, all of whom are looking for English teachers right now. That means there is literally a world of exciting, professional experience open to you, even if you don’t know how to teach yet!

So, where do you start? How do you learn to teach? How do you find your perfect job among the thousands on offer?

Well, the truth is: it’s not that hard. Launching your career overseas might seem like a distant dream, but with a little organisation and a few tips (see below 😁) it’s absolutely possible.

Teaching abroad is sure to give you an international outlook, global network and long-term professional skills to last throughout your career. And you’ll also get to travel, and have a once in a lifetime experience while you’re at it!

So, what are you waiting for?

Find a Job teaching English Abroad in China!

Ready to get started and join thousands of teachers in China?


Will teaching English abroad help my career?

In a word - yes! Teaching English abroad gives you:
strong personal and professional skills.
intercultural workplace experience.
First-hand experience with emerging and influential economies
Amplified international IQ
a great starting salary for entry-level and new graduate jobs.

Whether you plan to work in education long or short term, teaching abroad will boost your resume and show future employers that you have in-demand professional skills.

People skills

Teaching is a social job that requires you to develop advanced communication skills, understand how people work and bring out the best in others.

Management skills

As a teacher you’ll learn how to set and work towards group goals, as well as keeping students focused and motivated.

Language skills

Picking up a foreign language like Mandarin, Spanish or Arabic while you’re teaching abroad can make you a huge asset in international workplaces.

Personal strengths

Experience teaching abroad for a year shows employers you are inquisitive, adaptable, independent and can commit to long-term goals.

Intercultural experience

Spending time learning about a different way of life gives you intercultural skills that are essential in modern, international workplaces.

International network

Experience working abroad marks you out as a global citizen and expands your professional network (something about how international work attests to one’s flexibility).

Check out our blog on the 8 Reasons Why College Students Should Consider Teaching English in China After Graduation!

How can teaching abroad help me reach my long-term career goals?

Aside from making you stand out in the job market, teaching English abroad at entry level or as a new graduate is a great way to set yourself up for long-term career success.

Jobs in education

Aside from TEFL teaching, initial classroom experience overseas can help you transition into plenty of other education jobs such as teaching in state schools, coaching and training, educational psychology, education administration, education publishing, museum, library and university education, and education politics and policy.

Jobs outside education

Teaching abroad gives you transferable skills that will help you succeed in a range of professional fields. Public speaking skills can be useful in fields like law and sales. Intercultural know-how can put you ahead in (any industry that operates globally - from manufacturing to high-tech or services like marketing, finance, and healthcare - something about regardless of your intended career path, international experience is beneficial) the travel industry and the business world. People skills will put you ahead in management and communication roles.

On top of this, the network you create while you’re teaching English abroad could be invaluable in your future career. In your job you’ll meet students who work in vastly different fields and you’ll have colleagues who have taught in the past. If you work for a smaller school you may be able to get involved in resume-building activities like social media marketing, event organisation or mentoring. If you work at a larger school like Disney English, First Leap China or EF there may be opportunities to get insight into all kinds of in-house professional roles.

Or maybe you are wanting to become an Instagram Influencer? Check out our Instagram stars teaching English abroad in China.

A life-long skill!

Whatever your career goals, remember that teaching is like riding a bike: kind of scary at first but once you know how to do it, you never forget. Being able to teach means you’ll have a skill (and a reliable side-hustle) that will last throughout your professional life, whether you plan to make a difference by mentoring others in the workplace or want the freedom to increase your income by tutoring on the side.

New Graduates and Entry Level Jobs now in China!

How much can I make or save teaching English abroad?

Teaching English overseas gives many new graduates and entry-level employees an opportunity to live independently, save money and live a more comfortable lifestyle than in their home country.

Teaching contracts for graduates normally last 12-months, providing teachers with a stable and secure salary. Teaching salaries vary, but choosing to work in a country where English teachers are in high demand means your teach abroad salary will be generous, especially when you factor in the cost of living.

This means a teach abroad salary can help you save a substantial amount of money in a short time frame and achieve big financial goals such as:
paying off student loans
saving for a house deposit
saving for postgraduate study

How much money can you save teaching English in China?

In China an average teaching salary may be around $2,130 USD (15,000 RMB) per month, but the cheap cost of living means that salary allows you to rent a modern apartment, eat out every night, travel and save money.

Monthly income and expenses in China RMB ¥ USD $
Salary (including housing allowance) 15,000 2,130
Rent and utilities -3,500 -500
Transportation -250 -35
Dining out (80 RMB/day) -2,500 -355
Groceries -600 -85
Leisure and shopping -1,300 -185
Savings 6,850 970

Although cost of living may vary, salaries are comparable in South Korea, Japan and the Middle East.

Top English Teaching Jobs in China

Will I enjoy teaching English Abroad?

Over 80% of English teachers enjoy their first year of teaching abroad so much that they stay on for a second (and even third!) year overseas.

But that’s not to say that moving abroad is always easy! When you teach overseas you face the challenge of testing yourself in a new environment, putting new skills into practice, and getting comfortable with the unknown every day. There will be days when your classes don’t go to plan, and there will be weeks when you feel homesick.

But teaching English abroad is a unique opportunity to experience living in a foreign culture, with all the adventure and surprise that comes with it. Most teachers find that they form friendships for life while living abroad, and make a meaningful difference in their students’ lives.

So, teaching abroad may come with its challenges, but it will be unforgettable, fulfilling in the best possible way, and definitely worth it.

What does a typical day look like Teaching English Abroad?

Your lifestyle outside of work will vary depending on which country you live in, but there are some similarities between full-time TEFL teaching contracts around the world.

TEFL teachers normally teach for 20-30 hours each week (so four to six hours per day). On top of time in the classroom, teachers will be expected to do other tasks like planning lessons, administration and running English clubs.

Teachers who work in state schools normally find they work during the day, with evenings and weekends off to relax. Teachers who work in private language centres normally have mornings off and teach in the afternoons, evenings and at the weekend. In both cases your colleagues should have a similar timetable to you, meaning you’ll have people to hang out with in your free time.

All teachers should get at least two days off each week. This normally means time to relax, socialise and travel. Check out the day in the life of an ESL Teacher in Beijing

Is teaching English abroad safe?

Going to live somewhere you’ve never visited before is understandably intimidating, especially if you don’t speak the local language. But it’s worth remembering that you won’t be alone--over 250,000 native speakers are teaching English overseas around the world right now!

While there are sure to be cultural differences wherever you move, but this doesn’t automatically mean you won’t be safe. Many places overseas are as safe or safer than native english speaking countries.

Research any destination you want to move to thoroughly so you can see what the local customs are, and get an idea of what daily life will be like there. For general travel advice, check your government’s foreign travel website.

Foreign travel advice from:

For a more personal take, many language schools and recruiters have plenty of information online to give you a good idea of what life is like for teachers who live and work overseas with them. You can also search for expat groups online.

Check out our blog on Is Teaching English in China safe?

Where will I live teaching English overseas?

Many teach abroad programs and jobs provide accommodation close to the school for foreign teachers. Others will expect teachers to find their own accommodation but should provide support and advice on house hunting in the local area. Don’t forget, your English speaking colleagues will have been through the same process before you and should be happy to offer advice!

Can I survive teaching english abroad without speaking the local language?

Absolutely! Although many people hope to learn a foreign language as well as teach one when they move abroad, in most cases, you don’t have to speak the local language to live a comfortable life overseas. This is for a few reasons.

You’ll have back up

Responsible language schools will provide language support for their foreign teachers to help find housing, set up doctors appointments and get other life admin done. Some may even offer language lessons.

You speak English

Unless you’re moving somewhere extremely remote it’s likely that many people you meet will also speak some English.


Unless you’re moving somewhere extremely remote it’s likely that many people you meet will also speak some English.

You’ll learn fast

When you’re immersed in a foreign culture you pick up essential daily expressions and useful language fast.

You’ll have a secret weapon

There are an increasing number of apps that can do advanced translations to help you communicate in every situation. If you want to work and travel in China, WeChat can translate text messages, group chats, menus (basically everything) while you’re on the go .

Of course, it’s a great idea to learn some of the local language while you’re teaching abroad. From basic politeness to being able to have full blown conversations, the more language you learn, the more you’ll be able to interact with the world around you. If you have time before you travel abroad, spend a little time studying via an app, or learn the essentials for free online.

Check out the top 8 phrases to learn before teaching English in China!

Will I have time to travel while teaching English abroad?

Yes!! All responsible employers should provide two days off per week for English teachers and vacation time in line with the national average.

Teachers working in the state school system often get the same generous vacation time as students. Teachers in the private sector may get less vacation days but should still get at least 3 weeks vacation per year.

And, when it comes to travel, don’t forget to factor in how much closer you’ll be to exciting new destinations. Not only will you have a new culture to explore right outside your door, your new location in the world will mean destinations that used to seem far-flung are now accessible for day and weekend trips.

Check out our teacher Lydia’s experience settling into China and travelling!

Where can I teach English abroad?

It’s easier to say where you can’t teach English abroad! Almost every country in the world employs English teachers. However, your lifestyle, salary and teaching conditions will vary from country to country. Before you start looking for jobs abroad think about your priorities in a destination. Which cultures appeal to you? Which languages do you want to learn? Who do you want to teach? How much do you want to earn? And what kind of lifestyle do you want to have abroad?

Some of the world’s most popular teach abroad destinations include:

Teach English Abroad in China

China is the world’s largest market for English teachers, and being such a diverse country, a great place to begin your search. Employers hire for English teaching jobs in public schools and private language centers throughout the year. Salaries are typically generous compared to China’s low cost of living. Major cities in China and Beijing and Shanghai, but there are English teaching jobs available throughout the country.

$ Average monthly salary: $1,250-2,850 USD, plus free housing.
$ Typical monthly savings: $600-1,750 USD

Check out more information on how to Teach English Abroad in China

Teach English Abroad in Spain

Teach English Abroad in Japan

Teach English Abroad in Dubai or Abu Dhabi

Teach English Abroad in Brazil

The best locations to teach English abroad in 2020!

Top Countries for English Teaching Jobs Top Cities Monthly Salary Benefits Cost of Living Monthly Savings
China Beijing Shanghai Nanjing Guangzhou Shenzhen $1,250-2,850 USD Housing Health Insurance Flights Low $600-1,750 USD (depending on city)
Spain Madrid Barcelona $850-1,500 USD No Housing Medium Medium
Japan Tokyo Nagoya Osaka $1,500–2,500 USD Housing Flights Medium $300-$600
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Dubai $1,800 - $5,000 USD Housing Health Insurance Flights High $800
Brazil Rio Sao Paulo $800-$1,300 USD Rio Sao Paulo Low $0
South Korea Seoul $1,900 - $2,000 USD Seoul Medium $300-$600
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur $500 USD - $650 USD $500 USD - $650 USD Low $0

Start today and Teach English Abroad in China!


What kind of person teaches abroad? Can I do it?

All kinds of people choose to teach overseas, in fact there are currently over 250,000 native English speakers doing it all over the world!

There are teach abroad contracts for


All with a wide range of professional and teaching experience.

Typical candidates have come to a natural pause in their career or education that means they have the freedom to move overseas for at least a year, making new or recent graduates a natural fit for teaching English abroad. So if you have just graduated and are thinking of TEFL teaching, you can be sure you’ll meet plenty of others in the same position while you’re overseas!

As for whether or not you can do it -- of course! If you are interested in travel, like working with people and can speak English you have the makings of a great English teacher. A sense of adventure and willingness to face a challenge won’t hurt either, but really, almost anyone who is interested in teaching abroad can make a success of it. It might be hard to imagine yourself living life as an English teacher in Asia or South America, but it’s easier than you think to make that dream your reality.

What are the requirements to Teach English abroad?

There are a huge range of jobs for TEFL teachers globally, all of which require different qualifications.

Generally speaking, schools like to hire candidates who are:
● graduates with Bachelor’s degrees in any subject.
● TEFL certified.
● from English speaking countries, namely, the UK, USA, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

If this is your profile, you can be sure that you’ll find work teaching English almost anywhere in the world.

If you have more relevant qualifications than this, such as a Bachelor’s degree in education, Master’s degree or teaching license, you will be eligible for more specialised teaching jobs in international schools or highly competitive regions like the Middle East, as well as TEFL jobs around the world.

And, if you have no degree, TEFL certification, or professional experience, don’t worry! There are still TEFL jobs you can do. Try looking into TEFL internships, summer camp jobs, or looking for jobs in countries where native English teachers are in very high demand.

Teaching English abroad requirements by 2020 Top Locations:

  • China

    1. Bachelor or Master's degree
    2. No Teaching Experience required
    3. TEFL certificate
  • Europe

    1. Bachelor or Master's degree
    2. 1+ years teaching experience
    3. TEFL certificate
    4. EU or UK citizens highly preferred
  • Dubai and Abu Dhabi (UAE)

    1. Bachelor or Master’s degree in education or your teaching subject
    2. 2+ years experience teaching
    3. Teaching License certificate
  • Korea

    1. Bachelor or Master's degree
    2. 1-3 years of teaching experience preferred
    3. TEFL Certificate

In China there are new graduate jobs available to teach English in all cities and no teaching experience or qualifications are necessary!

What are the requirements to Teach English abroad?

Great question Just like any other skill, you can learn to teach! It might be hard to imagine yourself standing in front of a class if you’ve never done it before, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you can feel comfortable and confident teaching English.

Firstly, if you’re a native English speaker, you’re already an expert in the subject matter! All you need to do is build up your teaching skills. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Learn by studying

    Doing an accredited TEFL course will get you up to speed on everything you need to know about teaching English before you step into the classroom for the first time.

  • Learn by watching

    Watching other teachers in the classroom is a great way to pick up tips and tricks that really work.

  • Learn by doing

    The most effective way to get good at teaching is through trial and error. You’ll be amazed how much your lessons improve in your first few months of teaching, and feel a real sense of achievement as your students start to learn more.

  • Keep on learning!

    One of the best things about being a teacher is that you never stop learning. You’ll come across new students, new concepts and new ways of doing things for as long as you work in the classroom.

What is a TEFL certificate, and do I need one to teach English abroad?

What does TEFL mean?

TEFL is an acronym for Teach English as a Foreign Language. Teaching English as a foreign language is also sometimes called ESL (English as a Second Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.) While the skills used in teaching TEFL, ESL and TESOL are the same, the context can be sightly different.

TESOL and ESL teachers normally teach English to non-native speakers living in English speaking countries (a Brazilian student living in the US, for example or a Japanese student living in New Zealand.)

On the other hand, TEFL and ESL teachers normally teach English in non-English speaking countries, like China or Brazil. TEFL teaching is what most teachers do when they teach English abroad.

Getting TEFL certified will mean you are able to teach TEFL, ESL and TESOL.

What is TEFL certification?

Teachers with TEFL certification have completed a specialised course in how to teach English as a foreign language. This covers topics like understanding English language, intercultural communication, lesson planning, teaching techniques and classroom management. Good TEFL courses also ask participants to do a practicum, which means doing real life teaching practice.

There are many different TEFL certification courses available online and in-person. Most TEFL employers request that candidates take a certification course that is accredited by an international body or respected university.

Do I need TEFL certification to get a job teaching English abroad?

No, you don’t have to get TEFL certification to find a job teaching English abroad, but getting TEFL certified could improve your overseas teaching experience in two ways.

Doing a TEFL course will give you more confidence in the classroom

On your course you’ll get crucial tools, tips and practice preparing you to teach English abroad. Remember, moving abroad is a huge challenge. Setting yourself up for success in the classroom gives you less to stress about and more time to enjoy life overseas.

Getting a TEFL certificate gives you access to more teaching jobs

For many English teaching jobs in Europe and Asia, foreign teachers are not eligible for a work visa unless they have a TEFL certificate. And around the world employers prefer TEFL-certified candidates because they know they are experienced and committed. Well-paying jobs in reliable schools can be competitive and often go to the best qualified candidates.

It is possible to find a job with a reliable employer without TEFL certification.

If you decide to look for these kinds of roles, the employer should offer some kind of teacher training before you start work. Many big, international language schools do this as they have their own teaching methodology that they want employees to use in the classroom.

Do I need a TEFL to Teach English in China?

Which TEFL certification course should I choose?

Which TEFL certification course should I choose?

There is no one organisation that accredits TEFL courses so there are a lot of TEFL courses out there! It’s best to choose a course that is endorsed by a respected university or international TEFL organisation and is recommended by your recruiter or hiring school. Some well known accredited courses are Cambridge University’s CELTA course, and similar courses run by the University of Toronto, University of Northern Colorado and the University of Arizona .

TEFL courses also share a few features in common.
● They are at least 120-hours long.
● They require candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree, or be in the process of getting one.

Whether you want to study for your TEFL certification online or in-person comes down to personal preference. Online courses are often cheaper and give you the flexibility to study when and where you want. In-person TEFL certification courses are more expensive, but provide more structure and a real-life community.

How long should I teach abroad for?

That’s up to you! Like we said earlier, new graduate teachers love their first year so much that they end up staying on for another year! In China, teachers often spend one year in a northern city (Beijing) and then move to a southern city (Shanghai) to travel and explore as much as they can.

Long-term and short-term contracts are available for English teachers who want to work overseas.

For short-term opportunities of less than a year, try looking for summer school jobs and paid TEFL internships. These kinds of jobs are great if you want to try out living abroad or teaching without having to make a big commitment.

Long-term TEFL contracts normally last 12 months, or even two years, and often include a bonus (equivalent to a month of pay) upon completion. Long-term contracts require more commitment but often provide better pay and benefits for teachers. Twelve months may sound like a long time, but when you move abroad you’ll probably find this is just enough time to settle in, make friends and scratch the surface of the culture you’re living in before it’s time to leave again!

And, don’t forget, around 80% of TEFL teachers who work abroad for a year, enjoy the experience so much they end up staying for a second or third year. Many cite continuing to learn a language, maintaining overseas friendships and saving money as reasons to stay for longer.

However, not many TEFL teachers make a life-long career of teaching English. The vast majority use TEFL as an initial professional experience that sets them up with a huge variety of transferable skills to use in different fields. The opportunities after teaching abroad are diverse and plentiful - just ask these famous former English teachers!

What kind of English Teaching jobs can I find abroad?

One of the first things to figure out is what kind of students you want to teach. There are three main categories.

  • Teaching English to young learners

    Teaching young learners is high energy and fast paced. Children have shorter attention spans than adults so need a variety of activities such as games, songs and group work to keep them motivated and engaged in the classroom. Behaviour management will probably be necessary, as will strong classroom routines. You will spend time teaching study skills (like good classroom behaviour) as well as teaching English.

  • Teaching English to teenagers

    Teaching teenagers successfully requires striking the right balance between authority and approachability. Like young learners, teens like to know what the boundaries are so some behaviour and classroom management will be necessary. Lessons can be high energy or low-key as teens have strong study skills, but still need some variety to keep them engaged. Teens are motivated by social and creative activities such as group work, games, debates and discussions.

  • Teaching English to adults

    Teaching adult learners is diverse: it can include working with groups of university students, teaching professional skills to business people or coaching individuals with specific needs. Adult learners are generally intrinsically motivated to study and have high expectations for the lessons they attend, but they can also be nervous about learning as they are not used to being in the classroom. Adult learners may be studying business, conversational or general English.

Check out our blog on 7 things to know before Teaching English to Chinese Students!

What types of school can I work in teaching English abroad?

Once you know what kind of students you’re interested in teaching it’s time to think about the kind of school you want to work in. Different kinds of schools offer different salaries, working hours and benefits for teachers.

Government-sponsored programs

Government sponsored teach abroad programs typically place English teachers in primary and secondary schools to help students learn content specified on the national curriculum. Students will often have to pass exams at the end of their studies and, as such, the focus of classes will be making sure the students learn enough to pass their exams or enter the next grade. TEFL teachers on government sponsored teach abroad programs often enjoy set work hours, high salaries and generous holidays.

Government-sponsored teach abroad programs may run in public or private schools. Hiring for English teachers is generally done in advance of the start of the school year in September with full-time contracts for teachers to work as class teachers or teaching assistants. The application process can be competitive, so requirements include Bachelor’s degrees and TEFL certification.

Many Asian countries run government sponsored teach abroad programs such as Japan’s JET, South Korea’s EPIK and China’s Opportunity China.

Private language centers

Students come to private language centers to learn foreign languages and may be kindergarten age through to adult businessmen and women. Classes may include conversational, business and refresher English or English for young learners, and could take place face-to-face or online.

As language centres run for profit the emphasis during lessons is not to make sure students pass exams, but to make sure they enjoy the lessons and feel motivated to come back. Private language centers hire teachers throughout the year on part-time and full-time contracts. English teachers may have lower salaries than in public schools, but more flexibility in their schedules, with classes taking place during evenings and weekends, outside of normal work and school hours.

International Schools

International schools provide primary and secondary education to students who are living overseas, want to study at international universities, or have parents who are not native to where they live. As such, many subjects will be taught in English and teachers may be expected to teach subjects other than English language. Students normally follow an American, British, Australian, or International Baccalaureate (I.B.) curriculum.

Teachers in international schools are often required to have teaching licenses and professional experience in their home countries. Competition for jobs is high, and salaries and benefits are generous. Hiring for full-time contracts is normally done in advance of the start of the school year in September. The international school sector is booming, particularly in China and the United Arab Emirates.


Universities often hire English teachers to support students who are studying subjects other than English language, but require knowledge of English to complete their studies. Teachers will normally teach classes of students from Monday to Friday and have generous holidays throughout the year. Contracts for English teachers in universities are often part time. Hiring is normally done in advance of the start of the school year in September.

Private tutoring

One-on-one private lessons are organised independently of a school or language center and are often well paid. Students who hire an English tutor often have a specific goal in mind for their lessons, which will take place outside of normal work or school hours. Tutoring is normally a part-time role. There are no specific qualifications or requirements to teach English as a private tutor.

Check out our Types of English Schools in China blog here!

Our Featured Schools in China

How do I find a job Teaching English Abroad?

Good question - a quick search online will show you there are thousands and thousands of teach abroad jobs available around the world!

The first thing to do is narrow down what kind of teaching role you are looking for. Think about your long and short-term career goals and decide where you want to work, how long you want to live abroad, who you want to teach, how much you want to earn, and don’t be afraid to get specific. There are plenty of jobs to choose from. Getting a clear idea of what you want from your professional experience should reduce your search options drastically.

Next, think about job hunting through a recruiter. You can search for roles on ESL job boards or by approaching schools directly, but working with a good recruiter (like Career China) takes some of the job hunt admin off your hands and gives you reassurance that the jobs you are offered are reliable. Once you’ve told them your criteria, a good recruiter will be able to suggest roles that suit you in reputable schools, and guide you through the interview and contract signing process. They will also be able to give an independent perspective on any questions you have about the jobs, schools and hiring process.

How do I know if a teach abroad recruiter is trustworthy?

● They have experience in-country

Nobody can better understand what your going through than someone that’s already been there and done it. TEFL recruiters should either be based in-country or have staff you can talk to with experience of living in the country you are applying to work in.

Pssst Check out our awesome Career China team and our meet and greets at the airport :

● They are approved by a national body

Some countries provide authentication for reliable and reputable recruiters. In China, for example, look for schools and recruiters who are registered with The State Administration of Foreign Expat Affairs (“SAFEA”). Only SAFEA-approved schools and recruiters have the legal right to provide working visas for English teachers.

● They give you plenty of information

If you feel like a recruiter is withholding information from you of not being as clear as you would like, it’s a red flag. Moving abroad will require a leap of faith on your part, especially if you’re moving somewhere you’ve never been before, so it’s completely normal to have a million questions, big and small. A good recruiter should be willing to answer as many questions as you necessary to help you make an informed and confident decision.

● They put you in touch with other teachers

It’s perfectly normal to ask to speak to current or former teachers when you’re interviewing for TEFL jobs. In fact, the best schools and recruiters will make them easily available without you even having to ask.

Search for a recruiter that has a strong network of teachers who are active on social media then watch their videos, check out their photos, and join online groups where you can chat to them to get real stories and a genuine perspective on what it’s like to live and work where you want to go.

● They are open and transparent

A good recruiter should have a strong online presence all around. A positive social media community is a strong indicator of an open and trustworthy work culture, but search for online reviews as well. Good recruiters will encourage their staff to share their real experiences online.

● They do not ask you to send money or your passport

Recruiters may require a scan of your passport for visa purposes, but you should never have to hand over the real thing. No reputable recruiter will ask you to send them money.

Check out our blog on what you need to know to be an English Teacher in China!

Great places to find English teaching jobs online

What’s the recruitment process like to Teach English Abroad?

The recruitment process for English jobs abroad normally takes place online.



Here’s how to make yours stand out from the pack.

Include the things that qualify you for the position (your education, TEFL certification and nationality) clearly at the top of your resume.

Highlight relevant skills like teaching or coaching experience, your ability to work with others, foreign languages you speak and international experience.

Your resume will probably be read by non-native speakers from a different culture so use clear, simple and formal language.

Show off how great you are at English and make sure you check your resume carefully for spelling and grammar mistakes.

Be prepared to provide extra information like a professional photo, your marital status or your age to help schools work out your visa status and housing arrangements.






Ready to Jump into Step One?

Submit your resume today to talk to one of our recruiters


How long does recruitment for teach English abroad jobs take?

The time it takes to find an English teaching job overseas depends on a few factors.

Firstly, hiring seasons are different around the world. If you want to work in Europe you may have to wait to apply for jobs starting in September and January. If you want to work in South America, typical hiring periods are spring and the end of summer. Asia and the Middle East hire year round, but government-sponsored programs typically recruit for starts in September. Depending on when you start your search, it could take from six to nine months from the moment to apply to you actually getting on a plane.

But, let’s imagine that you want to apply for a job teaching English in China, you’ve researched the kind of opportunity you’re looking for and you’re ready to apply for a few teaching jobs that meet your criteria. Going through the whole recruitment process, including getting a visa could take as little as two months, especially if you work with an experienced recruiter who can help you through the visa process.

It’s best not to rush the recruitment process. Moving abroad is a big decision, and you want to be sure that you’ve taken time to choose the right opportunity for you. Scheduling in at least three to four months should give you time to do this.

How much does recruitment for teach English abroad jobs cost?

No recruiter or school should ask you to send them money during the recruitment process. However, depending on your contract, you may have to pay for some expenses such as authenticating documents for your visa, the cost of the visa, and your flights.

$ Authenticated documents: $50 USD to $250 USD

$ Cost of Visa: $150 USD to $350 USD

$ Flights: $500 USD to $1,000 USD

Our Teacher’s Perspective: Recruiters, Visa & Life After Arrival in China

Is it hard moving to another country?

There’s no doubt that moving abroad in a big challenge, especially if you are moving somewhere that you’ve never visited before, with no prior knowledge of what life will be like there. However, there are plenty of things you can do in advance to help make your transition abroad go smoothly.

Get on top of your admin before you leave

Contracts and accounts

Cancel or suspend outgoings like your phone contract, gym membership and local subscriptions. You don’t want to be paying for these while you’re living in another country!


Have a check-up with your doctor and dentist before you leave and make sure any ongoing prescriptions (like glasses or contacts) are up-to-date. Ask for advance supplies of any medication you take on a regular basis.


If you can save money before you leave. Doing so will help with your start up costs and mean you have enough to fly home should you need to for any reason. Don’t forget to notify your bank that you’re moving abroad, and take out some cash to cover your first few days in-country.


How do you pack for a 12-month trip? Firstly, work out what your luggage allowance is. Next, research the weather and pack a couple of appropriate outfits for each season. Don’t forget you’ll need some smarter clothes to wear for work too. Include essentials like electronics and adaptors. The rest of the space is yours to play with. Remember you’ll probably have access to stores and supermarkets where you are going, so think about packing things that you can’t buy like a few photos of you loved ones or you’re favourite sweater.

Check out our packing tips for Teaching English in China!

Keep your loved ones close

You’ll definitely want to spend time with your loved ones before you move abroad. They’re probably what you’ll miss the most while you’re away! It’s important to let people know you’re leaving as well, so they can get used to the idea and you can discuss how you’ll stay in touch with your nearest and dearest.

In some countries your normal methods of communication will not be available, so make sure you research the best way to keep in touch while you’re away. In China many popular social media channels are not accessible, but China’s own WeChat is. It has interfaces in Chinese and English so downloading it before you go means you are sure to be able to keep in touch while you’re abroad. Don’t forget your mum, cousins or bffs will need to download it too.

Why not throw yourself a going away party? You’ve got something huge to celebrate, after all! Throwing a leaving party is also a great way to get all the people you love together, and make sure you have everyone’s contact details before you go.

Get to know the culture

Getting familiar with the culture before you arrive in-country is a great way to get excited about where you’re going and reduce culture shock.

● start learning the language. Even learning one or two words before you go will be useful. If you don’t have the time or funds to take lessons, try downloading a free language learning app.
● whether you’re into movies, music, books or fashion, see if there’s any local art you can get into to help you understand the cultural context of your new home.
● look up cool places to visit or things to try where you’re moving and start a bucket list.
● start a food bucket list too! There are sure to be plenty of new and delicious local dishes to try.

Choose the right recruiter for relocation support

Experienced recruiters are familiar with the challenges of moving abroad to teach and will take steps to help their teachers overcome them, and settle into life abroad. All employers should be able to provide practical support to help teachers find housing, open bank accounts and access health care.

Teach abroad contracts may include teacher training to boost classroom skills, and orientation for no extra cost. Orientation may include initial training like language lessons and practical support like tours around the local area and tips on cultural etiquette.

Many organisations also know that one of the things most teachers worry about when moving abroad is making friends. Your workplace can be a source of friendship and many employers will organise events to introduce new teachers to each other and help them form a community.

* Career China offers a complete international relocation program including personalised visa support, cultural learning program and a social forum to meet other teachers planning to teach English in China before you leave.

What about when I’m living abroad?

When you’re living abroad you are sure to face challenges. Learning a language, making friends and understanding a new culture all take time. And, in reality, they can be equally enriching and frustrating! Give yourself a break if you have a bad day while you’re living overseas--starting a life somewhere new is hard work, and you’re probably making more progress than you realise.

Remember as well that one of the biggest rewards of moving abroad is the personal growth you’ll experience. And that won’t happen unless you face down a few challenges! The good news is, you can do it. And, truly, nothing matches the feeling of finding out how hugely resourceful and amazingly independent you can be.

How can I make the most of a year teaching English abroad professionally?

If you’re moving abroad to launch your career, doing a great job at work is a good way to start !

Become at home in a new culture

When you first start teaching abroad, be observant. You’ll be in a workplace that is culturally unfamiliar and watching others is a good way to see what kind of behaviour is appropriate. Having said that, your colleagues and students will know that you are not an expert and they’ll forgive a few cultural missteps, the most important thing is to be friendly, open and willing to learn.

Build your professional skills

This applies in the classroom too. Whether you’re new to teaching or not, take advantage of opportunities to improve your teaching by doing training and having other teachers observe your lessons. Any school will be impressed by a teacher who is organised and makes a genuine effort to help their students succeed. Thinking strategically, see if there are projects you can take on outside the classroom that will help you develop your professional skills too. Maybe your school has a blog, or social media accounts you can help run, or maybe you can help improve teaching resources or help organise events.

Create a network

Finally, make an effort to get to know your colleagues and students. While this will help you develop a social network abroad, you’ll also be building up a professional network that could last long into the future.

How can I make the most of a year teaching English abroad personally?

You stand a greater chance of success in your work life if you feel happy and comfortable in your personal life.

It may take time to find your balance when you move abroad but there are some steps you can take to help you settle in quickly.

Make your house (or apartment) a home

Firstly, make sure where you live is comfortable and relaxing. This may mean you have to buy some things for your apartment or decorate so it is more to your taste, but if you’ll be living there for a year the investment will be worth it. A fun, affordable way to make a new place feel like home is to put photos of your loved ones or favourite pictures up on the wall.

Look after your health

Next, try and find a routine that makes you healthy and happy. Whether you enjoy exercise, books, cinema, getting out in nature or meeting new people, making sure you have access to the activities you love and building them into your regular schedule will help you build a stable and fulfilling life abroad. Building journaling into your routine is a great way to chart your progress and keep track of your experiences abroad. Try writing a journal, sending regular email updates to friends at home, vlogging or keeping a photo diary.

Be open to new experiences

Lastly, keep an open mind. Living overseas you’re sure to encounter people, places and experiences you could never have imagined before. Some things you might love instantly whereas others will take longer to get under your skin. Basically, living overseas is a learning opportunity. You may well find the things that challenged you when you arrived are what you love 12 months later.

Our Teacher’s first two months in Teaching English in China

Where can I travel when I’m teaching English abroad?

You stand a greater chance of success in your work life if you feel happy and comfortable in your personal life.

It may take time to find your balance when you move abroad but there are some steps you can take to help you settle in quickly.

Make your house (or apartment) a home

One thing you’re sure to want to do during your time teaching abroad is travel. And why not? You’ll have access to a whole new set of vacation destinations, some of which may have seemed a world away before.

Where to travel if you’re teaching English in China

China’s generous salaries and central Asian location make it a perfect travel base. Before casting your net further afield, begin with travel in China itself. A huge and diverse country, China has plenty to offer travelers. Go to beautiful cities like Hangzhou and Chengdu to get a glimpse into the future and the past. Experience stunning nature on a cruise down the Yangtze river or hike in Tiger Leaping Gorge. Or visit one of a kind cultural sites like the Great Wall of China.

Internal flights and a high-speed train network make travel in China fast and affordable.

Looking beyond, teaching English in China gives you access to a wealth of other destinations in Asia.

Weekend trips to Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong or longer vacations to Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan and all easily possible from China.

Where to travel if you’re teaching English in the UAE

Living in the UAE means desert, beaches, stunning architecture and a unique culture on your doorstep. While Dubai is known as a glitzy mega-city, each of the emirates has its own character and is worth exploring.

Living in the Middle East also puts you within reach of plenty of travel destinations. Oman and Jordan make great vacation spots with world-famous archaeological and natural beauty to explore. For longer trips, Dubai is an international flight hub for a reason. Nestled between Europe, Africa and Asia, a stunning array of cultures are only a short plane ride away. India, Egypt, Ethiopia and Turkey all make great vacation spots from the UAE.

Where to travel if you’re teaching English in Brazil

Although the size of Brazil means that much of the country isn’t geographically close to anything except itself, there are plenty of iconic destinations to visit within Brazil. Nature lovers will want to visit the Amazon. Modern architecture enthusiasts will want to explore capital-city Brasilia. Music fans, dancers and anyone who likes to party won’t want to miss Carnival celebrations in Rio.

Neighbouring countries aren’t exactly close by, but Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay are accessible from Rio and Sao Paulo. For longer trips, Central America, the Carribean and Miami do-able.

Top 5 ways to launch your career by teaching English Abroad

Be strategic

Think about what you want to be doing in five or ten years. What kind of experience, location and network will help you achieve those goals?

Save money

How much do you need to save now to achieve the lifestyle you want in the future? Any which location or type of school can you earn the right salary in?

Set yourself up for success

What do you want to spend your time abroad doing? Find a supportive school or recruiter so you can focus on achieving your goals inside and outside of work.

Build your network

What kind of people do you want to meet while you’re abroad? How will your co-workers and students help you build long-term professional skills?

Try new things and explore

Don’t have a concrete career plan? Use your teach overseas experience to try new things and find out what you’re good at.

Launch your Career and Teach English in China