What You Need to Teach English Abroad

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Have you ever dreamed of living in another country and traveling the world, but didn't know how? TEACHING ENGLISH ABROAD is your answer! You don't have to have gotten a degree in teaching, or even want your lifelong career to be a teacher. All you need are a few things to make your dreams come true! So if you're thinking to yourself, "what do I need to teach English abroad?" Keep on reading!

*Disclaimer: Every country, company, and school is different, but typically these are the things you'll need to apply for a teaching job abroad


A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate is required for nearly every teaching job abroad. Some companies will give you a free TEFL course when they hire you, but most likely you'll have to do the course on your own. Make sure to do the 120-hour TEFL course because that's what is required by most companies. Look on Groupon and multiple websites before you pay for a course to make sure you're getting a good deal. I've seen the 120-hour courses for as low as $25 USD, so I definitely wouldn't pay much more than that.

Bachelor's Degree

Not all companies will require you to have this, but a lot of them will. And I'd say about 99% of them that require it, don't care what you majored in. It doesn't need to be a Bachelor's in Education. Just any Bachelor's degree will do.

Police Background Check

Now you can easily obtain one of these from your local police department or FBI, depending on what the country/company requires! The main thing is can you PASS the background check. That's a big one because most countries won't let you obtain a working visa/permit for their country if you have an arrest record.

Passport from an English Speaking Country

Now, this isn't a make or break for some countries and companies! But typically you'll need to be a citizen/hold a passport from a country where English is the (or one of the) official languages:

  • USA, Canada

  • UK, Ireland

  • Australia, New Zealand

  • South Africa

I am currently working in Vietnam and actually know a ton of people from all over the world who are teaching English even though they aren't citizens from an English speaking country. They just needed to pass an exam that proved their English level was good enough to do so! But when I was working in China you wouldn't be given a work permit to teach English unless you were from an English speaking country- so again, it just depends on where you want to teach at!

That's it!

You're probably thinking, no way. It can't be that easy! BUT IT IS. Most people don't pursue their dreams of traveling the world or moving abroad because they don't think it's obtainable, but I promise you IT IS. I am living proof of this. Teaching abroad has truly changed my life and I hope one day it'll change yours too!

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