So you’ve got that all important i-to-i TEFL certificate under your belt and you’re all ready and raring to go… but to where?! That’s the burning question everyone wants to know. You can teach pretty much anywhere these days, so the world really is your oyster. Deciding where to become a TEFL teacher is a huge decision, so here are just a few things to ask yourself to help you decide:
1- Will I be able to get a visa?
This may be something you wouldn’t usually think of when deciding where to start teaching abroad, but it’s something you should consider. In some countries you are unable to gain a visa without having a degree, such as Japan, South Korea and Thailand, so without one you won’t be able to teach there. There are still loads of places you could teach without a degree, but if you are unable to get a visa it will make your decision of where to go slightly easier!
2- Would I be able to teach who I want?
If you have your heart set on teaching English in private schools or private tutoring to small families abroad, you need to check that is possible in whichever country you are thinking about going to.
3- Will I be able to adapt to the culture?
Most people who TEFL go to experience a different culture and that’s one of the best things about teaching English abroad. However sometimes the culture of a country can be extremely different to the one you’re used to. If you would find it hard to adapt to then it may not be the perfect move for you. Remember there are loads of opportunities all over the world so you don’t have to go somewhere you’re not comfortable with!
4- What do I want to get out of the experience?
You need to think about whether you are going to become a TEFL teacher to make money, immerse yourself in a new culture or to do some voluntary work. Let’s face it you’re not going to make millions as a TEFL teacher, but you can earn a lot more in some countries. For example, you could earn a lot more in South Korea than you would in Ecuador, so you need to think about whether you want to be able to make a good living and maybe save some pennies, or not earn as much but still be able to live comfortably and enjoy the experience!
How did you decide where to teach first? We’re interested to hear your stories below!