A Practical Guide to Teaching English Abroad

Frank and Friendly Advice written by a Retired Teacher-Trainer, Experienced EFL Teacher
& Former Peace Corps Volunteer Living & Working Abroad since 1989

How do I find a financial situation
Teaching English Overseas that meets my needs?

Assure your financial survival

Living and working overseas is a real thrill.  But the thrill quickly fades into a day to day grind if you can't pay your bills, can't afford to go out to eat, and are living just on the edge of financial survival.  Or, if you are making a lot of money, but dating (if important to you) might get you thrown in jail and deported (Saudi Arabia, for example).

Ask, Ask, Ask

Go to ELT World discussion board and ask about wages AND savings.  Average what people tell you.  Some people will exaggerate their situations both favorably and unfavorably.  Make no decisions based on the information of just one person.  Get as many opinions as you can.  And, it is not just each person's opinion to consider, it is that everybody lives a different lifestyle.  See the page on this website about How much might I earn or save?

Country versus Lifestyle

Balance your financial needs/wants with lifestyle issues.  Particularly if you are single and/or gay. You can earn/save a lot money in Saudi Arabia - but your life might not be enjoyable.  South and Central America, Eastern Europe, and parts of Asia sometimes have active dating or "alternative lifestyle" communities, but sometimes, also, pay poorly.

Go to the discussion boards and ask about lifestyle.  Do it as frankly as you would ask about wages.  As with most things in life, find a balance of what fits you best and will keep you happy.

Don't Forget

That you are just starting out in a career.  Sometimes you have to start at the bottom and work your way up.  Networking will help you find better jobs over time.  So . . . don't assume that your first job will be a template for every job.  In almost every occupation you would tend to assume that you would start at the bottom and as you learn more, and network, you would be able to move up and improve your situation. 


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