Finding work overseas as an international english teacher.

As English becomes a world language, countries around the world are making knowledge of English as a focus of their education systems. English is the accepted language of several fields such as trade, science and most importantly, air traffic control. Learning English automatically improves career prospects and therefore, there are millions of people who want to learn the language.

At present, the largest markets for English teachers are Eastern Europe, Turkey, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, China and Japan. While the demand in Eastern European countries like Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia is very high, the salaries are low and accommodation poor. Although teachers with ESL-training are preferred, the qualification is sometimes overlooked due to shortages. Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand allow teachers to work without official certification.

Qualifications Required to Teach
While many positions require teachers with EFL qualifications and experience, it is possible for anyone who is fluent in English to find a job. Most English teachers have a university degree and short training programs for teaching English as well. Other qualifications can include a postgraduate TESL certificate, a BEd or MEd with ESL specialization are usually prerequisites for teaching positions with international universities and multinational corporations.

Salary Expectations
Some teaching positions in competitive markets like Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong can pay up to US,000 along with free boarding. While some people teach English abroad to pay off student debts and travel to a new country, if your goal is to make money, then you should take extra courses, give private lessons and move to more exclusive schools.

Characteristics of Good English Teachers
The single most important factor in a successful career as an English teacher overseas is creativity. EFL teachers need to be able to draw students into learning a new language and be innovative in their approach. A successful teacher must also wholeheartedly enjoy the work and be committed to their students.


  • Academic certifications are required in at least one of these areas if you would like to find a well-paying job.
  • TEFL: Pronounced 'tefel', this stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and refers to countries where English is not the traditional language.
  • TESL: Stands for Teaching English as a Second Language and refers to countries where English is an official working language.
  • TEAL: Stands for Teaching English as an Additional Language and refers to multicultural societies where several languages are spoken.

Ways to gain teaching experience
A good way to gain experience is to enroll in volunteer programs, tutor immigrants and assist teachers in local schools.

Teaching Materials
It is advisable to check in advance what facilities will be available at your job. Teaching aids such as reference books, picture dictionaries, tapes, paper, pens, typewriter and anything else that can help should be brought.

Teaching English overseas is one of the most rewarding experiences. It enables you to get a deeper understanding of a culture, lifestyle and working environment.