How to Know When You’re Ready to Pack Your Bags & Teach Abroad

Thousands of people flee their home countries each year to fulfill their need to travel. Most of these people travel the world through volunteering to build homes for those who are in need, some travel and bring work along with them (thanks to the internet!) and there some who choose to teach abroad.

Teaching abroad has been gaining a lot of popularity in the past couple of years since it is a great opportunity for people who want to earn money while living in their dream destinations. Although, living the dream hundreds of miles away from home also has its downside. From missing your closest friends and family to experiencing culture shock, we all need to be mentally and physically ready before we can actually travel abroad and start teaching because living in a foreign country is no joke.

Here is simple guide to know when you are ready to start teaching abroad:

  1. Do you have a lot of money saved up?


The thing about working in another country is that people don’t usually get paid during the first couple of months. There are some instances when schools don’t provide accommodation, so you might need to find your own apartment. Then you’ll usually end up paying for a month’s advance and a month’s deposit. Believe me, I have done my fair share of research and a lot of ESL teachers have experienced this. It is very important to have enough money saved up before you leave so that you don’t end up penniless in a foreign country. If you don’t, you’ll probably end up calling your parents in the middle of the night begging for them to send you money. Here’s a tip, save enough money for at least 5 months worth of rent and 3 months worth of food. If you have that much money, you will surely survive teaching abroad.


  1. Are you in good shape?


Health is important to everyone. It is especially important to the schools which you will be applying for because they have to keep the children’s parents happy with the quality of teachers that they have. Schools want their teachers to set a good example for the children, which is why they care about the teacher’s health and looks. They will try to find the smallest dirt on your health record and question every disease you have ever been diagnosed with. I would strongly recommend being in tip-top shape when applying for a teaching position abroad.



  1. Are you well-educated?


Whether or not you can speak English well, the first thing that schools want to see on your CV or resume is if you have acquired a Bachelor’s degree. This is the part when you realize that those four years of sleepless nights in your dorm room trying to cram for your final exams have actually paid off. The second thing that they usually check is whether or not you have a teaching certificate. This is used as proof that the teacher is qualified to teach English. It’s definitely safe to say that the better you look on paper, the more chances you have of securing a position.


  1. Do you have a CLEAN criminal record?

clean background check

Having a clean criminal record is your ticket to work abroad. Always remember that parents spend thousands on their children’s safety which is why schools make it an effort to look for teachers who do not pose as threats to these children. Even the tiniest offense can cause you your teaching job abroad, which means that even if you “only” have a DUI, it still won’t matter. They will still reject you even if you graduated Summa Cum Laude from a prestigious institution. So never drink and drive.


  1. Are you ready to live on your own?


If you enjoyed living on your own during your time in College, then you’ll probably love living independently in a foreign country. Some people like the thrill of being in a new place without having anyone familiar with them. There are also some people who try it then eventually bail on their teaching jobs after a couple of months. So if you plan on moving abroad, you need to scale your options and tailor it to your capabilities. If you think that you can’t survive without a maid or a butler for 6 months to a whole year, then this is definitely not for you. If you think that you can’t live without seeing your parents every week, then don’t even think about it but if you know that you’ll never get another chance like this when you’re older, then why not give it a try? Just make sure to think about it really hard before you finally decide. You wouldn’t want to bail mid-contract and break the hearts of your future students, right?


  1. Do you enjoy teaching?


If the answer to that is no, then don’t do it because if this is something that you do not want to do, then it would be a complete waste of your time. You’re better off doing something else with your life. If you want to teach, you have to commit to it. Make sure that you’re doing it because you enjoy every second of it. There’s just no point in teaching abroad if you don’t really like teaching. If you want to travel the world and earn money at the same time, you might as well do something that you’re passionate about. If you don’t have the patience for teaching, try getting an online job.

Teach to Travel