One of the best ways to travel is to become an English as a Second Language (ESL) or an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher and work in another country. Today, English has become an international “Lingua Franca,” if you will, and many countries are in high demand for English language instruction. As a “Native” English speaker, there are a plethora of opportunities to teach, earn money, save up, and travel.
Normally, most countries require the teacher to have a four-year university degree and an internationally recognized Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate. Nevertheless, some countries require only one or the other. To increase your chances, it is best to have both. The requirement for this certificate varies with different programs, but the basics include a 2-week to 1-month training in the English Language (such as grammar and usage) and classroom instruction methods and practice. This certificate is widely available in the US, online, and abroad. In some countries, the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) or the Trinity is preferred.
Once completed, it is time to pick a country or a place! Many certificate programs include a placement process in which you are guaranteed a job somewhere. For instance, I received mine in Costa Rica and ended up teaching there. So, when you are choosing to get the certificate abroad, it may be best to choose to do it in a country where you would like to teach. If there is no placement, no worries, there are many websites that offer postings and job opportunities, such as Dave’s ESL Cafe, TEFL Net, and Teach Abroad. Lastly, do not forget about the local Craigslist. You’d be surprised on how many ESL job opportunities there are under employment/education.
After all that’s said and done, pack your bags, get your immunizations, and hit the road! Good Luck!