TEFL Certification – How to Become a Teacher Abroad

If you have been keeping up to date with our blog or following us on Instagram then you probably already know we are currently living in Chiang Mai Thailand where we are working as teachers both online and at a local international school.

Teaching English in Thailand was one of the best decisions we made. We love living and working in Thailand, being surrounded by the stunning mountains of Northern Thailand and of course the delicious Thai cuisine.

For us, teaching English in Thailand was quite the impulse decision. Back in November we made the decision to make the leap over breakfast in Bali. One hour later we had our TEFL course purchased and had started working our way through the course while lounging by the pool. Click here to read more about ‘How we Became Teachers in Thailand”.

If you are interested in teaching English abroad then continue reading. In this blog we will outline the steps you will need to take to get you started.

Why Teach Abroad?

Teaching abroad is the perfect job for those looking to move to a non English speaking country and earn money. We love being situated in Asia but with out speaking the local language our employment opportunities are limited. Working at a school immerses you into local life. Each day we experience Thai culture in many formats.

While living in Thailand we have seen a whole other side to this country that you just don’t experience as a tourist. Spending evening eating at local restaurants, visiting the local markets on the weekend to buy our fruit and vegetables and of course teaching local Thai children at school.

On top to all the incredible cultural experiences, believe it or not you can actually earn really good money teaching abroad especially if you choose to live in a country with a low cost of living. If you are working in a International School like us expect a decent salary plus paid holidays (paid holidays = opportunity to travel). There are also lots of opportunities to earn extra cash by tutoring locals.

What is TEFL?

TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

In order to teach English abroad you will first need to get your TEFL certification. This certification qualifies you to teach English to non native speakers. To get this certification you will have to complete a course (either in a classroom or online). This course will guide you through how to teach English to non English speakers. The good thing is that you do not need to have previous teaching experience to complete this course.

How to get your TEFL Certification?

Getting a TEFL certification is a lot easier than you may think. There are two different options you can choose from when deciding how to become TEFL certified, 1. in person course and 2. online course.

We chose the online method to get TEFL certified as we were traveling while completing the course. Getting our accreditation online suited on the road. We simply logged in and out as we had free time and complete the course at our own pace. We would spend an hour or two each day sitting in a quiet corner of a hostel with our earphones and phone.

Others prefer to get their accreditations in the classroom. Maybe you learn better in person? Completing your TEFL course in the classroom can also be a great way to meet people who may also be interested in teaching abroad.

When purchasing your TEFL course you will have the option to purchase a 120 hour course or a 168 hour course. We completed the 120 hour course and that is the minimum requirement and employer will look for. The 168 hour course will cover each module more in dept.

Do I Need Previous Teaching Experience?

Short answer – No!

Neither of us had any teaching experience before moving to Thailand. All that was required of us was our TEFL certification, proof of a bachelors degree and police clearance from Ireland (our home country).

Looking for More Information About Teaching English Abroad?

Click the link below to check out our previous blogs about teaching English abroad. Maybe you are not yet ready to more abroad. We also have blogs about teaching English online.


One thought on “TEFL Certification – How to Become a Teacher Abroad

  1. So true that you experience life so much different when you live in a place compared to visiting as a tourist. I highly recommend moving to a different country and living there for a year or two. I wish I had done it when I was much younger, but even as a woman in her 50s, I’ve never felt so alive and free as I have the past few years living abroad. Also, teaching English is a great way to meet the locals and get to know them better. Thanks for sharing your experiences in Thailand!

    Liked by 1 person

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