There has never been a better time to try your hand at teaching abroad. The demand for English teachers is evident across the globe, with many young people desperate to learn an international language. They too want a better chance of work and to earn money either in their home country or further afield.
Most placements to teach English abroad require a Bachelor's degree and a TESOL certification. After completing a Bachelor's degree, a TESOL certification will be rewarded through doing a course and an end examination. There are many ways to take the TESOL course and it can be accomplished in as soon as four weeks if you choose an intensive route.
Before you take off to your foreign destination, you will also need a passport, possibly a visa, both a criminal background check and medical exam, plus a copy of your university degree and any other relevant transcripts. Make sure you are fully prepared before you leave so as not to face any confusion later on.
Having a Bachelor's degree will put you at the front of the line. It has been possible to teach without one, but now that competition is becoming stronger, most institutions will favor those who have a degree to those who don't. It will also be more likely to provide a better pay, which in retrospect will help to pay off any outstanding student loans you may have. Your employer may ask for copies of this in advance.
The TESOL course is also not a necessary qualification to have, but every little helps when you want to teach abroad. Just like owning a degree, it will give you a wider choice of placements and a fuller pay packet.
Now you have to have a long think about where you want to go. This will be easier for some than others. If you already have a secondary language such as Spanish or Chinese, you will no doubt get along easier in Spanish or Chinese speaking countries. You might on the other hand, be looking for cheaper options. South Korea is among those destinations where your flights and rent will be paid for you. China, Japan and South East Asia all have a relatively low living cost. South America may have a higher price tag, but many young people prefer it for its climate and great nightlife. Dubai is by far the highest paying state in the United Arab Emirates, but be warned that the competition to get in is extremely high and in most cases you will need a Master's degree and some previous experience. There are benefits to every country, so weigh the pros and cons of each to find out which is better suited to your personal goals.
Make the decision of whether to go through an agency or directly with an employer. An agency can offer you a lot of support and get you a TESOL qualification if you don't already have one. It can be expensive to go through an agency though, so work out your budget before making your selection.
As well as paid work, there are many posts for volunteers. You may get your accommodation and meals for free in exchange for working voluntarily. It should not be thought of as simply a charity and only giving, but an exchange in that you are welcomed into another community and gain much knowledge of the world and experiencing teaching first hand. Not to mention the credit you will receive in future employment.