There are so many reasons why you should teach English online while traveling or from home. It’s a flexible job that allows you to work anywhere in the world, maintaining a digital nomad lifestyle. You can teach English online on a part time basis, with the freedom to travel and explore during your downtime. It’s also a fantastic way to fund your travels, so you can travel farther and longer.
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I’m really excited to share my experiences with you as I earn my TEFL certificate online. While I am a full time travel blogger, it’s always nice to have options or side gigs to fund my traveling life. I’m going to show you how you can TEFL (teach English as a foreign language) and some suggestions for the best places to travel while teaching English online.
How to Teach English Online From Anywhere
Teaching English online is a fantastic job for anyone who wants to work from home or work remotely (or both!). You can take your job with you as you travel around the world, and you can work from anywhere. All you need is a good Internet connection, a laptop with a webcam, and a proper working environment. And it almost goes without saying, but you should be passionate about helping others learn how to speak English, whether you decide to work with kids or adults.
While some employers require that you have a bachelor’s degree, not all of them do. There are a few that don’t require TEFL certification. With that said, the majority of companies do require a TEFL qualification from an accredited course provider. Also, it can get competitive out there to apply for English teaching jobs. Having a TEFL certificate will give you an advantage over other applicants.
Choosing a TEFL Course
There are so many schools that provide TEFL courses. It can be difficult to choose! While there are many schools offering TEFL training, I chose to go with TEFL.org. I’m taking the TEFL.org 120 Hour Premier Online TEFL Course, and I’ve loved the whole experience!
It’s an internationally recognized, multi-accredited TEFL certificate that’s owned and operated by experienced TEFL teachers. Unlike other programs, you have access to a qualified tutor who can provide additional help and advice. You’ll have six months to complete the course, and TEFL.org gives you lifetime access to their TEFL Jobs Centre to help you find work.
You might notice that there are some extremely cheap TEFL courses on Groupon. These are often not accredited, so it’s not worth wasting your time on those. You get what you pay for. At the same time, there are other TEFL qualifications that are extremely expensive. TEFL.org offers the best of both worlds: it’s an award winning course by the UK’s most experienced TEFL course provider, but it isn’t nearly as expensive as other certificates.
Take a TEFL Course Online
You can opt to take your TEFL course in person or online. I find that it is much more convenient to take the course online than in person. First, you can work on the TEFL course at your leisure around your hours. If you’re already working a full time job (or blogging full time, like myself), you can work away at your TEFL course during your off hours.
If you’re currently traveling, you can complete your TEFL course as you bounce from city to city. You don’t need to stay put in order to complete your TEFL training. Complete it from anywhere in the world. Teaching English online can be a location independent job, and it only makes sense that the schooling for it can be as well.
You also don’t need to have any previous teaching experience to complete TEFL online training. TEFL.org provides you with the most essential training, tools, and support to help you become an amazing English teacher. It’s an exciting and flexible career change that can supplement your travels or your existing income.
Aspects of the TEFL.Org Course
There are several course modules for the TEFL.org 120 Hour Premier Online TEFL Course. There’s a 50 hour TEFL methodology course, a 30 hour grammar course, a 20 hour video observation course, a 10 hour telephone teaching course, and a 10 hour teaching large classes course.
The courses are full of insightful video instructions, as well as written instructions, that makes following along easy and engaging. There are little pop quizzes along the way to keep you on your toes. I also love that there are so many practical applications of what you’re learning. After you learn something new, you get to watch a video of it being applied to a real life, classroom situation.
Watch as real English students learn new concepts, and you can observe the different methods that the teachers use in the classroom. You’ll gather ideas about how to prepare your own lesson plans and discover many different teaching styles and situations. The TEFL.org qualifications train you for teaching English online or teaching English in a physical classroom setting.
The grammar course is a thorough and refreshing experience. I have an English literature degree myself, and I learned so much from the grammar course! I couldn’t believe that there were so many elements of the English language that I didn’t know until taking the TEFL.org course (and I have a bachelor of arts degree from a Canadian university).
How to Find English Teaching Jobs Online
Once you’ve completed your accredited TEFL course, it’s time to look for English teaching jobs. While any job hunt can be a grueling process, TEFL.org thankfully has its own jobs center to help its graduates find reliable employment opportunities.
More than 80% of their graduates find teaching jobs abroad within 2 months of beginning their job search. You can teach English online from anywhere in the world and you can find teaching jobs in person, too. EFL teachers are in highest demand in China, Vietnam, and Spain. However, you can also find jobs in Mexico, South Korea, Japan, France, Germany, the UK, and more.
If you’re looking for online English teaching companies, here are a few that don’t require a university degree:
- Hugo English
- Amazing Talker
- Open English
Teaching English Online While Traveling Overseas
After you earn your TEFL qualifications with an accredited school and find a job, you can teach English from anywhere in the world. All you’ll need is a laptop with a webcam, a headset with a microphone, a fast Internet connection, a quiet place to work, and a helpful and positive attitude.
Things to Consider When Traveling and Working
Aside from a fast Wi-Fi connection, there are a few more things to consider when choosing where to travel and work. First, you’ll want to look into the visa requirements and how long you can stay. Some countries require a day trip into a neighboring country to renew a visa. Other countries will only allow you to stay for a short period of time. You’ll also want to make sure that you can get a working visa. Some tourist visas will not allow you to work and earn an income legally.
Safety is also a concern, especially for female solo travelers. Even if you’re traveling as part of a couple, you’ll want to choose a place where you feel safe and comfortable. It might be difficult to maintain a work schedule if you aren’t able to feel comfortable where you’re living.
Finally, the cost of living can be an issue, especially if you’re traveling full time. Teaching English online is a great way to earn some extra money, supplement your income, or even become your full time job. However, your hard earned cash will go a lot farther in Thailand, for instance, than it will in Denmark or Iceland.
The Best Countries to Travel and Work Remotely
Here’s my list of the best countries to visit, stay for a lengthy amount of time, and work online while you’re there. You can truly experience daily life in a city or a country by living there for months at a time. Plus, you can fund your rent, food, and other essentials by using that TEFL certificate to teach English online while traveling.
These are the top places in the world for female digital nomads as well. They’ve got a great combination of cheap rent, safety for women, and communities of fellow female travelers to connect with during your stay. While I travel as part of a couple with Justin, I do often travel on my own as well since he has a full time job at home in Canada. In this regard, I’m often searching for places that are safe for solo female travelers, too.
Thailand (and in particular, Chiang Mai) is well known for being popular among expats and digital nomads. It’s cheap to rent a place to live without long term commitments, the Wi-Fi is fast, and there are numerous co-working spaces and cafes to spend some quality time with your laptop.
With a thriving community of digital nomads, it’s really easy to meet fellow travelers who are working and traveling the world, just like you are. Thailand is generally a safe country to visit, and it’s easy to get by speaking English. I personally love that Chiang Mai is super vegan-friendly and has so many vegan cafes.
If you’re thinking about teaching English online while living abroad in Thailand, you should consider getting a three months or six months entry tourist visa. Then, many expats and foreigners will do a border run to extend their visa every 60 days. It’s also a possibility that Thailand will be introducing a 9 month visa in the near future to encourage long-stay tourism in the country.
Another favourite spot in Southeast Asia among travelers and remote workers is Vietnam. Whether you choose to make a base in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or another place in Vietnam, you’ll be delighted to learn that rent is affordable and food is cheap. The cost of living is pretty low when compared to other places around the world.
It’s relatively safe to visit, even for women travelers on their own. You do need to be wary of small, petty crimes targeting foreigners, unfortunately. But, for the most part, it’s a safe place to visit and stay for an extended amount of time.
The Internet in Vietnam is fast and reliable, whether you’re working from home, at a coworking space, or at a cafe. It’s a great country to choose to teach English online while traveling. You can discover Vietnam and other countries around Southeast Asia while maintaining the digital nomad / remote work way of life. It’s also possible to apply for a 3 month visa online in advance through the embassy.
Indonesia, namely Bali, is one of the best places for female digital nomads to live and work. Canggu and Ubud are the two top picks for expats, and they have thriving expat communities that will make you feel right at home. You can spend your days at the beach in Canggu or enjoy expansive views from the highland town of Ubud.
Of course, there are also the perks of inexpensive rent, food, and ultra cheap cups of coffee while you work away on your computer. There are healthy eats for the hip, yogi lifestyle, and it’s easy to rent space at a coworking space or get cozy at a cafe with fast Wi-Fi. It’s also really safe for women to travel there, and easy to make new friends among the blogging and nomad community.
In terms of visas, it is possible to stay up to 6 months in Bali. You’ll need to apply for a 60 day visa before entering Bali (or get a 30 day visa upon arrival), and you’re able to renew it for another 30 days up to 4 times in a row.
Mexico is becoming a really popular country for expats and digital nomads, especially for those from the USA. It’s possible to stay for six months without a visa if you’re from Canada, the USA, the UK, Japan, many Schengen countries, and some other nations. You’ll be lured by beautiful beaches, delightful towns, and delicious cuisine.
You can teach English online while traveling to Tulum, Oaxaca, or Puerto Vallarta. Mexico is a pretty big country with so many to see and do, so there’s plenty of territory to explore. Tulum is becoming very popular among digital nomads and travel bloggers, too. While the Internet might not be as reliable in some areas, there are co-working spaces springing up in Tulum that helps this issue.
Colombia is growing in popularity for travelers and digital nomads alike. Medellín is a great city to call home for a little while before jetting around the rest of South America. Rent is cheap and the street food is filling and delicious. Plus, Medellin once had a bad reputation for being really dangerous, but those days are in the past.
With a low cost of living, easy visa requirements, and reliable Internet, Colombia is a great place for teaching English online while living abroad. There are lots of interesting attractions and sites to visit when you’re playing tourist in Colombia, from stunning beaches to coffee plantations.
Australia is a favourite destination to study, live, and work by many world travelers. You can get your TEFL certificate living in Australia and continue to teach English online there. Australia is a massive country with so much to see and do. It would take many years to explore the whole country.
Australia’s working holiday visa is one reason why staying in Australia is such an enticing option. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 30 (35 in some cases) and you’re from a country that’s part of Australia’s Working Holiday Maker program, you can apply for a 12 month working visa.
Many people who travel to Australia to work find jobs in hospitality, tourism, and farming. However, remote work on your laptop as an English teacher is an excellent option. Work full time or part time, and spend the rest of your days exploring this beautiful country.
Justin and I keep returning to Germany on our travels, and it’s one place we could definitely see ourselves calling home in the future. Germany is also a great place for expats and working travelers. You can apply for Berlin’s residence permit for freelance workers that allows language teachers, artists, and others to live in Germany while earning freelance employment.
You won’t have any issues finding fast Internet access in Germany, and it’s not terribly expensive to live in a city like Berlin. We found that Germany was cheaper to visit than many other European countries. Berlin is such an intriguing city with so many things to do, I doubt you’ll ever get bored. Plus, you can travel all over Germany…and beyond! It’s easy to hop all over Europe when you’re based in Germany.
Estonia is another really tempting destination, and I’ve heard on numerous occasions that Tallinn is the prettiest city in Europe. But, Estonia’s digital nomad visa makes the country even more alluring as a place where you can easily work remotely. You can stay and work in Estonia for up to 12 months, and you can also travel around the entire EU Schengen zone without difficulty.
Tallin has lightning fast Internet, it’s pretty safe, and most people speak English so it’s easy to get around. It’s a little more expensive than other countries in Europe, but it’s cheaper than most of the Scandinavian countries. Rent isn’t too expensive, and it’s never an issue to find some long term Airbnb rentals until you find a place to call home for longer.
Teach English online while traveling around Estonia and beyond. And as for daily life in Tallinn, there are tons of retro boutiques, hip cafes, innovative art and design galleries, and dozens of craft breweries to check out.
As you can see, it’s easy to teach English online while traveling around the world. Get your TEFL certificate and you’ll be able to find a job that works with your lifestyle. See the world, fund your travels, and live life on your own terms.
This post is brought to you by TEFL.org. I highly recommend taking their TEFL certification course as I’ve found it to be a highly valuable experience.