My first real travel experience was when I was 18 and spent 4-months teaching English in Paraguay. This experience is what opened my eyes to the world of travel. A world of culture and new experiences. From the moment I stepped into that classroom full of kids speaking a language I didn’t understand at the time, I was in for a big adventure, and I loved it!
If you’re looking for an option that will allow you to work and to travel at the same time, then there is no doubt that teaching is a profession that you should consider. Specifically, if you can speak fluent English, you have an advantage when it comes to finding a job. English language teachers are highly sought after as it is the most commonly spoken language in the world. While a TEFL qualification will allow you to teach English as a foreign language in many countries, other qualifications such as a BA (of any kind) may open up even more possibilities for a higher income. You can live like a local, save money, travel the area and inspire students around the globe. Here are some great countries to consider when choosing where to teach:
South Korea is a country that has a great range of opportunities for those who are looking to travel and teach at the same time. Commonly found positions for English teachers are typically within private schools and universities in the larger towns and cities. South Korea is about a whole lot more than kimchi too! The country has some beautiful natural areas to explore when you’re out of the classroom. You will also have the opportunity to make lifelong friendships as there is a vibrant expat scene.
Chile is another country which has English as a part of the curriculum in a large number of schools. This means there’s often a need for those who can teach English. The capital Santiago is where the majority of roles are to be found and is a cosmopolitan city which has a lot going for it. Alternatively, you can look for work in towns and cities further up into the Andes, or down on the Pacific coast, with several hugely different beautiful areas of the country that make exploring on your days off a real pleasure.
The culture in Japan is one of the most exciting and attractive in the world. If you do secure a role teaching in the country, one of the great things is that there’s so much to do and so much interesting culture to experience. There are several large cities and also smaller towns where there’s sometimes work available, so you may get lucky and have some options for choosing where you would like to work.
Central America as a whole is an area that is enticing for visitors. Costa Rica stands out with its lush jungles, awesome waves to surf, beautiful beaches, delicious food, abundant wildlife, stunning volcanos and friendly locals. It’s also one of the cleanest countries I’ve ever visited. What really stands out the most for me about Costa Rica is the appreciation and respect for nature that the locals have. It’s a destination popular for its eco-tourism and sustainable living. The majority of teaching roles are to be found in the capital San Jose, which is only a short journey from beautiful beaches and great mountain scenes.
The economic powerhouse of Asia may have seen its growth figures reduce in the last couple of years, but China has an economy that is still growing quicker than any other in the developed world. There’s an ambition for international trade meaning that language teachers are particularly valuable in the country. Teaching positions can range from those that offer only a few days a week in a classroom to full-time teaching positions.
Travel in itself is incredible, but when you can travel and have a meaningful impact on lives all while earning an income, you’ve basically hit the jackpot.
Have you taught abroad? Share your experience:
Kristen Sarah is a full-time traveller, tiny home owner and adventure junkie. She has one of the leading YouTube travel channels and is the head honcha of award-winning travel and lifestyle website, Hopscotch the Globe.