Online teaching positions are normally flexible short-term opportunities with around 15-20 hours of teaching a week. Teaching online means you have the flexibility to teach wherever you are in the world – from the comfort of home or in an exotic faraway land! It’s also a lot easier to set your own schedule and fit your teaching hours around your lifestyle. Online teaching roles are aimed mainly at teaching young learners via an online interactive learning platform. But there are opportunities to tutor adults, too.
Teaching English Online while Travelling
Introduction to Teaching English Online
Travelling the world is something on nearly everyone’s bucket list. It is up there with building a family and building a successful career. This goal sure does come with challenges! Whether you want to hop from country to country for short stints or stay long term in your dream destination, the first thing that always comes to mind is finances. You want to enjoy life and immerse yourself in the culture, but you also don’t want to be unable to save for months or change other priorities. Teaching English Online and travellingis a fantastic route to go down if you want to travel with ease and without financial stress.
As an online TEFL course teaches you how to train without translation, you can earn as you go and not be too stressed about different local languages. In this blog, we would like to give you some inspiration for teaching English online while travelling and touch on how best to become an online English tutor while travelling.
Destination Inspo & Teacher Testimonials
Teaching English online means the world is your oyster. In recent years, working online while travelling has become a lot more common and doing the typical 9-5 in-office jobs are becoming a thing of the past! Visiting South East Asia or hiking through South America no longer needs to be a pipe dream. It has never been so easy to experience the world.
Want to guess where this photo was taken? Can you believe that it’s Fiji? Kate has taught online for years and has been to over 35 countries while teaching English online. This may sound like a boast, but trust us, it’s not. Getting lessons completed from 6 am to 1 pm and enjoying her afternoons and evenings is her preferred way to work. So why not stay in a country with a lower cost of living? We could nearly say it’s an investment!
If the first thing that popped into your mind when seeing this photo were Thailand, then you would be 100% correct. Sienna started her journey on a Thai internship but didn’t want to leave! If you thought that at this point, it’s all over, then it isn’t. Sienna started to teach English online with the skill she learned from the internship. This made her stay that much longer and that much more enjoyable.
How to become an Online English Tutor and Travel
Are you inspired yet? We sure are! It’s time to take you through the best approach in our experience, to take. There are many ways to become an online English tutor and travel simultaneously, but this is the proven way to minimize the risk of running into trouble along the way.
First of all, you’ll need to get your TEFL or TESOL certification online. This will ensure that you can pick up work and be employable by all online platforms. We would recommend getting the certification under your belt before you go. This can be obtained online. For better salary expectations, we recommend the level 5 certificate.
Once you are trained up and ready to work, we advise you to get some teaching experience before leaving and build up your student database. Preparation is vital, and once you build up a reputation on a particular online platform, you’ll know you’ll have guaranteed work while travelling. With more time and experience, your prices can also go up, meaning you’ll have more monthly wages coming into your bank while abroad.
Another reason to set up at home before you go is that many online companies will consider the country of residence when looking at salaries. So, what does this mean? If your home country has a better minimum wage than the dream destination, then you’ll get paid more if you set up once in your home country. If you’re not ready to leave your 9-5 job during this time, that’s ok! There are part-time options for you, and you can schedule the hours you are available for.
At this point, you are TEFL or TESOL certified, a successful online teacher with an excellent student database. Now, we are good to go and ready to travel! The time has come, and you have chosen your first destination.
There are a few things to think about before leaving and travel the world teaching English:
Visas – Because you are an online teacher and have a permanent residence at home, remote working means travelling on a tourist visa and still teaching English online. The type of visa you go for does depend on the country requirements and the length of stay you’d like. Most standard tourist visas last up to 90 days. If you plan to stay longer than this in one country, try looking into “special” or “extended” tourist visas. In the age of this pandemic, please keep in mind that making visa trips to reactivate a tourist visa may be more complicated than it was pre-pandemic.
Packing – If you are planning on multiple destinations, pack light! Nearly every country in the world has shops with your basics, and you don’t want to be lugging around a 30 kg bag. Pack for the season and the destination; you may not need your winter jacket after all.
Travelling solo or with a friend – Travelling with a friend can be so much fun! Make sure you are both on the same page about your destinations and travel goals before travelling to teach English online. You’ll be without family and stuck to the hip! When it works, this can be the best way to travel as you’ll never be alone while travelling. If you decide to travel solo, we recommend booking things in advance, such as hostels and tours. This will make it more enjoyable, and on tours, you’ll also be able to meet fellow solo travellers.
Finance – Whether you go or how many hours you teach online, always have the price of a plane ticket home in your account.
Timing – This little piece of advice is coming from experience. Always take into account time differences. Travelling through time zones does not mean that your students are moving with you. Take their local time into consideration and adjust your hours accordingly. If you travel and lose students due to missed lessons, this can put you in some hot water!
Types of teaching English Online while Traveling
There are many routes to go down and many choices to make; freelance or employee? Part-time or full-time? There is no correct answer, and this does depend on your situation, experience and availability. Some of you may want to save before travelling to work on a part-time basis, and some of you will want to spend that little bit more abroad to do things such as sky-diving or scuba diving. Whichever route you’d like to go down, be sure it’s the right one for you. Also, take a look at your average wages and the cost of living in the country. You may get some nice wiggle room there to reduce your hours a bit and see more of the country! We will give you one piece of advice: to take jetlag into account. Give yourself a couple of days in a new country to adjust and adapt to your surroundings.
What’s the difference between freelance and employee routes? Freelance means that you’ll be able to input your costs yourself and make more per hour. It also means that you’ll need to market yourself and have lesson plans ready! We would only suggest this route for experienced and have a long-lasting reputation. In contrast to becoming a full-time employee, you will have a predetermined salary & schedule. This sounds like the most consistent and reassuring route if you are a newbie to the TEFL & TESOL industry, but you will certainly see the difference in salary.
Online English Teaching while Travelling – Is it worth it?
The short answer is most definitely! Typically, there would be pros & cons to a decision, but we can’t think of any cons! If you are a flexible, outgoing and adaptable character willing to put in a little extra work, then consider no more! This will be an experience of a lifetime for anyone who decides to follow this endeavour.
P.S. The TEFL Institute helps with job assistance for all of our alumni. Be sure to give us a call if you think of taking this route and teaching English online. We’ll let you know who is hiring at the time and the best path for you based on your personal story and list of dream destinations. You can request a callback and join our Alumni Facebook Group once part of our team. Don’t forget to send us photos and let us know how you are getting on. Happy travelling!
Most online TEFL companies will ask for a minimum of 120 hours of TEFL training and teaching practice. Some online companies may ask their teachers to also have a bachelor’s degree. This is particularly true for Chinese companies, as it’s a government regulation (no matter where you are living).
You will more than likely need high-speed internet, a computer with an HD webcam and a headset if you want to teach online. If you have the choice of a video calling platform for your online lessons, Zoom is a good choice. It gives you a clear view of your students. You can also share your screen and create separate rooms for group work in lessons.
If you have no experience in teaching online, a good idea is to get some teaching practice in as employers may ask for “experience” hours, which are unpaid. You can alternatively complete our 10 Hour Virtual TEFL Course, which has a section focused on teaching English online.
You can add our 30 Hour Teaching English Online Course to any primary course to boost your knowledge and skills. The teaching English online course is a huge benefit because it prepares you to enter the online tutoring world – and looks great on a CV, too!
Then there’s our Professional Online Expert Course. This is a specialised online teacher qualification that gives you the skillset and the confidence to hit the ground running. This package includes the 120 Hour Advanced TEFL Course, 30 Hour Teaching English Online and the 30 Hour Teaching Young Learners to give you an edge in a competitive market.