10 Steps to Teaching English Abroad

I did it and you can too: a quick and easy guide to finding a teaching job abroad!

  • Graduate with a four year degree.  …in anything (I’m a child psychology major and religion minor).  One thing to keep in mind is different countries have different qualification requirements, I’m basing this post off of my experience with South Korea.
  • I highly recommend doing your job search through a recruiter.  Teach ESL Korea made the process pretty painless for me!  Otherwise, you can do it independently by applying for jobs on job boards like Dave’s ESL Cafe.
  • Give yourself plenty of time.  I’ve heard of teachers applying and shipping out to Korea within a couple months’ time.  Personally, it took me 7 months to gather all my paper work.
  • Save up.  There’s many associated costs with the application process and once you land in Korea, but don’t let it intimidate you from applying:
  1. Passport (if you do not already have one)
  2. Criminal Background Check
  3. Mailing costs for documents (both nationally and internationally)
  4. Apostille Fees
  5. Visa Fees                                                                           
  •  Snag an interview!
  •  Receive an offer.  I only had one interview/offer and signed my contract.  Do not feel pressured to sign immediately with the first school, there really are plenty of fish in the sea.  Go with your gut.
  •  E2 visa process.  Yes, more paperwork, but this is again why I went through a recruiter who helped me every step of the way.
  •  Purchase a one way ticket.  In most cases, the school or recruiter will provide the ticket for you as part of your employment package.
  •  Start packing!  I’ve found this video extremely helpful.
  • Whether it takes a few weeks or several months to complete the previous steps, remember to cherish the remaining time with those you care about.

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One thing I’ve taken away from this process is if you really want it, you will find the determination and perseverance to seek it out until the very end.  Believe in yourself and do not put it off; go after those dreams NOW…

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity.”

-Amelia Earhart

6 thoughts on “10 Steps to Teaching English Abroad

  1. Hey! I see you’re at teacher here in South Korea! Where at? I teach in Andong, at a hakwon called Avalon English Education. It’s always fun for me to find other teachers in Korea who are blogging about ESL.

    • Hey there! I will be in Gwangju — I make the big trans-Pacific trip next week and I couldn’t be more anxious/excited!! Glad you stumbled upon my blog! How long have you been in Korea?

      • wow! That’s awesome, seems like it’s a pretty common trend among ESL teachers to stay for more than the initial year? I will be a newbie to both Korea and the teaching world starting next week!

      • It’s more common for teachers to stay for one or two years. If they find a really school to teach at, they’ll either head to their home country or onto another place to teach. I’m looking at moving to Taiwan next year to teach.

  2. Pingback: Teaching English: Making My Dream to Travel the World a Reality | Butterfly Jewel

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