March 3, 2013 @ 5:30 pm - posted by Liz

Are you a graduate who can’t earn a decent wage in your own county?  Do you want to travel the world but don’t know how to afford it?  Do you want to live and work in exotic locations but not sure how to do it? If the answer to these questions is yes, why not try teaching abroad.  

There’s a high worldwide demand for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses and a shortage of qualified native English speakers to teach them.

If you’re a native English speaker, this could be the job for you.  But how do you do this?

If you have a degree you can do a CELTA course.  CELTA is one of the most highly recognised TEFL courses in the world and when you look on the job board you’ll see a lot of adverts around the world demand you have this qualification.

If you’re not sure if it’s the job for you, check out our videos of people teaching abroad where they tell you the highs and the lows.

The video below is David.  Born and raised in Manchester, he couldn’t get a job after graduating, so he did a TEFL course and now lives and works in Vietnam.

Want to see more videos from actual English teachers living and working abroad, check out the links underneath this video.

Other Teacher Videos

1. Teaching English in Vietnam, Far East: CELTA TEFL Teacher
2. Teaching English Abroad in Vietnam, Far East – TEFL Teacher Interview

3. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) – CELTA Teacher Interview

4. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) – CELTA Teacher Interview

Glossary of Terms

ESL stands English as a second language
is the use or study of English by speakers with different native languages which is also called ESOL.

ESOL Stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language.  There are many different TEFL course, from 40 hours online through to 120 hours attendance.  The CELTA is the best known qualification in the world.

The Cambridge CELTA is a four week very intensive TEFL course that gives you practical and academic experience as well as a recognised certificate if you pass.  As well as 6 hours teaching practice, you also clock up a lot of hours observing others teaching.  This is a demanding course, therefore the pass rate is much lower than many of the shorter courses.  It was previously known as CTEFLA and the ‘RSA Certificate’

Trinity Cert TESOL
The Trinity Cert TESOL, like the CELTA is a four week very intensive TEFL course that gives you practical and academic experience as well as a recognised certificate if you pass.  Like the CELTA, you will get 6 hours of observed teaching practice and many hours observing others teaching.


I went to University for four years.  I did a Masters in American Studies at the University of Edinburgh and then after university I just couldn’t really find any work anywhere. So in January I spent the whole month every day applying for everything and anything I could find.  I remember at the same time looking around talking to my friends thinking about what was happening and everybody was really in the same boat as me.  [Out of] all my friends, I had a lot of friends who did Politics at university,  the only friend I had who managed to get a job, had a Masters in politics and he was a bin man in Macclesfield.

I just always never wanted to work Monday to Friday from nine to five, nine to six, it just never ever appealed to me.

I actually really enjoy the schedule and being able to work 25 hours a week and having a lot of free time.

There are times when I am working, I do think ‘is this where I ended up, is this the best that I could have done.’  For example if I’m teaching a bunch of small children on a Saturday or Sunday morning and they can’t talk much English at all and I can’t really talk much Vietnamese, the communications none existent and they’re just running around going crazy and then I just think ‘is this this what it came down to’.

I wouldn’t necessarily say teaching abroad is a great option but it’s a it’s a decent option.  I would recommend it to my friends but I feel, looking at other people who teach, that’s it’s the kind of job you can get stuck in.

It’s great to be able to travel.  I do enjoy going to countries in the region whether it’s in Vietnam, or Thailand or Cambodia.  There really places I never would have been if I wouldn’t have left.  I was never really that big on travel until I actually started doing it and now I enjoy going to different places.

Dealing with the Vietnamese population and locals It can be frustrating… confusing… not the same kind of standards especially with work I find if there were in a western school or a western business , you know, things breaking down, things not being fixed, that can be very annoying.  Never getting a straight answer it seems to problems you bring up.

Jobs for Graduates


About Liz

At the age of 39, Liz quit the 'Corporate World', downsized her life and followed her heart. Upon her return she set up CareerBreak360 with Robert to help others achieve their Career Break dreams.

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