Trained as an ESL teacher, you are now ready to take up an assignment by finding TEFL jobs to start teaching abroad. This, of course, is easier said than done. There is undoubtedly a high demand for ESL teachers across the world. However, the fact remains that teaching abroad is a much sought-after career move in the industry. Most ESL teachers look to combine their love for their profession with their passion for travelling.
Teaching abroad is the perfect way to spend a gap year for young graduates with a TEFL jobs certification or similar. What could be better than having a culturally immersive experience in faraway countries like Japan or Morocco during your gap year? Most ESL trained youngsters who look for jobs abroad agree that their aim is not just to teach but also to learn and educate themselves about different cultures and lifestyles.
The tough competition for ESL teaching jobs abroad is just one of the hurdles you have to cross. Several countries are also tightening their visa rules, thus shrinking the market. A few decades back, if you were fluent in English, it was easy enough to get an ESL teaching job abroad. Not anymore. Nations across the globe are indigenizing and giving preference to local talent. This means that you have to search more intensely and across wider regions in order to get a job teaching abroad.
Certifications like TEFL certainly help to establish your credentials in a world where jobs are going increasingly local. It is also important to have access to information about where the best opportunities exist in the market. If you are in a rush and just want to see the top 10 best sites to search for TEFL jobs, ESL & international English teaching jobs abroad, then just use the table below to see the results, If you want more of an insight into the current ESL & TEFL jobs market, keep on reading.
Looking for ESL/TEFL Jobs Abroad
So, once you have your TEFL certification and are confident of your ESL skills, how do you go about getting a job teaching abroad? Well, Plan A is to move to the country where you would like to teach on a short-term visa. Visit the local schools and submit your application. If you have any friends there, you can do some networking too.
Once you get employed as an ESL teacher, you can convert your tourist/visitor visa into a work visa. But this plan will not work for everybody, as it involves a substantial financial investment. There is a risk that you may not get a job, even after spending $2000-$2,500 on travelling, boarding, lodging and job hunting.
If you do not have the financial resources for the above strategy, it’s time to consider Plan B. This is basically scouring the online job sites. Unlike our Plan A, this can be done at minimal cost from the comfort of your home. Our advice is to give the go-by to general job search sites. It is more productive to focus on sites that specialize in ESL/TEFL jobs. They are the best option if you are looking for teaching jobs abroad.
What Information do the Websites for TEFL Jobs, ESL & International English Teaching Jobs Abroad Provide?
The websites that made our list are sites that have been well designed to a certain degree and provide a lot of information. If you are a newbie ESL/TEFL teacher searching for opportunities for teaching abroad, a quick overview of the sites can be very illuminating. Most sites have good content on countries where ESL/TEFL teachers are in demand. You get a backgrounder about the country, the work environment, pay scales, visa conditions, qualifications required and the cost of living.
These sites have basically done all your background work for you. For example, if you are wavering between looking for a TEFL jobs in Europe (say Spain) or Asia (say Korea), a quick reading of the country profiles on the site will give you all the key details you need to make a decision. You get to know the advantages of living and working in different countries and are therefore able to make a more informed decision.
Information on TEFL/Similar Courses:
If you do not have a TEFL or similar certification, do not worry. The ESL job sites often have tie-ups with companies or agencies that provide the certification. You might even get a discount if you apply via the sites! Even if they have not tied up with TEFL providers, the sites often guide you on why and how important it is to get your credentials burnished.
One of the biggest advantages of the ESL/TEFL job sites is that they publish blogs by experienced ESL teachers. These blogs contain a wealth of information. From how to conduct your job search to how to make friends in your new country, from travelling while teaching to the cultural adjustments you may have to make, from the difficulties of relocation to how to save money in a foreign land, these blogs by teachers who are (or were) living and working abroad will give you all the little details that you wanted to know, but didn’t know whom to ask! Some of them have forums or chat rooms where you can connect with other teachers and share experiences.
Several ESL job sites provide valuable teaching aids. This includes lesson plans, classroom activities, tips on how to conduct classes. Some of the sites even include specific topics like grammar, verbal quizzes and phrases. These tips/resources can be very useful to first-time teachers.
How to Shortlist the Websites for TEFL, ESL & International English Teaching Jobs Abroad?
Like all things on the net, there is an overload of information. There are innumerable sites for TEFL, ESL and international English teaching jobs abroad. However, it makes sense to filter and select the most informative and productive sites. Here are some important parameters:
- Select the sites that post new jobs frequently and regularly
- The sites should provide you with a good overview of the job market in different countries
- The content should include background information which can help you make a call on which country might suit you the best
- The site should be interactive, letting you contact/chat/exchange views with veteran ESL teachers
But you really do not have to go through all the bother of weeding out non-useful or non-accurate sites. We have done it for you! Just go through our shortlist of ten sites for TEFL jobs, ESL & international English teaching jobs abroad. They will provide you with just the right guidance, tips, information and leads to make your job search successful.
Ok, so yes, we have put ourselves as the best website for TEFL jobs, ESL & international English teaching jobs abroad even though we are the newest ‘kid’ on the block.
But we have very good reasons as to why we think we are the best and here are a couple of reasons why…
- We are the only one in the top 10 who are committed to donate 20% of our profit to a children’s charity chosen by you
- We are fully inclusive for both NES & NNES teachers to use
- We use the latest technology and have teacher video resumes and video job descriptions to help you secure the best talent and jobs
- We have some of the best ways to search for jobs on our dedicated international teaching jobs search page
And finally, we have made it super easy to register and use our website. No fees, interviews or tests required. Just register and find your dream teaching job abroad!
Teach Away has been in the ESL industry for 15 years. The experience reflects in the well-organized job board! The first section in the site is titled destinations. It is divided into countries and regions. Here you can read about the ESL job market in the countries where you would like to work. There is also a specific section on programs conducted by different schools across the world. Of course, it also lists the job openings currently available, with a special focus on opportunities available in the United States.
Teach Away is also a great resource if you want more information or guidance on TEFL courses. For those who are looking for a career change or are exploring a career in teaching, Teach Away has an entire section devoted to alternative teacher certification programs. This is meant specifically for those who are eligible to work in the US and are keen to teach, but do not have a degree in education. Teach Away itself conducts teacher certification programs including TEFL certification. It partners with accredited North American educational institutions like University of Toronto and University of California, Berkeley, to train and qualify both college graduates and certified teachers to teach English all around the world.
TEFL teachers trained by Teach Away have found jobs with online English learning portals too. This includes DisneyEnglish, VIPKid, GogoKid, Meten and Education First. Teach Away is also a recruitment partner for K-12 schools and language institutes across the world. It has also tied up with governments and education ministries of several countries to provide ESL teachers. The website claims that nearly 2000 schools use Teach Away’s recruitment services and there are nearly 1.5 million teachers attached to its network.
TEFL.com has been in this business since 1997 and is a valuable resource for ESL jobs, especially for teaching abroad. The site is constantly updated with new job listings. It also lists vacancies and opportunities for online ESL teachers. There are 27,881 registered recruiters with the company.
The TEFL.com site is a great place to visit if you want to get into the ESL business. There is a whole section devoted to business opportunities in this segment. This includes a listing of business for sale, business wanted, requirement for ESL franchisees and agents. The website states that with a registered membership of 200,000+ including 110,000 ELT professionals, TEFL.com provides both the international job-seeker and recruiter with access to the largest EST member-base in the world.
The blog section is informative with TEFL teachers sharing their experiences of teaching across the globe. The site is also a good resource for those who would like to get TEFL training or certification. It provides a country-wise listing of various teacher training courses and provides free newsletters that will keep you updated on all that is happening in the ESL world.
Go Abroad is a great site to get more information on teach abroad programs. In addition, the site is a good resource for those exploring opportunities to study, volunteer or intern abroad. Go Abroad has a directory of nearly 30,000 study abroad programs. It also covers the top volunteer abroad programs run by established organizations.
If you are looking to do a TEFL course, Go Abroad has a comprehensive coverage of the various courses available, both in the virtual and the real world. As the company website puts it, the mission is to connect “meaningful travelers like you to the programs you desire.”
In order to achieve this, “Go Abroad brings everything you need to travel abroad straight to your fingertips—from thousands of program opportunities with real life participant reviews, to expert travel articles and scholarships.” If that sounds like what you are looking for, go ahead and explore the site.
Would you like to explore TEFL jobs to teach English in Taiwan, Korea or China? Well, Reach to Teach recruits teachers for several schools in these countries. It is a partner to nearly 100+ schools in China. It also places teachers in top private schools in Korea and other destinations across the world.
Reach to Teach services are free and teachers are not charged any commission. The site also advises you on how to approach your job search. This includes tips on how to write your resume, your appearance for the Skype interview and much more. This section in the Reach to Teach site provides you with invaluable guidance on making your job search a successful one.
The blogs on Reach to Teach are comprehensive, with first person narratives by veteran ESL teachers on searching for a job, settling down in a foreign country and making a success of your career in a foreign land.
Dave’s ESL Cafe has a mix of international jobs. However, there is a strong focus on ESL & TEFL jobs opportunities in China and Korea. In fact, the job board has three segments. One is for international opportunities. The remaining two segments exclusively target the Korean and Chinese ESL / TEFL jobs market. You can post your resume on the site. Since the site has several schools posting their requirements for ESL teachers, there is a high probability of your resume reaching the right audience.
Dave’s ESL Cafe also has several forums for teachers. Again, these are very neatly segregated. The job discussion forum is a place for teachers to discuss job related issues. There is an international job discussion forum, Korean job discussion forum and China job discussion forum. The teacher training forum is an interactive place for teachers to discuss issues related to training.
There is also a section for teachers titled Resources. This gives a lot of information on planning lessons and classes. From grammar lessons to slangs, from lesson plans to quizzes, the resources section gives teachers a lot of useful material to use in their classes.
If you are planning to teach abroad as an ESL teacher, you must go through the Total ESL site for help with your TEFL jobs search. The site has a listing of ESL/TEFL jobs and teacher training courses. The teacher forums, blogs and Q&A section make the site interactive. An interesting addition is the section on ESL private tutoring opportunities. The lesson plans provided on the site are useful for newbies.
Reading the blogs and articles on living and working abroad is a good way to prepare yourself for your adventure abroad. If you are looking to add on to your qualifications before moving abroad, Total ESL has a comprehensive listing of ESL teacher training courses.
Total ESL is a free site and unfortunately this means quite annoying and distracting adverts everywhere. However, there are paid/premium plans which offer additional features and benefits.
ESL Base gives you information on everything you need to know before embarking on your journey as an ESL teacher. The site is useful both for newcomers looking to make their first trip abroad as an ESL teacher as well as experienced professionals.
ESL Base provides information on TEFL training courses and jobs. There is also a section on teaching resources which provides lesson plans, teaching ideas and downloadable activities for the classroom. The country guides section is very well organized with countries listed alphabetically. The articles uploaded here give information on living and teaching in each of these countries, including comments by teachers who have been there.
ESL Base currently has 6080 schools in 125 countries on its database. The idea that your resume can reach out to so many schools makes the site a must-visit if you are looking for a job.
Launched in 1977, Transitions Abroad is a well-established guide for ESL teachers. Before the days of the internet, it was published as a magazine. According to the website, it was the only publication “dedicated to work, study, living, volunteering, and cultural immersion travel abroad.”
The magazine was discontinued in 2008, but the webzine has taken its place as a comprehensive, no-nonsense guide to living and working abroad as a part of one’s travel experience. The website has a lot of information. There are blogs by expert ESL guides. You can get a feel of the work environment in each country by reading the stories of the teachers who have worked there.
Of course, there are listings of ESL jobs abroad as well as online TEFL certification courses. The Transitions Abroad site gives you information not just on jobs but also about opportunities to study or volunteer abroad. The section on summer jobs is useful to young graduates looking to spend their holidays working and living abroad.
The Go Overseas site has proved to be an invaluable asset for ESL/TEFL teachers looking for teach abroad opportunities. There are nearly 16,000 programs that you can browse through. If you are worried about how to narrow your search, here’s a tip. First decide on the location, duration and nature of the program you want to attend. Go Overseas will filter your requirements and give you a shortlist of programs that might interest you.
Once you have the short list on your screen, go through the alumni reviews attached to them. There are more than 46,000 reviews on the site! In addition, there are interviews, personal stories and in-depth accounts by people who have lived and worked in the countries or programs that you plan to apply for. The amount of information available on the site will help you to make your decision. Browsing through the Go Overseas site is made easier by the tons of photographs posted in each of the program community photo galleries.
The visual aid is definitely an asset as you can easily imagine yourself in a similar setting!
Teaching abroad can be an exciting new adventure. Getting to know new places, new cultures and new cuisines can be an educative experience. However, it is absolutely necessary to do your research well. The list of 10 sites given above to search for TEFL, ESL & international English teaching jobs abroad is by no means an exhaustive one. But it will provide you with enough inputs to make an informed choice. So set your filters for the various programs listed in the sites above and get moving with your job search!!
What are your thoughts? Do you think we missed someone off the list or someone deserves not to be on it? Let us know in the comments below!