Studying abroad is a transformative experience. When you return from living and studying in a foreign country, you are forever changed by the experiences you had there, and for most people, a passion for travel is born.

But now that you’ve graduated from school and entered the “real world,” you might be wondering how you can have that kind of transformative experience again. Is there a way to live overseas, immerse yourself in a foreign culture, and support yourself in a professional way at the same time? Good news—there is: it’s TEFL!

What is TEFL?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Teaching English abroad may be a short-term job for some people, or a long-term, professional career for others. TEFL positions exist at language schools worldwide, from Asia and Latin America to Europe and the Middle East. It’s up to you where you want your next adventure to be!

Who is the typical English teacher abroad?

You are! Recent college graduates make up the majority of English teachers abroad. Schools overseas like the fresh energy and enthusiasm of young teachers and many do not require previous teaching experience. Plus, the fact that you’ve lived abroad will make you an even more attractive to schools! Not a recent grad? Don’t worry, people of all ages can be found teaching English as a foreign language, too.

How does teaching abroad work?

You can either get TEFL-certified and apply for jobs on your own (with job placement assistance included in your course) or you can go through a Teach Abroad Program, like this one in Thailand, and have everything lined up for you! Current Teach Abroad Programs include teacher training, a guaranteed job and in some cases, housing and language classes.

Will I be able to support myself?

Absolutely! Even if you teach in a country where salaries seem low, such as Costa Rica or Peru, the corresponding low cost of living will allow you to live comfortably on your teaching salary. On the other hand, you can teach in a country where salaries are high, such as South Korea or Saudi Arabia, and pay off student loan debt or build your savings! This chart will give you an overview of average salaries and cost of living for locations worldwide: Jobs at a Glance.

There is life after studying abroad, and it doesn’t have to be settling into a 9-5 job. Your ticket to travel and adventure in a foreign culture could be just a TEFL course away! Download our free eBook to learn how you can get started.