No Teaching Experience, No Problem! Teach English Abroad without Experience

Authored by:
Amy S.

Amy S.

So, you’ve never stood in front of a classroom, but you want to teach abroad?

Never fear. You’ve come to the right place. And I applaud you (I’d say most of the TEFL teachers I know were also in the same boat when they bought those one-way tickets to a foreign country to mold young minds themselves).

Teaching abroad is an incredibly rewarding experience, and one of the best ways to live abroad, travel, make money and learn about the world in general.  [I’m bias, but…] teaching abroad is one of the best things you can do — not only for your students, but for yourself. 

So, you’re probably researching what this grand adventure could look like, what you’ll need to get there, and wondering: Is teaching English abroad for me? Do I need a TEFL Certification?

And the straight forward answer to this is: It depends. 

Different countries have different ESL job requirements. Some require a TEFL certification, and others don’t. 

But, if you’ve never stood in front of a classroom before, I’d recommend a TEFL certification regardless. With this certificate, you’ll be prepared for anything the job throws at you and you’ll have peace of mind.  Teaching English can be challenging — there are different learning styles, you’ll be teaching grammar that you may know yourself but you don’t necessarily know how to explain, or you’ll be planning successful lesson plans that are engaging to everyone. Teaching can be underrated — make sure you know what to expect!

So, where should you get TEFL certified?  You have a few options, but I like to think CIEE TEFL is right in the sweet spot.  You’ve likely seen that there are TEFL certifications through Oxford, or even Groupon offerings.  Our general rules of thumb: 1.) If it’s really cheap, it’s probably too good to be true (it likely isn’t accredited, and it may expire). 2.) If it’s really expensive, it’s probably a good course, but you may have to attend in person.

The great news - you have options!  We’re just excited that you want to teach abroad. It’s a life changing experience, and we are in a unique time where there has never been such a high demand for English.  There are literally millions of people around the world eager to learn! 

But, like I said, I like to think CIEE TEFL is right in the sweet spot. Their TEFL certifications never expire, you can go at your own pace, and they have numerous ways you can bundle your experience. You can get age-specific teaching lessons, or you can get TEFL certified abroad with Destination TEFL, or you can go through one of their Teach Abroad programs for a safety net!

CIEE TEFL Certification is here to prep you. Depending on the course you choose, you’ll learn everything you need to be successful: lesson planning, classroom management, connecting with students with different learning styles, cross-cultural communication, and how to effectively teach things like grammar, tense and discussion activities! Additionally, you’ll be able to go at your own pace and work and study at times that work best for you since everything is completed online. Plus, you’ll have the added perk of a tutor, and the ability to talk with peers who are also completing the course.

So, moral of the story — you don’t need teaching experience to teach English abroad. CIEE TEFL is here to help you with that.  All you need is to be fluent in English, and they’ll help you with the rest!


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