- Özgür Töre
Nowadays, the world has become much more globalised than ever before. This has opened up a world of possibilities for citizens to do amazing things, like work from home or freelance.
For those individuals, the world is their oyster, as it is possible to work from more or less anywhere. An additional benefit of this trend is that it also allows people to go to work almost anywhere too. Naturally, there are some barriers in the way for certain nationalities (more on that later), but in general, the window of opportunity has been opened in a way that would have been unimaginable even a generation ago.
Below is a list of a couple of the most well-known places to teach and travel. This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather a brief foray into a range of options that exist at this current moment in time. It is hoped that this article can be a springboard into the great expanse of teaching and traveling in other countries.
Before that, a short side note on the entry requirements for enabling this fantastic possibility: while some countries do not demand any specific qualifications, the vast majority of nations desire and indeed prefer candidates with a background in TEFL education and methodology. Not only this, but having that rigorous base in the pedagogy of TEFL is likely to lead to an educator who is more knowledgeable and therefore more of a commodity in today’s marketplace.
Furthermore, it is hard to know exactly where to start when even considering a career in TEFL, which is why research and preparation is so important. Having a TEFL course to get started in the foundations of the nuances of teaching English as a foreign language might sound obvious, but many people do not consider this before they set off on their path. In addition, having a good idea of the different types of jobs available in a specific location is always sensible, and where better to search than a page dedicated specifically to that niche, teach in Mexico: an article.
In fact, CNN explored the point in detail, speaking to a range of graduates who discuss the advantages of teaching TEFL abroad. This article, and others like it, shine a light on some of the many positives awaiting a teacher who is willing to hop on a plane and get that first-hand experience in the field. So, without further ado, here is the aforementioned list of a pair of desirable countries to travel and teach!
This might seem like a surprising destination, but the fact is that Mexico is actually a hidden gem in the world of TEFL teaching. With over 24 million Mexicans learning English at some level right now, it is evident that there is a monumental demand for learning the language, especially from a native speaker. For more details on some of the amazing opportunities that exist in the southern portion of North America, find out more right here.
To begin with, there is a large demand at a young level to get Mexican children speaking English. They recognise the value of English as a commodity, and are working hard to implement projects and programs across the country. Logically, the majority of positions that are available are located in Mexico City, the capital of the nation of course. Of course, working and teaching in the heart of the country presents advantages, such as being close to international expat communities, and a wider range of English speakers as a proportion of the populace there.
However, if a TEFL teacher is looking for something a little off the beaten track, then Merida is a virtually unknown alternative. With a top 6 ranking among global cities to live in, the quality of life is almost beyond comparison. Combine this with a relatively low cost of living, a growing market for teaching English, and a climate that is desired by tourists across the globe, and many might just find this place to be their little slice of paradise!
In Europe and/or Asia (as Turkey has a home on both of these continents, a distinction shared only with Russia) this nation offers a TEFL teacher the possibility of exploring two continents of culture for the price of one. Where better to start than Istanbul, a city that many believe erroneously to be the capital of Turkey (spoiler alert: it’s actually Ankara)?
There is truly something for every taste in this multicultural cosmopolitan city. Whether it is: theatre, luxury accommodation, music, or modern architecture, there is something for absolutely any taste to be found here.
For a TEFL teacher, the chances to grow and develop are myriad. Whether it is teaching Business English to adults in a big city, or working on a more hospitality-based approach in one of the many coastal towns, or even providing education at a ski resort for those looking to brush up on their skills, the platform is ready for the instructor to build and develop their career in Turkey.
Beyond that, like Mexico, the nation has a high population, many of which are in need of a functional basis in the English language, for work, study or living purposes. A TEFL teacher here has a real chance to give much needed advice, inspiration and ideas to the Turkish people, all while soaking in the sights of this fascinating part of the world.
What to do next
The first step for any aspiring TEFL teacher is to go ahead and get qualified. The internet is abound with a range of affordable and high-quality courses, to provide the backbone of information that a starting TEFL teacher would need to get up to speed with the ins and outs of the English language.
Secondly, some countries have specific entry requirements for living and working there. These can include language aptitude tests, medical vaccine records (especially in our modern times), or proof of ability to support oneself financially. Research is necessary to find out what the country is looking for before taking the plunge.
Thirdly, pay attention to the cost of living. While some places promise what might seem like an exorbitant salary, it is essential to bear in mind that the amount that is earned there has to be spent on supporting a lifestyle there, which might be pricier than it first seems. Sometimes, taking a job where the basic earning level is not as high, but the cost of living is significantly lower, can actually leave an individual with more in their wallet at the end of the month.
Finally, the most important thing to remember is that the memories and experiences gathered while living and working as a TEFL teacher will remain for a lifetime, and are simply irreplaceable!