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TEFL teaching English abroad as a foreign language - advise.

Travel Forums General Talk TEFL teaching English abroad as a foreign language - advise.

1. Posted by Frey201 (Budding Member 69 posts) 5y

Hi there,

I am still in the process of planning my round the world trip. As I dont have a huge amount of money, I am obviously looking into ways to help me fund my trip. I am 31 years old so I have found out that I am extremely limited in what I can get in terms of working holiday visas. One option that I have thought of is teaching English as a foreign language abroad. I am only going to be away for 12 months so only really want to be doing this some of the time I am away so that I have plenty of time to travel around aswell. I have been told that Vietnam is the only place that do contracts for the types of length that would be suitable for me. ie 3months.

Does anyone know anything about this? How easy would it be to include this as part of my trip? Is it relatively easy to find a placement out there?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated,


[ Edit: Edited on 05-Jul-2011, at 15:25 by Frey201 ]

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4817 posts) 5y

I have no idea about the subject of this thread, I'm afraid, but just to make certain: Did you already find out that as a citizen of the UK, you can get a WHV for New Zealand through Bunac, which is available until age 35, rather than 30? (It's more expensive than the regular WHV, but all the same I'm jealous for the option existing for people from the UK.)

3. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 413 posts) 5y

If you want to teach English in China, South Korea or Japan, you'll probably have to sign a year-long contract, just to get a working visa. But, of course, you don't have to stay the full year.

South Korea is probably the best place in Asia to teach English, if you want to save money. The pay is as high as Japan, but the costs are much lower, and they are less strict about teaching credentials. You need a bachelor's degree, but that's all. You can usually earn about $2,000/month, plus free apartment. So you can save $1,500/month, if you are frugal.

Chinese schools pay less, but give you longer holidays. A Chinese university will only pay $600- $800/month, plus free apartment. But you only teach 16 hours/week, usually. And you can easily double your income by doing private lessons. You will get 5-6 weeks of paid vacation in the winter holiday (January-February) and 5-6 weeks in the summer (July-August). Plus shorter holidays in May and October. That's plenty of time to explore around China. At the end of the year, they usually give you round trip tickets to your home country.

If you really want to get to know a country, teaching English is a good way to do it. You'll become friends with local students, parents and teachers, and see a side of the country that tourists miss.

Good luck!

4. Posted by Frey201 (Budding Member 69 posts) 5y

Thanks Sander yeah im aware of that, that is the other option I am looking into.

So Madpoet, would most people stay for the full length of their contracts or do the schools know that it is just a visa requirement and expect that some teachers will leave sooner?


5. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 413 posts) 5y

Well, most teachers stay for their full contract (there's a big bonus at the end of the year) and I wouldn't recommend you skip out on your contract, but if you complete one semester, the schools shouldn't be too upset.

You should check the job listings at or similar websites. You might be able to find shorter-term contracts, especially during the summer.

6. Posted by DKJM74 (Respected Member 3 posts) 5y

I'm going to add something from a slightly different perspective - I'm currently teaching my third year on the JET program in Japan and prior to that I worked about 12 years teaching in Slovakia where I was a trainer and supervisor in the school.
From personal experience I can say there's nothing more annoying than someone who is teaching to fund travel and has no aptitude or passion for teaching - I'm not saying that all travellers are bad teachers, but I would say that many of them are.
It was always the more transient 'teachers' that would dress poorly, complain the most, socialise inappropriately with the students, come in late and/or hungover and worst of all know next to nothing about teaching or the grammar of their own language and generally be more trouble than they were worth.
Now you can blame the school for hiring these people, but in many places the 'pool' of native speakers isn't so broad and schools tend to take what they can get - which is good news for traveller-teachers, but bad news for the students.
I guess all I'm saying is that if you're going to do this - be responsible about it and be a good teacher, because the last thing the world needs is another slacker teacher who thinks their passport is a qualification.
Don't teach to travel.
Travel to teach.

7. Posted by Frey201 (Budding Member 69 posts) 5y

Wise words,

Yeah I certainly wouldnt be keen on breaking a contract, thats not very professional at all. think it would have to be a 3month contract or nothing. I always have the New Zealand visa to fall back on if thats not possible. I would really like to teach though.


Post 8 was removed by a moderator