It’s stressful, it’s heartbreaking, it’s exhilarating and eye opening; travelling the world and choosing to live abroad is all of these things and so much more. However, if you have never left your home, the thought of moving to another country can leave you full of questions you want answered. I’ve done my best sharing travel tips for first time travellers, but I know that this by itself is not enough. I’ve revealed how to save money while travelling, but without a job to keep you going you will never be able to travel the world indefinitely. So this week I want to share with you everything that I know about teaching overseas.

Before we start, let’s get one thing straight; teaching overseas is not just for poor backpackers. Since leaving England, I’ve met teachers who have turned teaching overseas into a profession and they are making four, five and even six thousand dollars a month. Why am I telling you this? Well, I want to be clear with you that teaching overseas is not only a job for backpackers, but it is something that you can do for life with a salary that you can support a family on.

make money while you are traveling

Teaching Options

There are three main categories of people teaching overseas. These are in no particular order; qualified teachers, non-qualified teachers and TEFL or CELTA teachers (who are also non-qualified teachers). The opportunities you have as a person wanting to teach abroad will be defined by which of these categories you fall into, so let’s have a look at what is available.

Non Qualified

It is possible in Europe and the US to find work as a non-qualified teacher. However, and this is a big however, you will only be able to work as a substitute teacher. Substitute teachers receive a lower hourly wage than qualified teachers and do not receive a monthly salary. Moreover, many countries require you to have at least a university degree.

Some countries do not issue work visas to non-qualified teachers. Do your research before you go, especially in countries where corruption is a problem, becuase you might find yourself unknowingly breaking the law.

teaching and travelling


Teaching English overseas is a backpacker favourite. The most widely recognised qualification for teaching English overseas are TEFL and CELTA. You can enrol on a TEFL or CELTA course either before you move abroad or while you are travelling.

Many countries now require you to have an official teaching qualification if you are going to teach English.

Qualified Teachers

Canadian International School, French International School, German International School, New Zealand International School; almost every country in the world have private schools that cater for expatriates and these schools need qualified teachers. What’s more, you do not need to be a language teacher. Chemistry, Maths, Biology, Geography, you name it, there will be a demand for it.

Simply put, if you have an internationally recognised teaching certification and you have experience then the world really is your oyster. As a qualified teacher, teaching overseas, you can expect a big salary, annual flights home and housing benefits. What’s more, if you have children they will be able to attend an internationally recognised first class school for free, or for a significantly discounted rate.

Ok, so most of us don’t fall into this category, but it is an option and something that you should consider if you dream of travelling indefinitely.

If you have worked abroad and are planning to work as a teacher or in a school when you return to your home country, you might need a police clearance from the police in the country that you resided in. This means that if you have worked in Thailand for one year, you will need a clearance from the Thai Police stating you have no criminal record in Thailand. Without this piece of paper you will have huge problems (especially in the UK).

traveling and teaching

Other Certificates

In addition to a teaching qualification, you might need several additional documents in order to get the visa/ work clearance.

Police Clearance

If you are going to be working with children, then there is a strong possibility that you will need a police clearance. You need to get a police clearance from every country or state that you have worked and resided in. This can be a real headache for travellers, so make sure that you pick up a police clearance before you leave to go to a new place.

University Degree Tanscript

Before you leave your home pick up a couple of copys of your university transcript. Many countries require proof that you have gone to University, before they issue you a work visa.

Statement of Service

If you have been working in a school or language institute, then you will need to pick up a statement of service before you leave. This is your official proof that you received the salary you claim to have received and that you actually have work experience as a teacher.

teaching english overseas


Get a reference from the principle or head of the language institute from every place that you have worked before you leave.

Part Two

In this article I cover everything you need to know about the practical side of teaching. This includes things from how to find a job through to what is it like teaching overseas. If you want to know more then click here.