How to Become A Globally Certified English Teacher
So there I was taking the Greyhound bus from Atlanta, Georgia back home to Miami, Florida to move back with my family and figure out my next move in life. I had recently graduated college with a business degree and needed a break after more than four years of studying. On the bus I noticed this older gentlemen in his late 40s across from me with one of those cliche vacation shirts on with the palm trees all over.
His name was David and I found out he was visiting his son down in Florida who was having his first grandson, but he is an English Teacher over in Thailand. So I began to ask him questions about how he became an English Teacher and, to my surprise, I have signed up for an online TEFL class and am preparing to move to Thailand by the end of January 2017. This is what I learned from David on the Greyhound ride that changed my life.
1. First he said, though not required in some countries, having a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university increases your options of finding a job. It all depends on what country you would like to teach in. Places like Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, France, and Morocco all require at least a Bachelor’s Degree. But don’t let this stop you because there are dozens of countries that don’t have this requirement. China, Egypt, Spain, Nicaragua, and Cambodia all will accept you with just the TEFL (or TESOL) certification which we’ll talk about now.
2. You have to get TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certified through an accredited school. The great news about this is you can take the course either online or in-class based on you personal situation. Classes online tend to be cheaper than in person and you can plan to spend anywhere from $900-1,400 USD. Remember this, if you are going to spend money you might as well spend it investing in yourself. This certification will allow me anytime for the rest of my life to travel to different countries around the world and live there. That alone is worth the money to me. The TEFL certification course will teach you how to develop lesson plans, interact with your students and become the best teacher you can be among other things.
3. Decide where you want to go and find out the hiring seasons for that country. I decided to teach in Thailand since I spent the 2014 Christmas holidays there and fell in love with the place, plus I would have David to mentor me through the transition. Also, most schools provide lifetime job assistance for you for wherever you go. Thailand hires teachers year-round so I can choose when I want to move there though this isn’t the case for all countries. For example, places like Argentina and Brazil hire during February-March while Belgium and France hire during September and January.
Other things to consider is the visa requirements for your country. Some issue you a visa upon arrival for a certain amount of days, but you’ll have to apply for a longterm one later. Also consider the interview process as some institutions conduct video interviews prior to you moving while others would like an in-person interview. If you always wanted to travel, but didn’t know how you could afford it, here’s a great way to see the world. I hope this article helped you.