10 Steps to Teaching English Abroad - Practical Guide to Going Abroad
35,119 Certified Grads since 1992


10 Steps to Teaching English Abroad

There is a world of possibilities out there for anyone who wants to teach English abroad.
Follow these 10 practical steps below to find an ideal ESL job that fits you.

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Step 1: Picking Your Certification Course

As the competition for desirable ESL teaching jobs has increased, language schools around the world are becoming more selective when hiring new teachers. They are looking for individuals who have the training and skills to be successful at teaching English to their students. As a result, a much higher proportion of job-seekers than ever before have formal TESOL/TESL certification.

Step 2: Getting TESOL/TESL Certified

In order to get the most from your chosen course, you must successfully complete all of the requirements. First and foremost, you will be required to attend every day of the course in order to obtain the hours for your certificate. Depending on the type of course you choose to take, there will be various assignments, quizzes, and readings that you must complete.

Step 3: Choosing Your Country

Now that you are certified, you must decide where in the world you want to teach. Researching will allow you to develop a good understanding of potential ESL markets around the globe and where there is a high demand for ESL teachers. Each country has its own minimum requirements to teach.

Step 4: Creating Your ESL-Specific Resume

Now that you are certified and have narrowed down where you would like to teach, you are ready to begin your ESL job search. Developing an ESL-specific resume and cover letter is necessary for applying to schools overseas; these documents offer a crucial first impression of you to prospective employers. It is important to write a resume that sells you to employers. 

Step 5: Preparing For Your Interview

Your resume and cover letter have been sent to schools and recruiters and you are beginning to hear back from them. The school’s director will now ask you for an interview.  Typically, interviews are conducted via the telephone or Skype. The interview is where you have the opportunity to prove you are a native English speaker or possess the skills of a native English speaker. Practice before the interview so you have time to think about the types of answers you would like to give.

Step 6: Negotiating and Signing Your Contract

Once resumes have been sent and interviews have been conducted, you will begin to receive employment offers along with proposed contracts. As exciting as it is to receive a job offer, it is still important to take time to investigate the offer. Read over your contract thoroughly and ask questions to ensure that you are clear on every aspect of the contract.

Step 7: Obtaining Your Passport and Visa

In order to travel/work in another country, you will need to obtain a passport and a visa if you have not already done so.  These documents can take some time, so be sure to plan accordingly. The amount of time can vary depending on your departure date and the country.

Step 8: Preparing to Travel Abroad

Prior to your departure, there are many things you will need to consider. We have created a Preparing to Go Checklist to ensure you have thought about everything before you leave.

Step 9: Arriving in Your Destination Country

Finally, you have arrived in your destination country! This is both an exciting and overwhelming time, as you are now stepping foot into a new country with new customs, culture, and environment. Make sure you have already pre-arranged a pickup with a representative from the school where you will be teaching.

Step 10: Teaching On Your First Day of Class

Congratulations! This is the moment you have worked so hard for; your first day teaching in an ESL classroom. Your first day in the classroom can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. As an Oxford Seminars graduate, you are now an organized and confident ESL teacher.

This experience of a lifetime can be your reality if you follow these 10 steps to teaching English abroad. Since 1992, we have helped thousands of graduates find fascinating jobs throughout the world.  Let Oxford Seminars help guide you on a journey to remember.