Traveling the world and teaching English is a great way to see the world and make income, but is it for you? Whether you’re curious or ready to make the jump into teaching English, there is much to learn.

This article focuses on teaching English as a foreign language online, and will be your beginner’s guide, showing what to expect and how to prepare for an exciting journey teaching and traveling!

Getting Started

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There are many avenues for getting started as a TEFL teacher (Teach English as a Foreign Language). You can start with a degree or without one. You can start as a bilingual applicant or as someone who only speaks English. You can even start with or without an official accredited TEFL certificate.

The way you start your career as an online English teacher depends much on the company you work with and their specific requirements. Often, the more education you have the better chance you have of negotiating a better pay (i.e. someone who is multi-lingual with a degree and an accredited TEFL certificate is going to have a stronger argument when negotiating a rate, even if it is their first-ever teaching job.)   

Work Experience

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Many TEFL jobs require experience, and the good news is, you likely already have it. Have you ever led a meeting? Presented in front of your colleagues? Trained others as part of your current role? All of this demonstrates that you know how to teach people new skills – you’re already halfway there.

Otherwise, using Facebook groups to find your first students or volunteering in a local center to teach English is another option. Many first-time teachers often use platforms such as italki or Preply to find students for teaching experience.

It's Not For the Unorganized

Traveling the world and teaching English online requires a lot of organization. Syncing up your calendar, figuring out the time zone differences, managing not to double book if you’re teaching on multiple platforms – this is not a job for the easy-going. Being attentive to detail and well organized is going to save you a lot of stress. If you’re down with that, then you’ll flourish as an online English teacher.

You'll Meet People From Around the World

Friend traveling the world and teaching english
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One awesome perk of the job?  Meeting people from all corners of the world. For instance, in the morning, you may have a class with someone in Brazil, and in the afternoon. you’ll be teaching English to someone in Italy.

If you’re looking for a chance to widen your world even further while traveling, then this is a role to consider. By the end of it, you’ll be booking your trips based off the students-turned-friends around the world you made while teaching.

Good Wi-Fi is the Holy Grail of Online Teaching

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The one golden rule of teaching English online is you must have stable and fast internet. A poor internet connection is not your friend in this role. Aside from that, you’ll need a reliable laptop/computer and a quiet environment to provide a non-distracting learning atmosphere for your students.

There's a Variety of Teaching Options

Many people find that they already know the type of students they can help excel. Teaching English online allows you to experience that variety, easily. Some people prefer to teach children. Others like to focus on business English. While others enjoy focusing on casual conversational English. Whatever your interest, you’ll be able to discover your niche quickly as you gain experience.

Know Your Budget

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Finally, when getting started as a teacher, it is important to pinpoint how much you need to earn to live and travel, and then determine whether teaching will supplement an existing job or replace it. Many find that teaching English serves as a handy side hustle. while others enjoy focusing on teaching alone. Either way, it all depends on your personal capacity, where you are in the world, and the cost of living.

In a similar sense, assess the time you want to dedicate to teaching. Living in a beautiful new country, you may want to spend most of your time exploring and work your teaching around your adventures. The great thing is that there is almost always a work-around, and if you have a good relationship with students, you’ll find yourself traveling the world and teaching English with no hassle!

Related: How To Travel The World While Teaching English Remotely