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TEFL & COVID-19 | How to Plan Before Teaching Abroad in 2022

  • Written by Patrick Watt

Teaching abroad sounds so romantic, adventurous and even exotic? The good news is that it is possible, but there is so much information out there that you may feel overwhelmed. These steps can help make sense out of the process and serve as a guide for what you should do before you start looking for teaching positions abroad.

Check Your Qualifications

Different companies ask for different qualifications and there are teachers who don’t have any qualifications and may not even have English as a first language. You could be a retiree, a professional of another career or a recent graduate. However, some jobs do require you have a degree and proof of the degree of some sort. It really depends on where you want to teach. For instance, if you are looking to teach English in Thailand, you may not need a degree but will need certification and experience. On the other hand, if you plan on teaching in the UK or Europe you may need an educational degree with teaching certification.

Bachelor’s Degree

Many countries require a bachelor’s degree, but not all of them. Other’s only require you to have TEFL certification. Some teachers may only need experience and a TEFL certificate.

TEFL Certification

TEFL training can help you find a job if you have at least 100 hours of coursework. It is accepted worldwide. If you plan on teaching in the Middle East you will need a 4-week of classroom-based certification.

A TEFL certification is a good thing to have because it teaches you how to manage the class, different teaching methods, and why you teach in a certain way.


Due to COVID-19, all countries are asking for proof of vaccination, in both doses. They may also ask for a no COVID test 24 to 72 hours before you board your flight to teach abroad. However, if you are teaching online, these tests will not be necessary.

Background Check

If you will be teaching children, some schools will require a background check. In many cases, they will do it for you and either deduct it from your first paycheck or ask that you complete a certain number of hours.

Teaching Experience

Although many schools prefer that you have some teaching experience, it is not necessary. Higher-paid positions will require experience. If you want to teach in Europe or the United Arab Emirates, you should probably get some experience in other countries or on other only platforms first.

Native English Speaker?

Not all schools will require that you speak English as a first language, however, it is important that you have an advanced command of the language and a deep understanding of the grammar.

Choose Your Country

Some applicants wonder where they can teach. There is a big push for teachers in Asia but there is a need for English teachers in almost every country. You can choose to go to Europe, Africa, the Middle East or Latin America. It is a matter of personal interests, salary requirements and whether you meet the school’s qualification needs.

About the Author

Patrick Watt is a content writer, writing in several areas, primarily in business growth, value creation, M&A, and finance. His other interests also include content marketing and self-development. Say hi to Patrick on Twitter @patrickwattpat.


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