If you’re a native English speaker, you may not realize it, but you already have the number one qualification you need for a fun, portable income that can hand you a steady pay check from anywhere in the world.
You’ll be surprised at how far your native language can take you.
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English teachers are in high demand. You don’t need experience or training to get started. The basic requirement is to be a native English speaker. Depending on where you go you might need a university degree of some kind or a certification for teaching English as a foreign language (there are many different programs available that offer a certificate and are easily accessible).
One of the major benefits of teaching English is that you can pick up and go almost anywhere, knowing that you have the skills to fund an amazing life.
See the articles below for more information on teaching English overseas.
Teaching English Overseas
When Costa Rica got its start as an expat haven more than three decades ago, it was all about retirees. But over the years, the great weather, stable government, and low cost of living have also attracted those too young to retire (or those who never want to). And they’ve found plenty of ways to support themselves—and their families—while living in a tropical paradise.
- They’ll Line Up to Pay You When You Go Overseas With This Skill
Posted on January 10, 2014 by Steven Johnson
I used to be like you. Sitting in front of a computer screen dreaming of faraway places…the sun on my face…lazy afternoons exploring forgotten seaside villages…or drifting through market towns in search of exotic indigenous rugs and hammocks to adorn my beautiful, colonial apartment. And then I decided to actually do it! In 2003, I chucked in my day job, bought a ticket to South America, and never looked back.
Three days a week, I take an early morning walk to a park near the beach, not far from my apartment. I sit in the cool morning air and listen to the birds rustle and sing in the trees above the park bench. I like to arrive a little early, before my first client of the day arrives to meet me. This is Latin America, so even though our appointment is at 7.00 a.m., she usually doesn’t arrive until about 7.10 a.m. She is a single mother, working full time and studying for her undergraduate degree. I admire her resolve to make a better life for herself and her children. And, I get to be a part of that.
“Many educators will tell you that schools are not in the business to make money,” says Janice Gallagher, who set up a children’s school in Nicaragua. “I, on the other hand, am a business woman, and there is definitely potential for profit. There will not be profit immediately because you will need time to grow and establish yourself. There are several private schools that do turn a profit after several years.”
There are few places on earth as romantic as Buenos Aires. At night, in the backstreets, couples dance the tango. Old men sit outside the bars, playing the accordion. Sad music that tells of loss, longing, and the complications of love. I’d come to Buenos Aires with two prized possessions: my dog-eared copy of the poems of the blind poet, Jorge Luis Borges, and my folded and torn certificate for teaching English.
- Free Skiing and Easy Money in the Jewel of the Andes
Posted on November 25, 2013 by Nick Daniel
A train ticket and a TEFL certificate were all I had when I traveled the 1,000 miles from Buenos Aires to San Carlos de Bariloche. As we rode through the endless flatness of Patagonia—past broken railway sheds and the silhouettes of wind-bent trees on the horizon—I wondered what I was getting into. I had no job. I’d never been this far south. I knew no-one.
My profession has taken me all across the world, experiencing unique journeys…attending world famous events…and meeting fascinating people. And I got paid to do it. I have rung in the New Year at Hogmanay in Edinburgh, danced up a storm at Seville’s April Fair, and was awed by the beauty of Buddha’s birthday celebrations in South Korea. I have ridden camels through the Sahara desert, liberated baby sea turtles in Mexico and swam with sharks in Belize.
Gliding between the jagged peaks of the French Pyrenees in my chairlift seat, I took a deep breath and tried to relax. It wasn’t the soaring height of the peaks that made me nervous, or the prospect of swishing down them on my skis. It wasn’t the weather, either—blue skies stretched from peak to peak. Nope, everything on the slopes was perfect.
The night I arrived in Mexico to start my first English-teaching job…the sky lit up with fireworks! I asked the taxi driver what holiday it was. He responded that it was not a holiday, but likely a birthday of someone in the neighborhood. Mexico likes to celebrate. I decided right then and there, I had come to the right country.
With a 16-hour work week…a month-long winter vacation…a huge number of well-paid jobs …and all the Chinese food you can eat…it’s no wonder so many people of all ages and backgrounds are heading to teach English in China. Demand for teachers is high as China is a world player and millions of college students and adults enroll in English courses to help them get better jobs.
In 1991 Patricia made the move to the town of Cascais, Portugal, just 30 minutes up the coast from Lisbon. Here each day begins with a long, leisurely beach walk, her two poodles at her side. “I never had pets when I lived in the U.S. I was too busy working. But when I first moved here, I noticed that everyone had dogs and birds, and I thought, yes, it’s so full of life. This is what I want.”
Bangkok, Thailand is No. 1 on Time magazine’s 2013 list of the world’s most visited cities. Maybe the tourism ministry was right…going with the slogan “Amazing Thailand.” So what is it about this country that’s so alluring? Beyond the temples and beaches, it is my everyday existence. For example, the daily commute to work…
- I Landed my First Job Overseas Because I Speak English
Posted on July 16, 2013 by Kary Vannice
I don’t have a degree in Education or English or even something like International Studies. What I studied was Forestry. Yep, that’s right, I learned about trees!
If you are thinking about teaching English overseas, Cuenca in Ecuador has got to be one of the easiest places to start your career. Imagine sitting back, relaxing and sipping freshly ground Ecuadorian coffee in your favorite little haunt. The sun is shining—as it does every day. Smartly dressed locals are strolling around…
Few countries in the world can compete with Malaysia for natural beauty, the warmth of its people and diversity of cultures…not to mention the amazingly low cost of living (my live-in maid costs $400 a month). I feel blessed and wish that I had moved here years ago. Betty Cotton loves telling her friends about Malaysia, too—especially Penang.
As you know, you have a skill that can easily translate into a steady income overseas—English. In fact, thousands of people just like you have used the fact that they speak English fluently to become English teachers in exotic new countries. That’s the path I’ve chosen, too. Although I wasn’t always so sure how I’d fund my life overseas… The fall of 2008 found me sitting in Santiago, Chile after nearly a year of traveling through Latin and South America.
My second cup of coffee is half gone as I fill in the last square of the Sudoku. The LA Times crossword has already been vanquished. Now it’s time for Eduardo, my first student of the day, to join me. He’s a few minutes late (as usual). But I don’t mind. When you teach English online to students via Skype, everything is easier.
- What Life as an English Teacher in Thailand is Really Like
Posted on May 3, 2013 by Chris Clancy
Work doesn’t start until nearly 8.00 a.m. but I’m an early riser so I like to get up around 6.00 a.m. I’m greeted by the sun shining in my window.
My new life started in late 2008, just after I had been certified to teach English as a Second Language. I knew I wanted to live in Latin America, so I looked for a job – where else – on Craigslist and responded to an ad from a placement agency.
I guess you could call me a maverick English teacher. You see, for the last 10 years I’ve traveled and lived in many exotic destinations around the world, including Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, the Czech Republic, France and Spain. All this was achieved just by using the power of my words. You might be wondering what I’m talking about. How can it be possible to just use the power of your words to travel the world?
The early morning sky is cluttered with color. The large crowd that woke up as early as 5.00 a.m. to be here oohs and aahs in unison as yet another balloon inflates and calmly lifts off the ground. There must be nearly 30 of them up in the skies of north-central Mexico by now and many more to take off.
The year after I graduated from college, I retired to the South of France. Ok—officially, I was “working” there as an English teacher. But that consisted of chatting with high schoolers in my native language for about eight hours a week (my contract paid me for 20 hours, but they never scheduled all of them).
Standing in front of my 6th grade English class in Orizaba, Mexico, I could feel my students’ urge to break free for 12 days of fun and freedom. Few places have a palpable energy of excitement to compete with that of a classroom full of students getting ready to escape for spring break.
The scent of orange blossoms permeates the air. Faint traces of flamenco guitar can be heard from all corners of the city and beautiful women walk past in their “faralaes” (traditional flamenco-style dresses) that swish with every sway of their hips. Proud young men saunter after them in their “trajes cortos” (Andalusian horsemen’s outfits) complete with wide-brimmed hats and riding boots.
As I’m sure you know by now, you already have a skill that can easily translate into a steady income in a foreign country…English. In fact, thousands of people just like you have already used the fact that they speak English fluently to become English teachers in exotic new countries. Here’s why you should join them: In nearly every country on the planet there’s a huge number of people who want to learn English.
I’ve lived in Bangkok nearly 10 years now…and I only came here for a vacation. I loved it so much, though, that I had to find something that would allow me to stay long term. That something was teaching English. The pay is great, the kids are respectful, hard-working and fun, and there are so many jobs to choose from. But what I really love about my job and my life here, is the vacation time.
Nine years ago I threw in the towel on a 25-year business career and a six-figure income to go in search of adventure. My life changed forever on September 11, 2001. Friends and business associates died that day. They hadn’t needed more money— they needed more time. Suddenly the savings I was working to accumulate for retirement didn’t seem so important. A year later I was on the road…
In the summer of 2003, feeling a little apprehensive, I boarded a flight to Colombia. But I wasn’t going for a vacation…I had just secured my first English teaching job in a private school. The first thing that hit me when I stepped off the plane was the warm weather—the cold winters of home were gone. Now, my biggest challenge would be staying out of the warm Caribbean sun…
I was soon on a flight to Orizaba, Mexico, to take up my first job teaching English at a private school. I had traveled a little in Mexico, but those short trips were nothing compared to immersing myself in the local culture. The job allowed me plenty of time to explore…and what a country to find yourself in! I had no idea just how many religious holidays Mexico had and I got time off for all of them.
Nine years ago I threw in the towel on a 25-year business career and a six-figure income to go in search of adventure. My life changed forever on September 11, 2001. Friends and business associates died that day. They hadn’t needed more money—they needed more time. Suddenly the savings I was working to accumulate for retirement didn’t seem so important.
Jeju Island is a semi-tropical paradise off the Korean peninsula. It was formed some 2 million years ago from a series of volcanic eruptions which left behind some simply spectacular scenery. It’s a great place for nature lovers. Many people come here to climb to the top of the island’s central crater, which is actually the highest point in South Korea.
With a number of language schools and private teaching opportunities around every corner, Oaxaca is an exciting city to be in for someone in my profession. English teachers are spoiled for choice here. Many locals are eager to learn English and I’ve often been approached in the street with teaching requests. My dentist even offered to trade English classes for her children in exchange for dental work!
- Teaching English in Thailand…and the Life it Comes With
Posted on October 16, 2012 by Chris Clancy
As much as I love my job teaching English in Thailand, one of the best things about it is the three months’ holidays I get every year. I use this time to travel around Thailand or to neighboring countries like Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.
Most people go to a tropical paradise to go on vacation. I chose to live in one. Sure it’s not without its challenges, but living in Costa Rica has taught me how to overcome them with grace and without getting bogged down in stress. This is one of the major reasons I choose to live in Costa Rica—Ticos (as Costa Ricans call themselves) possess the secret to true relaxation.
I glance toward the waitress and smile as she places a glass of ice-cold, freshly-squeezed orange juice down in front of me. It’s hitting 80 F today in northern Colombia. Local ﬁshermen are lazily treading up and down the beautiful white-powder Caribbean beach, readying their nets to catch my lunch. There’s a light sea breeze rustling the palms…life is just perfect!
South Korea is an ultra-modern society with massive apartment complexes and high-speed bullet trains. Koreans are some of the most tech-savvy people in the world—with smart-phones, outrageously fast Internet connections and a way of doing almost everything online or with an app.
Libby Rush worked for a real-estate underwriter—until they suddenly closed shop. She could have looked for a job in the industry she had experience working in, but she wanted to do something different. “I needed to reinvent myself,” the mum of two grown kids explains. She wanted a career that was “fun, where I could be of service,” and that let her travel abroad in search of the perfect retirement spot.