You’ve just wrapped up college and are ready to take the world by storm. Oh wait—the real world is kind of a bummer, and finding a job (even with your fancy uncle’s great connections) is turning out to be a lot harder than you thought. We get it—it’s tough to juggle your final exams and senior seminars and hanging out with your college friends all while keeping an eye towards your future.
And while you could move back in with your family (that’s really generous of your parents, BTW) and get a part-time job in your old haunts, you should probably teach abroad—it’s not as scary as it sounds (especially when compared to returning to the life of curfews!), and the qualifications to get in are actually quite low. You can teach English abroad with a degree and that’s it! Especially if you do a combo TEFL / teach abroad program (then your opportunities to teach ESL abroad will really soar).
That’s what we’re here for—Premier TEFL sets up recent college grads with incredible life-changing international teaching gigs (and adventures). Here’s everything you need to know to teach English abroad with a degree.
1) Identify your goals
Yes, you should have goals (just because you’re not getting graded on them anymore doesn’t mean having objectives is a bad thing!). Before you start teaching abroad after college—or before you start any job, really—it’s a good idea to outline what you hope to accomplish through the experience, and how you hope it will connect to your overarching/future life plans.
These can be as simple as make a little money, have great adventures, and visit 13 countries. Or this can mean paying off student debt, saving boatloads, building skills that align with your ultimate career goals (be that in education or in another field). Having intentions = a more fulfilled, happy, and productive life.
2) Pick a country and/or a program.
There are two strategies you can employ when you prepare to teach English abroad with a degree. The first is to choose your destination, then choose your program. If you have your heart set on South Korea, you can figure out later who provides the best TEFL internships there. If you’re desperate to live on a beach, pick your island then look at who provides programs on that little slice of paradise.
Another strategy you can consider is choosing your program provider first, then figuring out which destination is the best fit for your goals. Perhaps your goals trump the actual location of your job abroad. If that’s the case, then it might be wise to first find a program that checks off all of your boxes, and then working with your program advisor to find a quality destination. Want to make a lot of money? Try east Asia. Want to get away from it all? We hear Mongolia is nice this time of year.
Regardless of how you get to the final destination—knowing the program you’re going on and knowing where you’re going to do it—you are setting yourself up for a seriously awesome first year out of college.
3) Pick what TYPE of program you want.
This will likely play a considerable role in your ability to accomplish step two, too. Your decision to teach abroad with one program or another will likely shift based on the type of program they provide. Some general options often include:
- A paid TEFL internship abroad —these programs are typically more short-term while still allowing you to earn some money AND get TEFL certified, all in one swing
- An agency/placement service —this is as barebones as it gets; don’t expect a ton of on-going support once you land in-country
- A TEFL certification-only program —you can get your TEFL certification abroad, then be on your merry way to coordinate and arrange your own employment
- Government sponsored programs—these programs are more selective and might require you to teach in a public school for 1-2 years
- Independent job hunt/application—if you want to strike out on your own and feel comfortable navigating foreign job markets solo, then this non-program option is for you
Keep in mind that there is no wrong option, but that you should do some reflecting on which program will best support you in crafting the type of international work experience you want. When you teach English abroad with a degree, you are embarking on an adventure, but a PROFESSIONAL adventure—make sure you take the job seriously.
4) Apply apply apply!
Now that you’ve zeroed in on the perfect teach abroad program, it’s time you fill out the application and see if the gods are in your favor. These applications tend to be a BREEZE compared to your typical-grad school 12-pager or (yet another) Indeed/Monster digital application. Here are some pro tips as you fill out applications to teach English abroad with a degree:
- Work on your applications in your optimal work hours. My gut told me to tell you not to work on these apps at midnight, but if that’s when your work ethic shines, then good for you! Just be sure to complete your applications when your focus is on point.
- Ask your advisor for application tips. They might not give you the exact “right answers” to make sure you’re a shoe-in, but it can’t hurt to ask, right?
- Demonstrate your commitment to teaching English abroad with a degree. If they don’t believe you will work hard every day to do right by your students and teach them new, useful, and accurate English language skills, your app will probably go to the “no” pile pretty quickly.
- Double—triple—quadruple check what you’re submitting. Review it in alternative colors, ask that nitpicky friend of yours to proofread, wait a day before clicking “submit” (and give it a final once over before you do).
Even though you are seeking a job or a paid TEFL internship with a placement company, you should still treat it with as much care and respect as you would for any job application.
5) Get your life together!
We get it; you have a lot on your plate, but the decision to teach English abroad with a Bachelor’s degree is going to add a bit more to it. Deciding to move abroad means tackling a number of new tasks. Prepare like you’ve never prepared before! Here are some must-do’s before you pack your bags and go:
- Health. Get your immunizations, check up’s, and physical in order—double check if you need any specific medications or prescriptions for travel in your destination of choice.
- Travel logistics. Flights, passports, visas. Hop to it; some of these processes can take weeks to coordinate unless you want to pay a hefty fee.
- Money matters. Alert your bank of travel, consider switching credit cards for more favorable fees, decide how you want to receive your pay from your teaching job. Oh yeah—and budget and save like a mad person!
- Other “life” things. If you’re renting an apartment, be sure to break your lease and coordinate a sublet. Have a pooch? Find a dog sitter. Take care of whatever other circumstances in your life that might keep you from teaching abroad with ease.
6) Pack your bags and go
Adventure is knocking and we’re so glad you’re here to answer. You’ve done all the steps necessary to teach English abroad with a Bachelor’s degree, and the day is finally here—stop thinking about teaching English and start actually teaching English! We’ll see you there!
Want more advice?
Our team is keen to talk to YOU and help you design the international trip of your dreams. Get in touch with an expert advisor today to start brainstorming exciting options.
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