Should I take my TEFL course before I head overseas to teach?

If you are thinking about teaching English abroad, you may well have wondered whether you should take a TEFL certification course at home or wait until you head overseas. There are pros and cons relating to either choice, but here we look at the main arguments in favour of completing your TEFL training before leaving your home country.

Can I get an EFL teaching job before I leave home?

Yes, in many of the most popular countries for teaching English abroad jobs are routinely organized from within your own country. In this scenario you will have an interview via phone or webcam from home. If you are then offered the job you will often have to send off a range of documents that are required for the employer to organise your visa, or you may organise this on arrival in some cases. This method of recruitment is most popular in Asia, where it is common practice in many countries including China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

The Middle East is another popular region where advance recruitment is commonplace. In lucrative job markets such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait, you can expect to have everything organised before you get on the plane. Other examples of advanced recruitment include Russia and Turkey, and government run recruitment programs, such as the TAPIF program in France and the cultural Ambassadors Program in Spain. With all of these examples it clearly makes sense to complete your TEFL training within your home country, before you jump on the plane.

Should I keep my options open if I’m not sure where I want to teach?

One of the biggest advantages of taking a TEFL course before you leave home is that you don’t have to decide on a teaching destination until you are fully qualified and ready to get to work in your own classroom. Your choice of location can play a huge part in the success of your overseas teaching adventure, so it is not a decision you want to rush. By going down this route you can apply for multiple jobs in as many different countries as you want during your training and then make a final decision once you have had time to consider all the available options.

In contrast, if you know exactly where you want to live and work, taking a TEFL course in that area makes perfect sense as you will be on the ground ready to interview at anytime. However, if you want to keep your options open and see where the best job offers come from; taking your training at home might well be the better option for you.

Is it cheaper to take a TEFL course in my home country?

Although taking an in-class TEFL course overseas is certain to be a great adventure and will provide a high level of professional training, the overall cost can be prohibitive for many trainees. When compared to an in-class course, online TEFL courses are a much more economical option when you consider the cost of accommodation, flights, meals etc. Also, you can continue to work while taking an online course which allows you to keep adding to your savings in the run up to your departure.

Can I take an in-class TEFL course in the U.S?

If you are living in the U.S. and are thinking about teaching English abroad, you might want to consider taking an in-class TEFL course before you start applying for jobs. ITTT has a full four week training program in New York City, as well as a shorter 5-day combined course which offers a mix of online and in-class study. The 5-day option is available in over a dozen locations across the country and we also have a center in Toronto, Canada. This could be the perfect choice if you live close to one of our centers or if you like the idea of a short visit to one of our fantastic destinations such as Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, or San Francisco.



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