Thinking about a teaching job abroad? Try teaching English online first.

woman at laptop teaching english online

Originally published May 2018. Updated May 2021.

Since the start of the pandemic, travel restrictions have forced us to stay put. 

But the good news is that borders are opening, travel restrictions are starting to ease, and the list of countries hiring teachers is growing.

Are you debating whether or not to move abroad and pursue a career in teaching English? 

Maybe you’re hesitant to travel due to COVID safety concerns, or you are having doubts about leaving your home country behind. 

If you’re just not ready to commit to a teaching job overseas, that is completely okay!

Why not apply for online English teaching jobs?

Teaching English online will give you the flexibility to work from home, or better yet, travel and experience new countries, when it’s safe to do so, at your own pace. 

Here are some of the best reasons why teaching English online is the perfect way to start your next chapter as a teacher:

  1. You can work your way around the world without the hassle of a visa
  2. You can teach English online with one of the best paying online English teaching jobs while you save up to move abroad
  3. Find out if teaching English online is your calling in life
  4. You can build a killer resume for English teaching jobs abroad

You can work your way around the world - without the hassle of getting a visa.

The world is too big to stay in one place forever, right? You want to live the dream - travel the world, set your own hours and fund yourself along the way.

The digital nomad lifestyle is gaining huge traction for a very good reason. Working on the road could be the solution you’ve been looking to make long-term travel attainable for you at long last. If you don’t want to commit to one job or living in one country for a prolonged period of time, then an online English teaching job could be the perfect remote gig for you.

Usually, you need a working visa to teach English abroad. In lots of countries, being granted a visa involves lots of jumping through hoops and all sorts of tiresome paperwork, including a medical check.

Teaching English online, however, takes visas and all that annoying red tape out of the equation. So long as you continue to pay taxes in your home country, you’re not technically working in the countries that you visit along your travels. All you need to teach English online is a decent internet connection, your laptop or computer and, more often than not, you can easily teach remotely with just a tourist visa.

Best of all, the cost of living in places like Bali, Thailand, Argentina Mexico, Hungary and Portugal is a whole lot cheaper than, say, Toronto or Chicago. Meaning the money you can make teaching English online will stretch a whole lot further than it would at home.

Watch this: A day in the life teaching English online >

Teaching English online doesn’t just help you be more location independent, though…

Teaching English online can also make enough money to cover your startup costs for your move abroad.

Let’s be real here. Moving abroad to teach can be an expensive process. Homesickness and language barriers aside, there's a lot of logistics that go into dropping your life and moving halfway across the world.

Let’s say you snag a teaching job abroad that helps with housing and airfare costs. Great! But there’s other stuff you’ll need to stump for before you hop on that plane, like getting TEFL certified.

Not to mention everyday living expenses, like food, cell phone and entertainment, that can all mount up well before that first paycheck actually hits your bank account. At a minimum, you’ll need to bring enough cold, hard cash to get you through the first 4 - 6 weeks, along with a contingency fund in case of a rainy day.

And if you need to cover your own rent and utilities, plus health insurance, you’ll really need to bump up those savings. Which can be a tough ask when you’re fresh out of college and broke. Or already renting in an expensive city.

This means that if you’re looking to teach abroad sometime in the next few months to a year but you’re light on funds, then you might want to look at a flexible way to earn some extra money on the side.

Enter teaching English online.

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You can find out if you even like teaching English in the first place!

This one’s pretty important. We know you’ve probably read a lot of overwhelmingly positive stories about how incredible and life-changing teaching abroad is (we have our fair share of these on the blog - here’s one for starters). But let’s face it - teaching, in general, isn’t for everyone and is certainly not a step to be taken lightly.

Most English teaching job contracts overseas are at least a year and finding a job in the first place is a fairly big time (and financial) commitment. Getting TEFL certified is one way to ease the transition. But what if teaching kids just isn’t your thing and you find yourself in a classroom in some far-flung location, teaching English grammar to 25 boisterous five-year-olds?

Anyone who’s taught young learners understands the battles you have to fight to get kids to pay attention and consistently do their work. Adult learners, on the other hand, are usually a little more self-motivated and serious about the whole learning-a-new-language thing. To figure out which age group suits you best, you can test the waters a little with the numerous online English teaching jobs out there working with all age levels.

You’ll have a killer resume for English teaching jobs abroad.

Not all English teaching jobs abroad require you to have teaching experience - the minimum schools usually require is a bachelor’s degree, native English fluency and an ESL teaching certification.

But there’s no getting away from the fact that having direct experience teaching English language learners will not only better equip you to help your new students. It’s also far and away the best way to stand out from the crowd as a superstar candidate for the best-paying teaching positions abroad.

Do you love the idea of a job you can do from anywhere?

Learn more about teaching English online with one of our favorite tutoring platforms, Cambly

You don’t need a teaching certificate, Bachelor’s degree, or any prior teaching experience to get started. 

Plus you’re not even obligated to a minimum number of hours to qualify.

It’s the perfect way to start teaching English, gain experience, and make a difference in the lives of students eager to start learning a second language.

Bookmark our online teaching jobs page and our teaching jobs abroad page, for the most current teaching positions available. 

Good luck!