When starting college, graduation seems like worlds away. That doesn’t stop you thinking about it though: what it’ll look like, your classification, the career you’re destined for and, of course, the long-awaited summer of celebration before starting work. Little do most realise just how quickly the years that follow go by. Soon enough, you’re approaching your final year of study. Things might not seem quite so planned out anymore.
Securing a graduate job that’s ready for you to walk right into after graduation gives a sense of security that only everyone is able to secure. Some jobs are very competitive, asking for experience and skills that you simply haven’t had the opportunity to work on yet.
So, how will you make sure your post-graduation summer is a memorable one and not one full of worry about finding work? You could consider teaching English, as all you need is the certification – sometimes a degree too, which you’ll already have! People who become English language teachers abroad and online are able to gain work experience, strengthen their current skills and build on new ones, as well as earn an income and travel.
So, what is TEFL?
TEFL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. It’s a common acronym used for the English language learning industry. You’ll often come across TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), too, which refers to the same thing.
There are so many entry-level opportunities out there for newly-qualified English teachers. The demand worldwide is huge, and with being a degree holder too (often a visa requirement, particularly for Asian countries), very few destinations will be beyond reach. So, whether you want to live in a peaceful, remote community, or in amongst the hustle and bustle of a lively city, or simply move wherever you like whenever you please, as an ESOL teacher you get to decide.
In order to have access to some of the best teaching opportunities, you’ll need a TEFL qualification from a well-accredited provider. Well-accredited TEFL companies like The TEFL Org offer courses that thoroughly prepare you for teaching English. They teach you classroom management, learning techniques, how to design and implement lesson plans, and so much more.
If your TEFL provider isn’t appropriately accredited, employers might overlook your application. It’s pretty typical for a 120-hour TEFL course to be the minimum that’s accepted for either visa or employment reasons.
You may want to consider starting your TEFL qualification and then teaching online while still in college so that you can get ahead with your savings and build up your experience. The great thing about teaching English online is that you can do it from absolutely anywhere that you have access to an internet connection. It’s flexibility means you can teach whenever you have time, fitting in perfectly alongside your studies and later with travel arrangements.
It’s very much recommended (and the norm) that newly qualified ESOL teachers begin their online careers by first working for an online teaching company. There are many out there. See a list of teaching English online companies. All with their own extensive client lists, some even with their own lesson plans – meaning a lot less work for you. However, be sure that you’re always prepared for lessons and able to adhere to your schedule. Late or missed lessons will be subject to disciplinary action by your employer, and may leave you struggling to book up future lessons.
Once you’ve been teaching English online for a while, you’ll have a better idea of how much time you can dedicate to it. You’ll be able to fully understand your earning potential as you gain regular students. All your available slots won’t be booked up right away. So, if you’re planning to teach remotely while travelling you’ll need to consider looking into a TEFL course, completing it and then building up experience before you totally rely on it to support you throughout your travels.
Year-long teaching contracts
The most popular option for recent graduates is to commit to a year-long teaching contract. Job security, a monthly wage, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture make it easy to understand why. Some lucky EFL teachers even get to enjoy perks such as having employers cover the cost of their accommodation, or reimbursing travel costs at the end of their contract.
You have lots of options. For example, apply to work in a school, university, or language centre. With a year-long contract you’ll really get the opportunity to witness students’ progress as a result of all your hard work and dedication! Read more about 5 things to check before you sign that contract.
If you’d prefer to know exactly how much you’ll make while teaching English but aren’t quite ready to commit to a year-long fixed contract, perhaps you’d be more suited to a short-term contract or internship? Or maybe you’d just rather teach in person rather than through a screen.
Either way, by looking for a short-term contract you’ll be able to put your new skills to the test and have the chance to really consolidate your learning – all while figuring out what type of teacher you want to be.
English summer camps offer vacancies from anywhere between a couple of weeks and a few months. You might also be able to find internships that allow you to teach for one semester (around 5 months).
Now that you know a bit more about how TEFL can suit graduates looking to expand their resume and travel simultaneously, what’s stopping you from taking the next steps to get qualified?
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