Teaching and Traveling Abroad – Here’s How and Why

Hiking in Taman Nagara, Malaysia 2016

Teaching and Traveling Abroad

So, you want to teach and travel abroad? Yes, you are on the right track! Lots of adventures and new experiences are waiting for you there!

Teaching in Hai Phong, Vietnam, 2015 Teaching and Traveling Abroad
Teaching in Hai Phong, Vietnam, 2015 – Teaching and Traveling Abroad

Lovely students, spicy foods, backpackers, beaches, and so on! Teaching and traveling abroad is more likely an ideal way of escaping cities’ stressful world and pollution while getting paid for the work you will love! In this article, you will know why teaching and traveling abroad is the coolest job you will ever have! I hope it will help you in some ways.

  • Different systems of Education
  • Various styles of teaching
  • Materials being used in regards to curriculum
  • Diverse Philosophies of teaching (comparison to mine and my country)
  • Technology as a tool of learning
  • Creating my own idea of how learning develops

Those are some of the most relevant information I’ve learned while teaching and traveling to different Southeast Asia countries. Professionally speaking, it will help you reach your maximum potential as a teacher as you will be trained to different Professional Growth Programs worldwide (depending on which country). You will also acquire some seminar certificates which you can use later for your next application.

How to Teach English Abroad?

How to apply? I use, of course, technology. I’m applying online. There are many trusted sites where you can find a legal employer and a good deal in terms of salaries, benefits, and personal preferences.

Useful Websites

Listed below are some websites I use when applying:

  • Dave’s ESL Cafe
  • Ajarn Recruit
  • Esl Teaching Forum
  • Jobstreet

You can also find some job vacancies in the Classified Ads Section in Newspapers and other Facebook groups. There are also agencies to help you if you are willing to undergo their Professional Teacher’s Training Program.

Teaching in Hai Phong Vietnam 2015
Teaching in Hai Phong, Vietnam 2015

Basically, they will require a TESOL or Teaching English as Second Language Certificate, which you can get almost everywhere now. In the Philippines, you can inquire to some Language Centers around your area. You can also Google Search TESOL Certificates and get a hundred results about how to have one.

Click on the web and inquire via phone or email. Prices vary depending on which University/Institution you will be enrolled in. Here are some certifications they recognized:

  • Celta Certification
  • ITTT Certificate
  • Cambridge Certificate
  • IELTS score 8 or 9+
  • TEFL (British)
  • TESOL (American)

Even if you are a native speaker, you need one of these certificates to teach English. If you wish to go to an International school, the requirements are far more strict.

Teaching in Yangon, Myanmar, 2016
Teaching in Yangon, Myanmar, 2016

I’m sending my updated CV as much as I can and waiting for an e-mail for days. Usually, it takes 4-6 days for the school to answer. Basically, if it’s hiring season, their response will take longer because of the competition from different applications.

The peak season of hiring in January (for summer class) and October (for a regular school).


So in summary, you need these qualifications before considering applying in a school/English Center abroad:

  • TEFL / TESOL / CELTA Certificate
  • Bachelor of Education (or equivalent)
  • At least a school/center/volunteer teaching experience is a must/plus
  • Passport Copies
  • Police Clearance from your country
  • Health Certificate

These are just the basic requirements, and some schools may ask for more or fewer documents.

Off day in Bagan, Myanmar 2016
Off day in Bagan, Myanmar 2016

Salaries and Benefits

The salaries and benefits of teaching overseas have a huge discrepancy compared to my country (Philippines). It also depends on which country you get hired (Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe), your qualifications in teaching, your past experiences, and your nationality.

The Native Speakers (USA, UK, CANADA, SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND) get the highest salary ever. For example, my British Friend is getting $3,000 in a month. (Teaching English for public schools in Myanmar). For non-native English speakers, we will get less or half of theirs but generally more than enough.

The contract is upon agreement between you and your employer. They offer 3-6 months contract and until 1 to 2 years of employment. The renewable contract is upon agreement, too.

Magnificent Quan Ba, Vietnam, 2016
Magnificent Quan Ba, Vietnam, 2016

Working Hours

Working hours are 20-36 hours per week (for English Teaching) and 30-40 hours per week (for regular school). Overtime pay is $10-15 per hour.

The rest days are Saturday and Sunday, normally. Some schools are giving split-off days (Wednesdays and Fridays), and some only give 1 day off. Read your contract thoroughly.

Health Care Benefits

As per health care, it depends on which country and employer. For example, in Vietnam, my employer is giving me additional pay (cash) for my health insurance. Some of my friends receive health package benefits.

Spending long weekend in Singapore, 2016
Spending a long weekend in Singapore, 2016

Visa Application

Flights and visas should be shouldered by the employer through reimbursement. You book your flight, and they will arrange your visa. When you get off the plane, they will give you 20% of the plane fare upon arrival and 80% after you have completed the contract.

Teaching and Traveling Abroad - Hiking in Taman Nagara, Malaysia 2016
Hiking in Taman Nagara, Malaysia 2016 – Teaching and Traveling Abroad

Life-Changing Experience

Touching the next generation’s future will give you a sense of achievement for once being part of their changing lives. Yes, you can enjoy in-between-work adventures and meeting people from different countries, engaging in their cultures, exploring more of yourself, and appreciating life on the other side of the world. Still, none of these things will matter once you see your students loving you and your influence.

So, Goodluck to your application, and see you halfway around the globe! – Kate

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Written by Katrina Flores

Hi! My name is Kate from the Philippines. I’m backpacking since 2013. I traveled my way to Southeast Asia through teaching and touching lives! Right now, I’m a stay at home mom to Xristus and Liam, writing my adventures and misadventures in teaching and traveling abroad! Come and join me and my other stories on and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more travel photos! @katefx1989

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