How to teach in a different country when the time is right

woman sitting at sunset dreaming of travel - how to teach in a different country

Wondering if you should keep your plans for teaching overseas?

You're not alone.

The pandemic has brought all of us face-to-face with different challenges. One that many people are facing is a sadness that feels like grief over the loss of future plans.

Exciting plans for traveling the world have been replaced with serious doubts over when we will be able to travel again.

Right now, moving overseas feels like a distant dream.

But while you're staying home, don't completely give up on your plans to teach in a different country.

Why? Because things are starting to look up. Schools are opening up around the world as countries slowly and carefully restart their economies.

And to top it off, schools abroad are still actively seeking teachers and accepting applications. Some schools are willing to let their teachers begin teaching remotely if travel isn't in the cards yet.

There are no guarantees on whether it's possible to move soon, but it doesn't hurt to try in the meantime.

There are ways you can still move closer to your goals so that, when the time is right, you can do it.

Dream now, teach later.

Don't stop believing! (bonus points if you get the reference.)

Ok, but in all seriousness, your dreams still matter. And you can make it happen someday because the opportunities continue to boom.

Experts estimate that in 2020 there are around two billion English language learners globally.

In other words, the job market for English teachers abroad is enormous. And this market is expected to keep growing.

Some TEFL job opportunities may be on hold for now. But when the world starts opening up again, countries all over the world will still need thousands of TEFL teachers.

The long-term future still looks bright for TEFL teachers. And, on a personal level, spending time imagining future happiness can be an excellent way to manage coronavirus anxiety.

So, don't give up hope! Keep making plans and keep dreaming about where you'd like to teach abroad.

woman studying online - how to teach in a different country

Make sure you're qualified for jobs.

Before you get too excited and start planning your life abroad, make sure you qualify for jobs first!

Most TEFL jobs have three basic requirements for applicants:

  • A passport from the US, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. 
  • A bachelor's degree in any subject. 
  • A TEFL certificate.

If you don't have your TEFL certification, you can still study online for it while you are social distancing at home.

The great thing is that online TEFL certifications usually only take around three months to complete.

But if you’re not in a rush many offer flexible learning timetables and can be completed at your own pace within 12 months.

You'll feel prepared for and confident about life in the classroom when you’re finished with your course.

And the cherry on top? You'll qualify for all your dream jobs and be a great prospect for future employers. All without even needing to leave your home.

couple pointing to a map - how to teach in a different country

Choose a country.

Picking which country you want to move to is going to be the single biggest decision you make.

Especially now that everything around the world has changed.

If you still haven't settled on a place, explore some options now – there's lots of time to make your decision.

Start by making a list of countries and narrowing it down based on your goals. A good place to start is by exploring some key criteria like the: Location Language Income and benefits Safety as a foreigner Travel opportunities Cost of living

You can score countries based on these criteria above or make up your own. It totally depends on how you envision your time abroad.

Take the time to do your research and follow your heart. The world is your oyster.

Keep up your job hunt.

Don't stop searching for teaching jobs abroad.

Lockdown restrictions in different countries are constantly changing, and schools around the world are adapting their hiring policies to keep up.

Some schools may still be hiring teachers to move overseas. (But don't forget to check travel restrictions in your own country before you commit to any travel plans.)

Other schools may be hiring for teaching positions that will start remotely but can transfer to in-person roles when it's safe to do so.

Picture this: you could start working for your dream school online from home. Then, when the time is right, move overseas to work for them in-person.

Did we mention schools in our database are still accepting applications? Yup!

So go on and take a look at our current job openings abroad and while you’re there go and so you can get a better idea of what opportunities are out there and easily apply.

woman applying for jobs online - how to teach in a different country

Prepare yourself for the move.

Part of the charm of moving abroad is the adventure of the unknown. But right now travel feels riskier than it did a few months ago.

And when the timing works and you can teach abroad, it's important to make sure you feel safe and comfortable doing so.

There are plenty of things to prepare before you move abroad.

But three specific things will help keep you safe and healthy while you're overseas. And you can do all of them right now.

Save money

Let's imagine the worst for a second and visualize another global pandemic breaking out while you're living overseas.

Having money saved means you could buy an expensive flight home if you needed to. Or pay for healthcare without worrying about your bank balance. Or have a safety net if all your classes were canceled.

You will never regret having a little cash behind you while you're living overseas. So if you can save money now, make sure you do.

Familiarize yourself with the country

A lot has changed since the pandemic. Every country is handling things differently.

Your health and safety are essential, so research your country of choice ahead of time to see important statistics on COVID-19.

Find out how they are tackling treatment and prevention. Aside from that, learn what the requirements are for moving there, what health insurance is available to you and information on getting your visa.

Stay on top of the latest travel advisories and updates to see how viable it will be for you to move there. You can always refer to the World Health Organization for the most up-to-date information.

Learn some of the local language(s).

The more of the local language you can speak, the more you'll be able to take charge of your life abroad.

With all this time to yourself at home, you might be tempted to watch Netflix. Go for it! But try it in another language to immerse yourself ahead of time.

If you have time, start studying the language of the country you want to move to now. Your future self will thank you.

woman teaching online with a cat - how to teach in a different country

Try teaching online.

If you don't see an end in sight and you're getting anxious about whether or not you should even consider moving, you can always try teaching English online instead.

We've all read about how public schools have moved online during the coronavirus crisis.

But there has also been a boom in online private tutoring.

Online learning and private tutoring have been a feature of the TEFL classroom for years already.

Around the world, many language schools tutor kids outside of regular school hours. And many English language schools focus solely on providing online lessons for students.

If you haven't already tried teaching online, now is a great time to look into it.

Adding "Virtual Educator" to your skillset is a great way to future-proof your resume at a time where the future looks uncertain.

And the extra experience you'll gain teaching online will boost your resumé and make you more attractive to potential employers.

All of which will help you move closer to your goal of moving abroad when the time is right.

person waiting at the airport - how to teach in a different country

When the time comes, get ready to teach overseas!

It's disheartening to put your life plans on hold.

Especially when you don't know how long they'll be on hold for.

But if you want to teach abroad in the future, there are still ways to keep moving forward towards your goals.

While you're staying at home, there are so many online resources that can help you. Whether you're building up teaching qualifications, researching teaching positions, preparing for life abroad or gaining teaching experience.

Remember that you don't have to give up hope and the worst that could happen is that you may need to raincheck that dream.

Here's how you can get a head start on your plans to teach overseas:

  1. Dream now, teach later.
  2. Make sure you're qualified for jobs.
  3. Choose your country of choice.
  4. Keep up your job hunt.
  5. Prepare yourself for the international move.
  6. Try teaching online.

You might even come out of the next few months better qualified, more experienced and more ready than ever to teach abroad when the time is right.

Have a look at some of our current job openings over at our job board for an updated list of programs and countries around the world still hiring teachers.