While many teachers secure jobs by attending an in-person interview, many others are employed in advance before they leave home. This can be a particularly comfortable arrangement if you have no experience of teaching or overseas travel. In this scenario the recruitment process is completed via email with an interview normally conducted via webcam.
What are the benefits of getting a TEFL job before leaving home?
One major benefit of this form of recruitment is that the employer usually takes care of any official paperwork required such as a visa or a work permit. Jobs that are filled in advance generally also come with extra bonuses including free accommodation, paid airfares, and health insurance. However, one issue with this form of recruitment is that it can take a long time to sort out, with the average time from application to starting work being somewhere around three to six months.
Can I get a TEFL job in Asia before I leave home?
Advance recruitment is particularly common in some parts of Asia. China is the number one recruiter of foreign English teachers and a significant number of the annual total are hired from within their home countries. South Korea is another major teaching hotspot where advance recruitment is commonplace, as are Japan and Taiwan. Other countries where advance recruitment is possible but in much smaller numbers include Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Thailand and Vietnam are also very popular destinations for foreign teachers, although employers in these two countries typically prefer to interview job applicants in person.
Can I get a TEFL job in the Middle East before I leave home?
It is common knowledge that the Middle East region is home to some of the best paid jobs in the TEFL world and most of these include advance recruitment. As the financial rewards are high so is the competition for every job, meaning that previous classroom experience and/or advanced qualifications are usually required. The top two destinations in terms of job numbers are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates where tax-free salaries, paid airfares, health insurance and free housing come as standard. Other countries including Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain also have advance recruitment potential in smaller numbers.
Can I get a TEFL job in Europe before I leave home?
Advanced recruitment is not common across Europe which means that most teachers have to fly to their destination and then start looking for work on the ground. The only notable exceptions to this are Russia and Turkey where advanced hiring is relatively common. One other option is joining a government backed recruitment scheme such as those found in France and Spain. These hire foreign teachers to work in the state school system, although the numbers are limited and the schemes are usually oversubscribed. You can apply online in March for a starting date in September. It is also worth noting that in areas where demand is high it is often possible to arrange interviews before leaving home.
Can I get a TEFL job in Latin America before I leave home?
The vast majority of positions in this region are filled following an in-person interview. One exception to this is Chile where the market is very strong for TEFL qualified teachers and many jobs are advertised online. Chile also runs a recruitment program that places volunteers into public schools. Elsewhere, you might find a small number of advance recruitment options in Mexico and Brazil as they both have a strong demand for teachers.