Travelling Abroad in 2021: What We Know So Far

When can we travel again? It’s the question on everyone’s lips, particularly those dreaming of faraway places and yearning for their next adventure. With non-essential travel from the UK banned and conflicting views on travelling abroad in 2021, things are uncertain. But there is hope if you’re considering a TEFL qualification! Schools around the world are beginning to reopen, and some TEFL employers are hiring again. Also, since the pandemic has driven so much of our lives online, the online teaching industry presents a golden opportunity for aspiring TEFL teachers. 

If you’re confused by the current travel restrictions or how this will affect your dreams of teaching abroad, here’s what we know so far about travelling abroad from the UK in 2021. 

What are the current travel restrictions?

Due to the UK lockdown, non-essential travel – both domestically and internationally – is banned. This means you can only travel abroad for essential reasons, such as work, education or extenuating circumstances.

Only specific jobs qualify for travel exemptions, however. You can find the full list here. If you are travelling abroad for essential reasons, there are also new travel restrictions in place for returning to the UK. 

Will travelling abroad be allowed this year?

Whether we’ll be able to take holidays abroad later in the year has divided opinion. 

While Boris Johnson says it’s “too early” to say, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warns that “travel abroad this year is unlikely”. The MP has also said that travel restrictions will stay in place until everyone has been vaccinated.

Airlines and tour operators continue to remain more optimistic, though!

What about travelling abroad to teach English?

After lockdown, whether you can travel to teach English abroad will depend on the country and region you’re looking to move to (and from). It may be more difficult to travel to and from a country with very high case numbers, for example. 

As vaccinations continue and countries begin to ease restrictions, you could start to plan and move abroad to teach English as early as late summer. Remember, this depends on the country and it’s likely there will be conditions, such as a quarantine period and proof of a negative COVID-19 test. 

The exact situation will vary from country to country, so it’s best to stay up to date with your current government advice on your country of destination. 

Should I still get TEFL qualified?

There’s never been a better time to get TEFL qualified. With lockdown restrictions, there’s more time than ever to invest in yourself, upskill and prepare for the life you want post-COVID. Let’s face it, there’s only so many banana loaves you can make!

Here’s why you should go for it:

  • You can hit the ground running and begin your dream TEFL job once things go back to some degree of normality. 
  • There’s an increased demand for online English teachers, giving you a perfect chance to teach while travel is restricted. 
  • TEFL is a recession-resistant job, which means it’s almost certain your skills and knowledge will always be in demand. 
  • Your TEFL certification is for life, providing you with the ultimate flexibility and freedom to teach English when the time’s right. 

Are companies hiring English teachers?

Yes, many schools and TEFL employers are still hiring. We see some schools reopening and hiring English teachers to teach in-person classes, particularly in Asian nations like South Korea. Schools in Europe and the Middle East are also hiring and reopening but on a limited and controlled basis. 

If you’re feeling apprehensive about travelling abroad, teaching English online is the perfect solution, and there are many online English teaching companies hiring today!

How do I get TEFL certified during the pandemic?

The beauty of a TEFL qualification is that you can train from the comfort of your own home.

Take TEFL Institute, for example. Our TEFL courses are all online, and you can complete them in your own time, at a pace that suits your lifestyle. What’s more, our courses provide at least 120 hours of training, which is the minimum standard worldwide.

Depending on which course you choose, it takes on average 2-8 weeks to complete one of our online TEFL courses. In lockdown, it could take you even less time to become TEFL qualified! 

While it might be too early to book travel plans for now. It’s not too early to prepare yourself for your TEFL adventure. Have something to look forward to and get a qualification you can benefit from for life… Discover more about our accredited and government regulated TEFL courses today.

In general, you don’t need a degree to teach English abroad or online. Our certification stands alone and you can get employment without pairing it with a degree. However, some TEFL employers do prefer their teachers to have a degree. More importantly, for some countries, it’s a visa requirement. This means you can’t obtain a work permit without a bachelor’s degree or higher. Some of these countries include China, Japan, UAE and Vietnam. 

Our advice is if you have your sights set on a certain country, look into the visa requirements first before putting time and effort into finding a job there. This will save you time and disappointment. If it’s a school preferability, and not a visa requirement, there’s sometimes some leeway. 

You do not need any prior teaching degrees or experience to teach abroad. Once you have your TEFL certificate, you can secure work as a TEFL teacher. A BA in Education would enhance your CV, but it’s not a necessity. Completing a TEFL course that includes teaching practice, like our Hybrid TEFL Courses, will also help your CV.

If you want to experience different cultures and see the world, teaching English abroad is for you. Not only will you get to explore new places, you’ll also meet new people and get the chance to make a difference to the lives of language learners. A TEFL certification lasts a lifetime. So, you can dip in and out of teaching abroad whenever you feel like it. 

It is not necessary to speak any other languages. You’ll be able to find a job and work comfortably without knowing the language spoken in your chosen country. Of course, it is always an advantage, even if it’s just the basics. We recommend learning a few phrases before you move abroad like hi, thank you, goodbye and sorry.

You’re never too old to gain new qualifications! Some TEFL employers do have age restrictions, but there are ample opportunities for more mature teachers. There are also the options to teach English from home as a private tutor or online tutor.

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