Once you’ve successfully completed an accredited TEFL course (made up of at least 120 hours of study), you’ll receive an internationally-recognised TEFL certificate and can start applying for jobs. And the first (and most exciting thing) to decide is where in the world you’d like to go.
It’s important to keep in mind that different countries have different entry requirements and criteria for hiring TEFL staff – for example, some countries in Asia have a compulsory retirement age of 55 or 60, which means that teaching opportunities for people above these ages often aren’t widely available. This means you need to research your dream destination carefully, but thankfully it’s only a minority of countries and there are plenty of other places around the world who do hire teachers well into their 70s. For example, in Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, Mexico and Nicaragua, older teachers are very desirable because of their skills, experience and work ethic – and the warm weather, beautiful scenery and rich history in these locations, make them incredible places to live and work.
If you find that you really enjoy TEFL and want to make it a long-term plan, but you struggle with the idea of being away from home for long periods of time, then you could consider TEFL online. You can teach a group of students regularly in a virtual classroom (using a webcam and headset), without having to leave the comfort of your own home. Many employers ask that you first have a year of TEFL experience before you start working online, which means that even if you only wish to teach abroad for a year, you will still have the option to continue with your TEFL career when you decide to return to the UK.
The rate of pay and the benefits attached to each TEFL job will vary significantly depending on the country you’re visiting and the employer. Course provider i-to-i will provide you with lots of information about the country you’re interested in teaching in, so you can make an informed decision. Once you start browsing, you never know where you might end up!