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 an EFL job?
How quickly can I find work in TEFL?

Head to the discussion boards (again!) and find their links to popular job sites.  Ask on the boards what the common requirements are for most jobs - and ask what is required in terms of previous education and/or TEFL training.  Ask what is usually required on a resume.


  In Asia, for example, many countries will want your photograph attached to your resume. They may also want information about your marital status and age and sex - all things that are improper in some countries - yet if absent from your resume in this part of the world - your resume and letter of application may end up in the trash can.  Read Resumes and CVs.

Job Search Strategy for Teaching English Overseas

In many countries it is possible to line up your first job from your home country.  Sometimes - you will hear on the discussion boards - it is better to go there and make in-person contacts.  No doubt you can find better work and rule out problem situations better on the scene - but for many people it can be too expensive or even too scary to head overseas without a contract in their pocket.

Setting up a Job before You Go

This is quite possible and I have arranged quality jobs in Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and Korea before actually going there to work.  Your chances of having a problem increase though if you are not on the scene so be sure to review the section on this website about things to know before you go.


Many people equate them with Satan - but my first TEFL job was organized by a recruiter.  And, yes, I had problems with that job - but the recruiter solved them all and even got me a better job (my first college/university job) when things couldn't be repaired.  Again, review the section on things you should know before you go - to limit potential problems.

 How quickly can I find work?

Probably within a couple weeks if you are prepared to teach in a language school in China, Japan, or Korea.  But . . . take your time, investigate and learn all you can before you make a final decision.

Some jobs will take longer.  Countries that have smaller EFL markets or intensively screen applicants can take weeks or even months for some of the best jobs.


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